Aaron S. Bayer

Biography

Aaron draws on his experience within higher education and government to advise colleges, universities, private secondary schools, and nonprofit organizations on the complex legal, regulatory, governmental, and public relations issues that they regularly face.

Aaron heads the firm's Education Practice Group and is a litigation Partner. He counsels education clients on a variety of regulatory and compliance matters and helps those clients respond to government investigations, including Title IX claims.

His advice is tempered by a deep understanding of the culture and operations of colleges and universities, having served as General Counsel and Secretary of Connecticut College. In that position, he coordinated the work of the Board of Trustees, advised the college's President, and oversaw all of the college's legal affairs, including litigation, contracts, internal policies and procedures, and compliance with state and federal law. He also served as Acting Vice President for Advancement, and taught Constitutional Law at both Connecticut College and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Aaron currently serves as co-chair of TerraLex's Education Services Industry Sector.

Aaron is also an accomplished appellate lawyer. A previous Chair of the firm's Appellate Practice Group, he has argued numerous high-profile cases before state and federal appeals courts in Connecticut and around the country. He has written on appellate issues, including a regular column for the National Law Journal.

Since 2006, he has been named in The Best Lawyers in America for his work as an appellate lawyer and was named Hartford Appellate Practice "Lawyer of the Year." Aaron was also honored as a "litigation star" by Benchmark Litigation in the categories of Appellate, General Commercial, and Higher Education Law.

Aaron previously served as the Deputy Attorney General of Connecticut and as counsel to the U.S. Senate Governmental Affairs Committee and to U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman. As Deputy Attorney General, he oversaw the work of the Office's 200 attorneys, which included advising the governor, legislature, and all agency heads; representing the state in all civil litigation; and investigating misconduct by state officials. He managed some of the Office's most complex and politically sensitive cases. Aaron draws on that government experience in advising clients on a wide array of government regulatory matters and investigations—providing legal guidance that is shaped by an understanding of the related government relations and public relations issues that clients face.

Aaron also has significant experience advising nonprofit organizations. He has served on nonprofit boards of directors, including serving as the Chair of Connecticut Legal Services, Vice President of the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government, and a director of the Connecticut Public Affairs Network.

He is a longstanding advocate of open government, winning awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Freedom of Information Commission. He served on the Judicial Task Force on Public Access, established by the acting Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court to increase public access to the courts, and chaired the Committee on Access to Judicial Proceedings, which recommended expanding media coverage of court proceedings.

Aaron received his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Civil Rights – Civil Liberties Law Review, and obtained a B.A. summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University. After law school, he was a clerk to Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.

Education

  • Harvard Law School  (J.D., 1980)
    • cum laude
  • Yale University  (B.A., 1977)
    • summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut

Court Admissions

  • US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • US District Court (District of Connecticut)
  • US Supreme Court

Distinctions

  • Champion of Open Government Award, Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information (2011)
  • Connecticut Judicial Branch Article Vth Award for service on Public Access Task Force (2006)
  • E. Bartlett Barnes Freedom of Information Award for "contributions to open and accountable government" (awarded by FOIC, February 2000)
  • Freedom of Information Award from Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists (February 2000)
  • Selected as Connecticut Bar Foundation James W. Cooper Fellow

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Connecticut Bar Foundation
    • Cooper Fellows Education and Program Committee
  • Connecticut Legal Services
    • Chair (2008-2009)
    • Vice Chair (2007-2008)
  • Connecticut Foundation for Open Government
    • Vice President (2001-2015)
    • Board Member (2001 - Present)
  • Connecticut Judicial Branch Public Access Task Force
    • Appointed by Chief Justice (2006)
  • Connecticut Judicial Branch Public Access Task Force
    • Chair, Committee on Access to Judicial Proceedings, (2006)
  • Connecticut Public Affairs Network
    • Board Member (2012 - Present)
  • International Festival of Arts & Ideas
    • Board Member (2005-2007)