Standards of Conduct
Law students are expected to maintain acceptable standards of conduct in their personal and professional activities at all times. In matters of academic integrity, students are expected to comply with the MC Law Honor Code. Breaches of acceptable standards may result in action by the Dean of MC Law who exercises authority over law students for personal or academic misconduct. This authority is separate and apart from the authority of criminal or civil authorities and is exercised from an education perspective. Education actions may vary depending on the circumstances but may include dismissal from law school. The Honor Code Advisor assists the Dean in resolving allegations of Honor Code violations and other misconduct as set forth in the Honor Code.
Proceedings to examine alleged misconduct are educational proceedings and may vary in form depending on the circumstances. The law student will be provided due process in such proceedings, but does not have the right to have an attorney present in the proceedings. The due process rights are notice, an opportunity to be heard, and notice of the action taken.
Use of Mississippi College computer resources is subject to the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). The AUP can be found at Acceptable Use Policy. Failure to read the AUP does not excuse the student from the requirements and regulations contained therein.
The use, possession, or distribution of illicit drugs by students at MC Law is expressly forbidden and the same shall not be tolerated on any property owned or controlled by Mississippi College, nor shall the same be tolerated at or as a part of any activity undertaken at or under the direction or supervision of Mississippi College. In addition to possible legal sanctions, disciplinary action for violation of this regulation may include expulsion or other severe penalty.
Alcoholic beverages will not be served or consumed on the MC Law campus.
Smoking and Tobacco Use
Smoking and the use of tobacco products within the buildings on MC Law campus by any faculty, staff, student, or guest are strictly prohibited. This includes, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, vapor products or any other e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, snuff, snus, or other smokeless tobacco.
Smoking is limited to the designated smoking areas where signs are posted.
Firearms are not permitted on the MC Law campus except those used by law enforcement personnel in their official capacity.
Mississippi College's policy regarding "Sexual Harassment, Fraternization & Workplace Harassment" is found in Policy 3.11 of the university's Policies and Procedure Manual. MC Law follows those procedures. For other forms of harassment not covered by this policy, MC Law will use the complaint policy above or faculty created procedures (listed below) to resolve those allegations. It should be noted that the normal give and take of the classroom and the utilization of standard classroom teaching procedures involving the questioning of students, challenging student reasoning, and commenting on academic matters does not constitute harassment and will not be subject to these procedures. MC Law is committed to the fair treatment of its students, faculty, and employees and expects actions of those in the MC Law community to reflect the respect and dignity afforded to fellow human beings.
Mississippi College School of Law Harassment Policy
Mississippi College School of Law, as a constituent school of Mississippi College, an institution of Christian higher education, is committed to the belief that human beings are God's creations, equally entitled to dignity and respect. It is the belief of the faculty and administration that lawyers and law students, in particular, should strive to uphold the highest standards of respect for all persons. In keeping with this belief and commitment, the Law School has adopted the following Harassment Policy:
1) Mississippi College School of Law is committed to protecting academic freedom and freedom of expression of all members of the Law School community. This policy of harassment shall be applied in a manner that protects academic freedom and freedom of expression of all parties to a complaint.
2) The law school prohibits harassment on the basis of gender, race, color, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or disability where such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to offend a reasonable person and to unreasonably interfere with such person's academic or work performance or otherwise create a hostile academic or work environment.
3) In addition, Mississippi College School of Law prohibits sexual harassment. Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (a) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person's employment or education; (b) submission to or rejection of such conduct by a person is used as the basis for significant academic or employment decisions affecting such person; or (c) such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to offend a reasonable person and to unreasonably interfere with such person's academic or work performance or otherwise create a hostile academic or work environment.
The following examples of such behavior are meant to be illustrative, but not exhaustive, of conduct that could possibly constitute sexual harassment, if unwanted:
A. Physical assault.
B. Direct sexual propositions, invitations, or other pressure for sexual activity.
C. Subtle pressure for sexual activity, an element of which may be conduct such as leering or ogling.
D. Direct or implied threats that submission to sexual advances will be a condition of employment, work status, promotion, grades, or letters of recommendation.
