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Do You Need a Title IX Lawyer

Jun 20

The vast majority of universities and educational institutions receive federal funding, meaning they are required to comply with Title IX. This federal law bans discrimination based on gender in education programs and activities that receive federal funds.

If you have been accused of sexual misconduct, your reputation and academic career may be at stake. A lawyer can ensure that your rights are protected throughout the investigation and disciplinary proceedings.

Gender Bias

Title IX Lawyer Flagstaff can help you fight for your rights during a sex discrimination investigation. While Title IX investigations may not have the same consequences as criminal proceedings, they can still have a significant impact on your life and career. These investigations and disciplinary hearings are often held under a preponderance of evidence standard, meaning that university panels must find that it is more likely than not that you committed the violation.

Recipients must have procedures in place to handle complaints that allege sex-based discrimination, and those procedures must be consistent with the "Procedures for Complaints of Employment Discrimination Filed Against Recipients of Federal Financial Assistance."86

Where those regulations do not provide sufficient guidance (and where there is no relevant case law), Title IX investigators should consult and apply the substantive standards and case law developed under Title VII. For example, a recipient of federal financial assistance may not classify housing based on sex unless it can demonstrate that the classification serves important governmental objectives and is reasonably necessary to achieve those objectives.

Due Process

Due process is a vital protection that ensures a student accused of sexual misconduct receives a fair and thorough investigation. A lawyer will help ensure that your college follows federal guidelines and provides you with a full hearing that allows both parties to cross-examine witnesses.

Investigators hired by your school may be biased toward the institution they work for, especially if funding is tied to their findings. They may also be tempted to rush the investigation, leaving out important evidence and not fully interviewing all witnesses. This can lead to a false finding that can damage your life for years to come.

You can be accused of a Title IX violation with little or no proof and the accusations can have serious consequences. You need an experienced attorney with knowledge of Title IX law to protect your rights throughout the entire process. Shannon Drehner has extensive experience in defending students during Title IX investigations, hearings and appeals.


While a public entity is bound by Title IX, Section 504, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in general, it is not necessarily obligated to comply with Title IX as a condition or assurance of receiving federal assistance. For instance, although Grove City v. Paralyzed Veterans of America, 477 U.S. 605 (1986) establishes that the same analysis and evaluative methodology must be used when attacking discriminatory employment practices in cases brought under Title IX, it does not imply that the same analytical framework should also apply to challenges to the sex-based harassment policies of institutions that receive federal funding as part of their public duty.

For example, a recipient may operate separate teams for members of each sex in athletic activities where selection is based on competitive skill or the sport involved is not contact-oriented. However, the recipient must provide equal opportunity for members of the excluded sex to try out and participate in any other team offered where competition is not competitive.


When a student receives an unfavorable decision in a Title IX case, they are entitled to appeal. During an appeal, students submit a written document asking the university to review its original decision. Appeals are often heard by committees made up of instructors, staff members and other students. A Title IX defense attorney can help students prepare and submit appealing documentation.

A good defense lawyer will also evaluate the disciplinary hearing process to identify fundamental flaws in the proceedings. This can include determining if the investigator or hearing officer had a conflict of interest or bias that impacted the outcome.

A successful Title IX appeal can have significant ramifications for the student and their future educational and career paths. A Duffy Law Title IX lawyer can assist with the appeals process by gathering evidence and preparing compelling appeal arguments. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case. Our firm is available to provide consultations nationwide.



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