Student Defense Advisor - San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose

From UC-Berkeley to Stanford University, the San Francisco Bay area is renowned as a hub of educational innovation, with its universities playing a key role in that reputation. The highly competitive example set by Silicon Valley trickles down not only to universities but to high schools, middle schools, and even elementary schools.

Students in the Bay Area generally feel great pressure to succeed, and this pressure can cause outsized temptation to cut corners in order to get ahead—or simply stay with the pack. Even students who never stray from behavioral expectations can find themselves the victim of false allegations or may make a mistake that compromises their future.

If you are a university student, or parent of any student in the San Francisco metropolitan area, the Lento Law Firm will seek the best possible resolution for you or your student. We can assist any student facing negative consequences for academic hardship, alleged behavioral or academic misconduct, or a Title IX-related allegation.

San Francisco Metropolitan Area - Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose

As you may know, the San Francisco metro area includes the core cities of Oakland, Berkeley, and San Jose. For the purpose of this article, though, we'll include educational institutions in these areas and nearby cities, including:

  • Oakland
  • Berkeley
  • San Jose
  • Alameda
  • Palo Alto
  • San Rafael
  • Hayward
  • Fremont
  • Modesto
  • Montecito
  • Stockton
  • Santa Cruz
  • San Mateo
  • Santa Rosa
  • Napa

This geographical area lays claim to many renowned learning institutions. Whichever school you or your student call their own, our team is ready to resolve your student defense issue in the San Francisco metroplex.

Our Firm Represents Students Attending Schools in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and San Jose

The Lento Law Firm has a healthy respect for the educational landscape in the Bay Area and surrounding cities, so much so that we're familiar with many of the schools in the area. We have also helped students at several of these schools overcome student discipline quandaries.

We serve students who attend:

Colleges and Universities in the San Francisco Metro Area

San Francisco and surrounding cities host some of the best universities in the nation, including:

  • Stanford University
  • University of California-Berkeley
  • University of San Francisco
  • San Francisco State University
  • City College of San Francisco
  • California State University, East Bay
  • San Jose State University
  • Golden Gate University
  • University of California, Davis
  • St. Mary's College
  • Menlo College
  • Dominican University of California
  • Mills College
  • Sonoma State University
  • College of San Mateo
  • Napa Valley College
  • San Jose City College
  • Sofia University
  • College of Alameda
  • College of Marin
  • University of Silicon Valley
  • Holy Names University
  • Santa Clara University
  • Other colleges and universities throughout San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose, and surrounding areas

These universities have high expectations for their students. Whether academic pressure or other factors have led you or your student into hot water, our firm is here to help.

Graduate and Specialty Collegiate Programs in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose, and Surrounding Locales

Embracing the Bay Area's culture of individuality, specialty universities and graduate programs allow students to pursue their unique academic interests. We assist students who are attending:

  • California College of the Arts (CCA)
  • Academy of Art University
  • San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • San Francisco Art Institute
  • California Institute of Integral Studies
  • Cal Maritime
  • Graduate programs at UC-Berkeley, Stanford University, University of San Francisco, and other colleges and universities in the San Francisco metroplex

If your university is not present on either of these lists, do not be concerned. The Lento Law Firm may still lead your defense, so contact us today.

K-12 Private Schools

In today's competitive educational climate, the elementary, middle, or high school a student attends can be just as important as their university. We'll work to ensure that your student remains in good standing at their K-12 private school. We represent those attending:

  • San Francisco High School of the Arts
  • The College Preparatory School
  • The Nueva School
  • Castilleja School
  • Junipero Serra High School
  • Crystal Springs Upland School
  • Head-Royce School
  • The Quarry Lane School
  • The Harker School
  • The Branson School
  • Lick-Wilmerding High School
  • Menlo School
  • San Francisco University High School
  • Urban School of San Francisco
  • BASIS Independent Silicon Valley
  • Marin Academy
  • The Athenian School
  • Woodside Priory School
  • Pinewood School - Upper Campus
  • Bentley School
  • San Domenico School

Again, these are just some of the more prominent private schools in the Bay Area—not a comprehensive list of the schools we service. We can help you with any issue that your student may be facing, regardless of which grade they're currently in or which school they attend.

K-12 Public Schools

We serve students and parents whose school falls within:

  • San Francisco Unified School District
  • Palo Alto Unified School District
  • Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District
  • Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District
  • Acalanes Union High School District
  • Fremont Union High School District
  • Tamalpais Union High School District
  • San Mateo Union High School District
  • Piedmont City Unified School District
  • Pleasanton Unified School District
  • Berkeley Unified School District
  • Alameda Unified School District
  • Santa Clara Unified School District
  • Other school districts in San Francisco and surrounding cities

We extend our student defense services to every student in the San Francisco metro area. If your child is facing discipline of any kind in the Bay Area, let the Lento Law Firm fight for the best possible outcome.

The Lento Law Firm Assists With All Student Defense Issues in the San Francisco Metro Area

The student experience is a comprehensive one. Whether the student is in the classroom, in the sporting arena, relaxing in the courtyard, or engaging in social activities, their decisions generally fall under the scope of their school's behavioral policies.

