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Higher Education

Overview

When it comes to helping your higher education institution stay on the right side of the law with your faculty, staff, and students, including Title IX compliance, you’ll want lawyers who are at the head of the line when it comes to understanding the unique issues and dynamics presented by the college and university environment.

The Fisher Phillips Higher Education Practice Group knows that the deference traditionally afforded to higher education institutions by courts and federal and state regulators has significantly eroded in recent years. Colleges and universities are left to navigate a dizzying array of legal decisions and regulations which, if not managed appropriately, can lead to significant monetary exposure and institutional embarrassment. Our attorneys are able to assist you address these legal and regulatory issues in a skilled, efficient, and cost-effective manner.

Workplace and Sexual Misconduct Law
The labor and employment law issues facing your institutions are unique. The services we provide include defending litigation and administrative proceedings, handling internal and administrative investigations and grievances, engaging in collective bargaining negotiations, handling union organizing campaigns and unfair labor practice charges, and providing workplace law training for staff, managers, and academic administrators. We have a team of seasoned litigators throughout the country that can represent your institution in litigation brought by alleged victims of sexual misconduct or students who dispute institutional findings that they are responsible for sexual misconduct.  

Student Affairs
The legal and regulatory landscape governing the way you handle student affairs matters has changed dramatically in the last several years. Issues involving students can create significant risk for reputational damage and legal exposure. We can defend you in Office of Civil Rights (OCR) compliance reviews and litigation including cases involving claims of discrimination, retaliation, breach of contract, and constitutional violations. We can also review your student codes of conduct, handbooks, and academic policies, while also conducting internal training on numerous student affairs issues including Title IX, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). 

Clery Act Compliance and Campus Law Enforcement Support
The Clery Act requires you to store and disclose information about crime on and near your campus. Violations can lead to significant fines and reputational damage, but compliance can be exceptionally difficult. We can assist your campus by conducting internal Clery compliance audits, crafting Clery-compliant policies, providing training to campus law enforcement and campus security administrators, and representing you in external compliance reviews.

Title IX Compliance
We offer a comprehensive package of Title IX services to ensure that your school is compliant with this important law and that your policies and practices can withstand the scrutiny of the government and zealous plaintiffs’ attorneys. Our package combines on-site assessment with off-site policy review, specifically tailored to meet your school’s needs. At the conclusion of the review, you’ll receive a thorough and attorney-client privileged report outlining areas of policy and process deficiencies, providing suggestions for both legal compliance and best practice guidelines, and recommending appropriate staffing and training solutions. We also offer day-to-day consultation on Title IX policies, investigations, training sessions, and litigation.

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