Law School Honor Code

Chapter 1. Preamble and Definitions

Subchapter 1-100. Preamble

Sec. 1-101. A lawyer is expected to live up to the standards of skill and conduct established by the ABA and state law. It is fitting, therefore, that in training to become a lawyer a law student is also expected to live up to a similar standard. The law student must understand that skill alone does not make a lawyer. Honor and integrity play an important part in the making of a lawyer. An honor code is a means of helping mature and responsible law students work in an atmosphere of mutual confidence and trust. The philosophy of the system is that trust and the personal integrity of the individual are the bases for that pattern of conduct by which students of the law have agreed to live.

Subchapter 1-200. Definitions

Sec. 1-201. In this Honor Code, unless the context requires otherwise

  1. "Dean" means the Dean of the School of Law, and the Dean’s delegate or representative;
  2. "School of Law" means the School of Law at the University of Washington;
  3. "University" means the University of Washington;
  4. "Student" means a person enrolled in any of the courses offered by the School of Law, a person accepted for admission or readmission at the School of Law, or a person who was a student in the School of Law at the time the student is alleged to have violated the Honor Code.
  5. "University Disciplinary Committee" means the standing university committee formed under WAC 478-120- 085;
  6. "Faculty Appeal Board" means the board formed under WAC 478-120-100;
  7. "Honor Code" or "Code" means this Honor Code; and
  8. "Student Conduct Code" means the University of Washington Student Conduct Code that is found at WAC 478-120-010 and following.
  9. All references to sections of the Washington Administrative Code shall include amendments to such sections made after the effective date of this Code and successor sections adopted after the effective date of this Code.

Chapter 2. Violations

Subchapter 2-100. Misconduct Obstructing Enforcement of the Honor Code or Student Conduct Code

Sec. 2-101. A student (other than a defendant) requested to provide information to a person or panel with the responsibility for investigating an alleged violation of this Code or the Student Conduct Code may not without a reasonable excuse fail to appear and provide such information at a reasonable time and place.

Sec. 2-102. A student may not knowingly misrepresent material facts in the course of an investigation of an alleged violation of this Code or the Student Conduct Code.

Sec. 2-103. A student may not fail to comply with a final order imposed under this Code or the Student Conduct Code.

Subchapter 2-200. Academic Dishonesty

Sec. 2-201. A student may not incorporate into work the student offers for credit or other academic or professional benefit passages taken either word for word or in substance from work of another person unless the student credits the original author and identifies the original author’s work with quotation marks and footnotes or with an appropriate written explanation.

Sec. 2-202. A student may not offer for credit or other academic or professional benefit as the student’s work any work prepared by another person. A student may not knowingly allow his or her own work to be offered for credit or other academic or professional benefit by another person except insofar as group submissions have been authorized and the identity of all students and the participation of each has been disclosed as required by the instructor or person in charge.

Sec. 2-203. A student may not offer for credit work the student has previously either prepared for compensation or offered for credit unless the student secures the instructor’s written permission in advance of submission.

Sec. 2-204. A student may not offer for credit or other academic or professional benefit work prepared in collaboration with another person unless the student secures the written permission of the instructor or other person in charge in advance of submission. Unless the instructor or other person in charge so states in a written instruction, a student does not prepare work in collaboration with another person if the student merely discusses with such other person matters relevant to the work in question. “Collaboration” as used here requires that the collaborator has made substantive written or dictated contributions to the work submitted. It does not encompass mere proof reading which makes grammatical, spelling, or stylistic recommendations.

Sec. 2-205. A student may not use during an examination period materials not authorized by the instructor giving the examination. A student may not improperly use during an examination period materials authorized for limited use by the instructor giving the examination.

Sec. 2-206. A student may not take an examination for another student, nor may any student knowingly permit another person to take an examination for him or her.

Sec. 2-207. Unless authorized by the instructor, a student may not knowingly give, receive, or obtain information pertaining to questions on an examination before or during an examination period, except as provided in Sec. 2-205. “Information” as used here does not include information as to examination style or tendencies by a particular instructor, nor does it include information made generally available by the instructor. Use of all information pertaining to questions on an examination after the examination has been taken by all students required to take the examination is permitted except insofar as such use is prohibited by the instructor or by section 2-209 below.

Sec. 2-208. A student taking an examination must comply with instructions on the examination and also with those given by Academic Services office personnel administering the examination.

