The University of Arkansas School of Law (UARK Law) is a public law school established in 1924. The law school offers Juris Doctor (J.D.) and Master of Law (LL.M) degrees. It is also the first law school in the United States to provide an LL.M. degree in agricultural and food law. UARK School of Law is one of two law schools in the state, and it is part of the University of Arkansas. After students graduate, they have multiple career opportunities in-state and nationally. However, they must demonstrate the highest standards of ethical behavior and maintain academic integrity.
Law students' education and training in college prepare them for the demands of their future professions in the legal industry. Although law school is a phase of their lives that they eagerly anticipate, it is also a period of learning that comes with mistakes. Law professors understand that mistakes are a necessary part of the learning process. However, some mistakes are more severe than others and lead to problems later or during their education. Students will stumble at some point, whether from pressure to perform or the expectation to succeed from parents and professors. Without the experience of a proficient attorney-advisor who specializes in student defense, they risk suspension and expulsion and won't graduate on time.
Honor Code at UARK School of Law
The Code of Conduct on the academic policies page of UARK School of Law's website highlights the importance of maintaining academic integrity. It asserts that students wishing to enter the legal profession must demonstrate integrity and the trust of their clients, peers, and bar members. Maintaining this behavior doesn't start when students land their first job but while they train in college to become lawyers. The Student Code of Conduct goes into more detail regarding academic misconduct. It gives specific examples of actions that constitute violations. These include:
- Making material misrepresentations to faculty members regarding academic issues
- Concealing or taking materials that belong to faculty members or the School of Law
- Plagiarizing the work of another person verbatim or paraphrasing without including citations
- Asking another person to perform academic work, such as essays or term papers, and submitting them for credit
- Using work from another course in a current one without informing the professor
- Falsifying attendance sheets
- Collaborating with another student without a professor's permission
- Submitting false travel documents for reimbursement claims
- Offering a false statement about the number of hours worked pro bono
- Discussing the contents of an exam with another student before they take the test
- Using unauthorized materials like notes during a test
- Interfering with the use of the library
- Sharing or transferring information from the law school library without permission
Although this is not an exhaustive list, it gives a glimpse into the many ways a student may get in trouble if they are not careful. Unfortunately, some students may not know they are committing a violation but will face penalization for their actions. The Student Conduct Council is responsible for receiving and investigating violation claims.
Investigation and Hearing Policy
Any member of the law school who believes that a student committed a violation must report the issue to the Student Conduct Council. The council reviews the complaint to determine whether an infarction indeed occurred. If there is probable cause, one of its representatives investigates the matter. The representative decides whether the council must take further action and may ask for further investigation or if they must schedule a preliminary hearing.
The preliminary hearing may result in a sanctions hearing depending on the results of the former. The sanctions hearing happens as soon as the preliminary hearing ends. The council hears statements and examines the evidence. Afterward, its members convene and make the recommendation for a sanction. Students may appeal this decision within ten days of receiving notice of the penalties from the council.
Once the student submits an appeal to the Student Conduct Council, the council forwards the notice to the Review Board. The board investigates the issue and makes one of the following decisions:
- Affirming the Student Council's actions and decision
- Reverse the motion in whole or in part
- Impose a different sanction, including a harsher penalty, depending on its findings
The student may only appeal one final time if the Review Board's sanction differs from the Student Conduct Council's decision. The Dean informs the student of a new hearing for the violation, and a quorum of the whole faculty makes a final decision regarding the matter.
Sanctions for Academic Misconduct
Students face multiple sanctions at the UARK School of Law for violating the honor code. The penalty depends on the severity of the violation and the student's behavioral history. Possible sanctions include:
- Disciplinary probation
- The financial obligation to compensate for damages
- Temporary or permanent suspension from student organizations and offices
- Cancellation, reduction, or failure of a grade
- Refusal to certify the student for the Board of Bar Examiners
- Permanent dismissal from the School of Law
- Due to the severity of these penalties and their implications on a law student's future, they must act fast by contacting a professional attorney-advisor.
Contacting an Attorney-Advisor
For any student, law school is an exciting and challenging time. An honor code infraction puts you years behind schedule and may delay your graduation prospects. It also comes with difficulties and extraordinary pressure, which could lead to them making genuine mistakes to keep up with their peers. Given the UARK School of Law's extensive list of possible violations, facing the panel alone is challenging. Fortunately, Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento is by your side for even the most demanding cases.
Advisor Lento has years of experience working with law students nationwide. Since he specializes in student defense, Advisor Lento understands the intricacies of hearing panel procedures and identifies issues before they become barriers to your progress.
If you or someone you love face sanctions for academic misconduct at UARK School of Law, there is hope. You don't have to take the burden alone – help is available. Contact the Lento Law Firm today for a thorough and discreet consultation at 888-535-3686.