Our core belief is that higher education is essential to an informed citizenry, a vital democracy, and a thriving economy. We offer the higher education sector comprehensive legal services, including strategic counseling by industry insiders, to foster the development of innovative and implementable solutions to the challenges presented by the rapidly-changing forces disrupting higher education.
With our deep roots in higher education, we understand that successful solutions must be designed to meet the needs of those served by higher education. We guide clients in the creation of mission- and value-driven solutions that promote institutional vibrancy and viability, academic excellence, and meaningful experiences for students, faculty, staff, and the communities in which the institutions are located.
An Integrated Approach Utilizing Insider Knowledge
With one team, in one firm, HSE provides higher education leaders with an unparalleled perspective: innovative solutions that result from the combination of decades of leadership in academia and strategic legal counsel. The team’s perspective comes from decades of on-campus leadership experience from HSE Senior Higher Education Counsel Daan Braveman and HSE Retired Partner Theresa A. Conroy. Today, their combined insights inform how we help institutions create mission-driven opportunities out of crises and challenges while preserving institutional culture.
Staying Ahead of Disruption: HSE Higher Education Consulting Capabilities
Theresa (Terri) A. Conroy, former chair of the firm’s Higher Education practice, retired from private practice in December 2021. Throughout her years of leadership, Terri methodically transferred her industry knowledge—the foundation for our approach to advising and counseling institutions—to the team that continues the firm’s important work in the higher education sector. She 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, Terri reported to the President of the College and was responsible for ensuring the College’s compliance with its affirmative action obligations and certain labor and employment laws and policies, as well as supervising all faculty and administrative staff searches. She led the College’s faculty and staff diversity initiatives, investigated complaints of discrimination, taught higher education law at the graduate level, and served on campus-wide committees, including strategic planning and the College’s Better Community Committee. Terri’s responsibilities also included key areas of student affairs, including Section 504 and Title IX. Terri has also been an adjunct faculty member at Monroe Community College (Rochester, NY).
From July 2014 to May 2015, Terri was seconded on a college campus as full-time Special Counsel to the institution’s newly created Office of Title IX Programs and Compliance. In addition to providing legal advice during her time on campus, Terri developed policies and procedures, responded to media inquiries, presented at parent orientation sessions and alumni events, conducted faculty, staff, and student orientation and training, collaborated to create the Sexual Violence Response and Education Team (comprised of internal and external individuals providing support and resourses to the community), and assisted in selecting and administering a sexual assault campus climate survey. View Full Bio
Joseph G. Casion, partner and chair of the firm’s nonprofit practice, has over 20 years’ experience guiding several of western New York’s most recognized nonprofit institutions, often acting effectively as general counsel. He has extensive experience with all aspects of the matters that colleges and universities face including alternative finance; closures and strategic alliances; crisis planning and management; executive and board leadership; mergers and acquisitions; policy development; risk management; and strategic planning and communications. View Full Bio
Joshua E. Gewolb, is partner in the firm’s tax practice. Josh’s experience at the intersection of tax and nonprofit law enables him to provide counsel on the unique issues faced by higher education institutions including alternative finance, closures, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic alliances. View Full Bio
Julia E. Green, partner, counsels institutions on litigation and dispute resolution and advises on student affairs, compliance with Title IX, Enough is Enough (N.Y. Education Law Article 129-B), Section 504, the Clery Act, and more. Julia is a trained civil rights investigator and Title IX Coordinator and regularly conducts investigations of alleged sexual harassment and misconduct. View Full Bio
F. Paul Greene, CIPP/US, partner, represents higher education clients in all aspects of privacy and data security law and regulation, including incident response, security and vulnerability assessments, policy and procedure review, breach prevention and response planning, as well as board and administration education on cyber risk and privacy management. He has been awarded the Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US) designation from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), has served as an adjunct faculty member at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and is recognized as a Distinguished Fellow of the Ponemon Institute. He has been approved as a breach coach by numerous insurance carriers, including in the higher education space. View Full Bio
Rayza Santiago, associate, has a multi-faceted practice that includes nonprofit law, higher education, health care, and corporate law. Her experience includes advising clients on issues relating to formation, governance, conflicts of interest, day-to-day operations, mergers, acquisitions, dissolutions, and strategic alliances. View Full Bio
Luke P. Wright, partner, counsels higher education, nonprofit, and other clients on a range of labor and employment issues, including collective bargaining, workforce restructuring and reductions in force, management of family and medical leave and accommodation issues, navigation of difficult separations and transitions, and development of employment policies and programs that ensure compliance with applicable laws and avoid potential issues down the road. He also represents clients in agency charges and in federal and state labor and employment litigation, including cases involving allegations of discrimination or harassment, wage and hour law compliance, non-competition agreements, and the National Labor Relations Act. View Full Bio
“The combination of a very deep knowledge base regarding legal issues in higher education, and the ability to understand the ever-changing dynamics of the academe make HSE a wonderful choice for this industry.”
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