Academic Dishonesty

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hamrazan

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Academic Dishonesty

Postby hamrazan » Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:58 pm

Hello everyone! So I'm currently looking into applying to law school in fall 2019, meaning I'd prepare and take the LSAT and all that during this upcoming academic year. I just graduated from college with a degree in computer science, and I was wondering if it was even worth applying given the following:

Every computer science class has its own policies regarding student collaboration, and the class I was taking freshman year had it such that you were allowed to collaborate on the written portion of the problem sets but not the coding portion. A specific question asked us to implement pseudocode discussed in class, and a friend and I made the mistake of discussing the lecture slides in detail (we were allowed to discuss lecture material, but not in detail) which resulted in our code being similar. Even though it was not my intention to violate the collaboration policy, I completely understand how that violated the policy and take full responsibility. Towards the end of the course, the professor called me and about 30 other people (yes, 30) to discuss alleged violations of the collaboration policy. Usually what ends up happening is that the professor reports you to the honor committee where your case is handled, with the mildest penalty being a reprimand (record entry in your file, and whatever else the professor decides to do). However, the professor did not report me (or my friend) to the committee and told us that our only penalty would be a 0 on that portion of the assignment (did not affect my final grade since that part was about 3% of the overall grade). He also warned us not to do it again or we would be absolutely reported to the committee.

My university prelaw handbook says that we have to report any incident at the level of Reprimand or above, but I'm not sure how that plays out in this case since I was not reported to the committee and so did not receive a penalty from the institution. There is no record of the incident on my file, and I'm not exactly sure whether or not I should disclose this or how it would affect my chances at top schools. This also makes me wonder whether it's worth it to go through the application process if I'm just going to be rejected because of this (I completely understand why though, not victimizing myself). However, I did learn from this incident and became super cautious with what I did and did not discuss to make sure this doesn't happen again. To be honest, it did make me a better student in CS because I made such an effort at making sure that I understood the concepts myself (since I could not rely on anyone else for explanations).

Here are my stats:
GPA: 3.9
LSAT: haven't taken it yet, took a diagnostic and got a 167 though.
Other: received an internationally competitive fellowship to study history at the University of Cambridge next year, heavily involved in refugee work all throughout college, don't know if this counts as a + but I learned 4 languages to the advanced level in the last 4 years.

Any input would be much appreciated, thank you!

criminaltheory

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Re: Academic Dishonesty

Postby criminaltheory » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:46 am

chill. you'll be fine. make sure you read the law school applications and disclose if a question asks you to.

albanach

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Re: Academic Dishonesty

Postby albanach » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:36 pm

criminaltheory wrote:chill. you'll be fine. make sure you read the law school applications and disclose if a question asks you to.


Also, interpret the application questions liberally and broadly unless you're getting legal advice to the contrary.

hamrazan

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Re: Academic Dishonesty

Postby hamrazan » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:19 pm

albanach wrote:
criminaltheory wrote:chill. you'll be fine. make sure you read the law school applications and disclose if a question asks you to.


Also, interpret the application questions liberally and broadly unless you're getting legal advice to the contrary.


Thank you so much for responding! Yeah, this is where it gets confusing because all applications ask about "disciplinary action" and I think this counts as that even though no institutional charges were brought forward so I'll probably have to diclose?

albanach

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Re: Academic Dishonesty

Postby albanach » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:29 pm

hamrazan wrote:
albanach wrote:
criminaltheory wrote:chill. you'll be fine. make sure you read the law school applications and disclose if a question asks you to.


Also, interpret the application questions liberally and broadly unless you're getting legal advice to the contrary.


Thank you so much for responding! Yeah, this is where it gets confusing because all applications ask about "disciplinary action" and I think this counts as that even though no institutional charges were brought forward so I'll probably have to diclose?


I would say yes. There was an action taken and a very small punishment. You can explain pretty much as you did above, making very clear it was an honest misunderstanding and you learned from your mistake the need to ask questions if you're unsure of policies.

If you don't disclose, you'll next be faced with a similar question from the Bar during Character and Fitness. Your answer needs to match your law school application or you can look forward to difficult questions. Being denied C&F means not practicing as a lawyer. If you don't disclose in either place and it goes unnoticed, you spend the rest of your career worrying that one person you upset in college could make an anonymous report and upend your entire career.

Wednesday

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Re: Academic Dishonesty

Postby Wednesday » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:05 pm

Contact your school and your former professor and ask them. It really shouldn't be a guessing game.

hamrazan

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Re: Academic Dishonesty

Postby hamrazan » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:43 pm

Yeah, I'll definitely disclose. Thank you!

hamrazan

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Re: Academic Dishonesty

Postby hamrazan » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:23 pm

Quick question: how much of a negative effect do you think this will have on my chances at a T14 school?

Bla Bla Bla Blah

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Re: Academic Dishonesty

Postby Bla Bla Bla Blah » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:01 pm

If there is absolutely no record because it was simply discussed with you, I wouldn't sweat it. At worst, reporting it will confuse ad comms who might see it and think that there is actually an official academic violation recorded against you (rather than the professor simply chatting with the class to clarify expectations, as you have explained). At best, they will be a bit frustrated with having read something that didn't really indicate academic dishonesty since there was no action taken towards what that actually is (which is an official strike on your record). In my view, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to see it, it didn't happen. And in this case, a tree didn't even fall.

hamrazan

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Re: Academic Dishonesty

Postby hamrazan » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:41 am

Bla Bla Bla Blah wrote:If there is absolutely no record because it was simply discussed with you, I wouldn't sweat it. At worst, reporting it will confuse ad comms who might see it and think that there is actually an official academic violation recorded against you (rather than the professor simply chatting with the class to clarify expectations, as you have explained). At best, they will be a bit frustrated with having read something that didn't really indicate academic dishonesty since there was no action taken towards what that actually is (which is an official strike on your record). In my view, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to see it, it didn't happen. And in this case, a tree didn't even fall.


It wasn't the professor simply chatting me with me, though. There was a (relatively minor) penalty and I DID violate the class policy. I can't really answer "no" when asked if I was ever accused of academic dishonesty because technically I was...just not at the institutional level.

Synapse2018

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Re: Academic Dishonesty

Postby Synapse2018 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:03 am

Just disclose it briefly and professionally if it was official. If not, you shouldn’t have to mention it. Say you were confused about the policy regarding collaborating with a fellow student in a programming class and you were penalized.

From what I understand, all these issues are minor compared to lsat and gpa. My advice is to study hard and ace the lsat. A high lsat will trump your academic dishonesty



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