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Student Handbook: General Information C

Candor and Disclosure to the Law School

In signing the Villanova Law School application, every applicant certifies that all information included is complete and accurate. Further, every applicant undertakes a continuing duty to update the information asked in the character and fitness questions of the application (regarding academic and disciplinary actions in academic institutions, criminal charges, and dismissals from employment, etc.). Admitted students also undertake an ongoing duty to update the information requested in these questions. Thus, every student must promptly notify the Assistant Dean of Students and Academic Success (deanofstudents@law.villanova.edu) by email if any incidents occur or information develops after submission of the student’s application, including while in attendance at the Law School, that would be responsive to these character and fitness questions.

In addition, if the student believes they did not include something on their original application that should have been disclosed, the student must promptly notify the Assistant Dean of Students and Academic Success. If you are unsure as to whether or not you should disclose something, you should discuss the matter with the Assistant Dean. The Assistant Dean may impose a community service obligation, require counseling, or other stipulations as a condition of accepting the disclosure.

Please note that many bar examiners request copies of applicants’ law school applications and match these against the background checks that are conducted in conjunction with bar application. Discrepancies will create significant problems for students seeking bar admission and may have serious consequences with respect to students’ status at the Law School.

Certification for Student Practice

In accordance with PA Board of Law Examiners Rules 321-322, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law will certify law students who meet the requirements of Rule 321 and are enrolled in a Law School clinical program or are serving as interns with governmental or nonprofit agencies.

To receive certification under Pennsylvania Rules, the student must complete the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners’ Application for Rule 321 and 322 which can be accessed online at the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners website. The completed form must then be turned in to the Office of Academic Affairs. The Law School also requires the name and attorney number of the attorney who will supervise the student.

Students seeking certification under another Jurisdiction’s rules must follow this procedure and provide a current copy of that state’s certification rules to the Office of Academic Affairs.

Child Abuse Reporting Policy

Any student of Villanova University who accepts responsibility for a child as an integral part of a program, activity or service sponsored by the University or comes into direct contact with a child as part of their employment with Villanova, and has reason to believe that the child has been subjected to child abuse, must immediately report any suspected child abuse in connection with Villanova’s campus to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (“DHS”) via the toll-free ChildLine at (800) 932-0313 or online at http://www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov/. A child is any individual under the age of 18. Within 48 hours of the oral report, the reporting person must follow up with a written report to DHS or the county agency assigned to the case. Immediately after the first notification to DHS, the reporting person must report the suspected child abuse to Villanova’s Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police. Contact Information: Phone – (610) 519-6982; email – david.tedjeske@villanova.edu, or, in his absence, the EVP; Contact information: (610) 519-4532; email – ken.valosky@villanova.edu; and provide a copy of the written report sent to DHS. For additional information regarding what is meant by “child abuse” and the obligation to report child abuse, see Villanova’s Child Abuse Reporting Policy. To the extent that students have any other obligations in connection with suspected child abuse under applicable laws, rules, orders, policies and procedures (e.g., in connection with any professional licensure), such students shall comply with such obligations and nothing in this paragraph or Agreement shall be deemed to interfere with or discharge such obligation.

Classroom Technology

The use of classroom technology, including lectern computers and control panels, is restricted to Law School faculty and staff, or individuals who have been trained by Academic Computing staff. Wired lecterns may not be moved, rotated, disconnected, or otherwise adjusted by anyone except Academic Computing staff or individuals under the supervision of Academic Computing staff, including student workers serving as representatives of the Academic Computing department.

Computers

Computer Facilities

Lexis provides two small printers to which students may print from Lexis only at no charge. They are located in the Library’s second floor copy room. Report problems with the Lexis printers at the Circulation Desk or circulation@law.villanova.edu.

Computers in Class

Students are not required to have laptop computers when coming to Villanova Law; however, many students use laptop computers for taking notes in classes and for Law School exams. Seats in the Law School’s classrooms, seminar rooms and court rooms are wired with AC power outlets for students to plug in their laptop computers. Some professors may not allow laptop use in their classes.

During class, computers should be used only for class-related activities.

Students should be aware that federal law prohibits copying or downloading copyrighted materials, such as computer programs or music files, without a license, unless doing so is a fair use under Federal guidelines.

Law students are able to take final exams on computer, see Computer Use During Exams in the Examinations section under the Academic Policies tab.

Complaint Policy Regarding Program or ABA Standards

A. Reporting a Complaint: The Law School wishes to hear any student concerns about significant problems that directly implicate the school’s program of legal education and its compliance with the ABA’s Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools. Any student having such a concern should submit it in writing to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The complaint should state the facts that form the basis for the complaint and how the matter implicates the Law School’s program of legal education and its compliance with a specific identified ABA standard(s).

