How do you hire a good college student defense lawyer?

Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman PC
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[author: Amy Walkowiak]

Parents often struggle when hiring a college student defense lawyer. It’s not always obvious what type of lawyer to hire, especially if the college student is facing disciplinary proceedings on campus that do not involve a court of law.

A defense attorney can help you navigate the bail process, prepare for their court dates, and mount a defense. In the best case scenario, even get your student’s charges dropped.

However, you may also need to defend your student’s academic future against the university’s disciplinary charges, which is why we recommend hiring a student defense attorney who can help your child with every step of the process.

So how do you know which lawyer to hire, and who’s going to do a good job representing your college student? From DC Student Defense attorney Shan Wu, here are the top 3 things to look for when you’re hiring a college student defense lawyer:

1. Experience with College Student Defense Hearings

 

First, and most importantly, you want a lawyer who has done college student defense hearings.

You don’t want an employment lawyer, a criminal defense lawyer, or even a civil litigator.

Your student will also disciplined by the university, and disciplinary charges could potentially threaten a number of your student’s university privileges:

  • Academic standing
  • Student housing
  • Financial aid
  • Scholarships
  • Enrollment

That’s why you need a lawyer who’s been inside of a Student Conduct hearing or academic violations hearing and has experience of how those processes work.

2. Understanding of the Academic Environment

 

Secondly, you need a lawyer who understands the academic environment.

A very aggressive litigator who comes into a student hearing and starts pounding the table or trying to make objections is going to do your student a disservice.

Your student’s advocate needs to understand the academic environment and the perspective that the schools have about what these processes are.

Student defense attorneys like our team at DC Student Defense know how university administrators think, so we can help make sure your student isn’t being treated unfairly, and secure the best outcome for them at the end of the process.

3. Background in Criminal Defense

 

Lastly, you should have a lawyer who has a criminal defense background. That’s because there is the exposure to a potential criminal charge, depending on the severity of your student’s charges. A good student defense lawyer will work to minimize this exposure.

This balance has to be carefully struck and requires the finesse of an attorney with experience in both fields — criminal defense and student defense.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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