Monday, April 13, 2009

Case of the Week 4/13/09

Law student discipline cases center around many different issues, from plagiarism to academic dishonesty to improper conduct to failing to maintain a minimum grade point average requirement.

In one case where a student was expelled for failing to maintain the minimum GPA required by her school, the court upheld the law school’s policy of counting both the first (failing) and second grade in calculating GPA. See Johnson v. Sullivan, 174 Mont. 491 (1977). The court paid particular attention to “this state’s ‘diploma privilege,’ [under which] graduates of the School of Law may be admitted to practice on motion; they are not necessarily required to take and pass the state’s bar examination. Graduation from the School of Law, therefore, virtually guarantees admission to practice. Ultimately, then, the object of measuring academic performance and allowing or precluding a law student’s continued study on the basis of that performance is to assure that graduates of the School of Law are qualified to enter practice.” Id., at 495.

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