Student Defense: University of Connecticut School of Law

The University of Connecticut School of Law (UConn Law) is a public law school established in 1921 in Hartford, Connecticut. Formerly the Hartford College of Law, UConn Law's campus is part of the National Register of Historic Places. The institution is among the highest-ranking in the nation for its part-time law program and has a bar pass rate of 80%. With its 5:1 student-faculty ratio and emphasis on diversity and practical experience, aspiring law professionals benefit from its outstanding reputation upon graduation.

Being part of the UConn Law community requires maintaining high behavioral and ethical standards befitting a future lawyer. Students who engage in academic misconduct may face severe consequences, including suspension and permanent dismissal. However, some students make mistakes without intending to violate the rules. Without an attorney-advisor who understands what is at stake, students may lose their passion for law and may not pursue their dreams.

Academic Misconduct Policy at UConn Law

UConn law has an extensive academic misconduct policy listed in its student handbook. According to the guide, every student has the right to pursue an academic career in an atmosphere that fosters honesty and trust. Students who engage in academic misconduct, even if they are unaware that they are doing so, go against both the policy and the University's Student Conduct Code.

In addition to the most common forms of academic misconduct, UConn Law's policy provides an extensive list of prohibited actions and examples of violations. They include:

  • Cheating: This act involves conduct that allows students to gain an unfair academic advantage over peers. It also includes actions students may not consider, such as using or providing unauthorized sources in academic work.
  • Plagiarism: Students engage in this activity by using another author's material without giving credit in an academic exercise or using citations.
  • Misrepresentation: This act occurs when students misrepresent their work or allow another student to engage in this activity. Examples include taking an exam for another student or vice versa.
  • Prohibited Collaboration: Students may not collaborate with others on exams, quizzes, and academic exercises without the explicit permission of their instructor.
  • Impeding the Academic Work of Others: It is a violation to interfere with another student's work to gain an academic advantage. Examples provided in the policy include stealing a peer's work, destroying it, concealing it, or defacing it.
  • Tampering: UConn Law prohibits students from tampering with documents and files related to academic activity. This act also includes changing the contents of transcripts, records, journals, and examination papers.
  • Agreeing, Soliciting, and Attempting: Students must not agree, solicit, or attempt to engage in academic misconduct or assist a peer in committing ethical violations.
  • Deliberate Obstruction: Students may not prevent or obstruct an investigation into an act of academic misconduct.
  • Negligent Violation of Academic Regulations: If a student commits an act of unintentional misconduct, it is a form of negligence and continues to represent a violation.
  • False or Deceptive Statements: Students must not make fraudulent and deceptive statements to a faculty member of UConn Law in connection with an activity relating to academic misconduct

Upon the suspicion of a violation, a faculty member must speak to the student in an informal meeting to address the matter before filing an official complaint. If they resolve the issue between themselves, the professor may only impose grade-specific sanctions. If the case escalates to a formal complaint, the student faces more severe penalties.

Any member of UConn Law may submit a complaint within 30 days of an alleged incident to the Dean or the Dean's designee. After reviewing the details of the incident, the Dean determines whether the case warrants further action or if it is dismissible. If the matter deserves a hearing, the Dean notifies the student immediately.

Hearing Process

Students accused of academic misconduct must attend a formal hearing and stand before a panel. Fortunately, law students have the right to have an advisor or counsel present. After reviewing the evidence, the members determine whether there is enough evidence to support the charge through a voting process. The committee may impose one or more sanctions depending on the gravity of the case.

Appeals

If a law student disagrees with the decision, they have ten days to send a written appeal to the Review Board, forwarded by the Dean. Students may only appeal under one of the following reasons: the process was unfair, there was no substantial evidence to warrant the sanction, or the sanctions disproportionate to the violation. After the Review Board reviews the case, it sends a final recommendation to the Dean.

Possible Sanctions for Academic Misconduct

UConn Law imposes multiple sanctions for violators of their academic misconduct policy. These penalties include:

  • A written warning notifying the student that an additional offense may lead to more severe punishment
  • Placement on probationary status for a designated time with the probability of further sanctions in the event of another violation
  • Loss of privileges
  • Temporary suspension and having to apply to the Petitions Committee for readmission
  • Permanent dismissal from the law school

Students accused of negligence face the same sanctions as other violators except for suspension or expulsion. However, even minor sanctions can affect student morale and damage their reputation.

Hiring an Attorney-Advisor

Students and their families deserve high-caliber legal defense strategists to save their future careers with so much that can go wrong. Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento specializes in student discipline defense and academic misconduct cases. With years of experience taking on the most challenging cases nationwide, Attorney-Advisor Lento strategizes and negotiates effectively for the best possible case outcome.

Law students have careers to look forward to and learn from new experiences. A lapse in judgment should not incur a life-altering decision by a hearing panel. If you or a family member face sanctions for academic misconduct at UConn Law School – don't wait to take action. Call the Lento Law Firm now at 888-535-3686 for a consultation.