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What’s What Law Student Handbook

Honor Code and Procedure

These standards are intended to assure that each student has an opportunity to enjoy the rights of personal and intellectual freedom in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

Rights and Duties

Lewis & Clark Law School is a community of men and women dedicated to the maintenance of high standards of personal conduct and behavior. These standards are intended to assure each student has an opportunity to enjoy rights of personal and intellectual freedom in an atmosphere of mutual respect. These rights are accompanied by duties which include the observance of the highest principles of honesty, integrity and morality. In order to guarantee the protection of these rights and the performance of these duties this Honor Code has been adopted by the students and the faculty.

Comment

This Code is based on the premise that the responsibility for student conduct rests with the students and the faculty. The assumption of this responsibility is particularly appropriate for law students. Their future conduct as lawyers will be governed by the Code of Professional Responsibility of the American Bar Association the enforcement of which, like this Code, is largely maintenance of high standards of personal conduct. The Comments set forth after each article are to be construed as a substantive part of the Code.

In general

A student should refrain from engaging in any conduct either within or outside the academic community which is incompatible with the highest standards of integrity and honesty. However, fair play requires that conduct which constitutes a violation of the Code be sufficiently described so as to eliminate any possible misunderstanding as to the scope of the Code’s application.

Offenses

Only those offenses set forth in this Article are subject to disciplinary action under this Code. Any student who assists another student to violate these rules also violates this Code. Each may be held equally culpable under this Code.

A student shall seek a decision from the instructor in any circumstance in which the student has any doubt concerning the application or construction of these rules. Failure to seek such an opinion may preclude any plea of ignorance in cases covered by these rules.

Examinations

  1. A student shall not give, seek or receive aid in any form before, during, or after an examination when such aid might create an unfair advantage. If a student inadvertently obtains information which might create an unfair advantage, the student shall immediately bring the matter to the attention of the instructor.
  2. A student shall not use during an examination books, papers or other materials not authorized by the instructor.
  3. A student shall not violate any instruction provided by an instructor or the Registrar relating to an examination.
  4. The use of computers in exams is subject to special Honor Code rules set out in the provisions of the Law School’s Academic Policies relating to computer usage in exams. A violation of any of those rules is an offense under this Article, subject to disciplinary action under this Code.
Comment

It is urged that every student conduct himself/herself before, during and after an examination in such manner that no other student will suspect him/her of cheating. The following rules are to be observed by both students and faculty:

  1. The instructor shall announce to his/her class and post on the bulletin board at least one week before the close of classes which materials other than bluebooks may be brought into the examination room.
  2. Where additional materials may be brought in they shall be in a reasonably clean condition; that is, free from writings designed to give the student an unfair advantage, unless the instructor expressly authorizes markings in specified materials.
  3. The instructor or a substitute appointed by him/her shall hand out the questions promptly on the hour at the start of the examination and shall pick up the answers promptly at the close of the period. There shall be no proctoring of an examination.
  4. The instructor shall state at the time of handing out the questions the arrangements for smoking and typing and computers, unless such arrangements have been previously made.
  5. A student may leave the room during the examination period for cause.
  6. Where sufficient seats are available, students shall occupy every other seat. Overstaying the time limit on an examination is a violation of the Honor Code.

Written Work

  1. A student shall not submit as his or her own for academic credit or publication papers that have been prepared in whole or in part by another person. This provision shall not prohibit joint authorship for a paper when all student authors of such paper have the express permission of the instructor.
  2. A student shall not use any material which has been written or published by another without clearly identifying such material by quotation marks, citations, or other appropriate methods.
  3. A student shall not submit a paper, or any portion thereof, for credit in more than one course unless the student makes full disclosure to, and obtains the prior written consent of the instructors (or in the case of a paper for law review, the editor in chief) to whom the paper has been and is to be submitted.
  4. With respect to Legal Writing papers and other written work as specified by the instructor, a student shall not give, seek, or receive help, cooperation, or collaboration of any sort (other than typing by a person who is not a student in the class) from any person. An instructor may make exceptions to this rule with respect to written work in the instructor’s class. Each student who does not positively know of the existence and nature of any exceptions shall assume that none exist.
  5. A student shall comply with any rules established by an instructor with respect to written work prepared for that instructor.

Oral Work

A student shall comply with any rules established by an instructor with respect to oral reports made in connection with a course given by that instructor.

