The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law is a public law school established in 1962. Memphis Law's facilities are among the best in the nation, something that the school takes immense pride in and advertises. Memphis Law offers many mentoring, co-curricular, externship opportunities, and legal clinics. After graduation, students can expect multiple career opportunities that open the door to lucrative positions as they progress in their careers. However, law students must demonstrate exceptional standards and refrain from academic misconduct to remain enrolled and enjoy these benefits.
Academic integrity is high on the list of requirements at Memphis Law. Due to the sensitive nature of the profession, law students must always act in a manner befitting their future careers as attorneys. Besides the honor code, students must also adhere to the regulations imposed by Academic Affairs regarding proper conduct. Those who commit violations don't just risk receiving a bad grade – they face issues that can destroy their dreams of becoming attorneys and prevent graduation.
Academic Regulations at Memphis Law
All students enrolled in the School of Law must abide by the academic regulations policy that oversees academic affairs. In the most recent version, students have a complete description of what it means to engage in academic misconduct and the adjudication process at the university if they commit a violation.
All law school students registered at Memphis Law must take an oath before beginning their classes. Students must agree to refrain from committing activities that go against the essence of the legal profession. Additionally, the school lists the types of academic dishonesty or misconduct actions that lead to sanctions. They include:
- Theft or Unauthorized Possession of Property
- Compromising Exam Security
- Facilitating Academic Dishonesty
- Writing Past the End of an Examination
- Failure to Disclose Misinterpretation
- Failing to Comply with Honor Council Sanctions
- Referring False Allegations
Any individual who believes that a student is committing an act of academic misconduct must report the incident by filing an Academic Integrity Complaint. However, faculty members have other ways to address the issue before filing a report, listed below in the adjudication process.
Handling Complaints of Academic Misconduct
If a faculty member believes that one of their students is committing a violation, they must address the issue first. The faculty member shall send the student a written notice and allow the student five business days to respond or set up a meeting.
After the meeting concludes, the faculty member has two options: They may impose a sanction they believe fits the violation or refer the issue to the Honor Council.
Investigation and Hearing Process
Before the hearing, the Chief Justice at the School of Law appoints investigators to gather relevant facts for the case. Once the investigators have the data, they determine if the violation goes against the honor code. The investigators present their findings to the Chief Justice, Associate Chief Justice, and the Secretary to decide whether the violation warrants a hearing.
If a hearing is necessary, the respondent receives a written notice from the Chief Justice informing them of the investigation results. During the hearing, the investigators, faculty members, and all persons involved in the case present their information before the panel. Once the hearing ends, the committee decides on an appropriate sanction pending the approval of the Dean or Dean's Designee.
A student who receives a sanction from the hearing panel has the right to appeal the decision to the Appellate Board. The student must send the request in writing to the School of Law's Chief Justice within five days of receiving the honor panel's decision. The Appellate Board reviews the appeal and information provided by the honor council. The Board may affirm, modify, dismiss, or overturn the decision based on the evidence.
Possible Sanctions for Academic Misconduct
The Honor Council reviews multiple mitigating and aggravating factors to determine the severity of the sanction. In addition to the severity of the violation, the panel looks at other details such as:
- Whether the student made an admission of guilt before a referral
- The student's intent
- The existence of former violations
- Willingness to make restitution
As for the sanctions, they include:
- A written warning that notifies the student that they committed an offense and that another incident will lead to more serious disciplinary action.
- Community or Law School service
- Counseling or referral to a support service
- Writing a letter of apology or explanation of conduct
- Receiving an academic penalty such as a lowered or failing grade
- Suspension or expulsion from certain activities
- Placement on disciplinary probation
- Revocation of admission from the School of Law
- Denial of a degree
These sanctions can damage a student's reputation and lead to more severe consequences later. If you are a student at Memphis Law facing allegations of academic misconduct, you must act immediately following notification. Working with a professional reduces the likelihood of delaying your graduation prospects and receiving a negative outcome.
Hiring an Attorney-Advisor
You spend countless hours and effort to graduate from law school. However, Memphis Law is strict regarding adherence to its standards. Although these processes are necessary to maintain the law school's reputation, mistakes commonly happen. To reduce the likelihood of their occurrence, you need an attorney-advisor that understands the process.
Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento specializes in student defense. With years of experience working with students across the US, attorney-advisor Lento understands what is at stake. With his firm understanding of adjudication processes, attorney-advisor Lento can pinpoint bias and procedural errors before they become significant issues.
You're still a student, and everyone makes errors. Don't let these errors prevent you from becoming an attorney. With the help of an experienced and dedicated professional by your side, you are less likely to be a victim of an unfair process.
If you or someone you love faces suspension or expulsion due to academic misconduct at Memphis Law, don't wait to take action. Call the Lento Law Firm today for a confidential and discreet discussion at 888-535-3686.