HSE’s Higher Education Group has extensive legal experience, with a perspective that goes well beyond the legal question. The breadth and depth of our knowledge as legal counsel is enhanced by our experiences inside higher education.
In addition to understanding higher education law from the inside, our team understands higher education culture and that each institution’s culture is unique. We collaborate with our clients to quickly become well-versed in each campus’s ethos and parlance to ensure a harmonized approach that honors the clients’ priorities and values and results in efficient communication, productive problem-solving, and constructive partnerships. It is not uncommon for our higher education clients to express their appreciation with: “You get us.”
As the regulatory web expands and intersects, we pay constant attention to compliance and risk management. We work closely with our clients to ensure that their policies and practices are up-to-date and defensible. We know that campuses can be faced with serious issues requiring immediate action; we are available around the clock.
Even with strong risk management and litigation avoidance strategies, higher education institutions face the prospect of litigation. We are skilled in all types of litigation and agency investigations and are highly effective partners in all manner of litigation. When needed, our experienced litigators expertly evaluate claims, develop litigation and resolution strategies, and bring and defend against legal claims in court.
Countless matters and questions arise in higher education institutions that do not occur in other organizations. We understand these differences. Many matters demanding quick and comprehensive advice implicate multiple policies and multiple divisions. We know when and how to collaborate across functional areas. Numerous matters also require quick assessment of the applicability of myriad statutes as some require immediate action. We recognize the need for urgent, thorough analysis.
We work with our higher education clients and strive to provide responsive, tailored, practical, cost-effective legal advice in the following areas:
We help institutions face change and opportunities head on that may require or lend themselves to internal restructuring, mergers, acquisitions, strategic alliances/affiliations, and the difficult decision to close, as well as the day-to-day challenges and other long-range planning considerations. Click here to learn more.
Our approach to sexual misconduct investigations is to treat students, faculty, and staff equitably and with respect and sensitivity while remaining objective and neutral. Our professional yet personable style encourages parties and witnesses to help us obtain the most complete set of facts possible so the decision regarding responsibility is well-informed and defensible. Our investigation approach is grounded in our significant knowledge of Title IX and best practices in conducting Title IX investigations.
Our Title IX team shares your commitment to thorough, impartial, and compassionate investigations. Our Title IX investigations commence with analysis of the allegations to develop an investigation plan in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator and, if applicable, a co-investigator. We interview the parties and witnesses, identify and meet with others with potentially relevant information, collect documentary and electronic information, visit incident scenes as needed, and prepare interview summaries and investigative reports in keeping with each institution’s format and style. We advise all individuals with whom we meet about available resources and supports, the institution’s policy against retaliation, and make connections with and draw upon the institution’s support resources as called for in each case.