The University of Nebraska College of Law is a public law school established in 1888. With its top-tier faculty and an emphasis on real-world experience, Nebraska Law is a solid launching pad for future attorneys. These opportunities open the door to multiple possibilities upon graduation. Nebraska Law consistently ranks among the top law schools with some of the highest graduation rates nationwide. However, to remain in good standing, students must demonstrate high standards of academic integrity.
Preventing widespread academic misconduct is the focus of every law school. Students must always exhibit exemplary behavior befitting their future profession – it must start when they are in the learning phase. If caught, those who commit violations face multiple issues, including suspension and expulsion. Without the help of a skilled attorney advisor, allegations can quickly turn serious, and students may experience delayed graduation or loss of placement on campus.
Academic Misconduct Policy at Nebraska Law
Nebraska Law takes academic misconduct allegations seriously and has an exhaustive process to handle violations. According to the Code of Conduct, which applies to all students, academic misconduct goes against the principles of integrity and is a punishable offense. Actions that go against this code include:
Cheating: This violation includes copying from other students or allowing them to reproduce an academic exercise or test, making electronic copies of material, and resubmitting work from a previous class.
Dishonesty and Falsification: Students who engage in this behavior make false statements, engage in plagiarism, or change graded academic material like tests and quizzes.
Harmful Academic Actions Towards Others: According to the code, this violation entails interfering with another student's work to gain an academic advantage or deliberately making false charges against others.
Improperly Helping Others: Students must refrain from helping others in an unauthorized manner. This violation also entails the unauthorized distribution of course materials.
Failure to Adhere to Guidelines: Students must always follow the rules given by exam proctors, professors, and testing centers.
Students and staff members who suspect that someone is engaging in academic misconduct must report the issue to the Conduct Officer responsible for investigating allegations. They must use the NL Student Conduct and Community Standards Academic Integrity Report Form to make a report.
Investigation and Hearing Processes
The Conduct Officer receives violations reports and investigates to determine if there is a reasonable basis for the allegation. The CO determines whether there is a basis for the allegations. If the case seems to be a violation, the CO coordinates a hearing with the University Conduct Board. The investigation process takes up to thirty days to complete.
Before scheduling a hearing, the CO may ask for an informal meeting to discuss the allegations with the accused student. The student may choose the Administrative Resolution route. This decision means they may agree to the statement or the responses in the agreement made with the CO. If the two cannot agree, they move on to a hearing process.
The hearing process at Nebraska Law is similar to most formal methods for academic misconduct. During the hearing, students have the right to defend themselves and stand before panel members. They must also have sufficient evidence or information to present to these members and the hearing chair. If the accused has questions, they may ask for a pre-hearing conference to understand how the panel handles their case. Once the hearing ends, panel members deliberate and recommend a sanction seven days after the hearing.
Fortunately, law students have the chance to appeal sanctions to the Appeals Officer or the Appeals Board. However, they must do so on the following grounds:
- There wasn't enough evidence to make a reasonable conclusion based on the charges during the hearing.
- The punishment for the violation is excessive and unreasonable.
- The University Conduct Board or Hearing Officer did not follow the appropriate hearing procedure. As a result, the outcome is wrong.
The Appeals Officer or Panel can request that the student appear before them and argue their case. Once the Appeals Officer receives the request, it's up to them to decide the case outcome. After twenty days, the board makes a final decision regarding the case and informs the student.
Sanctions for Academic Misconduct
Nebraska Law students face multiple harsh sanctions for academic misconduct that significantly undermine their chances of success. Punishments range in severity depending on the nature of the violation, the student's behavioral history, and the number of times they have committed a similar infarction. Sanctions for academic misconduct include:
- Withholding a degree or transcript
- Written warning by a Hearing Officer or the University Conduct Board
- Expulsion from University Housing
- Suspension from University Housing
- Mandatory relocation
- Loss of Privileges
- Community service or restitution
- University employment restrictions
- Revocation of admission or degree
- No contact orders
- Loss of Recognized Student Privileges
The university may impose one or more of the above sanctions depending on the violation. However, even if the punishment is one sanction, it has the potential to delay graduation.
Hiring an Attorney-Advisor
College is a period in every student's life that makes memories for years to come. However, a lapse in judgment or mistake can cause more than just a proverbial slap on the wrist. When your reputation and years of hard work and effort are at risk, you need to do more than show up.
Even if you are entirely innocent of the charges, attending a hearing is a nerve-wracking experience that may lead to sanctions. Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento specializes in student discipline defense. With years of experience working with students facing allegations of academic misconduct, attorney-advisor Lento is a shoulder to rely on during a stressful time.
If you or someone you love face allegations of academic misconduct at Nebraska Law, don't wait until you have no options left. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 for more information.