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Sam, Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27011
Experience:  More than 20 years of experience practicing law.
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Im 2nd year graduate student. My first year 2010-2011 my

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I'm 2nd year graduate student. My first year 2010-2011 my advisor continually made comments/advances towards me. I kept a log of his comments but didn't do anything as I'd hoped just to get through the program. My 2nd year 2011-2012 - my advisor began to criticize my work and asked that I stay an extra semester. We got in a huge fight at the end of the year and he threatened me.

Terrified I moved back home and kept in contact with the Ombuds. Eventually I told the Dean of Students about my list of concerns. They were kind but rather uninterested. Eventually the Dean of the College was added to my committee as they were concerned we had a sexual relationship (we did not)

(March, April, May) I was submitting my final year study plan with the hope of the distance option. (I'm still terrified of this guy). In May, he contacted my work about the internship I had submitted. He was upset that I had not told them I was working there. As it was an internship proposal outside of my work, I explained that I did not feel it was necessary to state that I was employed. I contacted the Dean and she took this guy off my committee.

And then I messed up. Back in March, I sent a fake email to my advisor asking about the distance option. He didn't give me a straight answer so I rudely said that I didn't wish to communicate further. The schools lawyer went through my email and found that this fake email was my fake email.

I feel terrible and yet really angry that this university can allow a student to be harassed and then turn this mistake on them. I've hired an attorney but the truth is - I have no idea how to proceed or what to do next. I've told the Dean of the College, the Dean of Students, and the School's lawyer as much as I feel comfortable. How do I navigate these waters, as I'm so worried about being safe as well as graduating?



I am an attorney with more than 25 years of experience and I look want to providing you information in this regard


I am sorry to hear of this matter. Please tell me


1 - Have you been charged with a crime?


2 - Why do you have an attorney?


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Sam -


1. Right now I think the only thing I've been charged with is harassing a professor which could lead to suspension for a year.


2. Because I've accused my advisor of harassment - I thought it best to have an attorney take a look. The school has their attorney asking me questions right and left and I felt overwhelmed.



Thank you


Thank you

Of course, you are under no legal obligation to talk to the school or their attorneys and I suggest you might want to tell them that you will continue discussions in your attorney's office. That means, you need a local attorney and I suggest you want to consult one sooner than later so that the school does not twist your words on you

Also, I suggest you or your attorney will want to review any and all school policy regarding "harassment" to any faculty and/or student so that you can be certain that they are following the policy - A year suspension is a bit harsh. So you want to be sure that the penalty is what they apply across the board. And with that being said, you will want your attorney to request an audit of files to see if they have followed that policy in the past.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Sam -

My attorney is taking over but I still feel that they're trying to twist my words.


If I/we can find the school policy - it might able to help with the suspension length. But I fear that the fact suspension is being looked at will hurt my committee's view of me. Truth is I feel that they're running me through the ringer just to get me out of the school.




Yes. Of course. And that is why your attorney needs to get the policy on this matter. It needs to be followed and he can request a records audit to see how it has been applied equally in the past. That might stop them in the tracks if they smell a possible discrimination case

Sam and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Sam -

One final question. Is there anything I might do/ask the lawyer to do to help this situation?


I feel as if I've really muddied the waters but my request has always been the same - "I want to graduate with my MFA by doing the distance option" Its in screenwriting so its being been done by 4 of the eight other MFA's in my program.




Ask for the school policy in these matters.

I mean I bet they don't have a policy about harassing the staff. And so for them to make up a suspension of one year is totally cruel and unusual - where is the policy