Library

  1. A student shall not intentionally tear, mutilate, mark, write in, or otherwise destroy library materials.
  2. A student shall not intentionally hide, conceal, or misshelve library materials.
  3. A student shall not intentionally remove materials from the library without compliance with library rules and regulations published in the Library Handbook or posted in the library.
  4. A student shall not use library equipment or space except in accordance with library policies, including the payment of any fees.
  5. A student shall not make unauthorized copies of any Lewis & Clark College or Law School-supplied computer software or audio or video tapes.
  6. A student shall comply with other library policies stated in the Library Handbook or posted in the library.
Comment

The establishment of rules and regulations governing the administration of the library is left to the Librarian and the Library and Research Committee. This Code is not intended to relieve the librarian and the library staff from their responsibility for maintaining an atmosphere in the reading room conducive to study.

Property

  1. A student shall not intentionally damage or take without permission another student’s notes, books, papers, or other academic materials.
  2. A student shall not intentionally damage or take without permission any property not his or her own while located on the premises of Lewis & Clark College or law school.
  3. A student shall not use Lewis & Clark College or law school equipment except in accordance of any fees.
Comment

This offense is limited to the academic environment. For example, if a student steals the notes of another student, it is a violation regardless of where the notes are at the time of the taking. If a student steals the coat of another student while on the premises of the school or college, it is a violation. If a student steals the coat of another student while off the premises of the school or college, it is not a violation. These examples are not intended to limit the situations to which this offense applies.

Falsification

A student shall not intentionally furnish false information to a member of the administrative staff or faculty with respect to any official law school matter.

Disclosure

A student shall report suspected violations of the Code as specified in “Disclosure of Offenses.”

Comment

A failure to report an offense is itself an offense.

Computer Piracy

It is the policy of Lewis & Clark Law School to abide by all software licensing agreements and actively to discourage the illegitimate copying of any software.

1. A student shall not install his or her own copies of any software onto computers owned by Lewis & Clark Law School or Lewis & Clark College (the Institution). A student shall not copy software from the Institution’s computers and install it on home or any other computers, unless expressly permitted by the software manufacturer and the Institution.

Comment

Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College (NWSL) licenses the use of copies of computer software from a variety of outside companies. NWSL does not own the copyright to this software or its related documentation and, except for a single copy for backup purposes or unless expressly authorized by the copyright owner(s), does not have the right to reproduce it for use on more than one computer.

With regard to software usage on local area networks, NWSL shall use the software only in accordance with the license agreement.

NWSL employees are not permitted to install their own copies of any software onto NWSL machines unless the license for that software permits such a copy. NWSL employees are not permitted to copy software from NWSL’s computers and install it on home or any other computers. If an employee’s duties require software at home, and if the software’s license permits a second or home copy, employees may borrow the NWSL master disks for such installation only under the condition that if employment terminates for any reason, the software copy will be removed from the employee’s home computer.

NWSL employees having any questions or concerns about any issue of software or related documentation within the Institution should contact the head of Computing Services or the Associate Dean, Computing Services and Library. According to the U.S. Copyright law, unauthorized reproduction of software is a federal offense. Offenders can be subject to civil damages of as much as $100,000 per title copied, and criminal penalties, including fines (up to $250,000 per work copied) and imprisonment (up to 5 years per title copied).

Disclosure of Offenses

Students

A student who has reasonable grounds to believe that an offense (other than a library offense) has been committed shall report such offense to the student Honor Committee representative, a dean, or any faculty member not later than five days (including holidays but not Saturdays or Sundays) from discovery. The five-day period shall be used to determine when the failure to report an offense itself becomes an Honor Code offense.

The five-day period shall not be construed as a statute of limitation for the original offense.

Library

Any person who has reasonable grounds to believe that a library offense has been committed shall immediately report the offense to a member of the library staff. A member of the library staff to whom a report has been made or who personally has reasonable grounds to believe that a library offense has been committed, shall forthwith make an investigation and report the offense to the librarian. If satisfied that an offense has occurred, the librarian shall promptly submit to the Dean a written report of the offense.

Faculty

A faculty member who discovers an offense or to whom an offense is reported shall, unless the member deals with it directly, report the offense to the Dean as soon as possible.

Comment
In general

The requirement that a student report violations of the Code lies at the heart of the honor system. The knowledge by a student that offenses will be reported serves as a strong deterrence. The real merit of the Code lies in its effectiveness as an instrument for the prevention of misconduct. The same requirement of disclosure is an integral part of the Code of Professional Responsibility (DR 1-103).

Penalties

The penalties that may be imposed for the Honor Code violations include, but are not limited to, the following:

Reprimand

The student shall be advised in writing that his conduct falls below the accepted standards of the school.

Probation

The student remains enrolled in law school, but under stated conditions for a period of time.

