Student Code of Professional Responsibility

Dedman School of Law: Student Code of Professional Responsibility


The law is a learned profession that demands from its members standards of honesty and integrity, and these standards are far higher than those imposed on society as a whole. A dishonest attorney is a menace to the profession and to society. Because there is no reason to believe that dishonest students will become honest attorneys, insistence on the highest ethical standards must begin in law school. This Student Code of Professional Responsibility is dedicated to that end.

The code is designed to assure that each student can be evaluated on his or her own merits, free from the unfairness of competing with students who attempt to enhance their own efforts unfairly. This code describes the obligations of students, faculty and administrators; the composition and jurisdiction of the honor council; and the procedures to be followed in determining whether a student has violated the code and the sanctions that may be imposed. Although law students are subject to this Student Code of Professional Responsibility, as students of Southern Methodist University, they are also subject to the University Student Code of Conduct to the extent that the latter is not inconsistent with this code. (See the University publication SMU Policies for Community Life.)

Although the failure to report one’s own act or another student’s act that may constitute a violation of this code is not itself a violation of this code, it is the sense of the Dedman School of Law community that a student should report conduct that he or she reasonably suspects does constitute a violation.

Read the complete SMU Dedman School of Law Student Code of Professional Responsiblity