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Capabilities / Higher Education

Higher Education

Advising colleges and universities in higher education law to a greater degree.

More than 250 higher education clients trust Husch Blackwell attorneys to handle their compliance, operations and litigation legal services, allowing them to focus on their educational mission. Our higher education clients include major research institutions, academic medical centers, religiously affiliated institutions, regional universities, private colleges, nursing and allied health schools, community colleges, proprietary schools and publicly traded school groups.

With more than 30 attorneys, our Higher Education law group is one of the largest such practices in the United States. The law firm's higher education group includes attorneys with decades of experience resolving the most complex challenges confronting colleges and universities. Several of our education attorneys gained valuable industry insights while serving as in-house counsel at educational institutions, major corporations and government agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice.

Our guidance to clients in the higher education sector includes:

Compliance and strategy

We supply higher education institutions with top-level comprehensive policy and procedure audits, as well as in-depth systems audits, to identify and remedy potential liabilities. Our team provides access to model and customized policies to help meet program requirements, as well as any necessary training.

Collegiate athletics and NCAA compliance

We understand the central role athletics play in institutional identity and student life—a role that makes NCAA compliance a matter of great importance. We represent NCAA Division I, II and III colleges and universities in NCAA enforcement investigations and alleged infractions cases; guide colleges, universities and student-athletes through NCAA regulatory processes (NCAA waivers, NCAA student-athlete eligibility matters and NCAA amateurism cases); conduct independent investigations and culture and climate reviews of sport programs; and provide comprehensive NCAA athletics compliance assessments. Our experienced attorneys, led by a former NCAA investigator, also closely track potential NCAA rule changes. Further details about our NCAA work are available here.

Student affairs

We draft policies, review and update student handbooks and provide comprehensive training on scenarios such as student discipline, complaints of faculty and dismissal. We also conduct investigations of alleged student misconduct and recommend options for resolution under existing institutional policies. Our team has vast experience in matters involving Title IX/sexual harassment, the Clery Act, the First Amendment and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Title IX

As a nationally recognized provider of Title IX training, our team has a deep understanding of the legal and practical issues inherent in proactively addressing potential campus sexual misconduct and related retaliation. We regularly provide legal guidance on Title IX compliance and conduct comprehensive compliance reviews, and we have extensive experience investigating allegations of sexual misconduct and gender discrimination. We also support institutions in connection with investigations conducted by the Office for Civil Rights and are well-versed in negotiating resolution agreements, including those associated with high-profile cases. Further details about our Title IX work are available here.

Title IV Federal Student Aid

We understand that Federal Student Aid is not only a lifeline for students but also critical in sustaining institutions. Our Higher Education team helps clients obtain initial approval to participate in the Title IV student aid programs and advises on their continued participation. We provide experienced and effective representation when institutions are faced with adverse audit or program review findings. Further details about our Title IV work are available here.

Litigation and administrative actions

Our team regularly defends clients in litigation involving civil rights, class actions, the False Claims Act and contracts. From the start of an investigation through its resolution, our clients receive guidance and advocacy from our experienced trial attorneys.

Labor and employment

We help higher education institutions with a full range of education-specific matters and compliance issues, such as tenure, employee benefits, immigration, compensation, discrimination, internal revenue and collective bargaining issues.

Mergers, acquisitions and changes of control

We have extensive experience serving institutions facing critical decisions that will shape their futures. With an eye towards the institution-specific, operational and aspirational considerations that impact these decisions, we provide the legal expertise and guidance needed for complex transactions. We assist institutions in navigating accreditation, U.S. Department of Education, state and corporate legal and regulatory requirements, as well as the practical implications of these transactions for faculty, staff, students, programs and policies.  Over the last few years, we have assisted more than 20 institutions through change of control processes involving mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. Further details about our transaction work are available here.

Alerts | June 22, 2021
NCAA v. Alston: Five Key Takeaways
White Papers | March 2021
2021 NCAA Compliance Report: The Changing Context of College Athletics

How to think about the coming year and the issues that will drive the conversation around college sports.

Podcast | October 15, 2020
HRW Higher Ground: Whaaaaat? And Why Now?
Blog | September 23, 2020
Updated Guidance on FEMA Public Assistance
Alerts | October 11, 2019
Troubling Trends in Collegiate Sports, Is Your Institution Prepared?

Just under half (49.41%) of survey respondents indicated that their institution has no formal document describing the independent medical model of care adopted by their school.

Articles | November 21, 2018
University Business: A look into a hefty Clery Act fine in higher ed

Hayley Hanson and Ben Irwin describe a case study of a Clery Act violation that carried a high fine.

Webinar | August 17, 2021
Informal Resolution Training for Student Misconduct and Title IX Incidents on your Campus

Registration for this training has closed. For additional information, please contact Emily Schumacher.

