Code of Student Professional Responsibility – Title IX and University Policy Statements

LSU PAUL M. HEBERT LAW CENTER PRINCIPLES OF CIVILITY

A hallmark of an enlightened and effective system of justice is adherence to standards of professional responsibility and civility. Integrity and courtesy are indispensable to the practice of law. A central mission of LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center is to develop and maintain a challenging yet supportive academic and professional environment. While the study of law may engage language or subject matter that some consider impolite or even offensive, the Law Center is governed by the core values of professionalism, integrity, trust, civility, courtesy, mutual respect, cordiality, humility, and accountability.

Concerns about civility are at the forefront of contemporary discussions of professionalism not just in law schools, but in the legal profession at large. Civility is the recognition of a shared investment in and commitment to a mode of self-expression and human interaction. Civility is expressed by polite, courteous, and considerate speech or behavior appropriate to civil interactions. The presence of civility does not mean the absence of vigorous or impassioned disagreement.  Civility does not seek to limit or chill the expression of dissent, strongly held convictions, or contrary positions.  It is concerned with the character of speech and expression as opposed to its specific content. It does not strive for a culture of token respectability that requires policing or diminishing constitutional protections. A commitment to civility represents an appreciation of the ways in which the presentation of ideas can have an impact on how they are ultimately received, regardless of their merits. Civility is therefore indispensable for effective advocacy.

Members of the Law Center community conduct themselves in a manner that preserves not only their personal dignity and honor, but also that of the Law Center and the legal profession. Student members of the Law Center community should aspire to:

  • Speak and write in a civil, professional, courteous, and respectful manner in communications.
  • Treat all members of the Law Center community in a civil, professional, courteous, and respectful manner.
  • Respect diverse backgrounds and experiences.
  • Refrain from conduct that diminishes the dignity or decorum of the Law Center’s communal spaces and overall environment.
  • Strive to resolve disputes in a civil manner.

It is the sense of the faculty that it is unprofessional for a law student, either on the Law Center or University campus or at a Law Center of University event, in addressing or describing a person or persons, to use epithets that demean on the basis or based upon race, gender, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or age and that the forgoing statement shall be published in the Law Center Catalog as a policy statement, in close proximity to the Code of Student Professional Responsibility.


Code of Student Professional Responsibility

CODE OF STUDENT PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY

Introduction

Law school is the first step toward becoming a member of the legal profession. Members of the legal profession are subject to the highest standards of professional conduct. The Law Center, therefore, expects its students to adhere to high standards of conduct during their legal education and to avoid even the appearance of impropriety during that process. Just as lawyer behavior reflects on the bar and courts even when they are not in court, student behavior can reflect on the Law Center away from the physical facility. When students represent the Law Center, or when their behavior might closely affect the Law Center or its relationships with other institutions in Louisiana or abroad, students are expected to abide by the professional obligations of the Code of Student Professional Responsibility.

It is the obligation of every student to report to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or to a member of the Ethics Committee of the Student Bar Association any violation of this Code of Student Professional Responsibility. Students are expected to live up to the standards set forth in this Code and to assist in its enforcement.

The Code – opens in a PDF

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Disposition of Student Complaints (PS-48LC: Student Complaints)

Student Complaints

The Law Center recognizes two forms of student complaints:  formal and informal. The Law Center recognizes two categories of student complaints: those regarding academic matters and those regarding non-academic matters. Further, the Law Center recognizes that some complaints are governed by other policies and procedures promulgated by LSU A&M or by the Dean of the Law Center. For example, routine complaints concerning grades are governed by the policy on grade grievances set forth in the current LSU Law Catalog. Complaints regarding matters falling within the scope of those policies must be handled in accordance with the procedures outlined in those policies. Complaints regarding matters not within the scope of those policies must be handled in accordance with the following procedures.

I.        Formal and Informal Student Complaints

An informal complaint is a complaint, whether anonymous or not, made orally or in some written format other than the written format prescribed in this memorandum. Such complaints may be considered by the appropriate member of the Law Center administration. However, no formal response to the complaining student will be forthcoming nor will any record of the complaint be maintained unless the Dean directs otherwise.

