Student Defense Advisor – Philadelphia, Camden, Wilmington

Why would a student need a lawyer? It's a reasonable question. Schools are staffed by teachers, deans, principals, and provosts, not prosecutors and judges. School is meant to be about education, exploration, making new friends, and figuring out who you are. Most problems are handled through stern lectures and detention, right? No one gets sent to prison for plagiarism.

You might be surprised. These days education is serious business. Schools—from elementary schools to graduate schools—are under increasing pressure to perform, and they pass that pressure along to their students. In the current political climate, one student who breaks one rule can ruin a school's reputation. They can't allow that to happen. Your school can't send you to jail, but it can hand out punishments—like suspension or expulsion—that last a lifetime.

If your school is treating you or your child unfairly, if it has made false, unwarranted, or overblown allegations against you, if it is looking to suspend or expel you, you have the right to fight back. Really, given how much is at stake, you have an obligation to fight back. Easier said than done, though, right? Schools are powerful institutions, and just raising questions involves mountains of red tape.

You don't have to do it alone, though. If you're in the Philadelphia metro area, including Philadelphia, Camden, and Wilmington, premier school discipline defense attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento can help you get the justice you deserve.

The Philadelphia Metropolitan Area

The Delaware Valley is large—the seventh largest metro area in the United States. In addition to Philadelphia itself, a city of 1.5 million, the Philly Metro encompasses parts of both New Jersey and Delaware, including Camden, Wilmington, Upper Darby Township, Cherry Hill, and Vineland. Populous in its own right, it also makes up part of what's known as the “Northeastern US Megalopolis,” which contains over fifty million people in total, all of whom move fluidly throughout the region.

The Philly metro area isn't just large, though. It's also richly diverse with a unique history and a population that includes every sort of community, from German- and Irish-Americans to Lenni-Lenape Indians and the Amish. We all know what an important role Philadelphia and the surrounding townships played in the founding of our nation, and the people who live there justifiably have a great deal of pride about their home.

As you might expect, given this particular culture, attorneys in this region face some unique challenges. Philadelphians can be a stubborn lot, for example, and that extends to prosecutors and judges. There's a reverence for tradition, and it can often be hard to change minds that have already been made up. Disputes are common, no surprise given how very different some of the communities can be.

Not every lawyer has the temperament to deal with these challenges. Joseph D. Lento does. Joseph D. Lento has experience working with clients from all over the area, from Dover to Trenton. He knows the system, he knows the players, and he's ready to put that knowledge to work for you.

Philadelphia Metro Area Student Concerns

Students attending schools in the Philadelphia metropolitan area have unique concerns. Of course, like all students, they worry over grades and standardized tests; they have to navigate complex peer relationships; they have to master the educational game, learn how to demonstrate respect to instructors, and practice showing due deference to administrators. Philly isn't like other places, though, and it can present special challenges for students that attend school there.

  • The Philly metro area's diversity extends to its schools. Elementary schools, high schools, colleges, and universities all have diverse student populations that include students from all sorts of cultural backgrounds and all rungs of the socioeconomic ladder. That kind of diversity offers a rich educational experience. It can also lead to frequent misunderstandings, whether between students and other students or students and faculty.
  • Philly schools face a great deal of scrutiny. Everyone in the metro area, whether they have kids or not, thinks they're an expert on education, and everyone believes they have the solution for how things should be run. That's a lot of pressure for the schools themselves to be under. Too often, they pass that pressure along to their students

These concerns can be problems in their own right, but they can also exacerbate the other, more typical problems students deal with. Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's student defense team understand what Philly students face, and they're experienced at handling Philly problems.

Philadelphia Metropolitan Area Schools

Joseph D. Lento has dedicated his career to making sure students are treated fairly. That passion extends to all levels of education, from K-12 students to college, professional school, and even graduate school students. Whatever your school's program, level, or location in the Philly Metro area, the Lento Law Firm can provide you with an effective defense.

For example, the Lento Law Firm has experience working with many colleges and universities in the region, including:

  • University of Delaware
  • Wilmington University
  • Delaware College of Art and Design
  • Haverford College
  • Widener University
  • Neumann University
  • Temple University
  • Drexel University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Swarthmore College
  • La Salle University
  • Bryn Mawr College
  • Villanova University
  • Pennsylvania Institute of Technology
  • Rutgers University, Camden
  • Peirce Colleges
  • Rowan University

In addition, the Lento Law Firm works with students in graduate, professional, technical, military, and specialty programs across the Philly area, such as:

  • Valley Forge Military Academy and College
  • Orleans Technical College
  • Sidney Kimmel Medical College
  • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • University of the Arts
  • Curtis Institute of Music
  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
  • Westminster Theological Seminary
  • Studio Incamminati
  • Missio Theological Seminary
  • Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
  • Saint Francis Medical Center School of Nursing

The Lento Law Firm represents K-12 students and is available to work with students in school districts across the metro area, including:

  • School District of Philadelphia
  • Radnor Township School District
  • Tredyffrin-Easttown School District
  • Lower Merion School District
  • Unionville-Chadds Ford School District
  • School District of Haverford Township
  • School District of Upper Dublin
  • Moorestown Township Public School District
  • Camden City School District
  • Brandywine School District
  • Red Clay Consolidated School District
  • Christina School District
  • Haddonfield Public Schools
  • Central Bucks School District
  • West Chester Area School District

