Law School Discussion

Academic Dishonesty (any input appreciated)

Academic Dishonesty (any input appreciated)
« on: May 15, 2014, 03:29:46 PM »
Hey guys - it's probably better to start from the top so here goes, bear with me hah.

A few weeks back I was taking a final for an engineering class, with some notes stored onto my calculator. I was informed by a group of students in the class that this was allowed since he the professor allowed calculators on the exam.

Believe it or not, I walked into the class that day without a guilty conscience - I sat right in frontmost row in front of the grader and professor and waited to take the exam. About halfway through the exam, I beckoned the grader to come over so I could ask him to go to the restroom. I left my calculator in clear sight with the notes on the screen for when he came over, didn't even remotely try to hide it - and asked to go pee. I'm pretty sure it was right then that he noticed the notes. When I came back, he notified me that we weren't allowed notes on the exam. I didn't believe him, so he pointed to the front of the exam where it said no notes, but calculators were allowed. well fark. Clear my calc, and I go on.

So anyways, the grader begins to notice that I'm not the only one whose doing this, and he kinda starts walking around the room. After a few minutes, the grader returns to the front of the room and makes a public announcement clarifying that notes on the calculator were in fact not allowed, and that anyone with them should immediately put them away because they weren't allowed. Basically, letting everyone else off (at least in my eyes - a quarter of the class was gone at this point anyways).

The exam finishes, and I asked the grader what happens now. Cliffs: he took a picture of my calc while I was in the restroom, and while I wasn't the only of apparently doing it (he saw "evidence" of it happening elsewhere in the class), I would be the only one reported (to the TA, since he reports to the TA - it's the TA's choice from there). He was really lighthearted about the entire thing, saying it wasn't a big deal.. yeah, lol.

Hit up the TA, and she has no idea what's going on, so the next morning I just straight up tell the prof that I honestly didn't know. He said to send him an email of what happened, and I did. I'm not denying what I did, I just had no idea it was wrong or was considered cheating.. I honestly would've at least tried to hide it otherwise, believe me.

So now this has escalated to academic dishonesty sorta stuff. The professor can choose either to let the Dean of Students take care of it, or the professor and I can "work something out". Right now, the prof wants to "work something out". Assuming I take this and sign whatever forms they give me, I basically plead guilty of academic dishonesty - but apparently this doesn't go on my transcript, but remains in UT's internal system for the next 7 years. However, if any external school requests it and I sign saying I'm allowing them to see it, then they see it. However, whatever the prof chooses to negotiate, it will almost certainly tank my GPA (it's like a 3.7 right now, I'm an A/B engineering student. Defo not the smartest as you can kinda tell by now, not much street sense lol) since it's either be like a F on the final (D in the class), or fail the class, etc...

Yeah. I'm in a weird kinda predicament. I've been honest (almost blatantly honest lol), but I'm about to get shafted pretty bad since I had plans of going to law/grad school. I know some people here wouldn't even bother revealing academic dishonesty if it weren't on their transcript (if I took the prof's offer, basically like a plea bargain), but that's not how I roll lol. If they ask for it, I'll tell them irregardless, it is what it is and I'm not gonna hide it. Because of this, my parents are saying not to sign anything and I should if anything get a lawyer and take my chances with the Dean of Students/hearing since I'm not gonna hide anything from adcoms... it's not exactly clear cut, ya know? I did something I didn't know was wrong, but the way it was handled afterwards (by the grader) was messy as well..


Re: Academic Dishonesty (any input appreciated)
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2014, 05:55:22 PM »
If you are applying to law school and it is technically in the system just disclose it seems pretty harmless to me. Actually better advice is when you are applying to law schools call the admissions office and tell them the situation and specifically ask whether that needs to be disclosed or not.

It truly sounds like it is not a big deal, but I know most people in undergrad thinking about law school think every little thing matters, but just ask some questions and tell them that story and they will either say write a little report or it is not necessary to disclose.

It is far from something that is going to make or break your legal career and sounds pretty innocous, but the basic rule in the law is when in doubt disclose. That seems to be what you are doing and everyone seems to not want to even bother with it, which is what happens when you disclose these minor infractions.

As an anonymous internet poster with no authority to determine anything I think your in the clear, but when the time comes to apply to law schools ask the admissions officers and I imagine they will tell you the same thing, but you never know.