Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

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Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:13 am

Two questions:
A fellow law student I helped by sharing my old work is currently being investigated for an academic integrity violation. Will I get in trouble---and lose my firm job-- for sending them my old assignments and helping them during a take home exam?

(1) Does helping another student during a take home exam for a class you took the previous year count as cheating for both parties? Does sending another student your written work assignments for a class (for example, essays or briefs) count as cheating for both parties? The Academic Code of integrity says it's cheating to collaborate during a take home exam. Does it count as collaboration if you are helping someone but do not realize they are taking an actual exam (they tell you it is a practice exam but turns out it is the real thing)?

(2) If the helping behavior DOES count as cheating, at what point do I tell the firm I am planning to work for and what is the likely consequence?

runinthefront

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby runinthefront » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:Two questions:
A fellow law student I helped by sharing my old work is currently being investigated for an academic integrity violation. Will I get in trouble---and lose my firm job-- for sending them my old assignments and helping them during a take home exam?

(1) Does helping another student during a take home exam for a class you took the previous year count as cheating for both parties? Does sending another student your written work assignments for a class (for example, essays or briefs) count as cheating for both parties? The Academic Code of integrity says it's cheating to collaborate during a take home exam. Does it count as collaboration if you are helping someone but do not realize they are taking an actual exam (they tell you it is a practice exam but turns out it is the real thing)?

(2) If the helping behavior DOES count as cheating, at what point do I tell the firm I am planning to work for and what is the likely consequence?

You should be able to find a lawyer in the area who handles academic integrity cases. Because you may be at risk of punishment, you should probably consult one. The lawyer would be in the best person to answer these questions. (Of course, as a 2L/3L, you probably have a very thoughtful position on your own question).

Also, absent reading your school's specific code of academic integrity, there's no one here who could really give you a definitive answer. These hearings typically end up being kangaroo courts, so how you present your case matters way more than what's objectively the "right" answer.
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rpupkin

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby rpupkin » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:40 am

(1) Based on your description of your conduct and your school's honor code, it sounds like you may have committed an academic integrity violation. But as runinthefront said, there's no way for us to give you a definitive answer. If it gets to the point where you're facing a formal investigation and/or a hearing, you should consult with an attorney.

(2) I can't think of a reason why you would ever tell your firm about this. If the school cites you for an honor code violation, you'll have to disclose the violation on your C&F application. In theory, a violation could delay (possible) or prevent (unlikely) you from getting your license. If there's going to be a meaningful delay in processing your bar application because of this incident, then I suppose you'll have to tell your firm. But short of something like that, I don't think you need to (or should) tell your firm about this.

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:30 am

Thanks. The specific code says collaboration of any kind is prohibited during a take home unless exam instructions say otherwise. Code does NOT specify if the responsibility to not collaborate falls only on the student taking the exam or if it also extends to other students. When I gave the person aid, they did not show me the exam itself but asked for my help defining terms and such while they were taking it. Thus, I knew they were in process of doing an exam in a course and I emailed them relevant materials during that time, but did not see the exam itself. Does that make sense? Any more thought on how this may be classified?

I plan to leave messages with attorneys tomorrow.

Thanks again.

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:40 am

In case the question was not clearly phrased, is it an academic integrity violation to give someone else your old work if they submit it without citing you properly? The person using my old work will likely be found guilty of plagiarism and I made the mistake of emailing this person my work without realizing they would submit it without making changes. My school's academic integrity code does not state that sharing old work with classmates is prohibited. That being said, the work I shared was not an outline or something innocuous but an actual response to a prompt that 1Ls get every year.

Sorry to write so much about this, really stressing out.

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby Npret » Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:36 am

I don't blame you for stressing out. You are going to be involved in this. I don't know if you will be charged. I don't think anyone here can give you definitive advice as to whether you will be charged.

Don't tell your firm anything. They don't need to know. Vent here if you need to vent but make sure to be as anonymous as possible. I would even edit out stuff saying what you did tbh.

Work on managing your stress and dealing with it until you find out. I would get a lawyer because your name is going to come up. But maybe you can't afford it? No way you are left out of this investigation entirely. Edit: just saw you are hiring an attorney.

I hope this person is your SO or a close relative because why would you help anyone else violate rules of Academic Conduct.

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:05 am

As mentioned, just follow your attorney's advice, and no one here can tell you definitively whether you'll be charged. If I had to speculate, any school that takes its policies seriously will end up charging you based on the facts you've given here.

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:25 pm

So far, no clear answers from lawyers. Nobody I talked to has experience with this particular type of situation and school's integrity code doesn't address the issue directly or yield a clear interpretation.

