Greater Boston is home to many excellent colleges and universities. From undergraduate programs to advanced degrees, students travel from across the country and around the world to attend our outstanding schools of higher education.
In recent years, many colleges and universities have increased the number of disciplinary actions against their own students. From accusations of plagiarism to drug and sexual assault investigations, these schools have established new policies and procedures governing various types of student allegations.
When there is an accusation sexual assault on campus, colleges and universities are required to meet the requirements of Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, a federal law that prohibits sexual discrimination, harassment, and assaults in schools that receive public funding, including financial aid. A finding of responsibility in a Title IX matter often leads to a multi-year suspension and even permanent expulsion. Even more, the school’s negative decision follows the student on his academic record, making it even more difficult for the student to secure academic and employment opportunities in the future.
The particular procedures in disciplinary and Title IX matters can vary greatly from school to school. Despite such variability, an experienced lawyer can nonetheless advise the student through the process in order to maximize their chances of success. Moreover, an experienced lawyer can advise the student how to raise all of the legal issues with the university that, if necessary, would later be essential to a lawsuit against the school.
As in all of my cases, I always investigate the school’s accusations, interview necessary witnesses, and fight the charges by every available means. I will also work to minimize the potential consequences for my clients by seeking to preserve related benefits such as scholarships, financial aid, and visas.
Sometimes a student under investigation by their school may also be charged with a criminal offense. In such cases it is crucial for the student to obtain an experienced lawyer capable of navigating the many potential pitfalls that exist between the intersecting legal matters. For example, if a student speaks to university investigators, those statements could later be used against the student in the criminal case; however, if the student fails to speak to the university, the school may hold the student’s silence against him as a sign of guilt. In these delicate scenarios, students need the advice of experienced counsel to guide the student through the extremely consequential process.