Lawyers For College StudentsCONTACT US NOW FOR A CONSULTATION
Protecting the Rights and Interests of College and University Students
- Case Results
- List of Schools
Here are some representative results we’ve achieved for our clients.
Female complainant’s rights, health, and safety protected throughout lengthy proceedings
Our client was sexually assaulted by a male student acquaintance. We became involved to support our client in getting proper medical treatment, preserving and collecting evidence and witness testimony, and securing therapeutic support. We helped her understand and navigate the many complex options available to her, including a criminal complaint, an informal complaint process, a formal complaint process, or doing nothing. We guided her through the informal process and then the formal process, including interviews with various school and law enforcement officials, and worked closely with the school to put in place appropriate accommodations ensuring that all interviews and hearings did not retraumatize her. The male student was found responsible and was expelled.
Large private university
Witness to sexual violence protected from intimidation
We represented a female witness to a dating violence case on campus who was being pressured to speak with the police and the school investigators about a violent matter she had witnessed on her dorm floor. We immediately communicated on her behalf to the local police, school administrators, and the Title IX investigators to protect her right to choose to not testify and ensure her safety on campus. She was very relieved not to be pressured by the school, the title IX office or the police to attend the hearing and testify about fellow students.
Small private college
Investigation of sexual assault complaint concludes with no charges filed
Our client contacted us immediately upon receiving notice by his school that a claim of sexual assault was made against him by a female student. We assisted him in preparing his detailed answer to the complaint, and then prepared him and accompanied him to his interview with the campus safety police officers. We worked with the school Title IX administrators and helped our client find evidence to show inconsistencies with the complaint. The complainant withdrew her complaint when presented with these inconsistencies and then recanted. The investigation ended and our client was not charged with anything.
Midsized private collegeSee More Case Results
"I am writing to let any college student who gets accused of something serious by their school know that they need a lawyer like Felice Duffy to defend them. I was accused of something terrible by a student that I would never do and didn’t do. Even though I knew exactly what actually happened, I was very scared that my university might not find me innocent. It was terrifying to think that I might lose my full basketball scholarship or could have been suspended or expelled and that me and my family’s name could have gotten a horrible reputation. I can’t even put into words how I excited I was when I got the letter from the school that cleared me completely of the charges against me and I have Felice to thank for that 100%. Since I’m not in Connecticut, Felice and her investigator used video conferencing to interview me and my witnesses, talk with my parents, and get me fully prepared for every meeting I had with my school. They got all my texts and email that proved my innocence and organized them perfectly for the Dean and the discipline committee. Felice was always very direct and respectful even though the subject matter was very personal, and she was always ahead of the school in terms of getting me and them important information at every step. It was like having the best scouting report ever." Felice obviously knows her stuff but she also deeply cares. You can tell that she loves the work she’s doing to help college kids in really difficult situations.
College Sophomre, Colorado
“The claims leveled against me were terrible, but the wonderful news is that I was fully cleared of all the allegations because of the outstanding work Christine Brown and the team at Duffy Law did on my behalf. The first thing that really impressed me was that from the very first call Christine quickly understood what was going on and was able to read between the lines to understand the complicated dynamics of the situation. Despite my entire career being spent in academia, I didn't know much about Title IX procedures. Her expertise and knowledge of the process was immediately apparent and critically helpful in guiding me and giving me as much peace of mind as possible.. Christine knew how to spot the important subtext throughout the process and made sure I understood the strategic options I had at every stage going forward. I felt very confident in the decisions we made together. I felt vindicated by the decision and that this situation will have no further effects on my career. I am very grateful to Christine and Duffy Law for guiding me through this stressful process and recommend them without reservation to any faculty member facing a similarly challenging situation. ”
Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine at a midwest university
“I hired Felice Duffy in the middle of a Title IX sexual assault proceeding. While I had initially retained another attorney on a recommendation, it turns out they did not have much insight to the inner workings of university policy, which I learned is NOT required to follow the basic laws of due process. Felice was absolutely incredible, and as an athlete, she understood my thought process and feelings the entire way. This is what stood out the most to me. At the beginning of my school’s adjudication process, I was an absolute mess. Not only is Felice extremely knowledgeable in law and how school adjudication processes work, but she also really does care about her clients and their well-being. It was initially extremely tough for me to speak about what I was facing. Felice was able to assist me not only in compiling the proper evidence and responding to the school, but also put me in the right state of mind to defend myself and move on with my life after it was all completed. Prior to hiring Duffy Law, I was concerned that I would be relegated to working with a legal assistant or secretary being that my case was in a college setting as opposed to a state court. However, Felice always found a way to make time and was there every step of the way. I feel like an important part of hiring an attorney is being able to trust them to fight for you no matter what the scenario may be and you can rest assured you will be getting that with Duffy Law. I would recommend Felice Duffy of Duffy Law 10 times out of 10 to anyone that may be put in a tough situation like I was”
Female College Freshman, MassachusettsSee More Client Testimonials
Schools Where We've Handled Cases
Here are some of the schools where we’ve represented students, faculty, coaches, and staff:
- Amherst College
- Arkansas State University
- Bard College
- Belmont Abbey College
- Bowling Green State University
- Brandeis University
- Brown University
- Charter Oak State College
- Colgate University
- College of the Holy Cross
- Columbia University
- Connecticut College
- Creighton Law School
- Dartmouth College
- Emmanuel College
- Fairfield University
- Flagler College
- Florida State University
- Fordham University
- Furman University
- George Fox University
- Guilford College
- Howard University
- Illinois Institute of Technology
- Indiana University
- Lesley University
- Louisiana State University
- Marist College
- Marquette University
- Miami University
- Michigan State University
- Mississippi University
- Pennsylvania State University
- Plymouth State University
- Quinnipiac University
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- Rice University
- Sacred Heart University
- South Carolina State University
- St. John's University
- St. Lawrence University
- Syracuse University
- Swarthmore College
- Tallahassee Comm. College
- Texas A/M, College Station
- Touro University
- Trinity College
- Tufts University
- University of California, Riverside
- University of Connecticut
- University of Kansas
- University of Lynchburg
- University of Maryland
- University of Mass. Med. School
- University of Miami
- University of Missouri
- University of Nebraska
- University of Northern Colorado
- University of Texas
- University of Virginia
- University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
- University of Wisconsin, Whitewater
- Utah University School of Medicine
- Vassar College
- Virginia Wesleyan University
- Washington University, St. Louis
- Wesleyan University
- Westfield State University
- Western Washington University
- Wheaton College
- William Smith College
- Yale University
- Youngstown State University
What Do You Need Help With?