A formal complaint is a complaint submitted in written form which conforms to and complies with the written form adopted in this policy. The written complaint shall contain a clear and concise statement of the essential facts establishing the complaint. The complaint shall be signed by the student making the complaint and shall identify the student and provide information enabling the Law Registrar to contact the student. The written complaint shall be submitted to the Law Registrar, who shall promptly provide a copy of the complaint to the Dean. The Dean shall review all formal complaints and may take such action to investigate and dispose of the complaint as the Dean deems appropriate, including, without limitation, referring the complaint for investigation and/or recommended disposition to the appropriate committee or personnel responsible for supervision of the aspect of the Law Center program, policy, or personnel about which the complaint is filed. Following disposition, the Dean shall notify the Law Registrar of the disposition and the Law Registrar shall notify the student filing the formal complaint of the disposition.

A log reflecting the filing, referral, and disposition of all formal complaints shall be maintained by the Law Registrar.

II..       Procedures for Determination of Facts and Disposition of Formal Complaints

In addition to the factual statement submitted by the student making the complaint, the Dean and any Law Center personnel or committee charged with investigating and/or recommending disposition of the complaint shall consider any additional documentary material such as written statements, affidavits, or other documentary evidence submitted by the student or by the Law Center personnel responding to the allegations of the complaint. If necessary to achieve a fair disposition of the matter at issue, the Dean and/or any committee or personnel charged with investigating and/or recommending disposition of the complaint may hear oral statements of witnesses who are either identified by the student or the responding Law Center personnel or who are determined by the Dean or the investigating committee or personnel to have information bearing on the merits of the complaint.

III.       Review of Disposition

The student who files a formal complaint may petition the Dean for review of any factual findings and recommended disposition of the student’s complaint if a committee or Law Center personnel are charged by the Dean with investigating and/or recommending disposition of the complaint. The petition to the Dean for review shall be filed within 10 days of the student’s receipt of notice of the recommended disposition of the complaint.

The petition for review shall set forth the factual basis for the complaint; any objection to any factual findings regarding the complaint and the factual basis for the objection; and the reason why the recommended disposition of the student’s complaint would be arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable, or disproportionate.

The Dean may consider the merits of the petition for review if submitted in a timely fashion and may make such disposition of the petition for review as the Dean deems appropriate. If a petition for review is not submitted in a timely fashion, the Dean may decline to consider the petition or to grant any relief based on the petition.

If an LSU A&M policy or another LSU Law Center policy governs the review or disposition of the complaint, the Dean shall proceed in accordance with that policy.

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Law Center Computer Usage Policy

An individual who uses the computing resources provided by Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University (“LSU”) should be aware of the following:

  • LSU computing resources are defined as all LSU-supplied computers, and all publicly available networks, processors, peripherals and supplies under the administration of the Paul M. Hebert Law Center, or LSU A & M’s Office of Computer Services, academic departments or colleges.
  • Use of LSU computing resources is a privilege and not a right. As with all privileges, abuses will not be tolerated.
  • An individual member of the LSU community, faculty, staff or student may be given access to one or more LSU computing resources, with or without the issuance of a logonid. If a logonid is issued, it will remain valid so long as the individual is associated with LSU.The proper use of a logonid is ultimately the responsibility of the individual under whose name it has been assigned.Therefore, guard your passwords and do not share your logonid.
  • The use of another individual’s logonid without his/her express consent will be viewed as the stealing of LSU resources and as computer fraud.
  • Inappropriate use of LSU computing resources or of the Internet or other networks to which LSU is directly or indirectly connected will be deemed abuse of computer privileges. Examples of inappropriate use include the installation of software in violation of copyright laws, participation in network activities that place a strain on limited computer resources including any type of network games, the sending or displaying of obscene or pornographic material, the sending of harassing messages to other individuals through a network, and the unauthorized access or attempted access of another network computer system from LSU computing resources. LSU may take the following action against an individual who abuses computer privileges or has gained unauthorized access to LSU computing resources:
  • Access to LSU computing resources may be terminated.
  • The logonid may be inactivated.
  • The appropriate authorities (LSU, LSU A & M, state or federal) may be informed.
  • Actions taken will depend on the severity of the computer abuse and may include disciplinary action against an employee or student. Privacy of Student Records (FERPA)

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Usage of the Electronic Classroom during Final Examinations

Law students intending to take their final examinations using the Exam4 software are expected to provide their own laptop computer. The Law Center does not have a sufficient number of lab computers openly available for usage during final examinations.

