Student Defense: University of Dayton School of Law

Established in 1922, the University of Dayton School of Law (UDSL) is a private law school in Dayton, Ohio. UDSL applies the experiential learning approach and trains law students to retain the practical and ethical skills necessary to continue their careers. The law school offers multiple J.D. and LL.M. programs with varying degrees of flexibility, allowing students to study at their own pace.

UDSL is part of the University of Dayton, a Marianist Catholic university. As a result, administrators expect students to maintain high ethical standards and demonstrate principles of academic integrity. UDSL's students must commit to the fundamental values of the institution, which are responsibility, honesty, fairness, and trust. Any violations of these principles lead to repercussions that negatively affect a law student's future.

Academic Misconduct at UDSL

Unlike other students at the university, Law students follow the guidelines listed in the University of Dayton Law School Honor Code. The code stresses that a student's success in law school isn't just how much they achieve through their grades or a high GPA but also how they strive to do right. Maintaining personal honor and integrity are two responsibilities that law students must have to follow the rules of their chosen profession.

As per the code, students who commit the following actions may face sanctions by the University Hearing Board:

  • Cheating: Students may not gain an unfair advantage over their peers by cheating. Examples include giving unauthorized assistance to others or obtaining information for examinations beforehand.
  • Plagiarizing: Law students must not use another person's work and falsely attribute it to themselves. Additionally, failing to cite material or paraphrasing an idea is also a form of plagiarism.
  • Using Unauthorized Materials: UDSL forbids students to possess or use unauthorized material to breach a professor's instructions.
  • Sabotage: Law students must not deliberately destroy, damage, hide, or conceal library items so that other students may not access them.
  • Misrepresentation: This action occurs when students deliberately mislead administrators into believing they have more professional or academic qualifications than they possess. Examples include falsifying a document or forging one to present to a faculty member.
  • Falsification: In some cases, students may falsify attendance records for themselves or others. This act of falsification and others similar to it is prohibited.
  • Making False Accusations: No law student shall knowingly make a false accusation about another student regarding a violation of the honor code.
  • Conspiracy: UDSL law students must not collaborate to violate the honor code.

Any member of UDSL with firsthand knowledge that a student violated one or more tenets of the code must submit a written report to the President of the Honor Council within 20 days. The accuser must include details of the violation and cannot make an anonymous report.

Once the President receives the report, they convene a meeting within ten days with the Honor Council Investigating Team. The decision to undertake an investigation depends on a majority vote by the members. Finding probable cause ultimately determines whether the allegation warrants a hearing.

Hearing Process

The President chooses seven members to represent the Honor Council panel at UDSL. The Honor Council Chief Justice determines how the nature and order of the questioning occurs. The code stipulates that the hearing is an informal event and that the process doesn't follow a set of formal rules. Once the panel hears all evidence, the members deliberate to determine whether a violation occurred. The committee then makes its sanctions recommendations to the Dean.

Appeals

Law students found guilty of an honor code violation have ten days to appeal the Honor Council's decision to the Appeals Board. The board reviews the Honor Council's decision and takes action depending on a majority vote. If the student remains dissatisfied with the board's decision, they have the chance to appeal a final time to the Dean. Once they receive the details of the case, the Dean can uphold, reverse, or remand the proceedings.

Possible Sanctions for Academic Misconduct

Sanctions at UDSL vary depending on the severity of the violation and the student's overall record. Moreover, students may receive more than one of the following sanctions:

  • Public or university service
  • Restitution for damages
  • Prohibiting the student from accessing or using UDSL property
  • A private written reprimand and a notice that stays on the student's record
  • Denial of participation in any UDSL extracurricular activities
  • Removal from student office or other similar positions
  • Placement on probation for an indefinite period
  • Suspension and loss of honors
  • Suspension from the law school with a chance to reapply for readmission after a specified time
  • Permanent dismissal from the School of Law

The harsh sanctions inflict damage on a student's reputation and future, especially with a suspension or permanent dismissal. Due to the potential issues that arise from allegations of academic misconduct, students must defend themselves appropriately to avoid graduation delays or worse. Moreover, with a negative notation on the student's permanent record, it may be challenging to find a reputable law school that will overlook a suspension or expulsion.

Hiring an Attorney-Advisor

If you are a law student at UDSL facing allegations of academic misconduct, don't wait to take action. The strict nature of UDSL's proceedings requires preparation for the best possible outcome. If you believe you are at risk of suspension or expulsion, take charge before it's too late.

Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento has years of experience working with students across the U.S. facing allegations of academic misconduct. Attorney-advisor Lento specializes in student defense, helping law students negotiate with administrators to decrease the likelihood of receiving harsh sanctions.

Attorney-advisor Lento understands what you are going through and is your shoulder to rely on when allegations threaten your future. Don't wait until the appeals process to speak to a professional. Your future is on the line, and so is your reputation and career as a lawyer. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 for a professional and discreet consultation.

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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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