Industries

Education

Educational institutions face a complex and unique combination of business and legal challenges. We counsel education clients of every size and type—as well as their lenders and creditors—on their diverse needs, from compliance matters, labor relations, and real estate development to financing issues and the protection and commercialization of intellectual property.

The expansion of government regulations, an increased focus on accessibility and civil rights, and advances in technology have made compliance far more challenging. Advance planning before disputes arise can ensure that responses align with an institution's mission and values.

Our clients include K-12 schools (public, private, and charter), colleges and universities, for-profit schools, and online education companies nationwide. And because the team includes attorneys across a range of practice areas working together, we are uniquely positioned to address the varied and increasingly complex needs of educational institutions.

Experience 

Public Finance

  • Served as counsel for nearly 300 primary and secondary school issuances totaling more than $6.7 billion in Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Washington, D.C.

Tax/Exempt Organizations

  • Analyzed and structured virtually every type of municipal bond transaction, including bonds for essential governmental functions, economic development, health care, housing, exempt facilities, gas prepays, and refundings. In the past 10 years alone, we have served as special tax counsel for more than $7.2 billion in financings throughout the United States.

Charter Schools

  • Served as bond and disclosure counsel on the largest tax-exempt bond financing for a charter school in Colorado.

Real Estate

  • Represented a private university in a number in real estate transactions, including:
    • The development of a $100 million-plus student housing project that includes a 361,200-square-foot mixed-use student housing and retail project.
    • As counsel to the university's development partner in the City Council zoning remapping and text amendments for the former University City High School property.
    • In defending amendments to the university's Institutional Development District (now called a SP-INS District) from a third party appeal filed by a civic association.

Civil Rights/Investigations

  • Reviewed Title IX programs at colleges and universities to ensure compliance with OCR requirements, VAWA, and White House recommendations.

Litigation

  • Successfully represented a major university in Philadelphia against highly publicized claims that the university reneged on a commitment to provide the requisite amount of financial aid to Philadelphians.

Labor and Employment

  • Representing a public university in labor and employment matters, including day-to-day advice and training, employment discrimination claims, labor arbitrations and unfair labor practice charges such as claims by tenured and non-tenured faculty related to removal and work assignments. In addition, we represented the university in a successful petition to remove department chairs from an existing faculty bargaining unit and in the campaign by an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers to add more than 1400 adjunct faculty to its existing faculty bargaining unit. For many years, we have served as counsel to the Chief Negotiator for the university in connection with the University’s negotiations with the unions representing 13 different bargaining units, including the faculty, which has included assisting the university in managing two faculty strikes and obtaining an unprecedented back-to-work order that saved the fall semester.

Student Lending

  • Structure and document programs for secured and unsecured small-dollar loans, credit cards, deposit accounts, student loans, rent-to-own transactions, retail installment sales, and home improvement loans

Student Housing

  • Represented PNC in both the equity and debt financing for the construction of Lincoln Grant Scholar House, the Covington, Ky. affiliate campus for Family Scholar House, a non-profit that provides housing and support services to low-income, single-parent college students and their children. Our attorneys handled the equity financing, which included Low Income Housing Tax Credits and Historic Tax Credits. As well the debt financing, including construction, bridge, and permanent financing. The $11 million renovation will turn the originally 1931 school building into apartments, offices, and restore the auditorium for community use.

Intellectual Property

  • Perform patent counseling and portfolio maintenance for more than 30 major colleges, universities, and research institutions that are producing cutting-edge technologies and collectively represent over $9 billion of research funding.

Export Controls, Energy, P3

  • Developed export control programs, including policies, forms, and procedures, for several major universities, and regularly provide training and advice to those universities and their faculty on compliance with the deemed export rule, particularly regarding the use of foreign national students, postdocs, and visiting faculty in research.

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