97

Theresa A. Conroy

She/Her/Hers
Retired Partner
  • Rochester
  • 585-231-1111
  •   •     •     •  

Terri is a retired partner of the firm whose practice focused on labor, employment, human resources, and higher education law.

Higher Education

As the former chair of the firm’s Higher Education practice, Terri counseled colleges and universities on:

  • Academic affairs
  • Admissions
  • Board governance
  • Campus crime reporting and emergency preparedness
  • Civil rights compliance, investigations, and complaint resolution (students, faculty, and staff)
  • Contract management
  • Crisis communications
  • FERPA and privacy
  • Financial aid and scholarships
  • Labor, employment, and human resources
  • Mergers, acquisitions, and strategic affiliations and alliances
  • Performance management
  • Policy development and implementation
  • Risk management
  • Shared governance
  • Student affairs
  • Title IX and Enough is Enough day-to-day operations, compliance, investigations, and complaint resolution

Insider’s Knowledge of the Higher Education Sector

Terri knows higher education institutions from the inside. She began her legal career at HSE as an associate in 1989 but left us in 1992 to explore opportunities in higher education. Before returning to the firm in 2000, Terri taught at Monroe Community College (Rochester, NY) and spent seven years at the State University of New York College at Brockport as a faculty member, academic administrator, Director of Affirmative Action, and Associate Director of Human Resources. As the Director of Affirmative Action, she worked directly with the President of the College and was responsible for ensuring the College's compliance with certain labor and employment laws and policies. Her responsibilities also included key areas of student affairs, including Title IX and Section 504. In this role—more than 20 years ago and long before the Office for Civil Rights' current focus on conducting discrimination investigations—Terri investigated complaints of discrimination made by students, faculty, and staff, including sexual harassment. (She also has conducted such investigations in the private sector, at the highest levels of corporate organizations.) Terri regularly conducts investigations of alleged discrimination, sexual harassment and misconduct.

Upon her return to HSE in 2000, Terri’s legal advice and guidance to our higher education clients called upon these on-the-ground, campus experiences. This experience was further deepened when Terri represented a client in connection with a high-profile Title IX investigation commenced by OCR and worked on that campus full-time for the 2014-2015 academic year as special counsel in its newly created Office of Title IX Programs and Compliance. During her time on campus, Terri worked on and was involved with every aspect of Title IX compliance, training, outreach, and programming, including:

  • Building internal and external relationships with on-campus and off-campus individuals and offices committed to combatting sexual violence, including off-campus law enforcement, SANE nurses, and rape crisis counselors
  • Conducting training
    • For faculty, administrators, staff, and students (including student-athletes)—regarding policy compliance, reporting, resources, and responsible employee status
    • For internal and external investigators—regarding conducting trauma-informed Title IX investigations
  • Developing resource guides and related materials for students associated with confidential and non-confidential supports and resources available on- and off-campus
  • Developing Title IX-compliant policies and procedures
  • Facilitating campus discussions with faculty, staff, and students regarding community values and their reflection in institutional policies
  • Guiding students and parents through the investigation and complaint resolution process
  • Overseeing the Title IX investigation process
  • Presenting at parent orientation and alumni sessions regarding Title IX
  • Serving as a resource to working groups of faculty, staff, and students studying and making recommendations regarding policies and protocols
  • Selecting and administering a sexual assault campus climate survey

Labor and Employment

Terri’s labor practice focused on counseling private employers, colleges, not-for-profit organizations, and municipalities on the wide-ranging issues falling within the scope of human resources and labor and employment law, including:

  • Collective bargaining, contract negotiations, and compliance with the National Labor Relations Act
  • Defense of discrimination and sexual harassment charges, including representation before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the New York State Division of Human Rights
  • Employment contract claims
  • Grievance and arbitration/dispute resolution
  • Leave issues, including compliance with the FMLA, ADA, and Workers’ Compensation Law
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Performance management
  • Personnel policies and practices, and compliance with New York and federal laws
  • Representing management before federal and state agencies
  • Wage and hour issues

PROFESSIONAL & CIVIC AFFILIATIONS

  • Member and former Chair, Board of Trustees, The Aquinas Institute

  • Member, Board of Directors Executive Committee, State University of New York College at Brockport Foundation

