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 applicable state law and court rules. 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. This Honor Code, consistent with the Student Conduct Code for the University of Washington, focuses on academic honesty and 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. Relation of Honor Code to University of Washington Student Honor Code and other Applicable Law

Sec. 1-201. This Honor Code supplements and does not replace the University of Washington Student Conduct Code set forth at Chapter 478-121 WAC. Many violations of the Student Conduct Code are not covered by this Law School Honor Code, and those violations are subject to Chapter 478-121 WAC. In the event of a conflict, the University of Washington Student Conduct Code supersedes this Law School Honor Code. Informal settlements made in connection with the procedures established under this Honor Code may be considered as “informal settlements” under RCW 34.05.060.

Subchapter 1-300. Definitions

Sec. 1-301. In this Honor Code, unless the context requires otherwise

  1. “Academic Misconduct” means Student misconduct as that term is defined in Chapter 478-121 WAC, as amended from time to time. See Sec. 2-101, below.
  2. “Conduct Officer” means the Dean or Dean's delegate or representative carrying out the functions described in Chapter 3 of this Honor Code.
  3. “Dean” means the Dean of the School of Law, and the Dean's delegate or representative serving as a Conduct Officer;
  4. “School of Law” means the School of Law at the University of Washington;
  5. “University” means the University of Washington;
  6. “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 this Honor Code.
  7. “Honor Code” or “Code” means this Honor Code.
  8. “Respondent” means a Student alleged to have violated this Honor Code.
  9. “Student Conduct Code” or “University of Washington Student Conduct Code” means the University of Washington Student Conduct Code found at Chapter 478-121 WAC.
  10. “Washington Administrative Code” or “WAC” includes 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. Academic Misconduct

Sec. 2-101. A Student must not commit an act of Academic Misconduct as that term is defined in the Student Conduct Code, 478-121 WAC, as amended from time to time. For purposes of convenience, the definition of Academic Misconduct in that regulation as of the effective date of this Honor Code, is as follow:

Academic misconduct includes:

  1. “Cheating” which includes, but is not limited to:
    1. The use of unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations, or completing assignments;
    2. The acquisition, use, or distribution of unpublished materials created by another student without the express permission of the original author(s);
    3. Using online sources, such as solution manuals or artificial intelligence interfaces without the permission of the instructor to complete assignments, exams, tests, or quizzes; or
    4. Requesting, hiring, or otherwise encouraging someone to take a course, exam, test, or complete assignments for a student.
  2. “Falsification,” which is the intentional use or submission of falsified data, records, or other information including, but not limited to, records of internship or practicum experiences or attendance at any required event(s), or scholarly research.
  3. “Plagiarism,” which is the submission or presentation of someone else's words, composition, research, or expressed ideas, whether published or unpublished, without attribution. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:
    1. The use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment; or
    2. The unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or acquired from an entity engaging in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.
  4. Unauthorized collaboration.
  5. Engaging in behavior specifically prohibited by an instructor in the course of class instruction or in a course syllabus.
  6. Multiple submissions of the same work in separate courses without the express permission of the instructor(s).
  7. Taking deliberate action to destroy or damage another's academic work in order to gain an advantage for oneself or another.
  8. The recording of instructional content without the express permission of the instructor(s), unless approved as a disability accommodation, and/or the dissemination or use of such unauthorized records.

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

Sec. 2-103. A Student must not fail to comply with a final order imposed under this Code or the University of Washington Student Conduct Code.

Subchapter 2-200. Additional Aspects of Academic Misconduct at the School of Law

This Subchapter 2-200 is intended to serve to further explain aspects of Academic Misconduct applicable to Students at the School of Law. This is meant to provide commentary and guidance to Students, instructors, the Dean and any Conduct Officer, particularly with respect to plagiarism and related misconduct. However, the guidance provided in this Subchapter 2-200 is supplementary to and does not supersede any provision of the University of Washington Student Conduct Code.

Sec. 2-201. A Student must 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 or source 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 must not offer for credit or other academic or professional benefit as the Student's work any work not prepared by that Student. A Student must 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 must 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 must not offer for credit or other academic or professional benefit work prepared in collaboration with another person unless the Student secures the express permission or direction of the instructor or other person in charge in advance of submission. Unless the instructor or other person in charge so states in an express 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.

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

Sec. 2-206. A Student must not take an examination for another student, nor must any student knowingly permit another person to take an examination for the Student.

Sec. 2-207. Unless authorized by the instructor, a Student must 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 must not discuss or divulge its contents with each other except to the extent that the contents have been made generally available by the instructor. If an instructor limits future access to exam questions or answers, or instructed Students not to preserve questions or answers, a Student must not for the purposes of preserving questions or answers for use by another Student on future exams memorialize, record, or divulge the contents of the exam in any fashion (including but not limited to using cameras, screen shots, or writing down or otherwise recording questions and answers).

Sec. 2-210. A Student must 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 this Honor Code but 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. Upon a Student's application for Bar membership in a state or other jurisdiction, the University of School of Law may be asked to report, to Bar authorities, regarding sanctions imposed on a Student for Academic Misconduct. The School of Law may also be asked to certify to Bar authorities as to a Student's misrepresentation of 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:

Misrepresentations described in this Section 2-211 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.

