Misconduct in an educational setting can put any student’s academic future on the line.
While you might assume that the school only wants to know what happened so they can put the event behind them, that’s not always the case.
Sometimes, expulsion can be the outcome of an investigation depending on the situation’s severity, which means thousands of dollars spent on education may be for nothing.
Seeking legal representation for a school disciplinary hearing may be helpful for the following reasons:
As a Source of Support Before a Panel
A student discipline lawyer can be a source of support when you are put before an academic integrity panel. Typically, these panels consist of staff members, faculty, and students, who will be given the task of asking you questions.
While the questions are meant to help them clarify events, they can quickly become confrontational.
If the disciplinary process doesn’t appear to be proceeding in a way that’s fair to you, a lawyer can step in and make this known.
There’s A Lot On The Line
College tuition and student fees can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. After working hard to make your tuition payments each year, being expelled can cause a great deal of stress.
Not only have you lost all that money, but you also don’t have a qualification to show for it.
Regardless of the seriousness of the allegations, you may find value in hiring a lawyer for your hearing. They can help ensure that your investment of time and money was not in vain.
To Understand Your Rights
If you have never been involved in legal proceedings, you may not know your rights, any practical academic problem-solving measures, or even how a typical disciplinary hearing plays out.
Doing your research before the hearing may help you be as prepared as possible. However, a lawyer can also provide some assistance.
They can teach you about how your rights differ in a courtroom compared to a disciplinary hearing. Some of these significant differences can include not being presumed innocent, not always being able to see what evidence they have against you, and having a low standard of proof.
Some of your rights may be laid out in your student handbook.
To Help You Prepare Your Defense
Even if you are studying to be a lawyer, that doesn’t mean you have to prepare your defense on your own. Student discipline lawyers will always be available to help with this process.
They can look for evidence, help you prepare answers to likely questions, and assist in presenting the most solid case possible.
While they can never guarantee a positive outcome, they may put you in a much better position to come out triumphant with lower stress levels than if you were to attend the hearing on your own.
Hearings can be called for a number of reasons, such as poor conduct, cheating, and assault. These are all serious accusations that could have severe consequences for your academic future.
In the lead-up to your hearing date, don’t underestimate the value of preparing a solid case with evidence gathering, research, and the help of an experienced legal team.