Attorneys/Advocates


NC State allows for the participation of licensed attorneys and other advocates in certain disciplinary situations – those involving allegations of non-academic misconduct.  Despite the presence of attorneys or other advocates as part of the disciplinary process, NC State’s conduct process remains non-adversarial and educational in nature.  This emphasis on student education and growth as primary objectives distinguishes NC State’s conduct process from a criminal or civil litigation process.  As an example, formal rules of evidence regarding the admissibility of evidence or testimony applicable to criminal and civil causes of action do not apply.

A student or student organization wishing to have an attorney or other advocate participate in the disciplinary process must (1) provide proper notice of the attorney or advocate’s participation (2) sign a FERPA release, and (3) submit a procedural certification completed by the attorney or other advocate.  While NC State will make efforts to accommodate the scheduling needs of attorneys and other advocates, the availability of students or Student Organization members, witnesses, Conduct Board members, Administrators, or other necessary participants may take priority for scheduling purposes.  Please note that any disciplinary conference involving representation by an attorney or other advocate will take place in the Office of Student Conduct.  As a result, students choosing to participate in a Conduct Board hearing are not eligible to have an attorney or other advocate represent them.

When May a Licensed Attorney or other Advocate Participate: 

A student or student organization charged with violating the Code of Student Conduct may choose to have an attorney or non-attorney represent the student during any subsequent disciplinary procedure except when the violation involves an allegation of academic dishonesty as defined in the Code of Student Conduct.

Requirements for Participation of a Licensed Attorney or other Advocate: 

In order for a licensed attorney or other advocate to participate in the hearing process, the student or student organization must provide the following documents to the Office of Student Conduct at least three days prior to the scheduled disciplinary proceeding (each described in more detail below).

  • Notice of Participation by an Attorney or other Advocate
  • FERPA Release of Information Form
  • Certification by Licensed Attorney or other Advocate

Download Attorney/Non-Attorney Representation Form

Notice of Participation:   

A student or student organization wishing to have a licensed attorney or other advocate participate in the hearing process must notify the Office of Student Conduct in writing.  The written notification must include:

  • The identity of the licensed attorney or other advocate;
  • Whether the individual is a licensed attorney or a other advocate; and
  • An address, telephone number, and email address where the licensed attorney or other advocate can be reached.

FERPA Release of Information: 

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), NC State is not authorized to release students’ educational records without a release from the student involved.  In order for a licensed attorney or other advocate to participate, the student or student organization members must consent by signing a FERPA release of information form.

An Important Note About Student Communication: Even where a student executes a valid FERPA release of information form authorizing the licensed attorney or other advocate to receive information or documents regarding the student, the Office of Student Conduct will continue to communicate directly with the student or student organization.  It is the student’s or student organization’s responsibility to communicate and share information with a licensed attorney or other advocate.

Certification by the Licensed Attorney or other Advocate:

A student or student organization wishing to have a licensed attorney or other advocate participate in the hearing must submit a certification form signed by the licensed attorney or other advocate stating that the licensed attorney or other advocate has read and understood the following documents in their entirety:

  • The Code of Student Conduct
  • The Student Discipline Procedures
  • Section 700.4.1 of the UNC Policy Manual
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Extent of Participation by Licensed Attorneys and other Advocates:

Licensed attorneys and other advocates may fully participate in disciplinary procedures only to the extent afforded to the student or student organization they represent.  Additionally, licensed attorneys and other advocates may not delay, disrupt, or otherwise interfere with a disciplinary procedure.