Five Reasons That College Students Should Have an Education Attorney on Retainer

Going to college is an exciting time in a young person’s life. It’s a time of growth, learning, and independence. However, it’s also a time when students may encounter legal issues they never anticipated. That’s why having an education lawyer on retainer during college can be a wise decision. In this article, we’ll explore the top five reasons why college students should consider having a lawyer readily available.

  1. Legal Protection for Common Student Issues: College life can bring about various legal challenges, such as housing disputes, cheating allegations, code of conduct hearings, or even minor criminal matters. Having an education lawyer on retainer ensures you have expert advice when these issues arise. An education attorney can help you navigate the complexities of university policies and hearings, landlord-tenant and rommmate disputes, and even represent you in court if necessary.
  2. Academic and Disciplinary Matters: College students can sometimes find themselves in situations where they face academic misconduct allegations or disciplinary (or “code of conduct” actions). College is much different than high school and the sanctions for misconduct can be severe. An education lawyer can assist you in understanding your rights, preparing your defense, and ensuring that the university follows its own procedures during disciplinary hearings.
  3. Contract Review: Students often enter into agreements while in college, like leases, rental agreements, or employment contracts. A lawyer can review these contracts to ensure they are fair and protect your interests. They can also advise you on your rights and responsibilities under these agreements.
  4. Criminal Charges and Offenses: Sometimes, students may find themselves on the wrong side of the law, whether it’s underage drinking, drug possession, or another criminal offense. A lawyer can provide essential legal counsel, help you understand the potential consequences, and work on your defense strategy if needed. An education attorney can help you if the criminal matter results in a conduct matter with your college or university.
  5. Preventive Legal Advice: Having a lawyer on retainer isn’t just about reacting to legal issues; it’s also about preventing them. A lawyer can provide guidance on how to stay within the bounds of the law. They can advise you on matters that may carry legal risks. Additionally, a lawyer can educate you on your rights, ensuring you understand how to protect yourself legally in various situations, from new business ventures to hosting parties to employment matters. This knowledge can be invaluable in avoiding legal troubles in the first place.

Your college’s office of Student Legal Services may be able to help in certain, limited circumstances, but not when the opposing party is the university itself (like in code of conduct or academic misconduct proceedings) or another student at the university (like in a roommate dispute or Title IX hearing). Student Legal Services offices are operated by the college, and therefore they may have a conflict of interest with matters involving the college itself or other students at the college.

In conclusion, college can be an amazing time for personal and academic growth, but it’s also a period when young adults may face unexpected legal challenges with serious implications. Having a private education lawyer on retainer can provide college students with a safety net and peace of mind. Lawyers can help you navigate legal issues, protect your rights, and offer guidance to prevent problems from arising in the first place.

The education lawyers at Abdnour Weiker, LLP are here to help. Our mission is to protect the rights and futures of students and educators. We operate in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

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