The law faculty expects law students to maintain high standards of academic, professional, and personal conduct in compliance with the standards of the legal profession and the policies of both the Law School and the University. Failure to comply with these standards constitutes misconduct and subjects a student to sanctions, as outlined in this section. Academic misconduct includes any type of cheating or plagiarism or the failure to adhere to the academic policies of the Law School or the University. Professional misconduct includes conduct that is condemned by the legal profession’s standards of professional responsibility. Personal misconduct includes behavior that harms or threatens to harm any member of the Law School or broader community, behavior that fails to abide by the standards of honesty, decency and respect that characterize the Law School, or behavior that indicates the presence of character and habits that are inconsistent with the good order of the Law School.
A law student is subject to these conduct requirements from the time that the student submits an application for admission to the Law School (leading to enrollment) to the time that the student receives an official degree. These policies may thus be invoked for misbehavior that occurs prior to a person’s joining the Law School community, and conferral of a degree does not terminate the possibility of a sanction for misbehavior that occurred prior to conferral of that degree.
Behavior constituting misconduct—as described in, and during the timeframe described in, this section—may be subject to sanction regardless of where the conduct occurs. Circumstances where misconduct may give rise to sanctions include but are not limited to students’ taking classes at the Law School (including work undertaken outside the Law School for Law School credit); participating in student organizations; and performing paid or unpaid work for a law firm, government office, judge, or other organization.
The faculty reserves the right to impose sanctions on students who are found to have violated these standards. These sanctions can include, but are not limited to, required withdrawal, suspension, required counseling, and other reasonable measures that respond to the student’s conduct. Misconduct may also make it impossible for a faculty member or administrator of the Law School to endorse a student’s character and fitness as part of the bar admission process.
The faculty has delegated the authority to make these determinations to the Student Conduct Committee, consisting of the vice dean of the Law School and faculty members appointed by the dean. The actions of that committee may be reviewed by the dean, but will be reviewed by the full faculty only at the dean’s recommendation. A description of the committee’s Procedures can be found here, and a summary of recent committee activity can be found here.
In addition to these requirements, law students, like all University students, are expected to comply with the University’s Standards of Conduct, which is enforced by the Judiciary Committee, and the Honor Code, which is enforced by the Honor Committee. See www.student.virginia.edu/~judic/standards-of-conduct and www.virginia.edu/honor. Any proceeding initiated by the Law School Student Conduct Committee is conducted in addition to—and not in lieu of—a conduct proceeding initiated by the Judiciary Committee or the Honor Committee.