Defense for Title IX Investigations in Illinois

Title IX of the Education Amendments is a federal law that prohibits gender-based discrimination in federally funded institutions. The vast majority of higher education institutions in Illinois are funded by the federal government in some capacity, this means that Title IX is enforced in many of the state's colleges and universities. Sexual misconduct in all of its variations - sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence etc. - is legally regarded as gender discrimination. Therefore, any actions that constitute sexual misconduct is considered a violation of Title IX. In compliance with federal guidelines, colleges and universities must internally adjudicate all complaints of sexual misconduct committed by and/or against college students.

Schools use the Title IX process to determine potential violations. During this process, students will need the assistance of an outside party, known as an advisor.

The Role of an Advisor

People who bring allegations (complainants) and those who respond to said allegations (respondents) are afforded the right to choose anyone they would like to serve as their advisor. This right is extended because all parties will need all the help they can get to navigate the complex Title IX process. Choosing the right attorney will make all the difference in the outcome of a respondent's case.

The Benefits of Choosing an Attorney as Your Advisor

An attorney's assistance is invaluable in the Title IX process. They've likely been through the process numerous times and understand the full extent of what respondents should do to adequately prepare for an investigation or hearing. An attorney can ensure that a respondent's rights are protected.

The Title IX Process

  • A complaint is filed: Colleges and universities encourage each and every member of the campus community to report any alleged instances of sexual misconduct. Therefore, virtually anyone can file a complaint, from spectators to school staff and faculty.
  • Interim measures: Once a complaint is filed, an institution's main concern is to keep complainants and the campus community from retaliation. In an effort to prevent this from happening, a college may deem it appropriate to impose interim measures upon respondents. These measures could consist of a no-contact order, housing reassignments, class schedule changes, restricted access to certain parts of campus, and more.
  • The investigation: A formal investigation will be conducted by the school. At many schools, the Title IX process ends here. During this phase, an investigator interviews complainants, respondents, witnesses, and any other relevant parties to collect information. Based on the facts, the investigator will produce a finding and determination.
  • The hearing: Other schools resolve Title IX matters via hearing. A hearing is the final opportunity for all sides to share their account of the alleged incident. A panel comprised of students and staff will listen to testimony, witness accounts, statements and the presentation of evidence during a hearing. After it has concluded, the panel will deliberate and come up with a finding.
  • Sanctions: If an investigator or hearing panel determines that a respondent is indeed “responsible” for violating Title IX, a range of sanctions may be imposed in response. Respondents have been subject to treatment orders, scholarship removal, suspension, and expulsion.
  • Appeals: An appeal is a request for a school to reconsider its decision based on an error made at some point during the process. Any party that is dissatisfied with a final decision has the right to appeal.

Illinois Title IX Advisor

If you attend an Illinois college or university and are facing sexual misconduct allegations, it is crucial you contact an attorney. For students who haven't been through this process before, it can be confusing and scary. Preparation is the key to favorable results. Skilled legal professional Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience preparing respondents for an investigation and the entire Title IX process. Contact him today for help.

Illinois colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your student's Title IX advisor during investigations (in addition to hearings and appeals) include, but are not limited to, the following schools:

  • American Academy of Art
  • American InterContinental University Online
  • Argosy University Chicago
  • Argosy University Schaumburg
  • Augustana College
  • Aurora University
  • Benedictine University
  • Black Hawk College
  • Blackburn College
  • Bradley University
  • Carl Sandburg College
  • Chamberlain College of Nursing Illinois
  • Chicago State University
  • Christian Life College
  • City Colleges of Chicago Harold Washington College
  • City Colleges of Chicago Harry S Truman College
  • City Colleges of Chicago Kennedy King College
  • City Colleges of Chicago Malcolm X College
  • City Colleges of Chicago Olive Harvey College
  • City Colleges of Chicago Richard J Daley College
  • City Colleges of Chicago Wilbur Wright College
  • College of DuPage
  • College of Lake County
  • Columbia College Chicago
  • Concordia University Chicago
  • Danville Area Community College
  • DePaul University
  • DeVry University Illinois
  • Dominican University
  • East West University
  • Eastern Illinois University
  • Elgin Community College
  • Elmhurst College
  • Eureka College
  • Fox College Inc .
  • Greenville College
  • Harper College
  • Harrington College of Design
  • Heartland Community College
  • Hebrew Theological College
  • Highland Community College
  • Illinois Central College
  • Illinois College
  • Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Frontier Community College
  • Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Lincoln Trail College
  • Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Olney Central College
  • Illinois Eastern Community Colleges Wabash Valley College
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Illinois State University
  • Illinois Valley Community College
  • Illinois Wesleyan University
  • International Academy of Design and Technology Chicago
  • ITT Technical Institute Mount Prospect
  • ITT Technical Institute Oak Brook
  • ITT Technical Institute Orland Park
  • John A Logan College
  • John Wood Community
  • Joliet Junior College
  • Judson University
  • Kankakee Community College
  • Kaskaskia College
  • Kendall College
  • Kishwaukee College
  • Knox College
  • Lake Forest College
  • Lake Land College
  • Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Chicago
  • Lewis and Clark Community College
  • Lewis University
  • Lexington College
  • Lincoln Christian University
  • Lincoln College
  • Lincoln Land Community College
  • Loyola University Chicago
  • MacCormac College
  • MacMurray College
  • McHenry County College
  • McKendree University
  • Methodist College of Nursing
  • Midstate College
  • Millikin University
  • Monmouth College
  • Moody Bible Institute
  • Moraine Valley Community College
  • Morrison Institute of Technology
  • Morton College
  • National Louis University
  • North Central College
  • North Park University
  • Northeastern Illinois University
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Northwestern College
  • Northwestern College Southwestern Campus
  • Northwestern University
  • Oakton Community College
  • Olivet Nazarene University
  • Pacific College of Oriental Medicine Chicago
  • Parkland College
  • Prairie State College
  • Quincy University
  • Rend Lake College
  • Richland Community College
  • Robert Morris University Illinois
  • Rock Valley College
  • Rockford Career College
  • Rockford College
  • Roosevelt University
  • Saint Augustine College
  • Saint Xavier University
  • Sanford Brown College Collinsville
  • Sanford Brown College Hillside
  • Sauk Valley Community College
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Shawnee Community College
  • Shimer College
  • South Suburban College
  • Southeastern Illinois College
  • Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • Southwestern Illinois College
  • Spoon River College
  • Taylor Business Institute
  • Telshe Yeshiva Chicago
  • The Illinois Institute of Art Chicago
  • The Illinois Institute of Art Schaumburg
  • Trinity Christian College
  • Trinity College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Trinity International University
  • Triton College
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • University of Illinois at Springfield
  • University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
  • University of Phoenix Chicago Campus
  • University of St Francis
  • VanderCook College of Music
  • Vatterott College Quincy
  • Waubonsee Community College
  • Western Illinois University
  • Westwood College Chicago Loop
  • Westwood College Dupage
  • Westwood College O'Hare Airport
  • Westwood College River Oaks
  • Wheaton College

It is critical to make certain the Title IX investigation at your college or university is handled properly and that the accused student's or employee's interests are protected from as early as possible during the sexual misconduct investigative process.  One major reason is because even at schools where a finding of responsibility for sexual misconduct charges is made at a hearing, the investigation will set the stage for what the hearing panel is provided prior to a hearing (and what the hearing panel will in large part rely on at a hearing), and at schools where the finding of responsibility is made solely through the investigative process, what takes place during the investigation itself will determine whether the accused is found responsible or not responsible for Title IX charges.

Unfortunately, some students, families, and college employees make the mistake of not taking the necessary precautions as soon as possible when accused of sexual misconduct.  Some people will mistakenly believe that if they "just explain what happened," their school will be fair and impartial and will arrive at the truth.  In a perfect world this may be the case, but in a perfect world, sexual misconduct and Title IX charges would not exist. 

Fighting passionately for the future of his clients at universities and colleges throughout the nation for a decade, Joseph D. Lento knows how important it is to mount the strongest defense because he understands that an accused's academic and professional future is on the line. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as a Title IX advisor and educational consultant to students facing sexual misconduct investigations and disciplinary cases in Illinois and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.

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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 our offices 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, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton 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.

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