Failing Grade

The student shall be given a grade of F in the course, to be calculated either as .5 or 0, as designated by the Honor Committee.

Damages

The student shall pay damages in an amount reasonably related to the losses sustained.

Suspension

The student shall be suspended for a stated period not to exceed two years. This period may begin during or at the close of a semester.

Expulsion

Expulsion shall be imposed only upon the unanimous agreement of the Honor Committee. The student who has been expelled is not entitled to be readmitted.

Comment
In general

The penalty shall be reasonably related to the gravity of the offense. Only in the case of suspension or expulsion will the offense be entered into the student’s official record kept by the Office of the Registrar. Where a suspended student has been readmitted, the entry of the offense will be removed from his or her record. The Dean may, however, be obligated to notify the state bar to which the student applies after graduation.

It is recognized that expulsion is a harsh penalty and is reserved for a case where a student has engaged in conduct incompatible with his or her later admission to the legal profession.

Honor Code Procedures

Informal Procedure

A faculty member who discovers an offense or to whom an offense is reported may deal directly with the offense if it involves an examination, written work, or falsification, in a matter under that faculty member’s jurisdiction. No penalty may be imposed by the member without first notifying the student and affording the student a full opportunity to respond to the charge. No faculty member may expel, suspend, or place a student on probation. A faculty member shall report to the student and the Dean any penalty imposed and the offense involved. The identity of the student shall be reported to the Dean. Such record shall be retained by the Dean until the student leaves the school, after which the record shall be destroyed.

Reference of Offenses to the Honor Committee

Whenever the Dean is informed of a possible offense (other than an offense which has been handled in accordance with the above), the Dean shall refer the matter to the Honor Committee as soon as possible. After consultation with the faculty member, the Dean may refer an offense to the Honor Committee handled in accordance with the Informal Procedure set forth above within 10 calendar days of the report to the Dean. Any student who has received a penalty in accordance with the Informal Procedure set forth above and who denies that he committed the offense may have the matter referred to the Honor Committee by informing the Dean within 10 calendar days of the report to the student.

Composition of the Honor Committee

The Honor Committee shall consist of two faculty members appointed by the Dean at the time a matter is referred to the committee, and a student elected on an annual basis by the student body at large. The Dean shall not appoint the faculty member(s), either as the faculty appointee or as the Dean’s designate, who is responsible for the class or subject matter that involves the alleged violation. When the alleged violation is first presented to the Honor Committee for consideration, the Honor Committee will determine, as a whole, whether the student representative has a conflict of interest or a bias which will favor or disfavor the alleged student violator in a way which may adversely affect due process.

If for this, or any other reason, the student representative is unable to sit on the Honor Committee, the Chairperson of the Student Representatives shall serve in the student’s place.

Honor Committee Procedures
  1. The Honor Committee shall use procedures it deems appropriate in order to determine the facts de novo and to recommend any penalty of any matter referred to it. The Committee shall consult with any faculty member who reported the offense to the Dean, give notice of any alleged offense to the student involved, and give the student an opportunity to fully present orally his or her side of the story before any determination is made regarding the facts or penalty.
  2. Because delay in resolving Honor Code offenses has in the past resulted in uncertainty, rumors, and bad feelings, detrimental to the morale of the school, and because it is unfair to the student to be left indefinitely without a resolution, it is the sense of the faculty that proceedings before the Honor Committee shall be concluded as expeditiously as possible, consistent with the ascertainment of the facts and the integrity of the process. Only in extraordinary cases should the period from referral to the committee to resolution exceed three weeks.
  3. The Honor Committee shall determine the facts de novo in any case before the committee which was handled directly by a faculty member pursuant to the Informal Procedure set forth above. If an offense is found, the committee shall not recommend any reduction of any penalty imposed pursuant to such procedure, but it may in its discretion recommend an additional penalty. If no offense is found, the faculty member who handled the matter directly under pursuant to the Informal Procedure set forth above shall withdraw any penalty imposed.
  4. The Honor Committee shall report its determinations of the facts and whether an offense was committed and its recommendation as to penalties to the student and the Dean upon completion of its proceeding.
  5. The Dean shall impose the appropriate penalty and report it to the student.
Records

The Honor Committee shall make such record of its proceedings as it deems necessary to support its determinations. In any case in which an offense is found by the committee, the record shall be retained by the Dean in a secure location. In any case in which no offense is found by the committee, no record shall be retained. Suspension or expulsion shall be reflected in the student’s official transcript. Annually, the Dean shall report statistics regarding the operation of the Honor Code, including offenses found and penalties imposed.