Law Schools

Suit by Jobless Harvard Law Grad Says False Plagiarism Accusation Caused BigLaw Disinterest

A lawyer who graduated from Harvard Law School in 2009 claims the school falsely accused her of plagiarism after she handed in a draft of a law review article that was incomplete because her laptop had been hit with a computer virus.

The suit by Megon Walker says one law firm withdrew an employment offer and another fired her because of the false charge of plagiarism in 2009, report the National Law Journal and Courthouse News Service. Walker’s lawyer, John Markham II, told the NLJ the first firm was Goodwin Procter and the second was a “national firm.”

Walker says she submitted a draft of her salvaged article in the spring of 2009 to the Journal of Law and Technology after she experienced computer problems. According to the suit (PDF), Walker explained the need for revisions, but student editors didn’t allow her to revise the draft and add sources. Walker says she gave the editors a complete list of sources, but they didn’t disclose it when they reported the alleged plagiarism.

“By the false allegation of plagiarism resulting in unfair branding of plaintiff as a cheat and as academically dishonest, defendants have destroyed everything plaintiff has worked so hard to achieve and what she deserves,” the suit says. “The plaintiff is left daily with that shame, no job, alone with only the knowledge that unless she has relief from the court, she will never obtain what she has worked so hard to achieve and what she deserves.”

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