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Mr. Archer

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby Mr. Archer » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:46 pm

There's not something in the integrity code like: intentionally obtaining or giving information about the content of an examination; or intentionally giving or obtaining unauthorized assistance on any academic assignment or examination? I would think there's something in the code that covers giving someone unauthorized help in general without specifically discussing take home exams.

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby ClubberLang » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:02 pm

If the honor code says "it's cheating to collaborate during a take home exam" then yeah, you're screwed. You collaborated, during a take home exam. I don't think a defense of "but it wasn't MY take home exam" will do anything for you. Similarly, no way "collaboration" is limited to current classmates. In what way does this rule not address your conduct?

I'd think the best chance is to apologize, and beg for forgiveness. You really should take this post down too. This can't be that common a situation, and you admitted wrongdoing. I really question your discretion.

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby Npret » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:13 pm

ClubberLang wrote:If the honor code says "it's cheating to collaborate during a take home exam" then yeah, you're screwed. You collaborated, during a take home exam. I don't think a defense of "but it wasn't MY take home exam" will do anything for you. Similarly, no way "collaboration" is limited to current classmates. In what way does this rule not address your conduct?

I'd think the best chance is to apologize, and beg for forgiveness. You really should take this post down too. This can't be that common a situation, and you admitted wrongdoing. I really question your discretion.

Yeah OP should delete.
It's going to be up to the school to decide what to do with OP. I honestly don't see how OP isn't "charged" if his classmate is charged. I suppose the friend got caught by submitting the exact same work that OP did.
Good luck OP. I think you are in a tough spot. I wouldn't even talk to the investigators without a lawyer but it has to be someone who knows the school.

Good news is that no one seems to be certain you are going to be in trouble.

And yes please delete your info. Unless this is a troll.

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby sublime » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:47 pm

I assumed that intent was the main issue.

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:48 pm

Hey, thanks for the candid feedback and for pointing out the risk of this post. To be clear, I didn't realize the help I was giving would directly go to answering questions on the test. I thought it was a more general helping with giving general relevant information/outline type materials and I guess I didn't think about the potential impact or the fact this person was cheating (stupid, but for take home tests the rule is any written materials are acceptable unless otherwise specified).

Any ideas on how I can find attorneys or other internal authority figures that may have the information I need about what my risks are? The fact the attorneys do not have any inside knowledge on this specific issue is very worrisome. Lack of clear precedent I suppose means the school can do whatever they want regarding interpretation.

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby sublime » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:49 pm

I'd be weary about internal figures.

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby Haha » Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:00 am

ClubberLang wrote:If the honor code says "it's cheating to collaborate during a take home exam" then yeah, you're screwed. You collaborated, during a take home exam. I don't think a defense of "but it wasn't MY take home exam" will do anything for you. Similarly, no way "collaboration" is limited to current classmates. In what way does this rule not address your conduct?

I'd think the best chance is to apologize, and beg for forgiveness. You really should take this post down too. This can't be that common a situation, and you admitted wrongdoing. I really question your discretion.


There's nothing more broad than the general rule that collaboration's prohibited unless otherwise stated. I didn't have a clear grasp on when the person was taking the exam exactly and what their rules were. They said it was acceptable and I made the mistake of not even considering the potential academic integrity issue until after the fact. But yeah I should take this down. What a mess.

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby runinthefront » Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:Hey, thanks for the candid feedback and for pointing out the risk of this post. To be clear, I didn't realize the help I was giving would directly go to answering questions on the test. I thought it was a more general helping with giving general relevant information/outline type materials and I guess I didn't think about the potential impact or the fact this person was cheating (stupid, but for take home tests the rule is any written materials are acceptable unless otherwise specified).

Any ideas on how I can find attorneys or other internal authority figures that may have the information I need about what my risks are? The fact the attorneys do not have any inside knowledge on this specific issue is very worrisome. Lack of clear precedent I suppose means the school can do whatever they want regarding interpretation.


1. You should be able to find an attorney who has dealt with this issue in the larger university context. At most universities, the code of academic integrity is either substantially similar or identical throughout the colleges. I would google "[name of your city] or [name of your university] + [code of conduct] or [academic integrity].

2. Once again, at almost every school's academic integrity hearing, formal rules of evidence don't apply, and FERPA prevents you from being able to see/rely on clear precedent. If you're contacted by anyone in the administration, I'd try and find a lawyer ASAP. If you're planning on doing this on your own (which could turn out to be perfectly fine), I'd at least consult with a few (i.e., 1 or 2) other law students who trust to help you perfect your argument re: why you shouldn't be found in violation.
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby rpupkin » Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:So far, no clear answers from lawyers. Nobody I talked to has experience with this particular type of situation and school's integrity code doesn't address the issue directly or yield a clear interpretation.

