The Firm represents students who are accused of misconduct by their school and advises them through the disciplinary proceedings. The Firm has represented students accused of wrongdoing at all levels of education:
- Elementary School
- High School
- College and University
- Graduate/professional School
We also represent victims of student misconduct, in particular sexual assault, in university proceedings. We seek to prepare and support them through what can be a difficult process.
Initially, some parents and students initially wonder, “Do we really need an attorney for this?” Our clients in this practice area have never raised that question with us after retaining us.
Given the high stakes of one’s academic career, any student facing academic discipline benefits from having an advocate who understands:
- The unique features of university disciplinary systems.
- The pitfalls that accused students often fall into.
- The most effective ways to present a student's case in school disciplinary hearings.
- The most successful ways to appeal an adverse decision.
In our experience, the most common mistakes are made early on in the school’s disciplinary process, typically in the student’s first response to the accusation.
For that reason, we strongly encourage students to confer with knowledgeable, experienced counsel as soon as possible. To make that easier, Ekstrand & Ekstrand established a low-cost consultation for students facing disciplinary proceedings. If you are facing disciplinary proceedings in a college, university, or high school, and would like to schedule a consultation, please contact us.
*We aim to schedule this consultation within 24 hours of your call.*
We are one of the only firms in the Triangle with this kind of Education Law experience, particularly in advising students facing university discipline. For over a decade, the Firm’s early involvement has enabled students to:
- Minimize the impact of the proceedings on their academic record
- Avoid separation from the university, or
- Avoid disciplinary proceedings altogether.
Our success in these proceedings is typically the kind that nobody hears about. We value our client’s privacy and work hard to achieve the best result without taking action in court, which becomes public.
Our Experience and Results
Since its establishment in 2002, the Firm has represented over a 100 different students from a variety of institutions facing university or college disciplinary action.
In the last two years alone, the Firm has had 8 successful student appeals.
Specific Examples of Success
Reinstatement of Expelled Student. In this case, the Firm secured the reinstatement of a student after being expelled from a graduate school program.
Reversal of Suspension and Restoration of Status as Student in Good Standing. Our client was accused of altering answers on a science exam, and, consequently, this student was to be suspended for two semesters, among other sanctions. In the written appeal, the Firm argued that the evidence was insufficient to support the finding of responsibility. The Firm’s appeal won: the findings of responsibility were reversed, the sanctions were vacated, all charges were dismissed, and our client was reinstated without serving a day of the suspension.
Reversal of Suspension and Restoration of Status as Student in Good Standing. In this case, the student was accused of using unauthorized sources to complete a foreign‐language assignment, and consequently, was to be suspended for two semesters, among other sanctions. The Firm’s written appeal argued that the evidence was insufficient to support the finding of responsibility. The Firm’s appeal won: the findings of responsibility were reversed, the sanctions were vacated, all charges were dismissed, and our client was reinstated without serving a day of the suspension.