If a law student is prepared to take a final examination on his/her own computer but experiences a computer/software failure too close to the administration of the final examination to fix the problem or replace the laptop, as determined by the Law Center’s Information Technology (“IT”) Department, the student may use one of the 15 lab computers in the Law Library, Room L111.

To use a lab computer for a final examination, the student must first verify the computer or software failure with the IT department in Room 317 and also notify the Registrar’s Office so it is aware of the change. These computers are available on a first-come, first-served basis and availability is not guaranteed. Please make every effort to ensure your computer is in good working order well before the start of final examinations.

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Student Privacy Rights (FERPA) [PS30]

Louisiana State University is committed to adhering to FERPA and ensuring the confidentiality of student education records. Any disclosure of education records will be made only in compliance with FERPA. For specific information regarding compliance with FERPA, see “Privacy and Release of Student Education Records” online at http://sites01.lsu.edu/wp/registraroffice/privacy-guidelines/ and posted in the Office of the University Registrar.


Persons With Disabilities

The Law Center is committed to providing equal opportunity for all qualified persons without regard to disability in the recruitment of, students, and in the admission to, participation in, and employment in all its programs and activities pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and other related federal and state law.A copy of the Law Center’s Policy for Persons with Disabilities can be obtained from the Office of Admissions and Student Records.

The Law Center does not discriminate on the basis of disability in any academic program or activity and strives to integrate students with disabilities into the Law Center community to the fullest extent possible. Qualified applicants with disabilities will not be denied admission or subjected to discrimination in admission to or promotion in the Law Center on the basis of their disability.

The Law Center works with the LSU Office of Disability Services to provide services for students with disabilities. Students with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations and services should contact the LSU Office of Disability Services, 112 Johnston Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803; or call 578-5919. Specialized support services are based on the individual student’s disability-based need. Students must provide current documentation of their disabilities at the time services are requested. All requests and documentation are treated as confidential. Efforts will be made to develop and implement an appropriate reasonable accommodation plan that meets the student’s needs without imposing undue burden on the Law Center or altering its academic standards.

Students who need special accommodations on examinations must make those needs known to the LSU Office of Disability Services in writing each semester at least one month prior to the beginning of examinations.Although the foregoing is the deadline, students are encouraged to initiate the process early in a semester. It is possible that additional documentation, consultation, etc., may be necessary to substantiate the need for accommodation or to determine the appropriate accommodation. Such additional steps will require time, and students applying late in the semester are at risk of not having adequate time to complete those steps. The LSU Office of Disability Services will then contact the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and make a recommendation. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will make the final decision regarding accommodation and communicate that decision in writing to the students. In order to preserve the anonymity of the process, the student should not inform his or her professors about the request.

Students who have requested accommodations and who believe that such accommodations have been impermissibly denied, or who believe that they have been discriminated against on the basis of their disability, should report the matter to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs if the request was made of a faculty or staff member, and to the Dean if the request was made of the Associate Dean. The student may also request that, before deciding on the matter, the Dean refer the matter to a Faculty Committee which shall recommend to the Dean appropriate solution.

The Law Center shall not discriminate against any individual for filing a charge of discrimination, opposing any practice or act made unlawful by the ADA, or for participating in any proceeding under the ADA. In addition, the Law Center shall not coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of his or her rights under the Act or because he or she aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of rights under the ADA.

The Director of Student Affairs and Registrar (578-8646) is the ADA coordinator for all nonacademic affairs. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs is the ADA coordinator for all academic affairs.

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Law Center Policy on Smoking

Smoking is not permitted in either of the Law Center buildings.

Note: The policies reproduced in the remaining pages of this catalog are the policies of Louisiana State University and A&M. They also apply to the Baton Rouge Campus of LSU A&M. They also apply to the Paul M. Hebert Law Center, except to the extent that they are incompatible with the autonomous status of the Law Center. See Policy Statements at website: http://sites01.lsu.edu/wp/policiesprocedures/policies-and-procedures/

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Immunization Policy (PS-72)

Effective for the Fall semester 2005 and thereafter, no student shall enroll for the first time without documentation of adequate immunization for or immunity to measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus and diphtheria, and tuberculin skin testing (see below*). Undergraduate students returning to LSU after an absence of a semester or more shall be considered to be enrolling for the first time for purposes of this policy. Graduate students returning to LSU after an absence of three semesters or more shall be considered to be enrolling for the first time for purposes of this policy. This policy excludes students matriculating only in off-campus or continuing education/extension courses and degree only candidates. Exemptions from immunization requirements are permitted for medical, religious, or other personal reasons.

