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With a dedicated educational practice and a focus on representing institutions of higher education, Hayley advises institutions on the compliance, governance and operational issues they face in these times of rapidly changing expectations and regulations.

As a leader of the firm’s Education team with more than 15 years’ experience in education law, Hayley serves as outside general counsel to several institutions, from small nursing schools affiliated with hospital systems to major national research institutions.

Hayley proactively partners with institutions to prevent and address challenges through compliance programming and in-depth legal compliance audits. If needed, she also assists with investigations, responses to government inquiries and litigation. When disputes arise, Hayley counsels leadership and manages legal concerns.

Her experience includes providing guidance on issues including:

  • Title IX sexual misconduct and gender equality
  • Clery Act
  • Disability accommodation
  • Other discrimination
  • Student concerns
  • Employment and faculty
  • Title IV Federal Student Aid
  • Accreditation
  • Business operations and governance

A frequent speaker at national and regional higher education organization events, Hayley works with colleges and universities to develop and provide comprehensive in-house compliance training programs.

Hayley’s interest in education extends beyond the workplace. Her interest squares with causes such as the Kansas City Friends of the Kansas City Zoo, which she has served as board member since 2008, leading a successful effort to obtain extensive local funding. Her insight in developing and enforcing policies supporting education make her a valuable board member of Teach for America/Kansas City. She sees her greatest achievement as guiding the growth of her own two children, both inside and, more importantly, outside the classroom.




  • Debate Kansas City, Volunteer of the Year, 2012
  • Ingram’s magazine, “40 Under Forty,” 2013
  • Kansas City Business Journal, Best of the Bar, 2017-2018
  • Nonprofit Connect, Rising Star of Philanthropy, 2013
  • Northwest Missouri State University, Young Alumni Award, 2008
  • Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Schools & Education, 2013-2019
  • Missouri Lawyers Weekly, Up and Coming Lawyer, 2008, Women's Justice Awards, 2017


  • J.D., Drake Law School
    • with high honors
    • Drake Law Review, executive editor
  • B.A., Northwest Missouri State University
    • magna cum laude


  • Missouri
  • Kansas

Professional Memberships and Certifications

  • The Missouri Bar
  • Missouri Council of School Attorneys
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys
  • National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
  • National Council of School Attorneys
  • Proactive Programming – Hayley’s experience with college and university compliance programs includes legal compliance auditing of institutional systems, creating or revising policies and procedures, and guiding development of compliance systems, as well as establishing and delivering institution-wide training programs. Her services enhance institutional processes to help ensure full compliance with required guidance and regulations.
  • Title IX – Hayley applies her deep understanding of issues surrounding gender equity and sexual misconduct to guide institutions in preventing and responding to allegations of sex discrimination in their programs and activities. She has conducted investigations on behalf of institutions, guided numerous institutions in responding to U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights complaints, represented colleges and universities in Title IX litigation, and conducted legal compliance audits surrounding discrimination prevention response systems at a range of institutions.
  • Government Investigations and Federal Student Aid Program Review – As a representative for your college or university, Hayley applies her experience with government investigations (including U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights investigations), program reviews and audits to assist institutions in demonstrating compliance and administrative capability.
  • Litigation – Through more than a decade of litigation experience representing educational institutions, Hayley has developed the skills and insight to best position institutions should suits arise. She has repeatedly succeeded in obtaining dismissals and summary judgment for institutions in student and employee litigation, as well as in alternative dispute resolution and trial settings.
  • Accreditation – Hayley assists in matters of accreditation, securing initial approvals, preparing for site visits, structuring changes of control and responding to accreditor concerns and sanctions.
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.

Articles | February 12, 2018
Law360: A Real World Model For Preventing Sexual Misconduct (log-in required)

Hayley Hanson and Derek Teeter write about higher education’s quantity and quality of mechanisms designed to prevent and encourage the reporting of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Webinar | June 22, 2020
Return to Sport from COVID-19

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

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

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

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

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Webinar | November 19, 2018
New Proposed Title IX Regulations and their Effect on Your Campus - November 27, 2018

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Webinar | 07/17/2018
Are Your Clery Ducks in a Row?
July 17, 2018

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Seminars | April 20, 2018
2018 Annual Higher Education Seminar
Seminars | November 3, 2017
Foundations in Title IX
Webinar | July 25, 2017
Diving Deep Into Clery Act Compliance
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 | November 14, 2018
Thomson Reuters' Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers and Rising Stars 2018 Names 58 Husch Blackwell Attorneys

Husch Blackwell has 58 attorneys in the 2018 edition of Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.

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 | July 18, 2018
Law Week Colorado: Clery Act Experts Offer Compliance Perspectives (log-in required)

Hayley Hanson and Derek Teeter discuss steps higher ed institutions can take to manage regulatory risks and improve school safety.

Media Mentions | October 27, 2017
Kansas City Business Journal 2017 "Best of the Bar" Lists Three Husch Blackwell Attorneys

Husch Blackwell has three attorneys on the Kansas City Business Journal 2017 "Best of the Bar."

Media Mentions | October 02, 2017
Houston Chronicle: University of St. Thomas faces federal fines for underreporting crime

Reporting procedures can get complicated, and universities often have questions on what specifically is defined as part of their campus, said Hayley Hanson.

Media Mentions | September 29, 2017
Politico Morning Education: Closing in on Clery Deadline

Hayley Hanson and Anne Cartwright's Inside Higher Ed blog post is noted by Politico's daily overview of education policy news.

Community Leadership
  • Debate Kansas City, Board of Directors, 2005-2016
  • Kansas City Friends of the Zoo, Board of Directors, 2008-present
  • Teach for America/Kansas City, Board of Directors, 2013-present

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