As entrants to the legal profession, students at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law must reflect the standards of integrity expected of legal professionals. The College of Law considers respectful words and actions as integral to a legal education and in an environment that permits the free exchange of ideas. Speaking and behaving with honesty and integrity also promotes an atmosphere of trust among students.
As Arizona Law considers ethical behavior of the utmost importance, students who do not hold themselves to these standards will face disciplinary action. The College of Law may impose strict sanctions that could set back a student's progress toward a law degree. Also, a notation of academic misconduct on a law school record could make obtaining employment more difficult. Finally, students may struggle to pass their character and fitness evaluation with their state bar association if they have an instance of misconduct.
If Arizona Law has accused you of academic misconduct, your future as a lawyer may be in jeopardy. Consider contacting a specialized student defense attorney-advisor.
Student Misconduct at Arizona Law
All students at the College of Law must know and abide by the Honor Code. Students must also take an honor pledge promising not to participate in or tolerate academic dishonesty. In addition to the Honor Code, law students must also comply with the University of Arizona Student Code of Conduct, covering academic integrity. The Honor Code at the College of Law pertains to all academic conduct, including assignments, exams, papers, and projects submitted for academic credit.
Examples of Misconduct at Arizona Law
The Honor Code at the University of Arizona College of Law provides examples of prohibited behavior for students:
- Giving, receiving, or soliciting aid relating to the substance of an examination
- Using materials during any examination not expressly permitted by the instructor
- Continuing writing or typing an exam answer after exam time has expired
- Retaining exam questions without instructor permission
- Discussing an exam with the instructor after the exam is over but before grades are submitted
- Removing materials from the library without authorization
- Submit as one's work the work of another
- Submitting for course credit work already or simultaneously submitted, in whole or in part, for credit in another course
- Failing to cooperate with investigations and adjudications of alleged violations of the Honor Code
- Alleging a false violation of the Honor Code
The Disciplinary Process for Honor Code Violations at Arizona Law
Anyone may report an alleged violation of the Honor Code to the College of Law's Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. After the Dean hears the report, there's an investigation, informal resolution process, hearing, and determination.
The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs may decide if a preliminary investigation is necessary. This informal investigation allows the Dean to gather information and facts of the allegation and contact the accused student. The Dean may refer the matter to the Honor Council or dismiss it. The Honor Council consists of two students and three faculty members.
Instructors have the authority to resolve academic dishonesty matters directly with students if the student admits to the violation and agrees to imposed sanctions.
If a student does not admit to a violation to an instructor or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, the Dean will ask the Honor Council to schedule a hearing. At the hearing, a prosecutor appointed by the Dean will represent the College of Law, and accused students may be represented by outside counsel of their choosing. Seven days before the hearing, the accused student must provide the Dean with a list of witnesses they plan to call and evidence to present at the hearing. At the hearing, both the prosecutor and accused student may cross-examine witnesses. The accused student may also ask the Honor Council at any time to determine if the evidence constitutes a violation of the Honor Code.
To find an accused student guilty, at least four members of the Honor Council must vote in favor of guilt. The Honor Council must decide and inform the Dean within three days of the hearing. If a student is guilty, the Honor Council may also determine sanctions.
Students found guilty of violating the Honor Code at Arizona Law may appeal to the Dean of the College of Law if:
- The hearing was not in accordance with procedures in the Honor Code
- The finding of guilt is not supported by clear and convincing evidence
- The conduct the student engaged in is not an Honor Code violation
- The Honor Council's imposed sanction is unjust or inappropriate
Students must file a written appeal within 14 days of the Honor Council's decision. The Dean will review the appeal and affirm the decision, reverse in whole or part, or remand for further proceedings. The Dean's decision is final.
If an Arizona Law student is found guilty of an Honor Code violation, they may receive one or more of the following sanctions:
- Dismissal from the College of Law
- Mandatory failing grade or lowered course grade
- Written reprimand or record of the violation on the student's record
- Monetary fines or restitution
- Formal notification of the violation to the instructor involved
- Academic probation
- Other sanctions as appropriate
Can a Student Defense Attorney-Advisor Help?
When you're facing an allegation of academic misconduct at Arizona Law, you may be unfamiliar with the formal disciplinary procedures. An experienced attorney-advisor can guide you through the process, helping you identify witnesses and evidence and representing you at your hearing.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped hundreds of law students nationwide with academic misconduct issues. If you want to protect your future as a lawyer, contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686.