Students in undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs are uniquely vulnerable to suffering harm. Colleges and universities, and the professors, deans, and adjunct faculty who work there, hold special power over the students’ futures. And because of the deference given to institutions of higher education in academic decision-making, when a student is removed from an educational program, he or she is often powerless to fix the problem.
In many cases, the decision is entirely unappealable. In other cases, the school’s internal policies create avenues of redress. In still other cases, students enjoy some legal protections. Challenging a student dismissal is difficult, but doing so with experienced counsel can add a glimmer of hope to an otherwise hopeless situation.
Just days before she was set to defend her dissertation, “Jehann” was notified that the University had changed how it interprets the technical degree requirements and as a result she would not be permitted to complete her doctoral requirements. She turned to Lippman, Semsker & Salb for help. We helped her shape her arguments to give voice to both the facts in her favor and the legal issues implicit in her termination. Working in teamwork with our client, we were able to cause the University to reverse their decision. Our client went on to pass her examinations and defend her dissertation. In a few short months, she went from watching her years of hard work going down the drain to having the Ph.D. she worked so hard to achieve.
If you would like to talk with an attorney regarding redress for a recent dismissal from your college or university, please contact us. We will review the specific details surrounding your removal and advise you of your options.