unique academic dishoensty/addendum issue

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redsox421
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unique academic dishoensty/addendum issue

Postby redsox421 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:38 pm

Longtime lurker, first time poster here. I was hoping that TLS's collective wisdom (only slightly sarcastic) could help me figure out just how screwed I am.

So here's the issue: I'm a current undergrad at a top 30 private institution. During the first semester of my freshman year, my roommate and I were accused of academic dishonesty. Essentially, we foolishly worked together/helped each other on a problem set in a class we were both in. The result was that we both got one answer exactly wrong (both got identical wrong answer that no one else had) and were caught. We were found guilty of "unauthorized collaboration on a homework assignment," and we were placed on what the school calls Probation Level One and got zeroes on that specific assignment, although I ended up doing fine in the course itself.

The thing is, despite the scary name, this punishment is pretty much just a warning- there is no transcript notation during nor after the probation period (ended during first semester sophomore year). I am guessing that something would show up on a dean's cert letter, but I'm not sure (will ask pre-law advisor this upcoming semester). In any case, the judicial affairs officer who was on our case told us if any institution asked us if we had ever been on probation, we would have to answer yes, so of course I intend on disclosing if I ever apply to law schools. For what its worth, the judicial affairs officer seemed sympathetic to my plight and said she would be willing to write a recommendation letter or something of that sort if I ever apply to graduate schools, provided that I don't get into any more trouble.

Now I'm wondering just how screwed I am if I choose to go the law school route (not a guarantee or anything, just one potential option). On one hand, I understand that academic dishonesty is close to the worst thing you can have on your law school. On the other hand, fwiw, what I did is pretty much the lightest form of academic dishonesty (no plagiarism, just a problem set where the collaboration went too far). Moreover, I received essentially the lightest punishment possible (I received the same punishment you get for a first drinking offense, which 10% of the freshman class seems to receive anyhow haha)

So lay it on me, TLS. Would I still have a shot at t14 type schools, given that my numbers would, under normal circumstances, would give me a healthy shot at many of them?

redsox421
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Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:10 pm

Re: unique academic dishoensty/addendum issue

Postby redsox421 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:42 pm

Also, just to preemptive cut off any patronizing sermons, I am completely aware that I screwed up. This situation is my fault, the punishment I received was appropriate, and I have been very diligent ever since then to not make another mistake like that again (and I haven't).

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Knock
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Re: unique academic dishoensty/addendum issue

Postby Knock » Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:43 pm

redsox421 wrote:Longtime lurker, first time poster here. I was hoping that TLS's collective wisdom (only slightly sarcastic) could help me figure out just how screwed I am.

So here's the issue: I'm a current undergrad at a top 30 private institution. During the first semester of my freshman year, my roommate and I were accused of academic dishonesty. Essentially, we foolishly worked together/helped each other on a problem set in a class we were both in. The result was that we both got one answer exactly wrong (both got identical wrong answer that no one else had) and were caught. We were found guilty of "unauthorized collaboration on a homework assignment," and we were placed on what the school calls Probation Level One and got zeroes on that specific assignment, although I ended up doing fine in the course itself.

The thing is, despite the scary name, this punishment is pretty much just a warning- there is no transcript notation during nor after the probation period (ended during first semester sophomore year). I am guessing that something would show up on a dean's cert letter, but I'm not sure (will ask pre-law advisor this upcoming semester). In any case, the judicial affairs officer who was on our case told us if any institution asked us if we had ever been on probation, we would have to answer yes, so of course I intend on disclosing if I ever apply to law schools. For what its worth, the judicial affairs officer seemed sympathetic to my plight and said she would be willing to write a recommendation letter or something of that sort if I ever apply to graduate schools, provided that I don't get into any more trouble.

Now I'm wondering just how screwed I am if I choose to go the law school route (not a guarantee or anything, just one potential option). On one hand, I understand that academic dishonesty is close to the worst thing you can have on your law school. On the other hand, fwiw, what I did is pretty much the lightest form of academic dishonesty (no plagiarism, just a problem set where the collaboration went too far). Moreover, I received essentially the lightest punishment possible (I received the same punishment you get for a first drinking offense, which 10% of the freshman class seems to receive anyhow haha)

So lay it on me, TLS. Would I still have a shot at t14 type schools, given that my numbers would, under normal circumstances, would give me a healthy shot at many of them?


Not screwed at all. You've put some time between the incident. Just make sure you disclose, and write an addendum explaining (not making excuses though). And get the LOR from the judicial affairs officer to vouch for you.

Also, you got academic dishonesty for collaborating on homework, wtf?

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vanwinkle
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Re: unique academic dishoensty/addendum issue

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:44 pm

Write an addendum, admit what you did was wrong, describe the rather minimal punishment, and state that you learned your lesson and will never do it again. Some schools will hold it against you, some won't, you'll just have to apply and see.

The LOR from the judicial officer would help.

Academic dishonesty is the kind of thing they take the most seriously, but the fact that you're willing to own up to it will hopefully lessen the harm it'll do. Own your mistake and it probably won't harm you much at all.

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traehekat
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Re: unique academic dishoensty/addendum issue

Postby traehekat » Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:46 pm

If you explain it similarly to how you have on here, you should be fine. It was a long time ago, relatively minor, but you still own up to it. If you haven't had any trouble since that incident, I think you'll be alright.