The Lento Law Firm helps private elementary and secondary school students in the Philly metro area as well. This includes schools like:

  • Germantown Friends School
  • Baldwin School
  • Episcopal Academy
  • Haverford School
  • Germantown Academy
  • Hill School
  • George School
  • Friends' Central School
  • Tower Hill School
  • William Penn Charter School
  • Moorestown Friends School
  • Wilmington Friends School
  • Springside Chestnut Hill Academy
  • Malvern Preparatory School
  • St. Joseph's Preparatory School

Disciplinary Defense in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area

What are the specific sorts of problems that tend to show up in educational institutions? Students at all levels, from kindergartners to med students, are subject to a wide variety of disciplinary rules. Generally, however, offenses are grouped into four specific categories:

  • Academic progress: Issues involving how well students are performing in the classroom
  • Academic misconduct: Issues related to gaining any unfair classroom advantage
  • Behavioral misconduct: Issues related to conduct outside the classroom in the broader school community
  • Sexual misconduct: Issues specifically tied to sexually-based offenses, including discrimination and harassment

As experts in student disciplinary defense, the attorney-advisors at the Lento Law Firm are knowledgeable and experienced in all four of these categories.

Academic Progress Issues

A school's first priority is to educate its students, to prepare them for college, for the job market, or for whatever comes next in their lives. There's pressure to do this from parents and from students themselves. There's additional pressure from federal and state governments. Philadelphia schools, for instance, must meet “Core” standards in subjects such as math, science, language arts, and social studies. And, universities aren't immune to such standards. College students may not be subject to standardized testing, but their schools are subject to accreditation requirements.

Under pressure to perform, schools sometimes expect too much of their students. They assign too much work, insist on levels of perfection that are simply unattainable, and then punish anyone who can't keep up.

Under this kind of pressure, schools also make plenty of mistakes themselves when it comes to evaluating their students. Instructors misreport grades. Advisors miscalculate grade point averages.

Whatever your situation particular, Joseph D. Lento is here to make sure your school treats you fairly, that you're held to reasonable standards, and that you aren't punished with unreasonable sanctions.

Academic Misconduct Issues

Cheating and plagiarism are on the rise. That's not especially surprising given the high standards schools maintain these days. The fact is, many students feel like they have no choice but to commit academic misconduct just to keep up. The atmosphere is toxic. More kids cheat, instructors get trigger-happy and start making wild accusations, and everyone is trying to outwit everyone else rather than participating in the project of scholarship.

Of course, no one is suggesting that students should deliberately break the rules. You should avoid:

  • Cheating: The use of unauthorized materials in completing your coursework
  • Plagiarism: Attempting to pass another person's work off as your own without giving them due credit
  • Fabrication: Inventing sources or falsifying lab reports

At the same time, if you're innocent or facing a punishment that's out of proportion to the nature of your offense, Joseph D. Lento can help you take on your school and get the justice you deserve.

Behavioral Misconduct Issues

Schools aren't just educational institutions. They're communities made up of students, faculty, staff, and administrators. Communities need rules if everyone is to get along and the community is to function effectively.

You'll find every school has a Student Code of Conduct. That's true for elementary schools such as Meredith Elementary in downtown Philly and colleges like Bryn Mawr. These codes cover every conceivable type of offense, from vandalism to noise violations. Obviously, different schools focus more or less on particular types of violations, but some offenses show up in virtually every disciplinary policy.

  • Drug possession and distribution
  • Underage alcohol consumption
  • Hazing
  • Discrimination against protected status such as race, color, sex, religion, and disability

Keep in mind as well that schools have become more and more strict in recent years, not just about the kinds of behaviors they allow but also about how they punish offenders. Discipline isn't just about lectures and detention anymore. These days, breaking even the smallest rule can get you suspended or even expelled.

Joseph D. Lento can help keep your academic future on track.

Title IX Sexual Misconduct Issues

Sexual misconduct offenses are unique among disciplinary offenses because they aren't just subject to school policy but to federal law. Title IX prohibits all forms of sexual discrimination and harassment in federally-funded education programs. As a result, most schools have a separate policy for dealing with incidents.

Punishments in these cases can be especially harsh. No school wants to be seen as soft on sexual offenses. The minimum sanction is usually suspension. Expulsion is the most likely sanction.

Because sexual misconduct is subject to federal law, the process of getting justice can be especially complicated. For instance, accused students are entitled to a number of important due process rights, but it's not always clear how to use these to their advantage. Joseph D. Lento knows Title IX. He's familiar with its history and its politics. He's also represented literally hundreds of students, helping them defend themselves from every type of accusation. Whatever you've been charged with, Joseph D. Lento can help.

How Can Joseph D. Lento Help?

Bad things happen to students. You're young; you're still learning; you're going to make mistakes. Hopefully, none of those mistakes are so large they put your academic career in jeopardy. If they should, though, you need a premier school discipline defense attorney-advisor on your side. An unqualified attorney or one who doesn't understand the Philly metro area can do more harm than good. You need an attorney-advisor who is focused on student rights and who has experience dealing with campus justice.

When you retain attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's student defense team, you retain the best available school discipline defense representation. For more information, call 888.535.3686 or go online now.

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.

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, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York 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.