Dental Student Appeals

A Selective Process

Dental schools have the same responsibility other professional schools have to graduate only adequately fit, trained, and competent professionals. Dental schools have a necessary role in winnowing, from among their applicants, prospective students who are unprepared or cannot meet character and fitness requirements. That winnowing process in admissions continues through the professional program. Dental schools admit only students who admission officials believe will complete the program, graduate, and practice dentistry competently.

Program Dismissals

Yet not every matriculant does complete the program. Life and circumstances can intervene. Dental schools may judge that a student has not met, or because of illness or other cause cannot meet, the minimum criteria for mastering dentistry's knowledge, skills, and ethics. Dental schools tend to graduate the vast majority of students they admit--but not all of them. Dental schools, like other professional, graduate, and undergraduate programs, also suspend and dismiss students for behavioral issues like alcohol or drug abuse, sexual misconduct, theft, vandalism, or violence.

Imperfect Judgments

When dental schools suspend and dismiss students, they are presumably doing their best to make sound judgments. Yet faculty and administrators in dental programs are not lawyers. They are not generally trained, skilled, or experienced in litigation-like administrative procedures fairly resolving serious disputes over competence, character, and fitness. Deans, professors, and directors can make poor, groundless, biased, conflicted, arbitrary, and capricious judgments suspending and dismissing dental students. What, then, can a suspended or dismissed dental student do to reverse and correct an erroneous, harsh, or unfair decision?

Appeal to the Rescue

Dental students who suffer an adverse decision affecting their academic progress, whether a full dismissal or a suspension or other interruption of their studies toward graduation, should exhaust all avenues for relief. While policies vary from school to school, dental schools routinely provide for appeals of initial decisions. Appeals are an integral part of the process that courts and other dispute-resolution systems judge appropriate to ensure that the process is fair. If you are a dental student who has suffered an adverse decision affecting your academic progress, then retain national academic appellate attorney Joseph D. Lento and his expert team at the Lento Law Firm to pursue your appeal.

What Is an Appeal?

An appeal is not a full second bite at the proverbial apple, but it's close. An appeal is a formal request that a different decision-maker review the initial determination for reversible error. You get a second chance before a different decision-maker, but the chance typically depends on identifying some error or misconduct by the initial decision-maker. Appealing is thus not as simple as presenting to the appeal officials the same arguments and evidence that failed to convince the first decision-maker. Instead, an effective appeal requires the skill of national academic appellate attorney Joseph D. Lento to identify and advocate the specific error or misconduct warranting the initial decision's reversal.

Who Decides an Appeal?

In dental schools, like other professional schools and graduate and undergraduate programs, hearing officers, committees, or boards typically make the initial decision. Those hearing officers may be faculty members, deans, or directors. In some cases involving student conduct, the initial decision-makers may include student representatives. An appeal typically goes to a higher official or group of officials within the school. Those officials may be a dean, director, or department chair over the initial decision-makers or a group of similar school officials. The attorney advocating the appeal of the dental student's suspension or dismissal needs to know the customs, dispositions, and preferences of those appeal decision-makers. National academic appellate attorney Joseph D. Lento's experience in hundreds of student discipline cases nationwide gives him that insight to advocate successful appeals.

How to Pursue an Appeal

Effective appellate advocacy, whether in a dental school administrative proceeding, other school setting, or civil and criminal court systems, is technical and sophisticated, following several critical steps. The dental school's adverse decision typically triggers a very short time within which the student's attorney advocate must notify the school in writing of the appeal. While school procedures differ, the school may or may not give the student and attorney advocate additional time within which to submit the appeal brief. Appeal officials generally decide appeals on the student's written submission. That appeal brief must summarize and cite the evidentiary record, identify the error, advocate its reversal in appropriate relief, and show the school code or other authority on which the appeal depends. Dental students generally lack the time, skill, knowledge, and resources to complete an effective appeal, especially the drafting of the appeal brief. Retain the representation of national academic appellate attorney Joseph D. Lento.

Appeal Results

When your skilled academic attorney advocate succeeds through appeal in reversing the initial decision suspending or dismissing you from dental school, that success restores the goals and dreams that you pursued when going to dental school. School procedures tend to grant the appeal officials the authority not just to reverse the initial decision but to modify it, meaning that an appeal decision could outright reinstate a dismissed student, reinstate the student on probation, or require the student to satisfy other conditions of reinstatement. An appeal result, though, is generally final, at least within the school's own procedures. A win is a win. If you do not prevail on appeal, then consult national academic attorney Joseph D. Lento about other options. Some schools have other officials, such as an ombudsman or in a general counsel's office, who may have authority to provide a dismissed student with relief outside of the usual channels.

Retain Premier Representation

All of the above shows that academic appellate attorney representation is critical to a successful appeal. Appeals require peculiar analysis, writing, and argumentation skills. Simply obtaining and accurately summarizing the hearing record is a highly technical step that most dental students and, for that matter, many lawyers do not know how to do well, not to the high standards that successful appeals must meet. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has devoted his law practice to representing students facing misconduct charges and discipline, successfully representing countless dental students across the United States, including in many appeals. Attorney Lento and his expert team at the Lento Law Firm have the academic knowledge and appellate skills to handle your appeal. Retain national academic appellate attorney Lento to represent you in your dental school appeal today by calling 888.535.3686 or going online.

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.

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