Litigation and Regulatory Compliance



We counsel colleges, universities, independent secondary schools, preparatory schools, and other educational institutions on a full range of legal issues, including

Student issues

  • Title IX compliance issues and investigations
  • Student disciplinary matters
  • Disability accommodations
  • Housing, academic, and admissions issues
  • International programs
  • Student privacy (FERPA, HIPAA, and other federal and state privacy laws)

Title IX and other regulatory compliance

  • Title IX and Clery Act compliance
  • Campus safety
  • FERPA and student privacy
  • Freedom of information laws (FOIA)
  • Federal regulations governing human participant research and scientific misconduct
  • Regulation of online courses

Cybersecurity and Privacy

  • Compliance with data security and financial privacy laws
  • Comprehensive cybersecurity risk assessments
  • Privacy and data security plans and employee training
  • Review of outsourcing contracts to ensure data protection
  • Assistance with data incident planning and response
  • GDPR compliance
  • FERPA and student privacy
  • Internal investigations, government investigations, litigation

For further information on our Cybersecurity and Privacy Services, click here.

Labor, employment, and employee benefits

  • Faculty employment, promotion, and tenure
  • Personnel policies and manuals
  • Defending claims of wrongful discharge, discrimination, and sexual harassment
  • Design and implementation of employee benefits plans and programs
  • Qualified and non-qualified deferred compensation, executive compensation, and employment agreements

For further information on our Labor, Employment and Benefits Services, click here.


  • Institutional immigration sponsorship strategy and policies for recruiting, hiring, and retaining short- and long-term international faculty/employees
  • Institutional immigration strategy and policies related to international and DACA students
  • Temporary non-immigrant and permanent residence/immigrant processes through institutional employment-based sponsorship of faculty and employees, including Special Handling PERM Alien Labor Certification applications and Outstanding Professor/Researcher, EB-1, and NIW petitions
  • Global visa and international travel strategy for U.S. faculty/students going abroad
  • I-9 and IRCA compliance/training

For further information on our Immigration Services, click here.

Commercial contracting

  • Information technology (IT) licensing and implementation
  • Outsourcing
  • Equipment leases
  • Government contracts
  • Business services and consulting contracts
  • Agreements with other educational institutions and programs

For further information on our Transactional Services click here, and for Outsourcing and Technology Services, click here.

Real estate and facilities

  • Acquisition, sale, disposition, and leasing of real property
  • Construction and design matters, including negotiation and drafting of contracts with architects, engineers, and contractors
  • Telecommunications matters, including distributed antenna systems, dark fiber installations, and cell site leasing and development
  • Land use and zoning
  • Environmental matters, alternative energy, onsite power generation solutions, and green initiatives
  • Property tax valuation and exemption matters

For further information about our Real Estate, Construction and Facilities Services, click here.


  • Trial court litigation in state and federal courts, including class actions
  • Appeals in state and federal courts
  • Mediation and arbitration proceedings
  • Litigation involving educational institutions, including tenure denials, terminations and other employment actions, student discipline, commercial transactions, art and antiquities, civil rights and constitutional claims, and property tax matters

For further information on our Litigation Department, click here.

Government investigations

  • Representation in state and federal investigations, including investigations and enforcement actions by state attorneys general, state departments of education, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Justice
  • Assistance in conducting internal investigations

For further information on our White Collar Defense, Internal Investigations and Corporate Compliance Services, click here.

Export and economic sanctions compliance

  • Investigate potential violations of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Export Administration Regulations (EAR), and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanction regimes
  • Assist with policies, training, audits, licenses, and internal investigations related to
    • Research collaboration with foreign institutions, academics, and graduate students, and academic visits to or from sanctioned countries
    • Acceptance of funding from private sponsors who might wish to restrict publication (and thereby jeopardize universities' use of export exemptions for fundamental research)
    • Exposure of research equipment and results to unauthorized international graduate students and faculty
    • Misdirected e-mails, mistaken Internet or intranet postings containing export-controlled information, and movement of data (including e-mail) to the Cloud
    • Research involving cutting-edge (and often export-controlled) technologies, such as drones

For further information on our International Trade Compliance Services, click here.

Tax exemption and corporate governance

  • Board governance, including conflicts of interest
  • Uniform Management of Institutional Funds Act compliance
  • IRS Intermediate Sanctions
  • Relationships with supporting, affiliated, and for-profit organizations
  • Unrelated trade or business income

For further information on our Tax Exempt Organizations Services, click here.

Charitable giving and philanthropy

  • Assist both donors and institutions in all forms of charitable donations
  • Advise on estate and income tax implications of charitable donations
  • Assist institutions in interpreting and administering gift restrictions
  • Help trustees comply with the Prudent Investor Act, prohibited transaction rules, excise tax rules, and related matters

For further information on our Philanthropy Services, please click here.

For further information on our Charitable Planning Services, please click here.

Intellectual property

  • Copyright and trademark
  • Development and implementation of policies regarding invention disclosures, ownership of inventions and patent protection, and commercialization of intellectual property (IP)
  • Licensing arrangements and technology transfer agreements
  • Sponsored research, grants, and consulting arrangements
  • Prosecution and litigation of patents, trade secrets, trademarks, domain names, copyrights, and other IP rights

For further information about our Intellectual Property Services, click here.

Art and Museum Law

  • Transnational matters and claims involving foreign and international law
  • Managing disputes over ownership and provenance
  • Advising on treatment of abandoned art loans and sales of forged or improperly accredited work
  • Tax, gift and estate-planning matters, financial transactions, and IP issues
  • Not-for-profit governance issues and government investigations, including forfeiture

For more information on our Art and Museum Law Services, click here.