Educational Institutions

We know the issues facing educational institutions and understand their unique characteristics.

Meet the team

We represent educational institutions of all sizes from large universities and colleges to independent and public schools. In some instances, we serve as general counsel, working directly with your institution’s officers, senior management and other staff. In other instances, we work closely with the institution’s lawyers to provide advice or representation on specific matters.

Specific Areas of Experience

Student Affairs

  • Defending litigation arising from sexual assaults and other crimes on campus
  • Defending litigation arising from student disciplinary proceedings
  • Defending litigation arising from student mental health issues
  • Providing advice on the interplay of student privacy, civil liability and criminal law in cases of sexual assault or other crimes involving students
  • Defending against allegations of discrimination by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights
  • Drafting and reviewing student handbook provisions on student discipline, privacy and other issues
  • Providing advice about accommodations for students with disabilities
  • Counseling regarding students’ rights of privacy and access under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Labor & Employment

  • Internal investigations involving alleged employee misconduct
  • Litigation of disability, discrimination and harassment claims
  • Tenure and promotion disputes
  • Collective bargaining and union relations
  • Compliance with state and federal employment, discrimination and wage and hour laws
  • Drafting and reviewing employee handbooks and faculty handbooks

Intellectual Property

  • Patent analysis and prosecution
  • Technology transfer agreements and policies
  • Trademark clearance and registration
  • Copyright fair use analysis
  • Drafting copyright policies
  • Litigating patent, copyright, trademark and licensing disputes
  • Curriculum licensing arrangements, joint ventures and affiliation agreements

Regulatory and Compliance Issues

  • Title IX
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
  • Campus Security Act
  • HIPAA and state medical privacy laws
  • ADA, Section 504, IDEA and state disability laws

Institutional Financing

  • Annually render bond counsel opinions on billions of dollars of tax-exempt bonds and notes
  • Serve as bond counsel and/or counsel to the institution, providing advice on all aspects of the institution’s capital financing needs
  • National leader in debt finance and capital markets transactions; our attorneys have a broad range of experience representing both lenders and borrowers

Real Estate, Environmental and Construction

  • Acquisition, permitting, financing, construction and renovation of classroom buildings, dormitories, parking garages, libraries and athletic facilities
  • Representation in complex development arrangements, such as mixed affordable housing and student residences
  • Environmental matters, both permitting and enforcement
  • Litigation and arbitration of construction-related disputes

Charitable & Planned Giving

  • Drafting charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, pooled income funds, gift annuities and reserved life estates
  • Representation in reformation and cy pres proceedings, and in will and trust disputes
  • Reviewing for compliance with federal and state disclosure, registration and other regulations in soliciting and administering charitable gifts
  • Advising on structuring annual fund appeals and capital campaigns

Campus Security

  • Compliance with state and federal crime reporting statutes
  • Coordination with local law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of crimes on campus
  • Defense of litigation involving campus police, including excessive force, wrongful arrest and other civil rights claims

Tax Issues

  • Unrelated business income (including debt-financed income)
  • Sales use tax and real estate tax exemptions
  • “Intermediate sanctions” and related issues
  • Employment tax issues for faculty and students
  • IRS tax audits

Employee Benefits

  • Tax-qualified defined benefit, defined contribution and cash balance plans
  • Tax-deferred annuities
  • Deferred compensation arrangements
  • Cafeteria plans (including premium payment plans, dependent care plans and medical expense reimbursement plans)
  • Tuition assistance and children’s scholarship plans

Governance and Volunteer Issues

  • Drafting and revising corporate articles and bylaws
  • Drafting conflict-of-interest policies for trustees, officers and senior management
  • Advising with regard to compensation issues, including surveys and comparables
  • Advising on trustee liability, insurance and indemnification

Our Clients

The universities and colleges we represent include:

  • Boston College
  • Boston University
  • Brandeis University
  • Brown University
  • Bryant University
  • Carroll College
  • Curry College
  • Dartmouth College
  • Dean College
  • Harvard University
  • Hult International Business School
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Mount St. Mary's University
  • Northeastern University
  • Providence College
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • Simmons University
  • Simon's Rock of Bard College
  • Smith College
  • Southern Methodist University
  • St. Matthews University School of Medicine
  • Tufts University
  • University of Vermont
  • Washington University
  • Wellesley College
  • Wesleyan University
  • Williams College
practicing lawyers
Meet the team