Megon Walker, a former Harvard university student, can’t start her legal career and sues the university to court. In 2006 she entered Harvard university, legal department after she completed her bachelor degree in biotechnology from Rochester Institute of Technology.
Megon Walker Learning Goals
When entering Harvard university, Megon aspired to pursue a legal degree so that she could work in patent and technology law. That’s why while studying she showed her interest in writing articles relating patent law, and once she volunteered to write an article about Bilski patent case. Some time before, when the article was finished, and Megon was up to submit it before the deadline, a virus hit her computer, and she lost of the article content there. When Megon addressed her complaint to Harvard help center, they could not recover data, including many citations. Understanding that, Megon asked the editors-in-chief of the law school Bradley Hamburger and Lindsay Kitzinger to give her time to make work done in a proper way, instead they both asked Ms. Walker to submit what she had.
Unexpected Reveal of Plagiarism
Later on, in March, Kitzinger and Hamburger asked Walker to be present at a meeting where they told her about plagiarism in her article and that they gave her case to the disciplinary committee. After graduation Megon Walker could not find job because of the plagiarism accusations that were applied to her diploma. Soon after that she found a job but was dismissed as soon as the Goodwin Procter company owner got to know about plagiarism instance. So, that problem became a real burden for an outstanding student, and she filed a suit where she accused university in being unable to solve an issue that cost her legal career.
There were 4 defendants in court on the behalf of the university: the president, law school dean Ellen Cosgrove, a professor and board chairman Lloyd Weinreb, and two editors-in-chief Hamburger and Kitzinger. The complaint consisted of the following statement:
“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, and 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”.
When being asked, a university spokeswoman Sarah Marston, Hamburger and Kitzinger declined to comment on the situation.
The Reason for Plagiarism Allegation
As it became public later, the reason for plagiarism disclosure was that Hamburger and Kitzinger didn’t want an article to look added with information or unfinished, and didn’t want to miss the deadline. This tricky situation caused the claim for $75 000 in damage and to remove a plagiarism reprimand from Megon Walker’s record.
This student plagiarism allegation is not the only one, as there was similar in Suffolk University where Latina student was accused in plagiarism in her article.