We're the Allen Law Firm. Dedicated to our Clients.

Michael Allen

As a former university professor, I understand academic institutions from both the inside and outside. I started my law career after teaching German and European history at a major research university, the Georgia Institute of Technology. After 11 years, I left a tenured position to earn a degree from Yale Law School.
 
As a professor, I dedicated myself to the topic of social justice. I wrote numerous articles and two books about civil rights and the Holocaust. Then I turned to a career in student rights law. Now, I don’t just study civil rights. I also defend them.
 
After clerking for the Hon. Ralph Gants, now Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, I represented clients in complex commercial disputes. Then I moved to Connecticut and started representing university students, faculty, and staff in disciplinary proceedings and in court – especially allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment, and claims brought under Title IX.
 
For students, charges of misconduct can lead to suspension or expulsion, derailing their education and jeopardizing their future. When I left academia, colleges and universities were just starting to regulate the most intimate details of students’ private lives. Since then, American universities have been rocked with repeated scandals over free speech, political expression, sexual abuse and harassment, and the due process owed to students and faculty in misconduct proceedings.
 
The potential consequences of misconduct hearings in higher education are too important to leave to academic administrators alone. Students, professors, and faculty members need legal representation to protect their rights and ensure that the university treats them fairly.
 
I stand up for the rights of students and employees entangled in university proceedings, all the way to trial if necessary. I represent both victims and the accused, in investigations and hearings on sexual misconduct accusations as well as academic and non-academic matters.
 
I also defend students accused of plagiarism, hazing, and other policy violations. I have represented clients who brought actions in state and federal court and before state agencies such as the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.
Mike Allen

Attorney Admissions

State of Connecticut
State of Massachusetts
State of New York

Education

Whitman College, B.A.
University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D.
Yale Law School, J.D.

Federal Courts

District of Connecticut
District of Massachusetts
Northern District of New York
First Circuit Court of Appeals

The Student Rights Law Group

The primary goal of the Student Rights Law Group is to protect your education. When a student is suspended or expelled due to misconduct charges, they may never resume their studies or complete their degree. An infraction on your college transcript can ruin your chances of applying to another school or being certified in your chosen profession. As such, university disciplinary hearings can ruin your education – and your future income.

This is why we help students assert their rights under Title IX, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other state and federal laws.

Wherever possible, we build relationships within the university. We seek allies committed to protecting your education. This step is often overlooked by other attorneys who simply threaten to sue.

We also identify the precise rights students have under each college’s or university’s rules. At a state university, these may be constitutional rights guaranteed to protect due process for both victims and the accused. They may be formal procedures guaranteed by contract at private schools.

To protect you, we strive to learn each college or university’s policies better than its own administrators. Our approach requires a thorough review of the school’s policies, contracts, and often an independent investigation of the facts of the case.
 
As we work with your school, we also seek leverage to use on your behalf. This gets results in the short term, but it also lays the groundwork if the matter ends up going to trial – although the best outcome is to never have to resort to formal litigation.

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The Clients We Serve

Our clients are primarily students and employees caught in the rising tide of university disciplinary investigations, hearings, appeals, and sanctions. Students often have a right to an attorney in these matters. For example, students and employees are always entitled to legal representation in Title IX cases.

Disciplinary actions at colleges and universities are skyrocketing. In 2017 alone, the University of Connecticut investigated 139 claims of sexual misconduct, while 124 complaints were filed at Yale University and 59 incidents were reported at Brown University.
There has been a similar increase in proceedings involving hazing, alcohol infractions, and academic misconduct. At the same time, submissions to the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education have shot up as universities have neglected students’ rights, forcing them to seek other sources of help.

Complaints reported to the OCR capture only a fraction of the cases related to colleges and universities across the country. Students are increasingly suing their schools in federal court to protect themselves from both arbitrary action by the schools’ quasi-judiciary systems and to force schools to stop sweeping allegations of harassment under the rug.

This trend is not limited to higher education. An average of 850 K-12 students are expelled in Connecticut each year, resulting in a cumulative loss of 240 years of education in the 2016-2017 school year alone. Parents should be aware that state and federal law guarantees students legal counsel and procedural protections in expulsion hearings.
 
 
The following is a partial list of schools at which Attorney Michael Thad Allen has represented students:
 
  • Arkansas State University
  • Central Connecticut State University
  • Colgate College
  • Columbia University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Flagler College
  • Florida State University
  • Gateway Community College
  • Guilford College
  • Hartwick College
  • Lesley University
  • Mitchell College
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Quinnipiac University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Sacred Heart University
  • Syracuse University
  • Trinity College
  • University of Bridgeport
  • Wesleyan University
  • Westfield State University
  • Yale University