Academic Honor Code

Academic Rules Appendix A



In General


The Honor Code is a tradition at Berkeley Law. Students who are preparing to enter the legal profession are expected to exhibit the same qualities of honesty, responsibility, and respect for the rights of others that are demanded of members of the bar. The Honor Code governs the conduct of students during examinations and in all other academic and pre-professional activities at Berkeley Law. In addition, students are bound by the Campus Rules of Student Conduct, which govern matters such as dishonesty, forgery, and sexual harassment. 

Primary responsibility for respecting the appropriate rules rests with each individual student and with the student body as a whole. Students, faculty and staff are urged to bring apparent violations to the attention of the instructor and/or the dean. The Honor Code can be successful only to the extent that it has the overwhelming support of student and faculty opinion and is taken seriously by everyone.


Enforcement Procedure


A student, faculty, or staff member witnessing any violation or apparent violation of this code should bring the matter to the attention of the dean. After discussion with the alleged violator, the instructor, and other affected or knowledgeable persons, the dean (or the dean’s designated representative) shall determine if informal resolution of the matter is appropriate. If informal resolution is inappropriate, or if the person accused of a violation does not agree to the resolution, the dean shall refer the matter to the campus dean of students for appropriate action under the disciplinary rules and procedures of the Berkeley campus. Informal resolutions may be reported to the Campus Student Conduct Office as needed for their purposes. The dean also has the responsibility to decide whether information pertaining to violations is relevant to bar admissions standards and must be reported to the appropriate state bar authorities. If this is done, the dean shall send a copy, or notice of such report, to the student so reported.


Examinations and Other Academic Activities


The basic guide for a student taking an examination or participating in any other academic activity is a sense of honesty and integrity. Students are expected to rely on their own knowledge and ability, and not use unauthorized materials or represent the work of others as their own. These standards apply also to papers, oral presentations; work in clinical programs, or other activities for which academic credit is assigned, except where the instructor provides otherwise. Examinations at Berkeley Law usually are not monitored, and “take-home” examinations are often employed. Students should be scrupulously careful not to consult materials except as permitted by the rules of the particular examination, not to obtain or receive unauthorized help, and not to continue writing after time has been called. Students who are allowed to take an examination either before or after the normal date should not give or obtain any information about the content of the examination. Because examinations at Berkeley Law are generally graded on the curve system, violations of the letter or the spirit of the rules are violations of the rights of other students, as well as of the standards of integrity required by this school and the legal profession.

Instructors also have an obligation to minimize the likelihood that cheating will occur or that some students will obtain an unfair advantage over others. In particular, instructors should be careful to avoid using old examination questions or questions in use at a neighboring institution if under the circumstances this is likely to provide an opportunity for some students to obtain an unfair advantage. Instructors are also encouraged to cooperate with staff to see that examinations are fairly and efficiently administered.




Due to the library’s central importance in furthering research and study, and the heavy use of library materials by law students and others, it is important that the posted rules of the library be strictly observed; violation of library rules is a violation of the Academic Honor Code. In particular, mutilation or theft of library material is absolutely forbidden. (It also is a criminal offense.) Any violation should be reported promptly to the dean for appropriate action in consultation with the librarian. All law library users, including students, should cooperate to see that materials are returned promptly as required under the rules and that they are reshelved or made available for reshelving promptly after use.


Career Development Office and Placement Activities


The policies of the Law School Career Development Office should be scrupulously observed. Students are expected to observe the basic standards of honesty, integrity, responsibility, and respect for the rights of others when using the Law School Career Development Office and in other placement activities. For example, any falsification or misrepresentation of law school grades or other records, recommendations, or other qualifications is a violation of the Academic Honor Code. Similarly, no student may take any improper action to gain an unfair advantage or place any other student at an unfair disadvantage in the career planning or placement activities of the school, whether strictly within the Career Development Office or more generally.