Consequently, a Student should refrain from any of the misrepresentations described in this Section 2-211.

Chapter 3. Dean's (Conduct Officer's) Functions

Subchapter 3-100. Dean's (Conduct Officer's) Functions

Sec. 3-101. On receipt of a complaint from any person alleging that a Student has violated the Code, the Conduct Officer shall make an initial investigation of the alleged violation.

Sec. 3-102. The Conduct Officer, after carrying out an initial investigation, may:

  1. Dismiss the complaint; or
  2. Continue a disciplinary proceeding, including gathering additional information, conducting an informal hearing, and proceeding further as described in Sec. 3-103, below.

Sec. 3-103. Disciplinary Proceedings

  1. If the Conduct Officer determines that it is appropriate to continue a disciplinary proceeding concerning an alleged violation, the Conduct Officer will conduct an investigative interview with the Student accused of misconduct. This investigative interview may be a meeting between the Conduct Officer and the Student. A primary purpose of this investigative interview is to provide an opportunity for the Student to respond to allegations of misconduct before any disciplinary action is taken. The Conduct Officer conducting the hearing is authorized to interview others who may have information relevant to the alleged violations, to gather and examine documentary evidence, and to determine an appropriate disposition. The investigative interview and fact-finding process constitutes a “brief adjudicative hearing” as that term is used in Chapter 478-121 WAC.
  2. During an investigative interview, the Student must be provided with the following information:
    1. A description of the alleged misconduct;
    2. The specific section(s) of this Honor Code allegedly violated; and
    3. The possible sanction(s) that may be imposed.
  3. After the investigative interview and additional fact-finding, the Conduct Officer must enter in writing one of the determinations listed below. A determination is to include a brief written statement of the reasons for the decision and an explanation of how to request administrative review and the time frame to do so. The applicable standard of proof of a violation is a “preponderance of evidence” standard. This means that, in order for a Student to be held responsible for a violation of this Honor Code, the Dean must conclude, based on all of the evidence in the record, that it is more likely than not that the Student engaged in an act or acts of conduct prohibited by this Honor Code.
    1. A determination that the Student is not responsible for the alleged violation and/or dismissing the conduct complaint;
    2. A determination that the Student is responsible for the alleged violation and imposing a disciplinary sanction;
    3. A determination that the matter will be referred to a full adjudicative proceeding and full hearing under the University of Washington Student Conduct Code, Chapter 478-121 WAC. If the Conduct Officer determines that a disciplinary sanction may include suspension or dismissal, the matter must be referred to a full adjudicative proceeding.
  1. Within ten days after the conclusion of the investigative interview and any additional fact-finding (but in any event within 20 days of the conclusion of the informal hearing), the Student must be provided with the written determination which must include a statement of the Conduct Officer's determination, if any, the reasons for the decision, and information about appealing the determination.
  2. The official record of this investigative interview must include all documents prepared or considered by the Conduct Officer or by a reviewing officer for any review with regard to the matter. The School of Law must maintain a record of disciplinary determinations under this Honor Code.

Subchapter 3-200. Authorized Disciplinary Sanctions

Sec. 3-201. The Dean (Conduct Officer) or, where referred to a full adjudicative proceeding and full hearing, the Hearing Officer, may impose one or more of the following sanctions for violation of any provision of this Honor 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 be made in writing and must 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. 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 must 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Dismissal-A Student's enrollment in the University may be terminated for violation of University rules, regulations, procedures, policies, standards of conduct, or orders.
  5. A suspension or dismissal is considered a serious sanction and may be imposed only after referral of the matter to a full adjudicative proceeding and full hearing under the University of Washington Student Honor Code, Chapter 478-121 WAC.
  6. Any other sanctions permitted by the Student Conduct Code.

Chapter 4. Rights of Student Respondents

Subchapter 4-100. Incorporation of Chapter 478-121 WAC.

Sec. 4-101. All relevant rights of Student respondents prescribed in Chapter 478-121 WAC must be accorded to the Student in any proceeding under the Code.

Subchapter 4-200. Appeals

Sec. 4-201. A Student respondent may appeal the Conduct Officer's determination (initial order) that the Student is responsible for violating this Code under the University of Washington Student Conduct Code, WAC 478-121.

Sec. 4-203. A Student wishing to appeal a determination must indicate their intention in writing within 21 calendar days of service of the Conduct Officer's determination that the Student is responsible for violating this Code. See Chapter 478-121 WAC.

Chapter 5. Effective Date

Subchapter 5-100. Effective Date of this Code

Sec. 5-101. The effective date of this Code as amended is July 1, 2023.

How to Report an Honor Code Violation

To report an Honor Code violation, a person may either email or schedule a meeting with the Academic Dean or Dean for Students through the Dean's Office (Room 371). Reporting a potential Honor Code violation is the first step in a very long process; only if the complaint of a potential violation provides the Academic Dean with reasonable cause to believe that a violation may have occurred, will there be further investigation and a possible determination of misconduct with sanctions imposed on a Student. Accordingly, members of the UW Law community should not hesitate to report what they believe to be a violation, as there are many procedural steps involved with an investigation and further disciplinary proceedings.

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