Webinar | June 30, 2021
Issues in Higher Education | The New Frontier of College Athlete Name, Image and Likeness

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Speaking Engagements | April 14 - 16, 2021
Speaker, Virtual Gulf Coast Campus Safety Summit
Webinar | March 25, 2021
Title IX Advanced Training
Webinar | March 9, 2021
Title IX Training 2021 - March 9th
Webinar | February 26, 2021
Title IX Advisor Training
Webinar | January 27, 2021
Title IX Training 2021 - January 27th
Webinar | January 22, 2021
2020 Title IX Regulations: Core Issues and Lessons Learned

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Webinar | December 2020
COVID-19 and Clinical Programs
Webinar | December 15, 2020
Labor & Employment in Higher Education Year-in-Review 2020

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Webinar | November 24, 2020
Title IX Training for Advisors
Webinar | November 2020
COVID-19 Privacy Concerns
Webinar | October 27, 2020
CARES Act and Student Funding Developments
Webinar | October 14, 2020
Title IX Training 2020 - October 14th
Webinar | September 21, 2020
Student Health on Campus

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Webinar | September 2020
COVID-19 Accommodations
Webinar | September 11, 2020
Title IX Training 2020 - September 11, 2020
Webinar | September 3, 2020
Title IX Training 2020 - September 3, 2020
Webinar | August 2020
Contact Tracing and Campus Testing
Webinar | August 17, 2020
Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention on Campus in the COVID-19 Era

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Webinar | August 4, 2020
Title IX Training 2020 - August 4, 2020
Webinar | July 31, 2020
Clery in Light of COVID-19

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Webinar | July 23, 2020
Title IX Training 2020 - July 23, 2020
Webinar | July 2, 2020
Return to Campus Planning: Practical Considerations in the Age of COVID-19

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Webinar | June 30, 2020
Trademark and Copyright Issues in the COVID-19 Era

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Webinar | May 11, 2020
Final Title IX Regulations and Their Effect on Your Campus

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Webinar | April 21, 2020
COVID-19: Labor and Employment Issues in Higher Education

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Webinar | March 30, 2020
Before the New Title IX Rules Drop

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Webinar | February 24, 2020
U.S. Department of Education New Regulations for 2020

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Webinar | January 28, 2020
Restorative Justice as a Response to Campus Misconduct

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Webinar | December 5, 2019
Annual Higher Education Labor and Employment Law Update

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Webinar | November 12, 2019
403(b) Crunch Time

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Webinar | October 29, 2019
Faculty Handbooks: Common Issues and Practical Tips

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Webinar | October 24, 2019
Interassociation Recommendations: Preventing Catastrophic Injury and Death in College Athletics

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Seminars | October 23, 2019
Higher Education Seminar - Grand Rapids
Webinar | September 25, 2019
The Landscape for Higher Education: Greek Life Issues

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Webinar | August 27, 2019
They're Back! Addressing Student Health and Safety on Campus

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Seminars | July 31 - August 1, 2019
Title IX Workshop - DePaul University
Seminars | June 17 - 19, 2019
College and University Presidents' Summit
Seminars | June 12 - 13, 2019
Title IX Workshop - Austin
Webinar | June 12, 2019
Spotlight on Admissions: Legal Considerations, and Dos and Don'ts

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Webinar | April 30, 2019
Buzzing Issues in Student Finance

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Seminars | April 12, 2019
Annual Higher Education Seminar - Chicago
Seminars | April 11, 2019
Title IX Foundations Workshop
Webinar | March 25, 2019
Service and Emotional Support Animals: Managing the Menagerie

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Webinar | February 21, 2019
Who's in Charge? Student Athlete Health through Independent Medical Care

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Webinar | January 29, 2019
An Interactive Analysis of Common Scenarios Under the FMLA and ADA

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Seminars | January 10, 2019
Title IX Workshop - January 10-11, 2019
Webinar | December 11, 2018
Ensure Your 403(b) Plan is in Compliance - December 11, 2018

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Seminars | November 1-2, 2018
Title IX Workshop - Nebraska
Webinar | November 19, 2018
New Proposed Title IX Regulations and their Effect on Your Campus - November 27, 2018

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Seminars | November 1-2, 2018
Title IX Workshop - Advanced Concepts in Resolving, Investigating and Adjudicating Sexual Misconduct

Higher Education Group Presents:
Advanced Concepts in Resolving, Investigating
and Adjudicating Sexual Misconduct

Webinar | October 29, 2018
Labor & Employment Law Update, October 29, 2018

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Seminars | 10/11/2018
Title IX Foundations
October 11, 2018

As institutions build sexual misconduct response teams in the face of shifting regulation and guidance, they must train investigators to respond to complaints while meeting institutional obligations and protecting the rights of all involved.

Webinar | September 26, 2018
Research Compliance:
Hot Topics in Education & Healthcare Settings
September 26, 2018

Please join the attorneys of Husch Blackwell for a presentation on research compliance issues relevant to Higher Education and Healthcare programs, particularly those in Academic Medical Centers.

