Academic and Disciplinary Hearings and Appeals

Students at a higher education institution are required to comply with the institution's code of conduct. This code details school policy, disciplinary processes, and potential repercussions for violations. When a student does something that constitutes a violation of the code of conduct, schools are coaxed to take some sort of corrective action. Oftentimes, the college or university's disciplinary board reviews the complaint and schedules a disciplinary hearing to sort out the alleged misconduct.

Disciplinary hearings

Experience demonstrates that students at times tend to have fairly lax attitudes about disciplinary hearings. The same graduate student who would spend hours on end studying for an exam, or undergraduate student who would rehearse their presentation countless time before presenting, will whiz into a disciplinary hearing without making preparations. They seem to have developed a naive attitude about these processes, thinking that if they simply tell the truth, things will be fine. Or they may have shrugged off the charges, and have convinced themselves that the hearing and its outcome are not a big deal. This couldn't be further from the truth.

The reality is, if the charges are serious, there is a lot at stake for a student. Students have documented walking into a hearing unprepared and being bombarded with difficult questions that they weren't able to answer expressively or persuasively. Some students who believed that the “truth” was enough gave confusing accounts of events and saying things they shouldn't say out of frustration. And before they know it, they are facing repercussions that make continuing their education difficult, and that will impair their future.

This is why it's important for students to retain legal counsel. This false sense of security that students often adopt is not reality, as schools will not hesitate to expel you if they see fit. The skills that attorneys use to defend their clients in cases, are the same skills you'll need to effectively make your case. A skilled attorney will give you useful pointers, ensure that the hearing is fair, and preserve the rights you are entitled to by a school.

Attorney Joseph D. Lento handles cases of academic or disciplinary disputes involving:


For the best hearing outcome, it pays for students to retain an attorney immediately when they receive word of the allegations. However, some students wait until they receive an unfavorable determination. Even in this phase of disciplinary processes, an attorney can help you score an appeal.

An appeal is a procedure that permits an institution to review a decision it has previously made. However, it cannot be granted on mere dissatisfaction, it must be based on valid reason or grounds. An attorney can help you include supporting evidence for these grounds and maximize your chances of being granted an appeal.

Nationwide Student Defense Attorney

Students have a right to a fair hearing, and they have a right to appeal a determination. In order for these efforts to be successful, it's important to have a knowledge attorney or advisor on your side. Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience helping students in these predicaments come out on top, and he can do the same for you, whether in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. Contact him today for help at 888-535-3686.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.