Student Defense Advisor – Washington D.C., Arlington, Alexandria

There is no more exciting time in our lives than those years when we're students. We're growing, learning new things, exploring the world in ways we'll never have the chance to again. That's true whether we're in kindergarten or graduate school. When you think about school in these terms, as a time of wonder, you might reasonably ask, why would a student ever need a lawyer?

The fact is, plenty of things can go wrong while you're in school. Most schools are full of wonderful teachers who have your best interests at heart, dedicated staff, and hard-working administrators. When you're dealing with an institution, though, you can never count on things to go smoothly one hundred percent of the time.

  • Schools push their students to perform at the highest levels. Sometimes they push too hard
  • Schools don't always see students as individuals. They may not understand what you're going through, what challenges you're facing.
  • Schools worry over their reputations, and sometimes they're willing to sacrifice their students to maintain those reputations
  • In any large institution, you can never predict when misunderstandings will occur

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 must fight back. No matter how loyal you may be to your school, no matter how difficult the fight may seem, you can't afford to risk your future. You don't have to do it alone, though. If you're in the D.C. metro area, including D.C., Arlington, and Alexandria, premier school discipline defense attorney Joseph D. Lento can help you get the justice you deserve.

The D.C. Metropolitan Area

The D.C. metro area is large and diverse. With over six million residents, it's the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the country. In addition to the District itself, the metro area includes parts of other states—Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia—as well as several important cities such as Arlington, Alexandria, Baltimore, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Rockville, Bethesda, Silver Spring, and Reston.

As you might expect, D.C. presents some unique challenges for attorneys. In addition to its size and diversity, it's a hotbed of political activity. It's also subject to a patchwork quilt of local, state, and federal laws. Everyone is connected to someone, and it's no easy matter to navigate the complex relationships of the various players in the legal community. That intimidates many lawyers. Not Attorney advisor Joseph D. Lento. Joseph D. Lento is focused on student rights, a field of law that encompasses all levels of government and all aspects of the justice system. As a result, he has experience in multiple courtroom settings as well as in school hearings. In addition, he's represented hundreds of clients in the D.C. metro area. He knows broadly what legal issues students face, but he knows as well what's at stake for D.C. students in particular. From South Kensington to Chevy Chase, no one offers more qualified student representation in the D.C. metro area than Joseph D. Lento.

D.C. Metro Area Student Concerns

Students attending schools in the D.C. 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. D.C. isn't like other places, though, and it can present challenges for students that attend school there, challenges that are significantly different from the ones average students face.

  • D.C. is a large, diverse area. That means schools often have diverse student populations, with students from all rungs of the socioeconomic ladder. Congressmen's daughters sit next to janitors' sons in chemistry class. Misunderstandings are frequent in that kind of environment.
  • D.C. schools are under a great deal of scrutiny. Everyone in the metro area thinks they're an expert on education, and everyone has a criticism of the schools. Naturally, schools pass the pressure they're under on to their students.
  • D.C. culture is dominated by politics, and everyone is out for some sort of political gain. Resentments are common among students, teachers, and staff. Everyone knows someone and tries to use that to their advantage. Relationships can be tricky.

All of these concerns can exacerbate the typical problems students face, but they can also become serious challenges in their own right. Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's student defense team understand what D.C. students face, and they're experienced at handling D.C. problems.

D.C. Metropolitan Area Schools

Joseph D. Lento has dedicated his career to making sure students are treated fairly. His passion for doing so 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 D.C. Metro area, the Lento Law Firm can provide you with an effective defense.

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

  • George Washington University
  • American University
  • Georgetown University
  • Howard University
  • Gallaudet University
  • University of Maryland
  • George Mason University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Marymount University
  • James Madison University
  • St. John's College
  • University of Virginia
  • Baltimore College
  • Strayer University
  • Stratford University

In addition, the Lento Law Firm is available to help students in graduate, professional, technical, military, and specialty programs across the D.C. metropolitan area, such as:

  • Standard Healthcare Services College of Nursing
  • Saint Michael College of Allied Health
  • United States Naval Academy
  • Virginia Military Institute
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Capitol Technology University

