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About this industry


Colleges and universities need attorneys who understand what makes higher education unique. We provide advice, counsel and representation focused on the specific challenges and pressures facing academia. Whether it is labor and employment, student or academic affairs, our attorneys have the depth and breadth of expertise to help navigate the obstacles facing higher education today.

Universities and colleges operate in a highly sophisticated legal and operational environment. Our higher education attorneys have extensive experience representing colleges and universities with a broad range of matters, such as Title IX investigations, labor and employment law, NCAA compliance, complex litigation, student grievances, the Americans with Disabilities Act and a host of other issues at the forefront of higher education law.

We understand the unique nature of higher education:  its core values and campus culture, and how those characteristics impact the interplay of law, policy and academic mission; what motivates faculty and administrators; and what concerns the students, parents, alumni, communities and other constituencies which they serve.  Our advice is informed and shaped by these factors, so our college and university clients receive legal counsel that is customized to the academic context.

Our team includes attorneys with decades of collective experience working in-house at universities, colleges and other education organizations including as general counsel, NCAA compliance governing board membership and faculty service.


  • Institutional policies and compliance best practices 
  • Investigate claims of sexual violence 
  • Serve as hearing officers 
  • Litigation defense (respondent and complainant claims) 
  • Agency investigations and federal audits

Public institutions

  • First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Public Records Act and FOIA 
  • Academic freedom and related issues

Situation management

  • Crisis and image management
  • Media, government and public relations strategies
  • Litigation avoidance and dispute resolution
  • Executive leadership advice
  • Manage and defend reputational harm claims related to disciplinary situations or speech related issues
  • Climate assessments, including individual or group interviews

Collegiate sports

  • NCAA/NAIA compliance policies and training
  • Rules infraction cases
  • Title IX compliance reviews and strategic plans
  • Coach contracts and compensation

Student risk and liability

  • Student organization risk management
  • Internship policies and practices
  • Student handbook development
  • Breach of contract claims related to student discipline
  • Student discipline and academic misconduct
  • Honor code accusations and honor code violations
  • Mental health situations including threat to self or others

Academic policies and processes

  • Academic freedom and free speech
  • Grade appeals and academic honesty

ADA and Section 504

  • Academic and workplace accommodations
  • Policy and procedure design and implementation

Employment law in the higher education context

  • Promotions & tenure and other faculty contract matters
  • Student/scholar immigration
  • 1983 and other Civil Rights issues
  • Student employees

Privacy, data and cybersecurity

  • FERPA, HIPAA and other privacy laws
  • Social media issues for employees and students
  • Data breach prevention and management

Labor relations

  • Faculty and student organizing
  • Collective bargaining and grievance representation

Affirmative action

  • Pay equity analysis and pay discrimination defense
  • Affirmative action plans
  • OFCCP compliance and audit defense


  • Diversity policies and strategic planning
  • Proactive crisis mitigation strategies

Immigration and I-9 compliance

  • PERM-based Lawful Permanent Residency applications
  • Special handling, National Interest Waiver and Outstanding Researcher/Professor petitions
  • Employment visas, including H-1b, TN, J-1 and O visas
  • Student and visiting scholar issues including STEM OPT extensions
  • Advice and counsel on I-9, E-Verify and other compliance issues

Whether public or private, a single campus or a system, higher education institutions require attorneys who provide consistently strong advocacy, clear guidance on the complex array of compliance obligations and knowledge about best legal practices.

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