E. A pattern of conduct not legitimately related to the subject matter of a course, if one is involved, intended to discomfort or humiliate, or both, that includes one or more of the following: comments of a sexual nature or sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes.
F. A pattern of conduct that would discomfort or humiliate, or both, a reasonable person at whom the conduct was directed that includes one or more of the following: unnecessary touching, patting, hugging or brushing against a person's body; remarks of a sexual nature about a person's clothing or body; or remarks about a person's sexual activity or speculations about a person's sexual experience.
G. A pattern of conduct which implies discrimination or hostility toward a person's personal, professional, or academic interests because of sex.
H. Exhibiting lewd photographs or calendars.
4) This policy is intended to protect students, faculty, (including adjunct faculty), administration, and staff (i.e. "the member") from harassment by anyone that the member comes into contact with on the Law School property or as a result of Law School-sponsored or Law School-related events and activities. It is intended to protect the members from harassment by other students, faculty (including adjunct faculty), administration, staff, contractors, visitors, interviewers, and other such persons. The Law School will make its best efforts to prevent and remedy the situation, keeping in mind that the Law School's ability to prevent and remedy the harassment will vary with the amount of control the Law School has over the alleged harasser.
5) Any member of the Law School community who believes the member has been subjected to harassing conduct is encouraged to speak to the Director of Student Services, unless it is inappropriate or uncomfortable for the member to do so. In such a case, the member may speak with the Associate Dean for Academics or the Title IX/EEO Coordinator at Mississippi College. If the member is not satisfied with the resolution, the member may make a written appeal to the Dean of the Law School, or--if the matter involves the Dean--to the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mississippi College. Action on the appeal is final.
6) Any staff or faculty member receiving a report that conduct may be legally actionable shall refer the member to the Director of Student Services, under normal circumstances, but when it is inappropriate to report the matter to the Director of Student Services or as requested by the student, the referral may be made to any of the persons listed to whom such initial reports may be made.
7) All reports made to the Director of Student Services or to any of the listed persons will, if unresolved, be reported to the Dean unless it is inappropriate to do so or at the request of the member. In such a case the incident should be reported to the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mississippi College or to the Title IX/EEO Coordinator at Mississippi College.
8) Any complaint of harassment will be investigated in a fair and expeditious manner. The confidentiality of all parties will be respected to the extent possible insofar as it does not interfere with the Law School's legal obligation to investigate allegations and take corrective measures or as otherwise provided by law. If it is determined that inappropriate conduct has occurred, the Law School will act promptly to eliminate the offending conduct to the extent that it is within the Law School's control. Any retaliation against any person complaining or cooperating in an investigation shall not be tolerated.
9) This policy shall not be construed to impose liability on the Law School or Mississippi College for acts of harassment for which it is not otherwise legally liable; nor shall this policy be deemed to waive any exemptions from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or any other provision of law to which the school may be entitled.
10) The Law School will notify the Title IX/EEO Coordinator of Mississippi College when necessary, to coordinate resolution of complaints.
Listing of Contact Information for Educational Officials at the Law School and at Mississippi College (MC)
Director of Student Services
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Law School Dean
Title IX/EEO Coordinator, MC
Dr. Debbie Norris
Student Complaints Procedure
This procedure is available for resolving student complaints that involve the MC Law program of legal education. Its process-while not mandatory-may also be used to resolve other complaints that directly involve MC Law. This procedure will not be used if there is another procedure that is specifically provided for a certain type of complaint. There is no appeal process for grades, and this procedure does not apply to complaints regarding grades.
When faced with a matter of concern, a student should-as would a wise attorney-attempt to resolve the issue at the lowest level using informal methods. It is often helpful to approach the person with a relationship to the concern and make that concern known. Very often simply making known the concern will permit a discussion and a resolution.
If informal procedures do not provide for a resolution of the concern, a student may make a written complaint to the Associate Dean for Academics (for academic matters), the Director of Student Services (non-academic matters), or another official designated by the Dean. The written complaint should state the nature of the concern, describe what steps were taken in an attempt to resolve the concern, and provide any relevant information which would assist in reviewing the complaint.