B. Resolving the Complaint: When a formal written complaint has been made in accordance with section A, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs shall investigate as soon as possible, but in no event later than 20 business days after the filing of the written complaint with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs shall attempt to resolve the complaint, if possible, within the 20 business day period. If resolution is not possible, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs may refer the matter to the appropriate administrator, administrative body, or an administrative official designated by the Dean (the “Dean’s designate”).
If referral of the complaint is made as referenced above, the administrator, administrative body or Dean’s designate shall attempt to resolve the complaint as soon as possible, but in no event later than 20 business days after referral by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
Upon completing the investigation of the complaint, the Law School shall communicate its findings and, if appropriate, its intended actions to the complainant.

C. Appeal Process: If the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome or resolution, that individual has the right to appeal the decision. The complainant should submit his/her written comments in a timely manner to the Dean of the Law School, but in no case more than two weeks after communication to the complainant of the findings of the investigation. The Dean’s decision shall be communicated to the complainant and the investigator(s) within 20 business days and shall be final.

D. Maintaining a Written Record of the Complaint: The Law School shall maintain a complete written record of each complaint and how it was investigated and resolved. Written records shall be maintained in a confidential manner in the Office of Academic Affairs for seven years from the date of final resolution of the complaint.

E. Protection Against Retaliation: The Law School prohibits retaliation by a faculty member, administrator, staff employee, or student against any student who makes a complaint under this Policy.

F. Not Exclusive Complaint Policy or Procedure: The Villanova Law School Student Handbook contains separate Policies, including among others, those pertaining to sexual harassment or other discrimination complaints and complaints under the Academic Code of Student Conduct or Non-Academic Student Misconduct Hearing Procedure. Where more than one Policy may apply to the complaint, the Law School shall follow the Policy that it deems most appropriate to the situation.

Copyright and Other Intellectual Property

Copyright

All University constituents must respect the rights of software developers and legally abide by federal and local intellectual property and copyright laws and comply with the University’s Copyright Policy.

Users who buy their own software agree to comply with all the provisions imposed by the software vendor in the software license agreement. Unless otherwise specified, the provisions ordinarily limit the user’s right to copy software or they define under which circumstances the software can be copied and the number of copies that can be made.

Unless noted otherwise, users are not permitted to copy software made available by the University to any other computer. Many agreements link software licenses to specific computers by serial number. In the event where a computer is replaced and the software is transferred to another computer, the software agreement needs to be changed accordingly.

All software used on all computers on campus must be properly licensed.

Intellectual Property

In the interest of advancing the scholarly activity of our community, promoting academic integrity, and supporting both individual and institutional interests, the University has established intellectual property policies which govern the recognition, disclosure, publication, and distribution of discoveries made in the normal course of activities at the University. Students, staff, and faculty are all protected and bound by these policies. Please consult the University’s Intellectual Property Policy, linked below, for more information.

Students must comply with all laws and University policy applicable to intellectual property. Intellectual property includes copyrights, patents and trademarks, which are further described in the policies at the link below and the following section titled "use of Name and Trademark."

Use of Name and Trademark

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design (or a combination of them) that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods or services of one party from those of others. The University has registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office trademarks for a variety of the names (and nicknames) of the University as well as its logos, brands, seal, emblem and insignia. Students may not use their University status or the University’s name, trademarks, seal, emblem, insignia, or facilities including the Law School seal, logotype and insignias in any print, video or electronic announcement, advertising or promotional material, publication, correspondence or commercial which could in any fashion be construed as implying University endorsement of any product, project, service or activity. Exceptions to the general prohibition may be granted for students at the discretion of the Vice President for Student Life or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the Law School, in consultation with the Vice President for Communications and the University’s Vice President and General Counsel. For all requests related to the creation of promotional materials (apparel, accessories, gifts) utilizing Law School or University marks (seal, logo), please refer to the Law School’s Licensing Guidelines, linked below.

Copyright Infringement and Illegal File Sharing

The unauthorized copying, sharing or distribution of copyrighted material is strictly prohibited. It is a violation of federal law, the Copyright Act, and of the Policies of the Law School and the University. Students who infringe a copyright may be subject to disciplinary action under the Code of Conduct, up to and including expulsion. For further information on the University policy and Villanova’s plan to combat copyright infringement visit Copyright Infringement and Illegal File Sharing.

Crime Reporting Policy

The University encourages students to report criminal activity immediately to the Department of Public Safety. Public Safety officers are on-duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to reports of crimes on campus. There are several ways to contact Public Safety to report a crime:

  • by calling 610-519-4444 to report a crime in progress;
  • by visiting the Public Safety Department in Garey Hall;
  • by activating a campus emergency phone;
  • through the Department of Public Safety webpage. Crimes may be reported anonymously through the website.