  • Member, Make Music Day Rochester Committee

  • Former Board Member, Community Place of Greater Rochester

  • Former Member and Vice President, Board of Trustees, Geva Theatre Center

  • Former Member and Chair, Board of Trustees, Rochester Civic Garden Center

  • Former Member and Treasurer, Board of Trustees, Greece Montessori School

  • Former Board Member, Family Services of Rochester

  • Former Member, Zoning Board of Appeals, Town of Clarkson

  • Former Member, Environmental Commission, City of Rochester

HONORS & AWARDS

  • Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© for Labor Law - Management

  • Named by The Daily Record as one of Rochester’s Attorneys of the Year, 2016

  • Recipient, “Top Women in Law” Award, The Daily Record, 201

  • Selected to the Upstate New York Super Lawyers list, 2012-2021 in the field of Schools & Education

NEWS

PUBLICATIONS

PRESENTATIONS

  • Co-Presenter, “New Title IX Regulations Compliance Training,” Harter Secrest & Emery LLP Webinar, July 1, 2021
  • Co-Presenter, “New Title IX Regulations Compliance Training,” Harter Secrest & Emery LLP Webinar, March 2, 2021
  • Co-Presenter, “Effective Use of External Investigators and Adjudicators in Title IX Grievance Processes,” Harter Secrest & Emery LLP Webinar, November 13, 2020
  • Co-Presenter, “New Title IX Compliance Training,” Harter Secrest & Emery LLP Webinar, October 12, 2020
  • Co-Presenter, “New Title IX Compliance Training,” Harter Secrest & Emery LLP Webinar, August 20, 2020
  • Co-Presenter, “Title IX Regulations Compliance Training,” Harter Secrest & Emery LLP and McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC Webinar, August 14, 2020
  • Co-Presenter, “New Title IX Compliance Training,” Harter Secrest & Emery LLP Webinar, August 13, 2020
  • Co-Presenter, “An Employee Walks into Your Office to Make a Complaint: Investigation Tips and Techniques,” Harter Secrest & Emery’s Labor and Employment Law Webinar Series, February 11, 2020
  • Co-Presenter, “Title IX, Clery, and Enough is Enough: Best Practices and Legal Compliance,” St. John Fisher College, August 13, 2019
  • Co-Presenter, “An Employee Walks into Your Office to Make a Complaint: Investigation Tips and Techniques,” Harter Secrest & Emery’s Labor and Employment Law Conference, April 30, 2019
  • Co-Moderator, “Tax Reform’s Impact on Higher Education,” Harter Secrest & Emery’s Campus Conversations Webinar Series, March 21, 2019
  • Keynote Speaker, “Humans at Work,” Finger Lakes Community College Professional Development Day, February 27, 2019
  • Co-Moderator, “Hot Topics in US Intellectual Property Law for Institutions of Higher Education,” Harter Secrest & Emery’s Campus Conversations Webinar Series, January 17, 2019
  • Co-Moderator, “The Justice Department: Friend of the Court, Foe of the University?,” Harter Secrest & Emery’s Campus Conversations Webinar Series, November 14, 2018
  • Co-Presenter, “How to Prevent a Title IX Lawsuit: Institutional Efforts to Prevent and Respond to Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence,” 3rd Annual Title IX ExecuSummit, July 24, 2018
  • Presenter, "New York Imposes New Requirements to Combat Sexual Harassment," Greater Rochester Area Payroll Association, June 21, 2018

  • Organizer and Presenter, “Can a Different Kind of Harassment and Discrimination Prevention Program Change Your Workplace?” Harter Secrest & Emery Labor and Employment Law Conference, April 26, 2018

  • Co-Presenter, “Sexual Harassment Complaints: What Can HR Learn from the Student Side?” College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA) Spring Conference, April 9, 2018

  • Co-Presenter, “Sexual Misconduct Investigations and Resolution: Legal and Best Practice Standards” series, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, NY, February 27, March 6, and May 8, 2018

  • Presenter, “The Headlines Continue: The Epidemic of High Profile Sexual Harassment Claims,” Harter Secrest & Emery, November 3, 2017

  • Organizer, Presenter and Co-Presenter, Harter Secrest & Emery’s Higher Education Conference “Title IX and Enough and Enough: A Mandate and a Microscope—Preparing You For Next Year,” August 3, 2017

