Student Defense – University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Law values academic honesty and integrity. The School of Law expects students to achieve the grades they deserve through hard work and diligence, and it takes any misconduct allegations seriously.

Academic misconduct or dishonesty can mean many things, but it all comes down to acting in a way that gives the student an unfair advantage. This may mean they secure an unfair advantage over fellow students, or a dishonest act means they're more likely to get a higher grade.

If you're in any doubt as to what constitutes academic dishonesty, you must discuss the issue with the School or a trusted advisor. However, if you're already facing academic misconduct allegations, here's how the School disciplinary process works and what could happen if you're found responsible for acting dishonestly.

Student Academic Codes of Conduct

The University has general authority over many disciplinary matters. All students at UMKC must follow the standard set out in the following policies:

Law students must also follow the School of Law Honor Code. The Honor Code sets out:

  • What constitutes academic dishonesty in the School of Law
  • How the School investigates academic dishonesty allegations
  • What sanctions may apply if a student committed an act of academic dishonesty or misconduct

The Honor Code applies when there's an academic matter in dispute. The Codes of Conduct cover non-academic misconduct, which should be dealt with at the university level.

Academic Misconduct at UMKC School of Law

At UMKC, grades should reflect a student's honest and truthful effort. If a student knowingly or recklessly commits an act to gain an unfair advantage, they could be held responsible for academic misconduct.

Academic misconduct includes the following actions.

  • Giving or receiving unauthorized help during an exam
  • Revealing information about an exam to a student who hasn't sat the paper yet
  • Making false representations about the student's credentials, e.g., on a resume
  • Attempting to pass off someone else's work as the student's own endeavor
  • Trying to secure a better grade by telling the instructor which paper is theirs

It's also an offense under the Honor Code to know there's a student committing dishonest acts but fail to report this to the School.

Sanctions

The School of Law can impose a variety of sanctions on students found responsible for academic misconduct.

  • Reprimand: The student receives a formal reprimand for their conduct
  • Probation: The School places the student on probation
  • Suspension: The student can't attend Law School for a certain period of time
  • Dismissal: The School suspends the student but doesn't specify a time period
  • Expulsion: The student is expelled and can't return to the Law School

Regardless of any sanction imposed, any finding of responsibility for academic misconduct will of course be a major concern for a law student and aspiring attorney. A suspension or expulsion from UMKC, however, puts your educational and career prospects at grave risk. Consult an attorney-advisor if you're facing academic misconduct allegations so that you can achieve the best possible outcome to keep your goals intact.

Disciplinary Process

Section IV of the Honor Code sets out the School's investigatory procedures for academic misconduct.

Initial Investigations

Upon receipt of an academic misconduct allegation, the Associate Dean investigates the complaint. The student should have the chance to present their personal recollection of events.

The Associate Dean can resolve the case informally or refer the case to the Student Prosecutor.

Investigation by the Student Prosecutor

The Student Prosecutor will conduct their own investigations.

After completing their investigations, the Student Prosecutor can either drop the case due to insufficient evidence or ask the Associate Dean to convene a grand jury.

Grand Jury

Law students with no conflict of interest will be chosen to sit on a grand jury. They will help determine if there's an Honor Code violation based on the evidence available. All decisions are made by majority vote.

If the jury finds the student violated the Honor Code, the case proceeds to a formal hearing.

Hearing

There's no need for the student to testify at the hearing unless they wish to do so. Their representative can speak on their behalf and cross-examine witnesses.

A decision should be made no more than three days after the hearing date. The Dean will review the decision; however, they can't reverse a “not guilty” verdict.

Appeals

Depending on the sanctions imposed, you'll either have the right to request a review by petition or file an appeal.

Petition

Students who aren't suspended or expelled can petition the Chancellor to review the decision.

  • The student has ten days from receiving the decision to file a petition
  • The Chancellor can agree or refuse to review the decision

If the Chancellor reviews the decision, their conclusions are final. Meaning there's no further right to appeal even if they affirm the original decision or refuse to review it at all.

Appeal

You can file an appeal with the Chancellor if you're suspended or expelled.

  • Students have 20 days from receipt of the decision to file an appeal
  • A student can also ask for permission to keep attending classes until the Chancellor considers the appeal. However, there's no guarantee the School will grant this permission.
  • The Chancellor reviews the decision and considers any relevant documentation

Again, the Chancellor's decision is final.

How the Lento Law Firm Can Help With Academic Dishonesty Allegations

If you're found responsible for academic misconduct at UMKC School of Law, there's a mark on your official academic record. This mark could make it more challenging for you to build the legal career you want after graduation, and it could stop you from graduating at all.

Joseph Lento, an experienced attorney, has helped many law students in your position resolve their academic misconduct issues. Attorney Lento and his team are ready to stand by your side and ensure you receive the fair hearing you deserve. Call the Lento Law Firm now on 888-535-3686 or leave a message online to get started.

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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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