As a student or parent, you may feel a strong allegiance to your school of choice. You must know, though, that such allegiance does not always run both ways. If decision-makers at the University of San Francisco, Woodside Elementary School, or another institution deem it necessary, they will take unfavorable action against you or your student.

Having an attorney to advise and protect you or your student can be invaluable. The Lento Law Firm offers attorney-advisor services that reflect the variety of challenges that students of all ages face. We can assist you or your student with:

Academic Progression Problems

Most schools have minimum academic expectations of students. This is especially true of those schools in which students receive federally funded financial aid. As UC-Berkeley's literature explains, only students who meet Satisfactory Academic Performance (SAP) standards are eligible to receive financial aid. Specific schools or programs, and graduate programs, in particular, may have even higher academic standards that you or your student must meet to progress towards graduation.

Failing to progress academically can have several consequences, including:

  • Having a failing grade or incomplete grade on your transcript
  • Having to withdraw from a course, which may reflect on your academic record
  • Placement on academic probation, which may be a step toward even more severe consequences
  • Having to repeat an entire year or semester of coursework, which you or your student will likely have to explain to admissions boards or prospective employers
  • Suspension or dismissal from school

There are often explanations for poor academic performance. Mental health troubles, unfair treatment by a teacher, and losses in the family are three possible explanations for your or your student's own academic difficulties.

Our team will quickly learn the circumstances of your academic progression issue. We'll identify possible pathways to resolving this issue, whether that solution is a grade change or another resolution.

Allegations of Academic Misconduct

Academic difficulties are fundamentally different from academic misconduct. If a school in the San Francisco metro area has accused you or your child of academic misconduct, the school may show little leniency if it deems the student responsible for the alleged offense.

Schools from San Francisco to Berkeley and San Jose generally have an academic conduct policy, and those policies may be similar to those of Stanford University, which require students to:

  • Complete all academic work without unauthorized assistance from other students
  • Refrain from plagiarism
  • Refrain from giving unauthorized assistance—including answers, copies of an exam, or written and verbal aid—to other students
  • Complete all academic work in an honest manner that falls within Stanford's broader behavioral guidelines

Whether the student in question is in kindergarten, or is pursuing an advanced collegiate degree, there may be consequences for academic misconduct. Our team can guide you or your student through all disciplinary proceedings, seeking the most appropriate outcome based on unique case circumstances.

Allegations of Non-Academic Misconduct

Just as all schools generally maintain academic expectations, they also have non-academic demands of all students. These expectations and demands may vary based on your or your student's school, grade, or educational program.

The Student Code of Conduct at the California College of the Arts (CCA), for example, governs “behavior that takes place on college property, occurs during the course of college-related activities, or has the potential for harm to the college or its community, whether that behavior occurs in person or via electronic forms and devices.”

While student codes of conduct may be more limited for younger students, most institutions will generally prohibit:

  • Drug or alcohol use and possession on school property (or illegal drug or alcohol possession by any student at any time)
  • Verbally profane or disrespectful behavior towards others (though tolerance for such behavior may vary by institution)
  • Violence of any kind
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Various other behaviors that violate the school's published conduct policies or prevailing laws

Issues of proper conduct can be subjective. Even when an issue is fairly straightforward, it's no guarantee that a school will enforce policies justly. Having an attorney-advisor to represent you or your student may assure that due process takes place.

Allegations of behavioral misconduct may lead to an investigation and hearing. For example, students accused of non-academic misconduct at Archbishop Riordan High School will face a disciplinary investigation (p.30), and any perceived lack of cooperation or deception during the investigation could expose the student to additional discipline.

An attorney-advisor from the Lento Law Firm will work not only to protect you or your student from initial discipline but also from additional allegations of wrongdoing.

Title IX-Related Allegations

Schools in the Bay Area that receive federal funding comply with Title IX regulations. These federal statutes provide a universal framework for handling allegations of:

  • Gender-based discrimination
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual violence
  • Other allegations of mistreatment stemming from one's gender or sexual orientation

Though there are some roadmaps for responding to a Title IX-related allegation, there is no substitute for the services of an attorney-advisor.

There is no certain way to tell how the Title IX Coordinator in your case, or your child's case, will handle the allegation. Hiring an attorney-advisor to accompany you through the Title IX process is generally wise. Title IX allegations are often very serious and clearing the accused student of all wrongdoing is imperative.

Don't ever assume that a school will act rationally when faced with a Title IX case. You must present an air-tight defense, and an experienced attorney-advisor is generally the most suitable party to do that.

What a Discipline Defense Attorney-Advisor Offers You or Your Student

The more appropriate concern may be what an experienced attorney-advisor who specializes in student discipline defense offers you or your student. The Lento Law Firm can:

  • Investigate the allegations against you or your student, gathering any evidence that favors their defense
  • Interview character witnesses and present those witnesses during any necessary hearing
  • Navigate the school's disciplinary procedures, seeking the best outcome possible
  • Utilize the appeals process if necessary, and negotiate with the school's Office of General Counsel (OGC) as another possible path to a resolution
  • Take any necessary legal action on your or your student's behalf

Having an attorney-advisor is not as important as having the right attorney-advisor. Don't settle for a firm without relevant experience, choose the Lento Law Firm.

Call our team today at 888-535-3686. You can also submit case details online through our website.

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.