  • Co-Presenter, “Title IX’s Impact on College Campuses,” Eyes on the Future Radio Show, Greater Rochester Enterprise, July 2017

  • Presenter, “Title IX: Training, Information Sharing, and Discussion,” Rochester Institute of Technology, April 11, 2017

  • Organizer and Presenter, “The Epidemic of High Profile Sexual Harassment Claims: Solutions and Strategies to Create a Working Environment Where Harassment Can’t Take Hold,” Harter Secrest & Emery’s Labor and Employment Law Conference, April 5, 2017

  • Co-Presenter, "Clery and VAWA—Title VII vs. Title IX: The Employment Side of Combatting Sexual Assault on College Campuses," Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers (EACUBO) 2016 Annual Meeting, October 16-19, 2016

  • Co-Presenter, "Title VII or Title IX: What’s the Difference and Why Does it Matter?" College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA) Annual Conference and Expo, September 25-27, 2016

  • Organizer, Presenter and Co-Presenter, Harter Secrest & Emery’s “Higher Education Institute: Avoiding Compliance Pitfalls Across Your Campus—From Admissions to the Title IX Office to the Board Room,” August 2, 2016. Presentations and training sessions included:

    • Conducting Trauma-Informed and Legally-Compliant Investigations, Hearings, and Appeals
    • Writing Investigative Reports and Outcome Letters
    • Student and Employee Training Requirements under Title IX, Clery/VAWA and New York's "Enough is Enough”
    • Title VII vs. Title IX/Clery/VAWA: What’s the Difference and Why Does It Matter?
  • Co-Presenter, “Title IX Case Update,” University of Rochester, May 2016
  • Presenter, “Title IX: Lessons Learned,” Title IX Workshop, LeMoyne College, March 3, 2016
  • Co-Presenter, “Enough is Enough Update,” Title IX Workshop, LeMoyne College, March 3, 2016
  • Presenter, “Title IX: Opportunities for Innovation and Collaboration,” Upstate New York College Collaboration, October 6, 2015
  • Co-Presenter, “Trauma-Informed Title IX Investigations: Conducting Compassionate and Effective Investigations,” Nazareth College, August 4, 2015
  • Co-Presenter, “From Trusting Our Judgment to Questioning Our Commitment: The Evolution of OCR's Title IX Enforcement,” Higher Education Roundtable hosted by Hobart and William Smith Colleges, May 2014

Terri has presented before the Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers (EACUBO), the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA), Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA), the SUNY Registrars Association (SUNYRA), the SUNY Field Administrators Consortium, the New York State Organization of Bursars and Business Administrators (NYSOBBA), Rochester Area Colleges (RAC), and the Upstate New York College Consortium (UNYCC).

Terri has been asked to speak at higher education conferences, on many college campuses, and in many workplaces.

PRACTICE AREAS

ADMISSIONS

  • New York
  • New York State courts
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York

EDUCATION

  • Georgetown University Law Center, cum laude
  • SUNY Brockport, summa cum laude
HSE Law
97
Theresa A. Conroy
She/Her/Hers
Retired Partner
tconroy@hselaw.com
tel: 585-231-1111

Terri is a retired partner of the firm whose practice focused on labor, employment, human resources, and higher education law.

Higher Education

As the former chair of the firm’s Higher Education practice, Terri counseled colleges and universities on:

  • Academic affairs
  • Admissions
  • Board governance
  • Campus crime reporting and emergency preparedness
  • Civil rights compliance, investigations, and complaint resolution (students, faculty, and staff)
  • Contract management
  • Crisis communications
  • FERPA and privacy
  • Financial aid and scholarships
  • Labor, employment, and human resources
  • Mergers, acquisitions, and strategic affiliations and alliances
  • Performance management
  • Policy development and implementation
  • Risk management
  • Shared governance
  • Student affairs
  • Title IX and Enough is Enough day-to-day operations, compliance, investigations, and complaint resolution