The Right Lawyer Can Make All the Difference
If you’ve arrived at this page, you’re probably looking for information about — or seeking help to solve – a significant problem you’re facing at your school.
We are a team of highly experienced Title IX attorneys who focus exclusively on how colleges and universities handle their Title IX and Conduct Code policies and procedures. We represent undergraduate and graduate students throughout the United States. We never represent the school.
Our job as Title IX lawyers is to carefully guide you through the extremely complex process and to rigorously protect your rights at every step — from initial notification, through investigations, to hearings, and if necessary, appeal.
Once a school has started either a formal or informal process, time is absolutely of the essence. The sooner you get guidance, the better — because what you say or don’t say to anyone involved, whether fellow student or school official, can have a critical impact on your case (and thus, on your status at the school).
Also check out our Guide to the College and University Title IX and Disciplinary Process . We believe it’s the single most comprehensive and up-to-date guide available anywhere.
Title IX: The Basics
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is one of the most complicated and, perhaps, misunderstood federal laws. In short, Title IX protects students, faculty, coaches, and other employees at publicly funded schools from discrimination on the basis of sex or gender. This law applies to the vast majority of colleges and universities in the United States, as well as to the students at these institutions.
Many issues can arise under Title IX, including:
- Sexual harassment
- Sexual assault
- A school’s failure to investigate complaints of sexual misconduct
- Gender discrimination including sexual orientation and gender identity
- Unequal athletic opportunities for men and women
- Unequal access to facilities or educational programs
Title IX governs how schools must treat its students when a claim of a violation is made. The person making the claim of an act or pattern of sexual misconduct (also known as the complainant) should receive the necessary protection to continue their education, including changing schedules, housing, and more. They are entitled by law to a fair investigation into the allegations, as well as proper disciplinary action against the accused if a school determines the misconduct occurred.
On the other hand, a student accused of sexual misconduct (often called the respondent) also has the right to due process before the school takes any disciplinary action. On August 14th, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education implemented new regulations schools must follow that affect both complainants and respondents.
Conduct Code Violations
Every public and private college and university in the United States has a code of conduct. While these codes may differ in the details, one thing remains the same: a conduct code violation can put your higher education—and your future—in jeopardy. These codes cover hundreds of possible violations, but some of the more common acts that get college students into trouble include:
- Drug possession
- Academic violations
- Underage drinking
In many cases, a student may not even know he or she has violated a rule. For example, most students understand that plagiarism is against their conduct code’s academic dishonesty policy, but they may not realize that a charge of “self-plagiarism” can carry the same harsh penalties. Students often believe they can harmlessly use ideas or material from a previous paper they wrote, but then receive a failing grade —or worse, a permanent mark on their academic records.
If your school accuses you of a code of conduct violation, you will likely need to attend a disciplinary hearing. The results of this hearing can determine your future path, and you need to ensure that you know how to best protect your rights. We regularly advise students to help them avoid wrongful violations or overly harsh consequences.
Possible Criminal Charges
Not only can misconduct get college students in trouble with their institutions, but some acts also violate state law. Colleges or crime victims may report criminal acts to local authorities, and suddenly a student can face arrest and serious criminal charges. In many situations, a criminal case can take place at the same time as a college disciplinary hearing.
Students in this position must seek qualified legal representation from an attorney who can handle both the college disciplinary case and the case in criminal court. Never take any criminal charge lightly—even if it seems relatively minor. Even a state misdemeanor conviction can result in costly fines, probation, or time in jail. Criminal convictions on your record can leave lasting consequences, as they can affect your future employment and educational opportunities. You may become ineligible for collegiate athletics, may lose scholarships and financial aid, and may even get expelled from your school.
At Duffy Law, our criminal defense attorneys defend Connecticut college students against an array of criminal charges. For students in other states, we identify and work closely with highly skilled criminal defense attorneys who practice in the state where charges are pending or were filed. We maintain detailed contact with local attorneys in order to closely coordinate both the criminal defense and the school disciplinary defense strategies. Common conduct code violations that can lead to concurrent criminal charges include:
- Underage alcohol possession
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Marijuana or narcotic possession
- Possession of pharmaceutical drugs
- Domestic assault
- Sexual assault
Early Guidance is Key
Remember: Whether you are lodging a claim of a Title IX violation or you’re responding to one, or whether you’re responding to an alleged conduct code violation by your school — the process is more complicated than you probably realize. And how you handle the procedures (who you talk to, what you say, how you treat “evidence” of guilt or innocence, etc) will have major consequences in your life. So get guidance as quickly as you possibly can. We’re here to answer your questions.
How Can We Help?