Matters of law student honesty and integrity in academic performance are governed by an honor code written and administered by law students.
This system of peer review has been in effect for more than half a century and addresses issues such as plagiarism, cheating, and unauthorized collaboration in work assignments. Honor code violations, found to have occurred by the student committee after notice and hearing, are referred to the dean of the law school with recommended sanctions. Final disposition rests within the discretion of the dean.
The honor code governs law students in the same way that the Code of Professional Responsibility governs members of the bar.
Read below for the current honor code policy for the KU School of Law.
Approved by Student Referendum March 2003
(Effective May 20, 2003)
Recognizing that we have entered a profession demanding the highest ethical standards and personal integrity, the students of the University of Kansas School of Law have adopted this Honor Code to govern their conduct. The Honor Code promotes general and academic honesty, mutual trust between faculty and students, and prepares students to live under the ethical rules and obligations of the legal profession. Each student accepts this code upon accepting admission to the Law School, and with it the obligation to report violations to responsible authorities and to assist in the enforcement of its standards.
The Honor Code applies to the conduct of students of the University of Kansas School of Law when such conduct occurs on the premises of the Law School building or at any function or academic activity conducted by the Law School or with Law School sanction, or involves the use of a student's status or affiliation with the Law School or its property to his or her professional or economic advantage.
A. Academic Misconduct
- Examinations: It shall be a violation of the Honor Code knowingly to violate the rules of any law school examination by giving, receiving, or using unauthorized aid, by failing to turn in an examination when the examination period ends to the clear detriment of others, or by retaining a copy of an examination after the testing period has elapsed contrary to the express specification of the instructor.
- Cheating: It shall be a violation of the Honor Code knowingly to give, receive, or use unauthorized aid or assistance in connection with any work submitted for a grade or for academic recognition, or to otherwise knowingly violate the clearly expressed rules governing the preparation of the work.
- Plagiarism: It shall be a violation of the Honor Code knowingly to appropriate and submit the work or ideas of another as your own for a grade or for academic recognition.
For purposes of this provision "academic recognition" includes, but is not limited to receipt of Law School credit without a grade, consideration for publication by law school publications, participation in a law school competition, and any written or oral work required (but not graded) by the instructor.
B. Professional Misconduct
- False or Misleading Statements: It shall be a violation of the Honor Code knowingly to make false or misleading statements or to present a resume containing false or misleading information to the administration, faculty, or prospective employers, in connection with any activity affiliated with the Law School, or during the conduct of activities in which a student uses his or her affiliation with the Law School or its property to his or her professional or economic advantage.
- Documents and Records: It shall be a violation of the Honor Code knowingly to alter or deface any official documents or records of the Law School.
- Disciplinary Rules: It shall be a violation of the Honor Code to violate the disciplinary rules governing Kansas Attorneys while serving in any clinical program sponsored by the University of Kansas School of Law.
C. Property Violations
- Theft: It shall be a violation of the Honor Code knowingly to take without authorization another's books or other personal property while on the premises of the Law School or at a Law School function.
- Library Abuse: It shall be a violation of the Honor Code intentionally to obstruct others in their use of library materials by failing to check out or return library materials to their proper location within a reasonable time or otherwise making library materials unavailable.
- Vandalism: It shall be a violation of the Honor Code knowingly to deface law school property.
D. Misconduct in Connection with an Honor Code Proceeding
- False Complaints: It shall be a violation of the Honor Code knowingly to file or initiate a false complaint alleging a violation of the Honor Code.
- Misstatements to the Honor Committee: It shall be a violation of the Honor Code knowingly to make false or misleading statements to the Honor Committee.
- Failure to Obey Dean's Sanction: It shall be a violation of the Honor Code knowingly to disobey the final sanction imposed by the Dean of the Law School for a violation of the Honor Code.
The Honor Committee may recommend and the Dean may impose, the following sanctions based on a finding that a violation of the Honor Code has occurred:
- Notification of the instructor or supervisor of a course or program in which the violation occurred;
- A failing grade or incomplete in the course in which the violation occurred;
- A requirement to replace or repair or pay for the replacement or repair of any property defaced by the violator;
- An oral reprimand of the violator by the Dean;
- A written reprimand from the Dean, either permanent or temporary, to be entered on the violator's official transcript;
- Disciplinary probation for one or more semesters;
- Suspension from Law School for one or more semesters; or
- Permanent expulsion from the Law School. Permanent expulsion should be reserved only for the most serious offenses, especially because disciplinary expulsion of a law student from a member of the Association of the American Law Schools prevents that student from enrolling in any other member schools.
The Honor Committee may recommend other sanctions that it determines to be fair and equitable in a given case, provided that the recommended sanction is in the same spirit as the sanctions listed above. The Committee may not, however, recommend that fines be imposed on a violator.
Proceedings to determine a violation of the Honor Code may be initiated as follows:
- Any person witnessing an Honor Code violation should inform the instructor or other supervisory personnel responsible for administering the program or activity involved, or contact the Academic Associate Dean.
- Any person who is the victim of an Honor Code violation, including students, faculty, and other instructors or supervisory personnel, may file an Honor Code complaint directly with the Academic Associate Dean pursuant to the Law School Dispute Resolution Procedure.
- The Academic Associate Dean may bring a complaint on behalf of the victim of an Honor Code violation or to vindicate the institutional interests of the Law School.
B. Conduct of Proceedings
Upon the filing of a complaint, the Honor Code proceeding shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Law School Dispute Resolution Procedure.
C. Publication of Decision
After the proceedings of the Honor Committee have been concluded and a recommendation has been made to the Dean pursuant to the Law School Dispute Resolution Procedure, the Honor Committee shall publish, in the Law School newsletter or in a manner affording equivalent public notice, a memorandum of its proceedings which shall include:
- The date of the proceedings
- The names of the persons comprising the Committee and who were present at the proceedings;
- The section(s) of the Honor Code which were allegedly violated;
- The Committee's decision as to whether the alleged violation(s) occurred, and the statement of the reasons for that decision, including its factual and legal basis; and
- If the Committee has determined that the alleged violation(s) occurred, the recommended sanction(s).
This public notification shall not identify the violator and shall, to the extent reasonably possible, avoid references to facts and information which would permit the violator to be easily identified.