Chicago based admissions consultant, Hannah Stotland, is an advocate for students accused of rape and sexual misconduct. Actively seeking out these clients, she helps students review their options and future after they have been accused of rape or sexual misconduct. She believes that everyone deserves a second chance, and offers it to those who can afford it. Stotland believes in telling the truth and helps students shed their stories in the best light. No story just has one angle and she believes it is important to hear both sides.
In a time when “rape culture” is being questioned and combatted, Stotland sees an opportunity to help those clients that aren’t necessarily sympathized with by the public or media. With pressure from activists and legislators, universities are taking rape allegations more seriously, cracking down on the accused. Around January 2014, Stotland saw an increase in what she calls “kryptonite” clients- clients who have received disciplinary sanctions for sexual misconduct, rather than criminal charges. She doesn’t believe it’s fair for students to be treated like criminals, barred from universities, without actually having a criminal case against them.
What is the difference between Title IX sanctions and criminal charges?
- Title IX establishes that everyone has a right to an education devoid of sexual violence and harassment. That is why, under the law, universities are mandated to ensure such a campus environment.
- Reports of sexual assault that are handled by college and universities are not considered criminal charges. The accused can only be charged with disciplinary sanctions.
- In criminal charges, the criminal justice system deals with the defendant as a criminal.
- Those convicted by the criminal justice system must serve time and register as a sex offender.
Because her clients were never charged with a crime, Stotland believes it is unfair for them to be treated as criminals. She asserts that none of her clients have been charged with using force or drugging their alleged victims. She advocates for those who fall in “gray situations.” Stotland also advises her clients to tell the truth and not to admit to anything they did not do.
Why advocate for the underdogs?
Although not explicitly stated, Hannah Stotland’s own unique education can illustrate why she takes on uncommon cases.
- As a teenager, she has flunked out of high school and started working full time. She worked as a museum guide, a freelance caterer, and an Omnimax projectionist.
- Deciding to return to academia, Stotland was accepted to Harvard with just her GED. She received her undergraduate degree and JD from Harvard.
- Stotland then worked for six years as a law school career counselor.
- In 2008, she became a full-time educational and career counselor, interested in the high risk cases.
Stotland’s unique educational path likely gives her insight into troubled students. And she’s there to help them, but for a price. The counselor charges in the hundreds an hour for her services. Her clients also need to be able to afford paying full tuition for college, since it is harder to acquire a scholarship with sexual misconduct allegations made against you.
Whether seen as an opportunist or a sympathetic advocate, there is no doubt that Stotland’s business is booming.