Attorney for William Paterson University Students

William Paterson University is a public university located in Wayne, New Jersey in the New York City metropolitan area. The university was founded in 1855 and offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees through five different academic colleges. It hosts approximately 8,800 undergraduate students and 1,500 graduate students. William Paterson University students are expected to follow the school's code of conduct, and violations of it can result in disciplinary hearings or separate criminal charges.

If you are a student at William Paterson University facing either criminal charges or school disciplinary action experienced attorney Joseph D. Lento is here to fight for your rights. You are not alone.

How Legal Representation Can Protect Student Rights

When you face disciplinary action at your school, all of the work, money, and effort you have put into your education and future career are at risk. Whether the alleged violations occurred on or off-campus, the threat to your academic standing is very real. You should not have to watch your hard work go down the drain for a simple mistake or misunderstanding. 

When you face these kinds of allegations, you need an attorney who is highly familiar with the practice area of protecting student rights. The sooner you contact an experienced attorney, the better prepared you will be to defend your case, and the better your possible outcomes can be. Most universities allow an advisor to accompany the student into disciplinary hearings, and having your attorney in the room will help ensure your rights are protected throughout this process.

Without an attorney, you are left to the mercy of bureaucrats who may move through the process with little consideration of your rights, the rules, or how it may affect your future. With an attorney at your side, you can force them to follow their own rules, and avoid disciplinary action on little to no evidence of misconduct.

William Paterson University Student Rights Attorney

William Paterson University requires students to follow the Code of Conduct, and violations of that code may result in disciplinary hearings and punishments. Not every violation has to be a separate crime, or result in a criminal charge.

Title IX Violations

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that is designed to protect individuals from discrimination based on gender in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial aid. It prohibits sex-based discrimination as well as sexual harassment and sexual violence. It also protects those who do not conform to historical notions of gender or masculinity or femininity.

Other types of Title IX violations include, but are not limited to:

  • sexual violence (rape, sexual battery)
  • verbal harassment
  • nonverbal harassment
  • victims of slurs or stereotypes
  • persons held to different standards due to differentiating characteristics
  • requests for sexual favors

If you are a William Paterson University student who has been accused of violating a provision of Title IX, you will now have to deal with the university's Title IX office. The Title IX coordinators will uphold the standards set forth by the law and will hand down punishments for any alleged violations.

If you stand accused of violating Title IX, you need an experienced lawyer to handle your case. These allegations can derail your academic career, and can quickly spiral into separate criminal charges if left undefended by an experienced professional.

General Disciplinary Matters

Violations of the school's Code of Conduct are treated very seriously by William Paterson University, and you should treat your defense just as seriously. Even when the violation is not a separate crime, the sanctions you may face can be severe.

Common violations of the code that may result in disciplinary action include:

  • violations of school alcohol policy
  • academic responsibility violations
  • hazing violations
  • discrimination issues
  • criminal or other misconduct
  • improper use of social media
  • possession of fake ID
  • theft
  • cheating

Academic Misconduct

William Paterson University takes allegations of academic misconduct very seriously, and this includes violations such as:

  • Cheating: Engaging in behavior that permits the student to gain answers to tests through ulterior sources
  • Duplicate Submissions: Submitting for credit the same work more than once (without prior approval)
  • Plagiarism: Claiming another's work as your own without proper citation
  • Interference: Hindering the academic performance of another student

Evidence Standard in Hearings

During a disciplinary hearing, the standard of proof is by a preponderance of the evidence. This is not as high a bar as in criminal cases, where the evidentiary standard is set at beyond a reasonable doubt. You have the right to present your own evidence to defend against any allegations.

Penalties and Sanctions

The types of punishment you face through penalties and sanctions vary significantly based on the alleged conduct. It could range from a warning and counseling, up to suspension and expulsion. In any case, you will want to defend yourself against these accusations.

Appeals Process

William Paterson University does allow for students to appeal unfavorable rulings. The University Hearing Board office will hear complaints, disciplinary hearings. If you receive an adverse ruling, you can appeal your case to the Vice President of Student Development by filing your appeal within 5 days of the unfavorable decision. It must show any one of the following grounds for appeal:

  • Sanctions that seem disproportionate to the policy violation(s).
  • Procedural error of the conduct process described in this document.
  • New information that was not known to the Hearing Officer at the time of deliberation. Please be advised that a student's failure to attend a hearing or provide information during a hearing does not constitute grounds for appeal on the basis of new information.

You do not have to simply accept an adverse decision, you can continue to fight to protect your rights, your reputation, and your education.

Potential Criminal Charges

Are the allegations of student misconduct associated with criminal charges? Often the campus or local agencies of law enforcement may have involvement. Joseph D. Lento has many years of experience defending clients in criminal matters in courts across New Jersey.

William Paterson University Lawyer in New Jersey

Are you a student at William Paterson University who is facing disciplinary action by your school or are facing a criminal charge? You will want to immediately seek the advice of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.

Joseph Lento of Lento Law Firm helps students defend their case, their constitutional rights, and their right to stay in school. Call (888) 535-5336 right now to take advantage of a consultation that will let our firm review your case and discuss your legal options.

Contact Us Today!


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.