Many students and parents do not seek assistance in school disciplinary procedures until it is too late in the process and the inevitable punishment has been handed down. Coming to terms with a suspension or expulsion can lead many to fret asking for help from a professional. Regardless, it is vital that you hire a national academic attorney immediately to preserve you or your child's educational future.
While many lawyers have the competency to serve clients well in the court of law, those skills do not translate into proven tactics used in disciplinary hearings with school administration officials. Very few lawyers have the stellar academic administrative skills and finesse necessary to win or negotiate relief from harsh college or university punitive measures.
It is futile to retain an inexperienced local lawyer that has given you the run-around about how they have been a pillar of the community's defense for years and that they know the players in the game. What you need if you have been suspended or expelled from a Michigan college or university is an attorney-advisor with the knowledge, skills, and reputation to gain you much-needed relief. Your goal should not be to engage your school in local litigation that could last for months or even years. Your goal should be to gain prompt, private, negotiated relief that gets you back in school to complete your degree.
Appealing Disciplinary Measures
Suppose your Michigan college or university has already placed you on a term of separation like suspension or has completely dismissed you from your school for unsatisfactory academic progress or any other form of misconduct. In that case, you have the right to appeal in the effort to challenge the school's action and restore your good standing as a student. Likely, you have already been briefed on the hectic appeals process at your college or university.
Most institutions of higher education in Michigan and elsewhere detail in their code of conduct that appeals may be filed for the following reasons:
- Proper appellate procedures were not followed
- Sanctions/punishments levied on the student are insufficient or excessive
- New evidence emerges that was not available at the time of the disciplinary hearing
Students and their advisors have up to ten academic calendar days after the administration has determined responsibility regarding the allegation to appeal the decision to suspend or expel. Nevertheless, a student living out this scenario may become overwhelmed by their academic career and future opportunities threatened. Moreover, how will they know the disciplinary board adhered to the proper guidelines, that new evidence became available, and that the punishment handed down can be proven excessive given the charges? Most students are not prepared for these types of situations, especially when they are focused on their studies and need a professional to guide them through the process.
Separation from Studies
Colleges and universities may seek to separate a student from the institution for a failure to achieve "satisfactory academic progress" (SAP) in a specific timeframe. Each institution may establish its policy on what constitutes satisfactory academic progress, including specific criteria for minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) and credit load requirements, but schools tend to have similar definitions, which will be explained in their code of conduct.
Schools in Michigan, though, sometimes make mistakes in applying their SAP policies, leading to the unfair dismissal of students whose academic performance meets or would meet the guidelines if the school administration properly juxtaposed the institution's SAP policy with the student's circumstances. SAP appeals also typically permit a student to show compelling extenuating circumstances excusing the student's lack of progress in the given timeframe. Those circumstances can include many unfortunate but relatively common life events such as illness, injury, or the death of a family member, among others.
Schools make mistakes. Discipline can occur against hardworking, committed, honest students of good character. School administration officials may also act on false or exaggerated accusations and serve other interests, even carrying out hidden agendas. Remember, the college and university disciplinary process is not the same as a court of law. Therefore, a student does not have to be afforded due process. Between the streams of federal funding an institution of higher education may receive and attempts to paint a certain public picture in today's political and cultural climate, schools do not hesitate to separate students from their studies.
Just because your Michigan college or university has given up on you, that does not mean you should. Do not sit idly by and let them ruin your education and future with unfair discipline. Instead, pursue professional assistance and preserve your opportunity to obtain the education you desire. You have avenues for relief about which you are unaware, even if your school has already handed down a punishment. It's imperative to retain national academic attorney Joseph D. Lento and the expert team at the Lento Law Firm. Their experience defending students in Michigan and across the country has a proven track record and is paramount in their service to their student clientele.
What Are The Consequences of Suspension or Expulsion?
The stakes are high when a Michigan college or university student faces suspension or expulsion for lack of academic progress or misconduct discipline. Unless effectively challenged by a national academic attorney, a separation from school ends the opportunity to complete the degree that the student was pursuing when dismissed. It can also prohibit a student's transfer to or enrollment in other schools.
For example, the University of Michigan details in its undergraduate admissions process that all prospective students are required to disclose and explain any prior or pending allegations of academic or disciplinary misconduct at any secondary school, college, or university. As well, the University of Michigan's College of Engineering requires the public disclosure of current and previous violations upon request by third parties.
Any separation from school can hinder your chances for progress in both the academic and professional world. Suspension or expulsion can impact a student's ability to qualify for financial aid or receive scholarships. Suppose a student receiving financial aid through a federal grant is required to separate from the college or withdrawal from a program. In that case, the student may have to reimburse the federal government, which can ruin a student's credit score and cause a long-lasting financial impact. Also, an allegation of misconduct could mean a student will be less competitive among the private scholarship applicant pool the following year. Some applications require a copy of the student's record and disclose any investigations into misconduct.
Furthermore, disciplinary investigations may have to be disclosed on some applications for professional licenses and applications for a federal clearance required for many government jobs. Indeed, any measure of discipline can interfere with academic honors, awards, scholarships, recommendation letters, references, internships, and career opportunities.
What Can Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm Do?
You may believe that when you're faced with a suspension or expulsion from school that a friend of your parents in their Michigan hometown is the best person to call to fix the situation. After all, your parents have known them for years, so they'll defend you properly, right? This incorrect manner of thinking can lead you to suffer the consequences listed above and derail your academic and professional career just to please a family friend. You need a proven expert in handling student disciplinary cases.
Joseph D. Lento has represented hundreds of students in Michigan and throughout the U.S. in student discipline cases and has always fought against school administration officials to protect his clients and preserve their futures.
Attorneys usually start with issuing threats of lawsuits at Michigan colleges and universities when students retain their help in the attempt to remain in school. However, it is not an effective strategy in providing a more favorable outcome to protect a student's career. While a formal suit is a possible strategy, in many instances, Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have brokered a beneficial resolution on behalf of the student with the school's Office of General Counsel (OGC).
Countless experiences like that have helped Lento and his team form fruitful relationships with many representatives in schools' internal OGC and those representing the school retained from regional law firms. He and his team know how to help college and university officials see positive options that serve both the student and the institution far better than suspension, expulsion, or other harsh and punitive forms of discipline. That is the value proposition the Lento Law Firm promotes: an acceptable negotiation that the school can live with, and the student and their family not only accept but are very pleased with to preserve the student's opportunity to continue and complete their desired and highly-valued education.
For expert advice from a proven national academic attorney defending students in Michigan and throughout the U.S., call 888-535-3686 to discuss how Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm can defend you.