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Shanlon Wu
Shanlon Wu, a former federal prosecutor, is a college student defense attorney who defends college students against alcohol, drug, plagiarism, sexual assault and other violations in universities and in court. At the Justice Department, he served as counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno, advising her on criminal law issues and prosecuted sexual assault, domestic violence and public corruption cases. He pioneered the use of expert testimony in domestic violence prosecutions and secured the first life-without-parole sentence for a serial rapist in Washington, D.C. A partner at Wu, Grohovsky & Whipple PLLC, his practice focuses on college student defense, criminal defense, whistleblower protection and crime-victim rights.

Shan received his law degree from Georgetown University, a B.A. in English Literature from Vassar College, and a M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. He has written about Bruce Lee for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, trained professional kickboxers, and competed as an amateur boxer under the tutelage of two-time world heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson.

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Entries by Shanlon Wu

3 Questions to Ask if Your Student Gets in Trouble at College

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2016 | 2:06 PM


Disbelief is the most common reaction parents have to news that their college student is in trouble. Most parents think, "What's the big deal? We all did silly/dumb/risky things in college."

Well, that was then--and this is now. Decades ago, colleges...

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Parenting a College Student: Lessons From Mencius' Mom

(1) Comments | Posted September 23, 2015 | 3:30 PM


How do you parent when your child leaves home for college? Distance "Tiger Mom-ing" and "Helicopter Parenting" become more difficult. You can rely on check-ins, daily calls, Skype, Facebook -- but those are no substitute for the ease of communication and observation when...

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Put the Intent Back into Plagiarism!

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 8:39 AM

In our college student defense legal practice, we frequently defend students charged with plagiarism for having turned in incompletely cited drafts or the wrong drafts as final drafts. These cases almost always arise under student honor codes that treat the element of intent as irrelevant to their definition of plagiarism.

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Identifying Campus Sexual Predators

(0) Comments | Posted October 24, 2014 | 2:26 PM

We need a law requiring colleges and universities to share information about potential serial campus sexual predators with each other and with law enforcement. The emerging details about Jesse Matthew, the suspect arrested in the disappearance of missing UVA college student Hannah Graham, may be a tragic example of the...

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Were UVA Student Hannah Graham and Virginia Tech Student Morgan Harrington Victims of a Serial Campus Rapist?

(4) Comments | Posted October 9, 2014 | 7:15 PM

What if Jesse Matthew, the suspect in the disappearance of UVA student Hannah Graham, had been found responsible for the campus sexual assaults he was accused of at two different Virginia universities and the universities had worked with law enforcement to identify Matthew as a potential serial rapist? Matthew is...

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The College Talk: The One Thing Parents Need to Tell Children Leaving for College

(0) Comments | Posted August 29, 2014 | 4:50 PM

Lists abound about what you need to tell your children before they leave for college. But no "Top 3" or "Top 25" list can ever address the infinite worries, hopes and fears that accompany your children leaving for college. You want them to be safe but adventurous. You want them...

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Why Colleges and Universities Should Be Worried About Campus Sexual Assault Investigations

(3) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 9:43 PM

A perfect storm descended on colleges and universities this summer. Starting with the White House Task Force's report on campus sexual assaults ("Not Alone: The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault"), the storm gathered momentum from the identification of some...

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Improving Campus Sexual Assault Investigations: Will Independent Investigators Help or Hurt?

(7) Comments | Posted June 21, 2014 | 3:03 PM

The recent White House Task Force report on campus sexual assaults, "NOT ALONE The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault", recommends that colleges and universities consider using a "single investigator" model to improve campus sexual assault investigations. How might such...

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Colleges vs. Military: Who's Worse at Prosecuting Sexual Assaults?

(11) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 11:51 AM

Answer: Colleges do a worse job.

Colleges and the military both suffer from a sexual assault epidemic compounded by flawed judicial systems. But the military judicial system is at least run by professionals. The college judicial system is run by rank amateurs.

Let's start with the similarities.

Criticism over...

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