Overview

We help colleges, universities, and independent schools successfully navigate the wide-ranging legal, business, and compliance issues they face today.  From financing the construction of dormitories and academic facilities, to cybersecurity issues, sexual misconduct investigations, labor negotiations and compliance with employment laws, our attorneys have the knowledge and experience that enables our clients to focus on their primary mission:  providing their students with outstanding educational opportunities.  We take particular pride and pleasure in assisting clients to carry out that mission.

Our educational clients can take advantage of the firm's knowledge not only on specific, education-related subjects such as FERPA and Title IX, but also draw upon our considerable experience representing educational institutions in a variety of other relevant areas, including corporate and nonprofit governance, real estate, public finance, intellectual property, labor and employment,  bankruptcy, and health care.  We understand the unique needs of this industry, not only through our long association with schools, colleges and universities as their legal counsel, but also through the involvement of our attorneys as in-house counsel, trustees and advisory board members of educational institutions.  We are trusted advisors and problem-solvers as well as advocates, and when necessary, litigators.  We make ourselves accessible whenever needed and work efficiently, because we understand the environment and the time pressures that often apply.

Experience

Student issues

  • investigation of student-on-student sexual misconduct claims
  • investigation of alleged sexual harassment by faculty members
  • representation of institutions in resolving threatened litigation by both complainants and respondents in sexual misconduct cases
  • advice regarding general student policies and disciplinary matters

Labor, employment law, and faculty immigration

  • representation of institutions in collective bargaining negotiations with faculty unions
  • negotiation and preparation of employment agreements between institutions and their presidents
  • representation of universities and schools in obtaining work visas and United States permanent residence for international faculty members
  • general employment law advice and counseling related to policies, discipline, hiring and terminations

Transactions, Contracts, and Governance

  • negotiation/drafting of joint venture/affiliation agreements between institutions and other non-profit entities to accomplish common goals
  • negotiation/drafting of "outsourcing" agreements for various activities including student health services, food services and extracurricular activities
  • advice and assistance in structuring unique internship programs with local businesses, including drafting guidelines and agreements
  • review and drafting of extensive services agreements supporting college/university operations, including student bookstore, food service and child care
  • review and revision of college bylaws to support efficient governance and permit participation of various constituencies  

Real estate, land use, and environmental matters

  • representation of university with respect to environmental issues in connection with acquisition of former corporate facility
  • negotiation of public/private partnership between college and city for joint use of athletic fields
  • negotiation of "payment in lieu of taxes" agreements with respect to school properties

Regulatory compliance

  • conduct of Title IX audit of university athletics department and recommendations to achieve compliance
  • advice to institutions with respect to retirement plans and ERISA compliance
  • guidance on FERPA, Title IX and federal funding requirements
  • drafting policies to comply with IRS requirements for reasonable compensation
  • advice regarding Title IV restrictions

Litigation

  • successful defense of institutions in bankruptcy “clawback” proceedings seeking disgorgement of tuition payments
  • favorable settlements of claims involving expulsions, deliberate indifference to sexual harassment reports and failure to provide reasonable assistance to students with disabilities

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