Higher Education, University Accommodations and Appeals

Hearings and Appeals

When undergraduate and graduate students face suspension, dismissal, or course failure for allegedly cheating or violating other school policies, they typically have the right to defend themselves and/or appeal a decision. Getting the proper legal representation or advice can allow college and university students to remain enrolled in their programs and graduate on time without a mark on their permanent school records.

In addition to alleged discipline code violations in traditional settings, students face new issues related to the rise of online learning and testing. Students enrolled in online courses, for example, sometimes face unfair accusations of cheating. Students also are being disciplined for their use of social media.

Making a case against unfair or inaccurate accusations in a university discipline hearing or appeal is critical to clearing your educational record and keeping negative information away from prospective employers, graduate schools, and certifying boards. Often, students are not made aware of their right to an attorney to represent them in due process or disciplinary hearings. When attorneys are permitted in hearings, we carefully review procedural safeguards and university policies, understand how to overturn university decisions, defend your rights, and present a solid argument in your favor. When attorneys are not allowed to represent students during disciplinary hearings, we can provide detailed advice based on careful study of facts and university policies that will allow you to proceed with confidence on your own.

Accommodations for College and University Students with Disabilities

Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for appeals and protection under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, sometimes called “504,” or “Section 504.” Section 504 is a civil rights law that stops discrimination against people with disabilities in many different settings. The law prohibits colleges and universities from discriminating against a student based on their disability. This includes admissions decisions and housing opportunities, in addition to accommodations needed in learning settings. Despite this prohibition against discrimination, students often struggle to get colleges and universities to acknowledge their need for accommodations or to provide appropriate adjustments.

We can help students work with their college or university’s section 504 coordinator, ADA coordinator, or disability services office to secure the accommodations and adjustments they need. If colleges and universities are not willing to provide the appropriate services, we can work with students to understand their rights, appeal school decisions, and put in place the accommodations required under the law.