Pittsburgh Student Misconduct Attorney

The greater Pittsburgh-area is home to dozens of colleges, universities, technical schools, and other institutions of higher learning. Each school maintains written provisions that address the code of conduct, disciplinary process, and related concerns. The majority of schools permit any student that is subject to allegations of misconduct to choose an adviser that will support and accompany them in these proceedings. It is strongly encouraged that an experienced attorney is retained in this critical role.

Different Forms of College or University Student Misconduct

General Disciplinary Misconduct

Acts deemed as being “general” misconduct may involve underage alcohol possession or possession of illegal drugs. Hazing is another strictly prohibited form of misconduct. Many general forms of misconduct apply to those residing in campus housing including excessive noise, tampering with fire-safety equipment, smoking, etc.

Sexual Misconduct

Acts of sexually-based misconduct are typically handled under the federal guidelines associated with Title IX. This is a civil rights amendment that prohibits all acts of sexually-based discrimination and failing to comply may result in losing eligibility for federal funding. Violations may include obstructing or otherwise impeding someone's ability to participate in any programs or activities based on their gender or sexual orientation. Title IX also pertains to acts of sexual assault, harassment, domestic violence, and more.

Academic Misconduct

There are several examples of academic dishonesty including:

  • Cheating: Deceptive acts committed to gain an academic advantage such as improperly communication with others during an exam
  • Plagiarism: A student may use “words, ideas, phrases, sentences, or data” from another source as if it was their own (original). The actor may copy or paraphrase material without properly referencing (citing) the source.
  • Fabrication: This includes creating false information or alteration of information on key documents.

Why Retain an Attorney-Adviser in Matters of Student Misconduct?

Leaders in higher education today recognize the importance of maintaining a positive public reputation. Negative incidents will reflect poorly on the institution and this news may be circulated quickly via our connected digital landscape, continuous news coverage, and vast social networks.

Colleges and universities are inclined to hold students responsible for acts of potential misconduct, particularly when they suggest that people's rights are being infringed upon or that a lack of campus safety exists. This could translate to sanctions and penalties be imposed that are excessive. Meanwhile, faculty and staff members designated with handling the disciplinary process are increasingly assuming additional responsibility and may move haphazardly without stopping to ensure that the rights of the accused are protected.

Students and their families are often making large commitments of time and financial resources to obtain a college education. This goal can be suddenly shattered if a campus disciplinary process culminates in a suspension or expulsion. Evidence of disciplinary action is also retained in student records and transcripts that may pose significant challenges in seeking admission to another school or graduate-level program or obtaining an internship.

You are encouraged to promptly speak with an attorney after being made aware of the accusations to allow time for preparation to make high-impact statements and to confidently respond to questions. Having knowledgeable representation will better ensure your rights are well-protected. Your attorney may consider engaging in discussions with the proper administrators to reach an amicable resolution that minimizes sanctions.

Experienced Advisory Representation for Student Disciplinary Actions

Are you a student at a Pittsburgh-area college or university that is faced with serious allegations of misconduct? The Lento Law Firm has the skills necessary to effectively obtain a positive outcome. You are encouraged to contact the office at (888) 535-3686 for additional information.

Contact Us 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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