*Tuberculin skin testing is required for all students belonging to groups at high risk for TB infection or disease. Categories of high risk students rare listed on the LSU immunization form and include students who have lived in a county other than a list which includes the United States, students taking immunosuppressive medications such as prednisone, and those who have resided, worked or volunteered in a prison, homeless shelter, hospital, nursing home, or other long-term treatment facility. Students born before January 1, 1957 are exempt from the requirement for proof of immunization for or immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella. All students to whom this law applies are required to submit proof of immunizations, immunity or exemption to the Student Health Center after being admitted to the University. Failure to comply with Louisiana Law

R.S. 17:170; Schools of Higher Learning will cause a student to be ineligible to pay university fees and attend classes until the student complies. Classes may be purged if a student is not in compliance by established deadlines as promulgated by the Office of Admissions and Student Records. Requests for exemption because of medial reasons must be signed by a physician or other health care provider. Requests for waivers for exemption because of religions or other personal reasons may be signed by the student (or by a parent or legal guardian if the student is not yet 18 years of age).

Students who elect exemption from the immunization requirements for medical, religious, or other personal reasons and students who have not provided proof of adequate immunization or immunity for any other reason may, at the discretion of the Dean, be required to leave the campus in the event of an outbreak of measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, or tuberculosis on the campus and may be required to remain away from the campus has expired. An outbreak is defined as one case of measles and numbers of cases of mumps, rubella, and diphtheria as defined by the Louisiana State Health Officer. Students not immunized may avoid exclusion from the campus by obtaining immunization and furnishing proof thereof.

Please visit the Student Health Center, corner of West Chimes and Infirmary Road, the website at http://www.shc.lsu.edu/, or call 225/578-6271, if additional information is needed

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Policy on Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment

The Paul M. Hebert Law Center reaffirms and emphasizes its commitment to provide an academic and work environment free from sexual and other unlawful harassment. The intent of this policy is to express the Law Center’s commitment to protect its employees and students from such harassment and from retaliation for participating in harassment complaints. It is not intended to infringe upon constitutionally guaranteed rights nor upon academic freedom. In considering allegations of harassment, the Law Center must be concerned with the rights of both the complainant and the accused.

The Law Center will take appropriate disciplinary or other corrective action in all substantiated cases of harassment. Under appropriate circumstances, the Law Center will also take reasonable steps to protect its employees and students from harassment by individuals who are not employees or students of the Law Center.

Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful sexual discrimination. It is defined as speech or conduct of a sexually discriminatory nature, which was neither welcomed nor encouraged, that would be so offensive to a reasonable person so as to create an abusive working or learning environment or impair his/her performance on the job or in the classroom.

Sexual harassment may involve unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual or gender based nature when:

1.Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or  academic progress or status;

2.  Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions;

3.  Such advances, requests or conduct have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating a hostile or offensive work or academic environment.

Other harassment is defined by analogy to sexual harassment, and means speech or conduct of an unlawfully discriminatory nature, which was neither welcomed nor encouraged, that would be so offensive to a reasonable person so as to create an abusive working or learning environment or impair his/her performance on the job or in the classroom.

Any member of the Law Center community who believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual or other unlawful harassment should report the conduct so that the Law Center may address the matter. Reports may be addressed to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, to the Registrar, or to the Director of Human Resources. No student or employee is required to report or make a complaint of harassment to the person who is engaging in the conduct that is the subject of the complaint.

The Law Center will address all complaints. If informal means of resolving the complaint seem appropriate,  and  the person making  the  complaint  agrees,  informal  means  will  be  tried  first.

However, if informal procedures are insufficient to resolve the complaint, the Law Center will proceed to an investigation of the complaint in accordance with the procedures provided in the Law Center’s Equal Employment Opportunity Policy.

Every effort will be made to keep all complaints confidential. Only those with a need to know will be informed about the complaint. If an investigation is conducted, the complainant and the subject of the complaint will be notified of the final decision.

No employee or student will be subjected to discrimination or retaliation for making a complaint or otherwise requesting relief under this policy, or for participating in the investigation of any such complaint or request for relief.

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The Illegal or Abusive Use of Drugs

For current information, please check the LSU website.

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jbgoode@law.lsu.edu