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Code of Academic Conduct

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Full 2015 Academic Policies and Procedures Handbook (PDF)

Academic Regulations
These regulations are presently in effect at Boston College Law School. It is requested that every law student read and become familiar with these policies.

Good Academic Standing
In order to remain in good academic standing and not subject to exclusion, a J.D. student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0, measured at the end of each academic year, as well as achieve an average of 2.0 for each year’s work, including the student’s last year before graduation. A student who fails to achieve a 2.0 average during his or her final year in law school will be referred to the Academic Standards Committee for determination of eligibility to graduate even if the student has a cumulative 2.0 GPA. In order to remain in good academic standing and not subject to exclusion, an LL.M. student must maintain a cumulative average of at least 2.0, measured at the end of each semester.

Code of Academic Conduct
The standards of academic conduct for students at Boston College Law School are distributed to all students to insure that there is no gap between students' mores in the conduct of their work at the Law School and the standard of integrity expected of future members of the bar. Furthermore, the community benefits from an explicit statement of standards of academic integrity. However, all language is subject to varying interpretation, and if any question exists in the mind of any student as to proper conduct in any specific instance, the student is required to clarify the matter by appropriate inquiry or to adhere to the strictest possible interpretation.

Infractions of this Code are serious matters which may lead to expulsion, suspension, or other sanctions. They also reflect upon the moral character of the actor, one of the prime considerations for admission to the bar. The School has a duty to reflect in a student's record proven instances of infractions regardless of the disciplinary action taken in the particular case.

The pursuit of knowledge can proceed only when scholars take responsibility and receive credit for their work. Recognition of individual contributions to knowledge and of the intellectual property of others builds trust within the university and encourages the sharing of ideas that is essential to scholarship. Similarly, the educational process requires that individuals present their own ideas and insights for evaluation, critique, and eventual reformulation. Presentation of others' work as one's own is not only intellectual dishonesty, but also undermines the educational process.

The faculty recognizes the educational value of the exchange of ideas and encourages all students to discuss legal concepts and problems among themselves and with the faculty, members of the community, and the bar. The faculty also, however, recognizes its responsibility to the bar, to the community, and to the students to evaluate each student upon his or her own merits. The basis of the Code and the a priori assumption of the School is that all work submitted by a student for grading or other evaluation is his or her own work product.

Academic integrity is violated by any dishonest act which is committed in an academic context including, but not restricted to the following:

Cheating is the fraudulent or dishonest presentation of work. Cheating includes but is not limited to:

· the use or attempted use of unauthorized aids in examinations or other academic exercises submitted for evaluation;

· fabrication, falsification or misrepresentation of data, results, or sources for papers or reports, as in reporting experiments, measurements, statistical analyses, or other studies never performed; manipulating or altering data or other manifestations of research to achieve a desired result; selective reporting, including the deliberate suppression of conflicting or unwanted data;

· falsification of papers, official records, reports or resumes;

· copying from another student's work;

· actions which destroy or alter the work of another student;

· unauthorized cooperation in completing assignments or during an examination;

· the use of purchased essays or term papers, or of purchased preparatory research for such papers;

· submission of the same written work in more than one course without prior written approval from the instructors involved;

· dishonesty in requests for make-up exams, for extensions of deadlines for submitting papers, and in any other matter relating to a course.

Plagiarism is the deliberate act of taking the words, ideas, data, illustrations, or statements of another person or source, and presenting them as one's own. Each student is responsible for learning and using proper methods of paraphrasing and footnoting, quotation, and other forms of citation, to ensure that the original author, speaker, illustrator, or source of the material used is clearly acknowledged.

Other breaches of academic integrity include:

· the misrepresentation of one's own or another's identity for academic purposes;

· the misrepresentation of material facts or circumstances in relation to examinations, papers or other evaluative activities;

· the sale of papers, essays or research for fraudulent use;

· the alteration or falsification of official University records;

· the unauthorized use of University academic facilities or equipment, including computer accounts and files;

· the unauthorized recording, sale, purchase, or use of academic lectures, academic computer software or other instructional materials;

· the expropriation or abuse of ideas and preliminary data obtained during the process of editorial or peer review of work submitted to journals or in proposals for funding by agency panels or by internal University committees;

· the expropriation and/or inappropriate dissemination of personally-identifying human subject data;

· the unauthorized removal, mutilation, or deliberate concealment of materials in University libraries, media, or academic resource centers.

Collusion is defined as assistance or an attempt to assist another student in an act of academic dishonesty. Collusion is distinct from collaborative learning, which may be a valuable component of students' scholarly development. Different levels of collaboration are acceptable in different courses and students are expected to consult with their instructor if they are uncertain whether their cooperative activities are acceptable.

Allegations of breach of the foregoing standards will be subject to Law School procedures governing academic discipline.

Faculty members, proctors, and/or members of the administration observing infractions of the above rules are expected to report these to the Dean or his designee. The Academic Standards Committee of the faculty will hold hearings to determine the facts and to make recommendations to the full faculty on sanctions if they are deemed appropriate. The faculty makes the final determination of a case.

Students are reminded that even non-academic conduct that is not covered by the Code of Academic Conduct may reflect on that student's moral character and may thus be fully relevant to admission to the bar of any state. The Law School has the duty in certifying students for admission to the bar to report any evidence that bears on a student's moral character.

Degree Requirements
In the first year, all candidates for the J.D. degree must follow the prescribed course schedule. Students must take 52 credit hours during their second and third years. Each student must take no fewer than 12 and not more than 17 hours each semester. In unusual circumstances, a student may be allowed to take fewer than 12 credits with permission in writing from the Associate Dean for Students or his/her designee.

Students may enroll in any of the courses listed in the course description material, subject to prerequisite requirements for certain upper level courses and some limited enrollment courses. Regular and punctual class attendance is required. It is the responsibility of each student to contact his or her instructor and request to be excused for any reason.

To graduate, students must be in residence, full-time, for 6 semesters and must successfully complete a minimum of 85 credit hours. To be considered a full-time student in residence, a student must register for a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester. After the first year, students are strongly advised to take 26 credit hours per year. This will allow completion of the remaining 52 credits while maintaining a manageble course load in the last two years.

With the following exceptions, all upper-level courses are electives. All students are required to take Constituional Law II, Professional Responsibility, a course satisfying the "Perspectives on Law and Justice" requirement, a course satisfying the Upper Level Writing requirement, and a course satisfying the Lawyering Skills requirement.

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