EDIT: Oops, almost forgot the patronizing sermon.

LOL ACADEMIC DISHONESTY?! YEAH YOU ARE SCREWED I WOULDN'T WANT YOU AS A CLASSMATE ANYWAY HAHA KEEP THIS SCUM OUT OF LAW SCHOOL!!!

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KibblesAndVick
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Re: unique academic dishoensty/addendum issue

Postby KibblesAndVick » Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:04 pm

During my freshman year I took a course where we had weekly problem sets. One of my classmates had a copy of the solution manual and by the end of the semester more than three fourths of the students were just copying the answers verbatim. The manual had a typo in it and one week basically the entire class handed in homework with the exact same typographical mistake. The professor just laughed it off. I could never tell if he had a "boys will be boys" attitude about it or if he just thought we were under performing twits who wouldn't amount to much anyway. It's an easy thing to let yourself do, especially when you're doing something like a problem set instead of writing a paper. At least you're not some of these people.

At DePaul University, the tip-off to one student’s copying was the purple shade of several paragraphs he had lifted from the Web; when confronted by a writing tutor his professor had sent him to, he was not defensive — he just wanted to know how to change purple text to black.


I think if you address it maturely in an addendum it shouldn't be that big of a deal.

redsox421
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Re: unique academic dishoensty/addendum issue

Postby redsox421 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:07 pm

Thanks for the responses guys. Your responses have actually made me feel a ton better about this whole thing (didn't know internet forums could make that big of a difference in my mindset haha). I was kind of having a panic attack thinking/obsessing about this at work (probably related to overconsumption of coffee in an attempt to get going on a Monday).

Also, my bad on the fail spelling of dishonesty in the title. I'm going say the coffee jitters played a role there too lol

Finally, @knockglock: Yeah, it's kinda rough. It was a graded problem set (albeit worth a very small amount of your grade), so that's why they care about doing your own work. Nonetheless, while acknowledging what I did was wrong, I have a feeling students do this kind of thing all the time (ask for help on a problem, end up using the same process as the helper) and it usually goes unnoticed. I guess I had a particularly diligent TA.

d34d9823
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Re: unique academic dishoensty/addendum issue

Postby d34d9823 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:38 am

Wow, talk about bad luck, this is nowhere near the seriousness of some of the stuff that went on at my school (although much higher on the stupidity scale).

I have to think if you get that LOR from the officer, it will not hurt you that much.

bofaem
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Re: unique academic dishoensty/addendum issue

Postby bofaem » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:45 am

i think you should get a copy of your official transcript and perhaps a deans certification to see if there is any mention of it. I dont know exactly how your UG works, but i know a lot of warnings or first year academic violations are kept internal and never show up on records. i had a friend (med school applicant so take it for what it's worth) had a similar situation as you. he disclosed it and wrote an addendum. three schools called him asking what the hell he was talking about--went back and found out there was no mention of it anywhere on his transcript--he didnt get into any of those schools.

now if it is something more serious than a warning you should disclose, but if not not, id consider not writing an addendum if theres no record of it anywhere a law school could see

redsox421
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Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:10 pm

Re: unique academic dishoensty/addendum issue

Postby redsox421 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:03 pm

Well, I know for sure that its not going to be on the transcript; I was told as such. Not sure about the dean's cert though. As written on the letter I received, the punishment is called Probation Level One (Warning). Wtf. I wish they didn't put both the words "probation" and "warning;" it makes it confusing regarding disclosure.

d34d9823
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Re: unique academic dishoensty/addendum issue

Postby d34d9823 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:08 pm

redsox421 wrote:Well, I know for sure that its not going to be on the transcript; I was told as such. Not sure about the dean's cert though. As written on the letter I received, the punishment is called Probation Level One (Warning). Wtf. I wish they didn't put both the words "probation" and "warning;" it makes it confusing regarding disclosure.

If you want to be honest, call the schools you apply to, tell them exactly what it says (you may have to talk to a few people before you get someone who will actually listen), and follow their instructions.

If you want to be dishonest, just be aware that if they catch you and decide that you should have disclosed, you may have just paid 180K for a piece of paper.

redsox421
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Re: unique academic dishoensty/addendum issue

Postby redsox421 » Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:28 am

Maybe I should attach this article to my app haha

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/20 ... oral-deal/

Pip
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Re: unique academic dishoensty/addendum issue

Postby Pip » Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:48 pm

Just see if it is going to show up on anything that will be sent to the law school, if nothing is going to show up then don't shoot yourself down by bringing it up. With all the federal privacy laws the odds are pretty good that unless the problem shows up on some official doc from your undergrad or you ask the professor that nailed you for a LOR then no one will ever tell the law school about it.

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rdcws000
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Re: unique academic dishoensty/addendum issue

Postby rdcws000 » Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:26 pm

Pip wrote:Just see if it is going to show up on anything that will be sent to the law school, if nothing is going to show up then don't shoot yourself down by bringing it up. With all the federal privacy laws the odds are pretty good that unless the problem shows up on some official doc from your undergrad or you ask the professor that nailed you for a LOR then no one will ever tell the law school about it.


Character and Fitness checks by the state BLE are mystical and powerful. Don't ever assume they won't find out about something. There is ZERO Value in hiding anything. You'd be amazed what they will forgive if you own up to it, and also amazed by what they will be ruthless about if you hide it.




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