Media Mentions | August 02, 2021
Austin Monthly: Austin's Top Attorneys 2021
News Releases | February 08, 2021
Husch Blackwell Ramps Up Washington, DC, Growth Plans
News Releases | January 21, 2020
Janelle Carter Anderson Joins Husch Blackwell's Chicago Office

Anderson brings a diverse background to her practice with service as in-house counsel to a global healthcare and technology education provider as well as a state university.

News Releases | January 15, 2020
U.S. Council for Athletes' Health and Husch Blackwell Announce Launch of Athletics Healthcare Compliance Platform

The platform operates as an all-in-one tool to assist with the delivery and execution of compliance requirements by all stakeholders in higher education athletic programs.

News Releases | July 19, 2019
Demetrius Peterson Named to Centurions Leadership Program's Fall 2021 Class

The Centurions Leadership Program is a two-year immersion in leadership and community engagement activities.

News Releases | July 05, 2019
Husch Blackwell's Ault and Mullineaux Receive 2019 Missouri Bar Pro Bono Publico Awards

The Missouri Bar presents its Pro Bono Publico Awards annually to attorneys who have rendered outstanding pro bono service to indigent or low-income persons in need of legal assistance.

News Releases | June 06, 2019
Aleks Rushing Named to St. Louis Business Journal's 2019 30 Under 30 Class

The 30 members of the 2019 class were chosen from nearly 300 nominations.

Media Mentions | April 2019
Ingram's 40 Under Forty: The 21st Class
Media Mentions | April 19, 2019
Daily Kos: Black Kos Week in Review
News Releases | March 22, 2019
Paige Duggins-Clay Named Austin Black Business Journal "Top 20 Up and Coming Lawyer"

Duggins-Clay was noted for “exemplifying the core values of the legal and civic profession."

Media Mentions | February 11, 2019
Law360 Names Attys Who Moved Up The Firm Ranks In Q4
Media Mentions | November 27, 2018
Inside Higher Ed: What the DeVos Title IX Rule Means for Misconduct Off Campus

Colleges are likely to continue investigating off-campus sexual misconduct with implications for classroom environment despite changes advanced in proposed Title IX rule, higher ed lawyers say. 

Media Mentions | November 15, 2018
The Robotics Law Journal: AI a Necessity for Law Firms
News Releases | October 30, 2018
Husch Blackwell Names Julie Miceli as Chicago Office Managing Partner

Julie Miceli has been named Office Managing Partner of Husch Blackwell's Chicago office effective November 1, 2018.

Media Mentions | October 30, 2018
Chicago Business Journal People on the Move: Julie Miceli

Husch Blackwell names Julie Miceli Office Managing Partner in Chicago.

Media Mentions | October 26, 2018
Kansas City Business Journal: See Kansas City's Best of the Bar for 2018

Four Husch Blackwell attorneys were selected to the Kansas City Business Journal's 2018 "Best of the Bar."

Media Mentions | October 22, 2018
Chronicle of Higher Education: Federal Proposal to Redefine Gender Throws College Policies Into Uncertainty

Scott Schneider is quoted in an article about a Trump administration proposal to redefine gender and how it would affect Title IX protections at colleges and universities.

Testimonials John Jasinski, President, Northwest Missouri State University

“We love Husch Blackwell because they’re not at all about status quo. They help us to understand who we are, where we’re at and where we need to go.”

Read how invested partnerships make a difference
Testimonials Chancellor's Office, state university

"Husch Blackwell has a reputation of giving solid advice and supporting campuses through really difficult cases. I have a high level of confidence in the guidance and direction they provide."

Read how invested partnerships make a difference
Testimonials Dr. Clarence Green, Chief of University Police and Vice President of Culture, Northwest Missouri State University

“Northwest Missouri State University has used the Clery Compliance Toolset for more than four years and it has worked great! It expedites the process and has tons of model policy language built into the system. It also allows you to build your daily crime report. Great Tool.”

Read how invested partnerships make a difference
Testimonials Erika Linden, Chief Compliance Officer & Title IX Coordinator, Des Moines University

"The Clery Compliance Toolset is easy to use, streamlines the production of our Annual Security Report and increases the collaboration with our security office for crime data. It gives me peace of mind that I'm doing my job in a high-quality way."

Read how invested partnerships make a difference
Testimonials Webinar attendee

“Husch Blackwell always, always provides well-prepared presentations on varied topics related to Education overall with presenters highly qualified on the subject matter.”

Read how invested partnerships make a difference
Testimonials Recent Higher Education webinar attendee

"I love listening to the attorneys at Husch Blackwell, they articulate their items in a simplified and easy-to-follow format."

Read how invested partnerships make a difference
Client Results

Husch Blackwell successfully defends Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Chicago arbitration.

See full case study

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