Sec. 2-209. A student who has taken an examination and a student who will take that examination may not discuss or divulge its contents with each other except to the extent that the contents have been made generally available by the instructor. Where the instructor has designated an examination as one that may not be removed from the examination areas, a student may not for the purpose of preserving questions for use by other students on future exams divulge the contents of the examination at any time.

Sec. 2-210. A student may not take, keep, misplace, or damage the property of the University or of another person if the student knows or should reasonably know that the student would, by such conduct, obtain an unfair academic advantage. This section is intended to include, but not be limited to, materials in the Library of the School of Law. Other violations of library rules are not covered by the Code, but shall remain subject to the rule-making authority of the Law Librarian, the Dean or the Dean’s delegate, or such other person or body at the University empowered to deal with violations of library rules.

Sec. 2-211. A student may not misrepresent facts about the student or another person to anyone among those listed below, for the purpose of obtaining an academic, professional, or financial benefit or injuring another student or an employee at the University of Washington academically, professionally or financially:

The misrepresentations prohibited by this section consist of any made to:

Faculty, staff or students of the University of Washington
Faculty, staff, or students of any other educational institution
Current or prospective employers
Professional licensing staff or officials
Externship supervisors.

Subchapter 2-300. General Provisions

Sec. 2-301. A student violates the Code when the student attempts or conspires to violate it.

Sec. 2-302. A student violates the Code only when the student acts with knowledge of the facts which constitute a violation.

Sec. 2-303. Students shall receive a copy of this Code on or before the date of their first registration for law school courses following the effective date of the Code.

Chapter 3. Dean’s Functions

Subchapter 3-100. Dean’s Functions

Sec. 3-101. On receipt of a complaint from any person alleging that a student has violated the Code or the Student Conduct Code, the Dean shall make a preliminary investigation of the alleged violation.

Sec. 3-102. The Dean, after receiving the results of the preliminary investigation, may

  1. Dismiss the complaint and exonerate the student; or
  2. Decide to initiate a disciplinary proceeding.

Sec. 3-103.

  1. If the Dean determines that it is necessary to initiate a disciplinary proceeding concerning the alleged violation, he or she shall conduct an informal hearing with the student accused of misconduct pursuant to WAC 478-120-065. The Dean may conduct the hearing or delegate an appropriate dean, faculty member or panel of faculty members and students to conduct the hearing. This informal disciplinary hearing may be nothing more than a face-to-face meeting between the Dean or the Dean’s delegate(s) and the student, and no special notice of the meeting is required. A primary purpose of this informal disciplinary hearing is to provide an opportunity for the student to respond to allegations of misconduct before disciplinary action is taken. The person or panel conducting the hearing, however, is also empowered to interview others who may have information relevant to the alleged violations and examine documentary evidence, and to recommend to the Dean an appropriate disposition. The student waives any rights to an informal hearing by his or her failure to attend when notified that attendance is expected.
  2. During an informal disciplinary hearing, the student must be provided with the following information:
    1. The alleged misconduct and the reasons for the University’s belief that the student engaged or may have engaged in the misconduct;
    2. The specific section(s) of the Student Conduct Code and/or the Code allegedly violated; and
    3. The possible sanctions that may be imposed.
  3. After the informal hearing, the Dean shall enter in writing one of the following orders:
    1. An order exonerating the student or dismissing the disciplinary proceeding if it appears that there has been no misconduct;
    2. An initial order imposing a disciplinary sanction;
    3. An order referring the matter to the University Disciplinary Committee; or
    4. An order referring the matter directly to the Faculty Appeal Board because exceptional circumstances as defined in WAC 478-120-100 (3)(b)(i) may exist.
  4. If the order imposes a sanction:
    1. If exceptional circumstances as defined in WAC 478-120-100 (3)(b)(i) exist, the matter shall be referred directly to the Faculty Appeal Board and the student shall be informed that he or she has the right to request a formal hearing according to the procedures set forth in WAC 478-120-075(3).
    2. If exceptional circumstances do not exist, then the student must be informed that he or she has twenty-one calendar days from the date of the order (or twenty-five calendar days from the date of the mailing of the initial order) to request a hearing before the University Disciplinary Committee. If the student chooses not to appeal, the order becomes the final order.
  5. Within ten days after the conclusion of the informal hearing and any associated investigations, the student shall be provided with a written order which shall include a statement of the decision, the reasons for the decision, and information about appealing the decision. No unfavorable action may be taken against the student until the student has been given such notice and information. In a case involving an alleged sexual offense, both the accuser and the accused shall be informed of the outcome of that hearing.
  6. A student may request a hearing by the University Disciplinary Committee at any time during these informal proceedings. If such a request is made, the matter shall be referred to the University Disciplinary Committee.
  7. The official record of this informal hearing shall consist of all documents prepared or considered by the Dean with regard to the dispute at hand.
  8. The official record shall be maintained or disposed of in accordance with WAC 478-120-145. The School of Law shall maintain a list of disciplinary actions for which a record is being maintained by the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Subchapter 3-200. Authorized Disciplinary Sanctions