I think you might be somewhat missing the point of the "consult a lawyer" advice. We're not suggesting that you talk to a lawyer so that the lawyer can tell you whether there is a "clear" answer or interpretation re the honor code. The point of hiring a lawyer is to have a representative who can look out for your interests and who can advise you on how to act (or not to act) given the circumstances. Obviously, you want a lawyer with experience in representing those accused of cheating, plagiarism, or other academic-integrity violations.

You should obtain the advice of counsel before communicating with any school officials about this incident. Do not send emails or talk on the phone until you've consulted an attorney.

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby RaceJudicata » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:04 am

Wait, OP, has the school even contacted you yet? Are you even positive that the kid got caught cheating on the stuff you helped with? I'd be prepared to defend yourself, but wouldn't convict yourself just yet. Also, are you a 3L? Depending on your level of involvement, the school might just let you sail into the sunset...

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:54 pm

RaceJudicata wrote:Wait, OP, has the school even contacted you yet? Are you even positive that the kid got caught cheating on the stuff you helped with? I'd be prepared to defend yourself, but wouldn't convict yourself just yet. Also, are you a 3L? Depending on your level of involvement, the school might just let you sail into the sunset...


I'm a 2L.School hasn't contacted me but person I helped who is being investigated has out of concern for me. The person got caught cheating on the exam somehow (not sure of details), so they have to give the school access to specified email records and other logs to comply w/ investigation. at the time i helped, i legitimately was only thinking of helping the person not have a breakdown. the whole cheating angle didn't cross my mind until after the fact. i acknowledge this lack of awareness was idiotic. i allowed myself to be consumed by the person's stressed emotional state and didn't stop to question the potential ethical implications of my help:/

i realize this does not bode well for the practice of law, and i'm working on it!

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby Winter is Coming » Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:11 pm

They had to give access to the emails between you two??? That kid needs to get a C&F lawyer.

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
RaceJudicata wrote:Wait, OP, has the school even contacted you yet? Are you even positive that the kid got caught cheating on the stuff you helped with? I'd be prepared to defend yourself, but wouldn't convict yourself just yet. Also, are you a 3L? Depending on your level of involvement, the school might just let you sail into the sunset...


I'm a 2L.School hasn't contacted me but person I helped who is being investigated has out of concern for me. The person got caught cheating on the exam somehow (not sure of details), so they have to give the school access to specified email records and other logs to comply w/ investigation. at the time i helped, i legitimately was only thinking of helping the person not have a breakdown. the whole cheating angle didn't cross my mind until after the fact. i acknowledge this lack of awareness was idiotic. i allowed myself to be consumed by the person's stressed emotional state and didn't stop to question the potential ethical implications of my help:/

i realize this does not bode well for the practice of law, and i'm working on it!


I find it hard to believe as a 2L you wouldn't have known this was wrong. Even as a 1L I know this is wrong to even ask of a 2L or 3L

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby ClubberLang » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:24 pm

Tell this "friend" to fall on the sword and not talk. He or she is totally screwed anyway, no reason to bring you down too.

And again, there's a very real chance that someone who sits on the board investigating this incident is reading this thread, in which you admitted wrongdoing. Posting anonymously doesn't really shield your identity when you give out details like this.

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby rpupkin » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:52 pm

ClubberLang wrote:Tell this "friend" to fall on the sword and not talk. He or she is totally screwed anyway, no reason to bring you down too.

Uh, OP, this is why you should get advice from an attorney instead of from TLS posters. Don't listen to Mr. Lang.

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby Npret » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:01 pm

ClubberLang wrote:Tell this "friend" to fall on the sword and not talk. He or she is totally screwed anyway, no reason to bring you down too.

And again, there's a very real chance that someone who sits on the board investigating this incident is reading this thread, in which you admitted wrongdoing. Posting anonymously doesn't really shield your identity when you give out details like this.

Did you miss the part about having to provide emails during the time of the exam?

OP: don't try to fly with the "my friend was having a meltdown anddidnt think it was cheating line." It's not convincing even if true.

You are going to be dragged into this so you need a good lawyer. This might will probably come up at C and F.

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Re: Academic Integrity Violation & Hiring

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:00 pm

I'd say you will get dragged into this, and you will have to report this to C&F. It sounds like you knowingly assisted in cheating on an exam. I don't really judge you for helping a friend that but the bar will likely view this as "moral turpitude." I'm sorry to say but this is going to a big issue. I'd avoid lying. That can really come back to bite you and it will compound the "moral turpitude" issue in the bar's eyes. You are helped b/c you weren't the one benefiting. I'd chalk it up to "I made a really stupid decision in the moment b/c I wanted to help my friend."



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