Student Defense: The University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law

The University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law is a private law school established in 1924. McGeorge School of Law is part of the University of the Pacific, located in Sacramento, California. The law school emphasizes public law, international law, and advocacy with small class sizes and student-to-faculty ratio. In addition to onsite options, McGeorge offers remote choices through its Online Graduate Program to help maximize flexibility for its students. Upon graduation, you can look forward to several viable career opportunities with a solid base to start practicing law.

Law school is competitive and rigorous, with pressure to succeed at the forefront of your requirements. This pressure is healthy but also leads to mistakes that cost you more than a failing grade on an exam. As a future attorney, you must maintain the highest standards of integrity and professional excellence. These characteristics start in law school and violating academic integrity principles comes with heavy sanctions like temporary or permanent dismissal. When these issues arise, you need the help of a skilled attorney-advisor with years of experience in student defense.

Honor Code and Student Code of Conduct

If you're a student at McGeorge, you must abide by the Student Honor Code that applies to all university members. Students must actively encourage and promote honesty in all matters and report violations to their school's administrator. Administrators expect students to maintain high standards and exhibit maturity, responsibility, and personal integrity.

Violations fall under three broad categories, with multiple examples listed beneath each. These are:

  • Cheating: When students cheat, they actively engage in actions that place them at an academic advantage. Examples of this violation include using resources not approved by a professor on an intellectual exercise, selling work to others such as essays, and using unauthorized cheat aids during an exam like notes or smartphones.
  • Plagiarism: The act of plagiarizing a person's work involves using it or paraphrasing it without giving credit to the author or creator. In addition to the standard definition, the University of the Pacific takes it further by categorizing essays purchased from online sources as a form of plagiarism.
  • Miscellaneous Violations: In some cases, infarctions may not fall under a specific definition. These issues fall under this category and include actions like conspiring with another student to commit an infarction, removing tests from classrooms, and altering grades on an academic exercise.

Adjudication Process

If an instructor believes a student violated the code, they first try to speak with the student. This conversation is to clarify what happened and reach a resolution if possible. Suppose the student does not admit to wrongdoing or disagrees with the solution proposed by the professor. In that case, they can file a grievance with the Student Conduct and Community Standards Office. The office notifies a student and faculty advocate who meets with the student within 14 days.

After the student meets with the advocate, the latter forwards the grievance to the Student Academic Grievance Board to conduct a hearing. During the hearing, both sides present evidence supporting or disproving the allegations against the accused. Once the board hears both arguments, it decides on appropriate sanctions, often combined with the penalties imposed by the professor.


Accused students can appeal the board's decision by sending a letter to the Appeals Board. However, the following conditions must apply for the request to receive consideration:

  • The existence of a procedural error that may result in a bias towards the student
  • The emergence of new information or evidence that possibly changes the outcome of the case
  • That the severity of the imposed sanction is disproportionate to the violation

Suppose the appeal matches one of these factors. In that case, the Student Conduct Appeals Board examines the matter. It reviews the new information, including the proceedings of the hearing. Once the board decides on the outcome, it is final.

Possible Sanctions for Academic Misconduct

The severity of sanctions imposed by the board depends on multiple factors, such as the violation and the student's overall history. The possible sanctions for academic misconduct at McGeorge School of Law include:

  • Receiving a lower grade on an academic exercise
  • Disciplinary warning
  • Failing a quiz or test
  • Failing the course
  • Restrictions or restitution
  • Placement on disciplinary probation
  • Ineligibility to graduate
  • Temporary dismissal from the university
  • Suspension from the university

Although all sanctions harm your progress to an extent, some are more injurious to your future and graduation prospects. Suspension or expulsion comes with heavy consequences, such as explaining to a potential employer why your permanent record contains such a penalty. Moreover, you may experience reputation damage due to this dismissal, making it difficult to find another law school.

Contacting an Attorney-Advisor

It's no secret that law school is challenging and comes with many obstacles. However, no student enters university intending to commit wrongdoing and receive a permanent dismissal. With severe sanctions, all the years of hard work and effort no longer matter, and you may lose the desire to study law altogether. Fortunately, you don't have to lose hope.

Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento understands what you're going through. With years of experience helping students nationwide avoid dismissal, attorney-advisor Lento works hard to negotiate the best possible outcome. You're in good hands because advisor Lento specializes in student defense. With his keen judgment and unique approach to every case, you'll have a better chance of success working with a seasoned professional.

Making mistakes is a regular part of every law student's journey to becoming an attorney. Don't let that error or a lapse in judgment change your career trajectory and limit your future. With the skill of an experienced advisor like Mr. Lento, you can work together for a chance at a favorable case outcome.

If you face accusations of ethical violations or academic misconduct at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, don't wait until it's too late. Call the Lento Law Firm for a thorough and transparent consultation today 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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