Student Perspective: What to do if you are academically dismissed
By: Sara Gates
Sara Gates is a junior at New York University. Here’s her take on academic dismissal based on the experiences of her friends and her work at HooverLaw.
You’re on the path to your future. You’ve just finished your undergraduate degree and are studying at one of your top choice graduate schools. Everything seems to be within reach, when get into a squabble with one of your professors over a grade. He quotes from the university code and all of a sudden you are on academic dismissal with no way to defend yourself.
What do you do?
You can’t very well take the school to court, or can you?There are a number of attorneys in the field of education law that are capable of managing such situations. They can open a line of communication with the school and its attorneys. Before you were just talking to your professor and the school dean, but with an attorney involved any big whig at the school can now join the conversation. In order to speak with the school’s attorneys, which will be the key power players in this case, you must have your own representation. Think of it as having a player in the game. To even walk onto the field you have to have someone in a jersey ready to defend your team’s name.
As an academically dismissed student you will not have the option to review any and all documentation the school may have regarding your dismissal. However an attorney can. After you sign a records release for the law office the school is required to furnish all documentation to your attorney; documentation which may show if the school violated any of their own procedures — which is often the case.
Most times these things are settled over a conversation or a meeting with the school. The sheer threat of an attorney on your side can tip the scales in your favor. But other times the school counters your threat with their own attorneys, resulting in a head off between the two teams. The only thing to do then is back up your case with all you got and watch as the better side wins.
Let’s just hope that you picked an ace-in-the-hole that’s going to fight for your case tooth-and-nail until you win.