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College Student Defense

How do you hire a good college student defense lawyer?

By November 15, 2021September 25th, 2023No Comments

Parents often struggle when hiring a college student defense lawyer. It’s not always obvious what type of lawyer to hire, especially if the college student is facing disciplinary proceedings on campus that do not involve a court of law.

A defense attorney can help you navigate the bail process, prepare for their court dates, and mount a defense. In the best case scenario, even get your student’s charges dropped. 

However, you may also need to defend your student’s academic future against the university’s disciplinary charges, which is why we recommend hiring a student defense attorney who can help your child with every step of the process.

So how do you know which lawyer to hire, and who’s going to do a good job representing your college student? From DC Student Defense attorney Shan Wu, here are the top 3 things to look for when you’re hiring a college student defense lawyer:

1. Experience with College Student Defense Hearings

First, and most importantly, you want a lawyer who has done college student defense hearings.

You don’t want an employment lawyer, a criminal defense lawyer, or even a civil litigator. 

Your student will also disciplined by the university, and disciplinary charges could potentially threaten a number of your student’s university privileges:

  • Academic standing
  • Student housing
  • Financial aid
  • Scholarships
  • Enrollment

That’s why you need a lawyer who’s been inside of a Student Conduct hearing or academic violations hearing and has experience of how those processes work.

2. Understanding of the Academic Environment

Secondly, you need a lawyer who understands the academic environment. 

A very aggressive litigator who comes into a student hearing and starts pounding the table or trying to make objections is going to do your student a disservice. 

Your student’s advocate needs to understand the academic environment and the perspective that the schools have about what these processes are.

Student defense attorneys like our team at DC Student Defense know how university administrators think, so we can help make sure your student isn’t being treated unfairly, and secure the best outcome for them at the end of the process.

3. Background in Criminal Defense

Lastly, you should have a lawyer who has a criminal defense background. That’s because there is the exposure to a potential criminal charge, depending on the severity of your student’s charges. A good student defense lawyer will work to minimize this exposure.

This balance has to be carefully struck and requires the finesse of an attorney with experience in both fields — criminal defense and student defense.

Contact DC Student Defense for your student today

Only lawyers who have experience, understanding, and background in criminal defense can offer you and your family the best protection in a student defense case. If your college student is facing a conduct or academic violation hearing, contact DC Student Defense today. 

These materials have been prepared by Cohen Seglias for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed as legal advice.

These materials have been prepared by Cohen Seglias for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed as legal advice.

Shan Wu

Author Shan Wu

Shan’s professional and personal background gives him a unique understanding of academic institutions and the criminal justice system. A former federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., he is at home in D.C. Courts and very familiar with all of the Washington, D.C. law enforcement agencies, especially the Metropolitan Police Department. His parents were university professors so he grew up in a university environment. He understands the mindset of academic institutions. As a prosecutor, he supervised in the misdemeanor crime section. This is the section of the Washington, D.C. prosecutor’s office that handles most college student cases. His understanding of charging decisions and how judges view these cases is invaluable to his student clients and their families. Shan served as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia for over ten years. During his tenure there, now Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. appointed him to supervisory positions in the Misdemeanor Trial Section and also in a police corruption task force. His outstanding legal work in the government was recognized through numerous Special Achievement Awards from the Justice Department as well as awards conveyed by law enforcement agencies and community groups. From 1999-2000, Shan served as Counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno, advising her on criminal and civil investigations, E-Gov, E-Commerce (electronic signatures, internet gambling, internet telephony, privacy & public access issues in electronic court filings), congressional oversight, and legislative review. His responsibilities included serving as liaison to the FBI, DEA, Criminal Division, Executive Office of United States Attorneys, National Institute of Justice, and White House Counsel’s Office. Shan serves on the D.C. Bar Association’s Hearing Committee of the Board on Professional Responsibility and is a past president of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association for the Greater Washington, D.C. area. He is a 1988 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, where he graduated Order of the Barristers, edited two law reviews, and was Co-Director of the Moot Court Program. He holds a B.A. in English Literature from Vassar College as well as a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Following law school, he clerked for the late Hon. Jerry Buchmeyer, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, and the late Eugene Wright, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and Connecticut.

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