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

  • District of Columbia Public Schools
  • Falls Church City School District
  • Arlington Public Schools
  • Montgomery County Public Schools
  • Fairfax County Public Schools
  • Prince William County Public Schools
  • Charles County Public Schools
  • District of Columbia Public Schools
  • Manassas Park City Public Schools
  • Alexandria City Public Schools

The Lento Law Firm also works with private elementary and secondary school students in the D.C. metro area. That includes schools like:

  • Acton Academy
  • Edmund Burke School
  • Georgetown Day School
  • Lowell School
  • Aidan Montessori School
  • British School of Washington
  • Washington International School
  • Parkmont School
  • Elizabeth Seton High School
  • Ad Fontes Academy
  • Middleburg Academy
  • Potomac School
  • Westminster School
  • New Hope Academy

Disciplinary Defense in the D.C. Metro Area

Students at all levels, from second graders to undergraduates, are subject to a wide variety of disciplinary rules. Generally, however, offenses are grouped into four specific categories:

  • Academic progress: Issues related to whether or not a student is moving forward in their coursework
  • Academic misconduct: Issues related to gaining an unfair advantage in completing coursework
  • Behavioral misconduct: Issues related to conduct outside the classroom
  • Sexual misconduct: Issues specifically related to a sexually based offense, including discrimination and harassment

The attorneys at the Lento Law Firm have represented hundreds of students in each of these four categories.

Academic Progress Issues

All schools have an obligation to educate their students, to prepare them for college, for the job market, or for whatever comes next in their lives. In addition, of course, schools are subject to monitoring and evaluation. Primary and secondary schools must meet federal and state standards for educational achievement. D.C. schools, for instance, must meet “Common Core” standards in subjects such as math, science, language arts, and technology. Colleges and graduate schools are subject to accreditation standards.

Under pressure to perform, schools sometimes expect too much of their students. Some even threaten students who struggle or fall behind academically with punishments like probation, suspension, and expulsion. When expectations are unfair, you have the right to push back.

In addition, schools can and do make mistakes when it comes to evaluating their students. Instructors make mistakes when grading papers or when reporting course grades. Advisors miscalculate grade point averages. Computer glitches happen.

Whatever your situation, Joseph D. Lento can 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

Given the high standards schools maintain these days, it's no surprise that cheating and plagiarism are on the rise. Students are sometimes practically forced to commit academic misconduct just to keep up. The rise in misconduct, though, has also led to a rise in false accusations. Faced with what they view as an epidemic of cheating, instructors are sometimes too quick to decide students are guilty and too harsh in the punishments they assign.

Of course, you should always strive for the highest academic integrity and avoid things like:

  • 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

That said, if you're innocent, or if you are 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 concerned with what happens in the classroom. Schools are communities, and as such, they must have rules to govern how the members of that community behave towards one another. You'll find every school has a Student Code of Conduct, whether it's an elementary school like Cardinal Elementary in Arlington or a university like Georgetown. These codes typically cover everything from vandalism to noise violations. They can differ from school to school, but there are some types of violations that are common to virtually every school.

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

Keep in mind 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. There was a time when breaking a rule might get you a stern lecture from the principal. 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

Unlike other kinds of disciplinary offenses, sexual misconduct offenses 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. That means schools are obligated to take all but the most spurious accusations seriously.

Punishments in these cases can be especially harsh. No school wants to be seen as soft on sexual offenses, so the minimum sanction is usually suspension, and expulsion is the most likely punishment.

Because sexual misconduct is subject to federal law, the procedures can be complicated. The accused are entitled to a number of important due process rights, but you have to know how to use them to your advantage. Joseph D. Lento knows Title IX. He's familiar with its history and its politics. Over the course of his career, he's represented hundreds of students who've been accused of everything from simple verbal harassment to sexual assault and rape. Whatever you've been charged with, Joseph D. Lento is on your side and ready to help.

How Joseph D. Lento Can Help

Bad things happen, even to students. Whether you're in medical school or looking to protect your second grader, a premier school discipline defense attorney like Joseph D. Lento can be your most valuable asset when you're in trouble. An unqualified attorney or one who doesn't understand the D.C. metro area can do more harm than good. You need an attorney who is focused on student rights and who has experience dealing with campus justice.

When you retain attorney 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.