Student Defense - St. Louis University School of Law

The St. Louis University School of Law is a private law school based in St. Louis, Missouri. The graduate program boasts high enrollment rates and the highest bar passage rate in the state. There's no denying that students who graduate from this stellar program have bright futures ahead of them. To remain enrolled, though, law students must abide by the school's official honor code.

Academic misconduct is frowned upon by the honor code. Students who violate rules outlined in the honor code may face sanctions, including expulsion and suspension. In some extreme cases, administrators may even opt to revoke a degree after it has been awarded. This can jeopardize a person's entire career and future. Thankfully, law school students have a higher chance of a favorable outcome when they solicit the help of an attorney-advisor who specializes in student defense.

The Honor Code at St. Louis University School of Law

The St. Louis University School of Law honor code details the procedures followed when a student or staff member suspects someone has committed ethical violations. Academic integrity is a priority for all law schools, as students must practice ethical behavior before and after they finish their education. Academic misconduct is one of the main ethical violations listed in the student handbook. It includes actions like:

  • Plagiarism: Students must accurately cite the ideas, theories, and thoughts of others when completing assignments. Failure to do so is a form of plagiarism.
  • Cheating: Buying test answers, copying off of a peer's work, and using prohibited items during an exam all constitute cheating at St. Louis University School of Law.
  • Lying: Falsifying information either on an assignment or an exam is an honor code violation. It's also against the rules to misrepresent your background, experience, or academic honors.
  • Improper Collaboration: Unauthorized assistance during an exam is forbidden. So too is giving or receiving assistance in connection with any course assignment.

Investigation and Hearing Procedures

Students who learn of an honor code violation are required to file a written report with the Honor Council Investigator. The investigator then notifies the respondent of the report within 48 hours of receipt. The respondent receives an official copy of the report. Within ten days, the investigator must decide whether to dismiss the case, seek informal resolution, or file their official report with the Honor Council. So long as there is probable cause, the investigator is obligated to file a report.

Once an official report is handed over to the Honor Council, the panel will decide whether to commence adjudication. A student member of the council is appointed as a prosecutor. A hearing panel is convened to oversee the hearing proceedings. The members review evidence, listen to witness testimony, and recommend sanctions.

Possible Sanctions for Honor Code Violations

Sanctions for honor code violations at St. Louis University School of law range from minor to severe. This depends greatly on the number of times a student is caught violating rules, as well as the nature of the infraction. While some sanctions may cause mere inconveniences, many have serious, life-changing consequences. Some sanctions listed for academic misconduct at St. Louis University include:

  • A letter of reprimand
  • Loss of law school privileges
  • Probation
  • Withdrawal of a granted degree
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion
  • Restitution to the university

Degree revocation, suspension, and expulsion can have long-reaching consequences for law students. It may be difficult for them to find a spot at another law school, and future employers may opt not to hire them with such a stain on their record. A person's time, effort, and hard work no longer matter much after they receive such sanctions. A career in law may no longer be in the cards. Thankfully, students don't have to go up against the honor council panel alone.

Appealing Sanctions

If a violation occurred during the hearing proceedings, the Presiding Officer is required to notify the Respondent about their options for appealing the sanctions handed down. Appeals are only permitted if a violation occurred. All appeals must be requested within 72 hours of the hearing panel's decision. Should an appeal be granted, the panel will review the record – no new evidence may be submitted, and no oral arguments are permitted.

Appeal decisions are usually reached within ten days of the request for the appeal. The council may decide to reduce a sanction if a majority of the panel agrees. Substantial evidence of a violation in proceedings is required to overturn such sanctions. The honor council also has the right to publicize the fact that a violation occurred and sanctions were handed down but may not reveal the identity of the Respondent.

How an Attorney-Advisor Can Help

Learning you're the subject of academic misconduct proceedings can be panic-inducing. With your future on the line, a skilled Attorney-Advisor can make all the difference. Joseph D. Lento can help guide students and parents through such proceedings. He specializes in student defense, helping law students across the nation face allegations of academic misconduct.

Each law school and misconduct case is different, which is why Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento works so passionately to understand the unique circumstances of each of his clients. Details are often the deciding factor in integrity cases. Regardless of how complex your case might be, an Attorney-Advisor can guarantee the best possible outcome.

If you're facing suspension, expulsion, or degree revocation because of alleged academic misconduct, take action now. Call the Lento Law Firm today for a consultation at 888-535-3686.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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