Insider’s Knowledge of the Higher Education Sector

Terri knows higher education institutions from the inside. She began her legal career at HSE as an associate in 1989 but left us in 1992 to explore opportunities in higher education. Before returning to the firm in 2000, Terri taught at Monroe Community College (Rochester, NY) and spent seven years at the State University of New York College at Brockport as a faculty member, academic administrator, Director of Affirmative Action, and Associate Director of Human Resources. As the Director of Affirmative Action, she worked directly with the President of the College and was responsible for ensuring the College's compliance with certain labor and employment laws and policies. Her responsibilities also included key areas of student affairs, including Title IX and Section 504. In this role—more than 20 years ago and long before the Office for Civil Rights' current focus on conducting discrimination investigations—Terri investigated complaints of discrimination made by students, faculty, and staff, including sexual harassment. (She also has conducted such investigations in the private sector, at the highest levels of corporate organizations.) Terri regularly conducts investigations of alleged discrimination, sexual harassment and misconduct.

Upon her return to HSE in 2000, Terri’s legal advice and guidance to our higher education clients called upon these on-the-ground, campus experiences. This experience was further deepened when Terri represented a client in connection with a high-profile Title IX investigation commenced by OCR and worked on that campus full-time for the 2014-2015 academic year as special counsel in its newly created Office of Title IX Programs and Compliance. During her time on campus, Terri worked on and was involved with every aspect of Title IX compliance, training, outreach, and programming, including:

  • Building internal and external relationships with on-campus and off-campus individuals and offices committed to combatting sexual violence, including off-campus law enforcement, SANE nurses, and rape crisis counselors
  • Conducting training
    • For faculty, administrators, staff, and students (including student-athletes)—regarding policy compliance, reporting, resources, and responsible employee status
    • For internal and external investigators—regarding conducting trauma-informed Title IX investigations
  • Developing resource guides and related materials for students associated with confidential and non-confidential supports and resources available on- and off-campus
  • Developing Title IX-compliant policies and procedures
  • Facilitating campus discussions with faculty, staff, and students regarding community values and their reflection in institutional policies
  • Guiding students and parents through the investigation and complaint resolution process
  • Overseeing the Title IX investigation process
  • Presenting at parent orientation and alumni sessions regarding Title IX
  • Serving as a resource to working groups of faculty, staff, and students studying and making recommendations regarding policies and protocols
  • Selecting and administering a sexual assault campus climate survey

Labor and Employment

Terri’s labor practice focused on counseling private employers, colleges, not-for-profit organizations, and municipalities on the wide-ranging issues falling within the scope of human resources and labor and employment law, including:

  • Collective bargaining, contract negotiations, and compliance with the National Labor Relations Act
  • Defense of discrimination and sexual harassment charges, including representation before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the New York State Division of Human Rights
  • Employment contract claims
  • Grievance and arbitration/dispute resolution
  • Leave issues, including compliance with the FMLA, ADA, and Workers’ Compensation Law
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Performance management
  • Personnel policies and practices, and compliance with New York and federal laws
  • Representing management before federal and state agencies
  • Wage and hour issues

Professional & Civic Affiliations

  • Member and former Chair, Board of Trustees, The Aquinas Institute

  • Member, Board of Directors Executive Committee, State University of New York College at Brockport Foundation

  • Member, Make Music Day Rochester Committee

  • Former Board Member, Community Place of Greater Rochester

  • Former Member and Vice President, Board of Trustees, Geva Theatre Center

  • Former Member and Chair, Board of Trustees, Rochester Civic Garden Center

  • Former Member and Treasurer, Board of Trustees, Greece Montessori School

  • Former Board Member, Family Services of Rochester

  • Former Member, Zoning Board of Appeals, Town of Clarkson

  • Former Member, Environmental Commission, City of Rochester

Honors & Awards

  • Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© for Labor Law - Management

  • Named by The Daily Record as one of Rochester’s Attorneys of the Year, 2016

  • Recipient, “Top Women in Law” Award, The Daily Record, 201

  • Selected to the Upstate New York Super Lawyers list, 2012-2021 in the field of Schools & Education

Admissions

  • New York

Education

  • Georgetown University Law Center, cum laude
  • SUNY Brockport, summa cum laude

Disclaimer

This website presents only general information not intended as legal advice. Although we encourage calls, letters and emails from prospective clients, please keep in mind that merely contacting Harter Secrest & Emery LLP (HSE) does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Confidential information should not be sent to HSE until you have been notified in writing by HSE that a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Information sent to us before then may not be treated as confidential by HSE or the court.

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