Student Defense: The University of North Dakota School of Law

The University of North Dakota School of Law (UND Law) is a public law school established in 1899. UND Law offers the Juris Doctor degree, including joint public administration and law programs. It emphasizes experiential learning, student involvement, and participation In trial teams and moot courts. As a law student at UND Law, you have multiple career options after graduating. But to get to that point, you must demonstrate high ethical principles and avoid academic misconduct.

Law school is a challenging and exciting time in any future lawyer's life. It is a time when you learn theory and practice and understand what it takes to become an attorney. During this process, mistakes will happen. Although errors are a natural part of the learning process, some are more damaging and lead to investigations, hearings, and sanctions. And when law students face expulsion or suspension from their program, they deal with reputation damage that lasts beyond the academic phase. That's why working with a skilled attorney-advisor with experience in student defense is essential if you face accusations.

Honor Code at UND Law

Like all law schools, UND Law must maintain a level playing field for all its students. That is why actions against moral and ethical principles lead to sanctions that severely affect a student's life. As a future lawyer, you must abide by these rules to graduate on time and remain in good standing with your professors and peers. According to the Honor Code at UND Law, the following actions are punishable offenses:

  • Plagiarism: This violation happens when a student submits the work of another person, whether through the use of quotes, paraphrasing, or ideas for academic purposes without attribution.
  • Cheating: When students cheat, they partake in actions that give them an unfair advantage over their peers. This violation includes using unauthorized help from peers or receiving aid, not following a professor's instructions during an exam, and interfering with grading.
  • Submitting Former Work: Sometimes, a student may submit an assignment or academic exercise to a professor they completed before their course. Even if the material is similar, students must obtain the express permission of their professor before doing so.
  • Misuse of Materials: Students may not take, use, or access a professor or fellow peer's confidential academic materials without receiving express permission.
  • Obstruction: Law students may not deliberately prevent another student from accessing library materials by destroying, hiding, or stealing them.
  • Intentional Disruption: According to the code, students who deliberately disrupt other students and professors during the learning process are committing a violation.
  • False Accusations: Students may not falsely accuse others of engaging in academic misconduct.
  • General Dishonesty: All law students must avoid making false statements or lying to obtain an academic advantage for themselves or their peers.

It is necessary to impose rules to ensure equity and fairness during the learning process. However, they sometimes receive wrongful accusations that upend their lives and academic progress. In other instances, the punishments they receive are disproportionate to the alleged violation. When in doubt, always seek the guidance of an expert who guides you through the process.

Investigation and Hearing Process

Any person who suspects a student committed a code violation must report the matter to the Dean. Once the latter receives the complaint, they determine whether it holds merit. If it does, the Dean informs the accused student of the allegations. He also asks the Honor Board to start their investigation.

After the investigation, the Honor Board decides whether to initiate a hearing and informs the student in writing. The student may present evidence and witnesses during the hearing to support their claims. Once the hearing ends, the Honor Board deliberates to determine whether a violation occurred. Upon discovering an infarction, the Board recommends sanctions to the Dean.


Fortunately, an accused student may appeal the Honor Board's decision to the Dean to review the issue again. The Dean may decide to affirm or change the sanctions imposed on the student. The decision is final after receiving a review.

Sanctions for Misconduct Violations

The Honor Code lists multiple sanctions for academic misconduct at UND Law. The gravity of the sanctions depends on the student's behavioral history and the severity of the violation. Although dismissal is the most damaging sanction, any penalty may cause reputation damage and upend a student's academic path and career. These include:

  • A written reprimand with possible disclosure to outside parties
  • Disciplinary suspension for a definite timeframe
  • Indefinite disciplinary suspension
  • Permanent expulsion from the school of law
  • Placement on probation
  • Restitution

Any other sanction that the Honor Board deems appropriate

Because there is so much on the line, you must take action if you receive word of an accusation from the Dean. Although you may assume that you can take on the issue alone, working with a skilled advisor increases the likelihood of a fair outcome.

Contacting an Attorney-Advisor

As a law student, you are under significant pressure to perform well and keep up with your peers. No student enters law school intending to commit actions that can destroy their dreams of becoming an attorney. However, mistakes happen. Lapses in judgment and errors may cost you a degree and many years of time and effort to reach where you are in your progress. Since the matter can upend your future, you need the assistance of a skilled attorney-advisor like Joseph D. Lento.

Attorney-Advisor Lento has years of experience working with students nationwide. Whether the accusation is false or grossly misrepresented, advisor Lento works closely with you to help you avoid severe repercussions that ruin your future. Sometimes, Honor Boards may exhibit bias or make an example of a student to warn others not to make the same mistakes. Regardless of the intent, you deserve the right to a strong defense.

Don't let an accusation end your dreams and a potential career as an attorney. Your degree is on the line, as is your reputation. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 for a discreet and detailed conversation about your case.

Contact Us Today!

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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