The official receiving the complaint will inquire into the matter and work to resolve the complaint. After completing the inquiry and resolution steps, the official will provide a written decision to the student. The official may obtain the assistance of others in this process. There will be no hearings, but the official may discuss this matter with the student.
If the student is dissatisfied with the decision, the student may appeal the decision to the Dean. The appeal should be in writing, must include the basis for the appeal and the reasons why the decision was not appropriate, and include any information that would be helpful in acting on the appeal. The appeal must be received by the Dean's office within 21 calendar days from the date of the decision. The Dean will decide the appeal and provide a written action on the appeal to the student. The Dean's decision is final and may not be appealed.
MC Law will maintain a copy of all complaints, decisions, and appeal actions.
Complaints made in good faith are important to the proper functioning of MC Law and resolving matters of concern to students. No retaliation or adverse action may be taken against a student who submits a complaint in good faith.
The Mississippi State Approving Agency (SAA), is the approving authority of education and training programs for Mississippi. Our office investigates complaints of GI Bill beneficiaries. While most complaints should initially follow the school grievance policy, if the situation cannot be resolved at the school, the beneficiary should contact our office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Complaints Related to ABA Compliance
As an ABA-accredited law school, Mississippi College School of Law (MC Law) is subject to the ABA Standards for Approval of Law Schools.
Under ABA Standard 510, any student at the law school may bring a formal complaint to the law school's administration "of a significant problem that directly implicates the school's program of legal education and its compliance with the ABA Standards." This may include, but is not limited to, concerns about curriculum; academic standards and achievements; course of study; externships; distance education; and study abroad programs.
Students seeking to file a formal complaint related to the program of legal education and compliance with the ABA Standards shall use the following form attached below to submit the complaint.
Filing a Complaint:
Any student at Mississippi College School of Law who wishes to bring a formal complaint to the Administration of the Law School of a significant problem that directly implicates the school's program of legal education and its compliance with the ABA Standards should take the following steps:
- The student complaint should be submitted in writing to the Law School's Associate Dean of Academic Affairs (Associate Dean) by email, U.S. mail, or personal delivery.
- The writing should describe in detail the behavior, program, or process complained of, and demonstrate how it implicates the Law School's program of legal education and the school's compliance with a particular identified ABA Standard.
- The writing must provide the name of the student submitting the complaint, the student's official Mississippi College School of Law email address, and a street address for further communication about the complaint.
Procedures for Addressing Complaints:
When the Associate Dean receives a student complaint, the following procedures will be followed:
- The Associate Dean will acknowledge receipt of the complaint within five business days, excluding days when the law school is officially closed. Acknowledgment may be made by email, U.S. mail, or personal delivery, at the option of the administrator.
- Within 15 business days, excluding days when the law school is officially closed, of acknowledgment of the complaint, the Associate Dean, or his or her designee, shall either meet or correspond with the complaining student, providing a written response to the substance of the complaint or informing the student that additional investigation is needed. If further investigation is needed, the student shall be provided with information about what steps are being taken to investigate the complaint and an estimated date for the completion of the investigation by the law school. The written response to the complaint will specify what steps are being taken to address the complaint.
- After the student receives the written response to the complaint, an appeal may be taken to the Dean of the law school within ten business days, excluding days when the law school is officially closed. The appeal must be in writing and should identify the basis for questioning the original response. Any decision made on appeal by the Dean shall be final.
- A copy of the complaint and a summary of the process and resolution of the complaint shall be kept in the Dean's office for a period of ten (10) years from the date of final resolution of the complaint or until the next review by the Accreditation Committee.
Maintaining a Written Record of the Complaint
- A copy of the complaint and a summary of the process and resolution of the complaint shall be kept in a confidential manner in the office of the Dean for a period of ten (10) years from the date of the final resolution of the complaint or until the next review by the Accreditation Committee.
Protection Against Retaliation
- The Law School will not in any way retaliate against an individual who makes a complaint under this policy, nor permit any faculty member, administrator, employee or student to do so.