Sec.3-201. The Dean may impose one or more of the following sanctions for violation of any provision of this Code or the Student Conduct Code.

  1. Disciplinary Warning or Reprimand-Action may be taken to warn or to reprimand a student for violation of University rules, regulations, procedures, policies, standards of conduct, or orders. Warnings and reprimands must always be made in writing and shall include a statement that continuation or repetition of the specific conduct or other misconduct will normally result in one or more of the more serious disciplinary sanctions: restitution, disciplinary probation, suspension, or dismissal.
  2. Restitution- A student may be required to make restitution for damage or other loss of property and for injury to persons. Failure to pay, or to make in writing University-approved arrangements to pay, will result in cancellation of the student’s registration and will prevent the student from registering with the University.
  3. Disciplinary Probation-A student may be placed on disciplinary probation (meaning formal conditions are imposed on a student’s continued attendance) for violation of University rules, regulations, procedures, policies, standards of conduct, or orders. The time period and conditions, if any, for the disciplinary probation shall be specified. Disciplinary probation serves as a warning to a student that further misconduct will raise the possibility of suspension or dismissal from the University.
  4. Suspension-A student may be suspended from the University for violation of University rules, regulations, procedures, policies, standards of conduct, or orders. The time period and conditions, if any, for the suspension shall be specified. Suspension serves as a warning to a student that further misconduct will raise the possibility of dismissal from the University.
  5. Dismissal-A student’s enrollment in the University may be terminated for violation of University rules, regulations, procedures, policies, standards of conduct, or orders.
  6. Forfeiture-In addition to other sanctions, a student who participates in hazing of another shall forfeit any entitlement to state funded grants, scholarships, or awards for a specified period of time.
  7. A suspension or dismissal is considered a serious sanction and will be imposed only after the completion of the formal due process review provided for in the Student Conduct Code.
  8. Any other sanctions permitted by the Student Conduct Code.

Chapter 4. Rights of Student Defendant.

Subchapter 4-100. Incorporation of WAC 478-120.

Sec. 4-101. All relevant rights of student-defendants prescribed in WAC 478-120 shall be accorded to the student in any proceeding under the Code.

Subchapter 4-200. Appeals

Sec. 4-201. A decision of the Dean imposing the penalty of dismissal or suspension or involving other exceptional circumstances, as defined in WAC 478-120-100(3)(b) shall automatically be heard on appeal by the Faculty Appeal Board and the student defendant shall be informed of his/her right to request a formal hearing according to procedures in WAC 478-120-075(3).

Sec. 4-202. Decisions of the Dean imposing any sanction where exceptional circumstances do not exist may be appealed by the student to the University Disciplinary Committee.

Sec. 4-203. A student wishing to appeal to either the Disciplinary Committee or the Faculty Appeal Board shall indicate his or her intention in writing within 21 calendar days from the date of the order (or 25 calendar days from the date of the mailing of the initial order) to the Chair of the group to which the appeal is made.

Chapter 5. Effective Date.

Subchapter 5-100. Effective Date of this Code

Sec. 5-101. The effective date of this Code as amended is September 1, 2009.

How to Report an Honor Code Violation

To report an honor code violation, you may schedule a meeting with the Associate Dean of Students or the Academic Dean through the Dean’s Office (Room 371) or you may send him or her an email message. Reporting an honor code violation is the first step in a very long process; only if your report gives the Academic Dean reasonable cause to believe that there was a violation will there be further investigation, and only after that is there the possibility of sanctions being imposed on a student. Accordingly, you should not hesitate to report what you believe to be a violation, as there are many procedural steps that must take place before there is a formal investigation or sanctions imposed.

Last updated 10/5/2010