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Overview

Annie shares a commitment to the educational mission with clients and colleagues.

Annie works with public, private, nonprofit and proprietary educational institutions, ranging from small nursing schools to national research universities and K-12 schools. She provides compliance audits, policy development, investigations, customized training and general counsel services to help clients navigate the web of legal and regulatory requirements overlaying their operations. Annie also helps institutions respond to regulatory investigations and actions, resolve disputes and proceed through litigation when needed.

Institutions with and without in-house counsel call Annie to handle specialized legal and regulatory issues, support complex matters, manage emergencies and provide objective outside assessments. Annie and the Education team often provide “first phone call” legal advice on day-to-day operational issues as well as emerging crises.

Annie has a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of education legal and regulatory issues. To help colleges and universities maintain the flow of funding that fuels their operations, she focuses much of her practice on Title IV Federal Student Aid and other student finance matters. That focus encompasses requirements and obligations tied to Title IV program participation—including Title IX, disability and other nondiscrimination, Clery Act, privacy, contract, employment/tenure and accreditation concerns. In addition, Annie concentrates on issues unique to academic medical centers, providing resources on learner and healthcare concerns arising in healthcare education programs. She seeks to deliver positive outcomes that square with each institution’s culture, values and mission.


Industries

Services

Education

  • J.D., Loyola University Chicago School of Law
    • American Jurisprudence Awards: Legal Writing, Appellate Advocacy
    • National Moot Court Team
  • B.A., Politics and French, Lake Forest College
    • Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority

Admissions

  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • National Association of College and University Attorneys, NACUANOTES Committee, 2017-present; Committee on Program for Annual Conference, 2016-2017; Committee on Legal Education, 2015-2016
  • National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
  • Higher Education Committee of 50 (Forward50)
  • Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education (NASPA)
  • American Health Lawyers Association

Clerkships

  • The Hon. Nanette K. Laughrey, U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
  • The Hon. Charles R. Norgle Sr., U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
Featured Case Study

An Ounce of Prevention: Tending to Policy Review

After discovering liability patterns sprouting from neglected or outdated college and university policies and systems, Annie and the Education team developed a legal compliance policy audit process to help institutions break common risk-generating cycles. Working with a large Midwestern university, Annie used one such audit to review policies associated with common and significant risks—including Title IX sexual misconduct and other nondiscrimination procedures, required disclosures, privacy protections and Clery Act Annual Security Reports. By using audit reports including detailed action plans, she provided administrators with a road map to enhanced compliance.


Additional Experience

Title IV Federal Student Aid

  • Prepared colleges and universities for imminent U.S. Department of Education (USED) Federal Student Aid program reviews, leading team in updating outdated policies, developing procedural enhancements, spot-checking student files, and staff preparation. Result was ready-to-go action plans for improved compliance available for USED review upon site visit.
  • Counseled institutions on applying USED still-developing data privacy, breach and disclosure reporting requirements concerning Federal Student Aid information.
  • Assisted university in developing institutional loan program compliant with student finance, Truth in Lending Act and state law requirements.
  • Conducted reviews at colleges and universities of high-risk Title IV compliance areas, including returns of Title IV funds, satisfactory academic progress and distance education concerns. Developed detailed plans for enhancing institutional compliance and mitigating risks.

Compliance and Training

  • Developed and presented training for numerous college and university administrators and employees, including general back-to-school legal updates and customized advanced Title IX coordinator, investigator and adjudicator workshops.
  • Served as outside investigator for schools and universities, providing independent analysis of sexual misconduct complaints raised under Title IX policies.
  • Conducted in-depth legal compliance audits of educational institutions' key policies and procedures, nondiscrimination systems and operational functions to improve compliance and align with legal and risk-management best practices.
  • Guided large proprietary university through Gainful Employment Alternate Earnings Appeal, including implementation of alumni survey, obtaining USED clarification and successful submission of appeal under shifting Department expectations.

Outside General Counsel

  • Provided "first phone call" responses to K-12 schools, colleges and universities, guiding them through legal, policy and procedure considerations related to situations presenting potential nondiscrimination, student disability accommodation, governance, contracts, financial aid and employment issues.
  • Served as touchpoint for college and university boards conducting institutional presidents' evaluations and setting strategic goals.
  • Guided schools through measured approaches to concerning student conduct—including use of social media and escalating threats—and resulting discipline, all while balancing potential disability, other discrimination, privacy, speech and other legal considerations.
Community Leadership

Annie’s volunteer efforts reflect her dedication to education.

As a member of the Forward50, she advocates for improved transparency, access, affordability and accountability in education regulation and systems through policy initiatives aimed at proposing national legislation. Annie actively contributes to education law thought leadership through her committee membership with the National Association of College and University Attorneys. And she puts boots on the ground at a local elementary school, reading weekly throughout the school year to first-graders.

Speaking Engagements

Anne has spoken at a variety of conferences across the United States.

  • Speaker: "Tackling Higher Ed’s Biggest Challenges With 50-Forward Thinking Institutional Leaders," 2018 NASFAA National Conference, June 2018
  • Seminar: Husch Blackwell Annual Higher Education Seminar, April 2018
  • Speaker: "Preventing Consumer Protection Problems: Clarifying Student Borrower Expectations, Responding to Enforcement Trends and Supporting Loan Repayment," The Central Association of College and University Business Officers (CACUBO) Annual Meeting, October 2017
  • Speaker: "Safety is Job One (The Clery Act) and Avoiding Pitfalls that Jeopardize Your Title IV Federal Student Aid Participation," Missouri Community Colleges Association Legal Seminar, June 15, 2017
  • Speaker: :Alcohol and other Drug Program Compliance: Building Effective & Compliant Policies, Notifications, & Biennial Reviews," NASPA Annual Conference, March 2016
  • Workshop Leader: Advanced Title IX Investigator and Coordinator Workshop Kansas City, MO – January 28-29, 2016
  • Speaker: "Sexual Misconduct and Crime Reporting: Title IX and Clery Reporting Obligations and Confidentiality Concerns," National Association of College and University Attorneys Fall Compliance Workshop, November 2015