When you're facing a possible dismissal from a university in Maryland, procrastinating is one of the worst decisions you can make. Your school likely has a rigid schedule for adjudicating your case, which means you have a limited time to prepare your defense.
Our firm is ready to help you now. With a dismissal will come a slew of life-changing consequences. Our goal is to help you avoid dismissal and the harm that expulsion causes.
The Lento Law Firm assists students facing dismissal in Maryland, including but not limited to students attending:
- University of Maryland
- Johns Hopkins University
- Loyola University Maryland
- Saint Mary's College of Maryland
- University of Maryland - Baltimore County
- Towson University
We know that there are many more universities throughout the state, and we are prepared to help you seek leniency from your respective university. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team have experience representing many students and helping many of them avoid a pending dismissal. We will seek an outcome that you are happy with.
Your university may offer multiple ways to resolve your case. We will explore every option available to you, from arguing your case in a hearing to contacting your school's Office of General Counsel.
If You've Waited to Get Legal Help, All Is Not Lost
Whether you or your child is facing dismissal, don't beat yourself up if you've waited to retain the services of an attorney-advisor. However, you shouldn't wait any longer to retain our services.
Many students and parents believe that their university will assure a just outcome to their case, only to find that the school orders an unceremonious dismissal. There are options for changing your university's decision—even if you've already completed an unsuccessful appeal. If you're seeking a last-resort resolution, don't wait to contact our firm.
If you have yet to complete the appeals process, or if you're at an even earlier stage in the adjudication process, we can also help. Wherever you or your child are in the university's disciplinary process, accept our legal help as soon as possible.
What Is On the Line If You Suffer a Dismissal
Being dismissed from university can create lifelong challenges. Our firm has seen the devastating effects of students who are dismissed for:
- Poor academic performance
- Alleged academic misconduct
- Alleged sexual misconduct
- Alleged unprofessional behavior
- Alleged misconduct as a member of a fraternity or sorority
- Other alleged infractions or shortcomings
The prospect of a dismissal is, in almost every case, overwhelming. Those with their futures on the line do not always act in a measured manner and may wrongfully assume that the university is representing their best interests. Make no mistake: a university represents itself and may not hesitate to dismiss or suspend you or your child.
In many cases, we've seen students wait too long to ask for an attorney's help or fail to ask for help at all. These students may never properly fight their dismissal and, as a result, may:
- Lose their academic progress and financial aid because they're disenrolled from the university
- Have difficulty re-enrolling in a new university
- Lose out on graduate school opportunities, jobs, and other goals because of their dismissal
- Develop self-esteem issues, a sense of failure, and other personal problems
We understand the gravity of these consequences and wish them upon nobody. Our team will fight tirelessly to spare you from such hardship.
If You Have an Appeal Opportunity Available, We'll Lead the Process
If you have the chance to appeal, we will maximize that opportunity. Our firm is familiar with filing appeals at universities nationwide, and we'll handle your appeal as well.
Each university has its own protocol for filing appeals, including filing deadlines, appropriate recipients, and grounds for appeal. At Johns Hopkins University, for example, undergraduate students can appeal a certain grade, but they cannot appeal a decision of academic probation or dismissal related to poor academic standing. Other universities in Maryland, on the other hand, may allow you to appeal a dismissal for poor academic performance (or other reasons).
At Towson University, students have far more leeway to appeal a decision of dismissal. Students at Towson “may appeal any outcome of the disciplinary process,” and the university may even hear an appeal “on an as-needed basis.”
This sort of variance illustrates why having an experienced advisor on your side is so important. Your attorney-advisor will gather information about your school's policies as quickly as possible, then act appropriately within the scope of those procedures.
If necessary, the Lento Law Firm will seek a resolution outside of the typical adjudication and appeal processes.
Our Firm Will Negotiate With Your School's General Counsel—This Is Our Value Proposition to You
The Office of General Counsel (OGC) may go by a different term at different universities. Even so, this office's function is largely the same from school to school. In most cases, the OGC is a team of attorneys that advises university leadership on a wide array of matters—including specific cases of student discipline.
As one example, the University of Maryland OGC's mission is to “help our university clients fulfill their educational, research, and entrepreneurial missions in accord with the many legal and policy requirements applicable to public research universities.” Faculty members and administrators are encouraged to “consult with an OGC attorney when legal issues arise during the course of university activities or business.”
While your case likely has not yet become a legal issue, it could. Before resorting to any legal measures, though, attorney Joseph Lento will negotiate in good faith with your school's Office of General Counsel.
Some law firms resort immediately to threats of litigation. This is not our approach. Though we are always prepared to file any necessary lawsuit, we'll first attempt to broker a resolution with your school's OGC. In many cases, universities—following the advice of counsel—are motivated to stay out of litigation, sparing expense, and unwanted publicity.
If negotiations with your school's OGC are not successful, we'll discuss the possibility of a lawsuit with you. In many cases, this discussion is not necessary, as we secure a non-litigious resolution that the client is pleased with.
Hire the Lento Law Firm to Resolve Your Pending Dismissal—Don't Settle for the “Local” Lawyer
Some parents of students facing dismissal, and the students themselves, respond poorly to the pressure of a possible dismissal from the university. In such cases, the family may retain the “local” attorney, hoping that they'll be familiar with the university because of their geographic proximity to the school.
In reality, geography is not generally important when hiring a law firm for your defense. The firm's experience with student discipline defense, as well as their reputation for results, are far more important.
The Lento Law Firm focuses heavily on defending students. We don't just believe that experience matters when fighting on a student's behalf—we know it matters. We represent students facing dismissal at universities from coast to coast and even outside of the United States.
Our experience leading students' defenses has:
- Given us a unique perspective into how universities handle disciplinary cases
- Taught us that, while each university has its own protocols, many universities handle discipline in a similar manner
- Allowed us to see the devastating consequences of not retaining a qualified attorney—some students reach out to us with stories of ineffective representation
- Positioned us to defend students effectively, regardless of where they go to school
Lead attorney Joseph D. Lento has assisted students accused of everything from chronic academic underperformance to sexual misconduct. A proper defense is a fundamental right in America, and that right extends to those facing dismissal from their university.
Your case is about far more than being booted or suspended from school. The implications of student discipline are generally lifelong. Allow our team to help you seek a positive outcome to this trying time in your life.
Call the Lento Law Firm Today
Our team will lead your case from start to finish. We'll attend any case-related meetings that we're permitted to accompany you to. If you must complete any hearings or appeal reviews, we can lead those processes.
Our firm offers you a capable lead attorney, experienced legal staff, committed investigators, expert consultants, and a bevy of resources. Our mission is to be effective for each client we represent. Don't settle for the run-of-the-mill lawyer, as your future is at stake.
Universities sometimes believe that dismissing a student can have a positive effect, causing them to redirect to another field of study. Studies show that this is not the case, and our firm will argue that—under the right conditions—the best outcome is for you to remain at your current university.
Let us deliver you from the hardship that can come from a dismissal. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888.535.3686. You may also submit your case details online if this is more convenient for you. In any case, act quickly.