Olabisi Ladeji Okubadejo

Of Counsel

Tel 410.528.5532
Fax 410.528.5650

Olabisi Ladeji Okubadejo represents institutions of higher education and business entities in civil rights and employment matters, with a particular focus on matters arising from alleged discrimination on the basis of race, disability, age, religion, and sex, including sexual harassment and sexual violence. She has experience both as an attorney in private practice and with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). She advises clients on complying with various federal laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act, Title IX, the Clery Act, the Violence Against Women’s Act, FERPA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Age Discrimination Act.

At the Department of Education, Bisi was most recently an OCR Supervisory General Attorney, managing civil rights attorneys and equal opportunity specialists who investigated discrimination complaints against educational institutions. Her responsibilities included providing pertinent legal and policy advice to case resolution teams, evaluating discrimination complaints, facilitating early resolution of complaints, and participating in investigations and negotiations to resolve complex civil rights matters. Bisi oversaw and conducted investigations of complaints alleging violations of Title IX, Title VI, Section 504, the ADA, and the Age Act; reviewed and revised policies and procedures; and provided technical assistance in-person and by telephone to colleges, universities, school districts, and the public on compliance with these laws.

Bisi advises colleges and universities on their obligations under Title IX, including with regard to OCR’s Dear Colleague letter and related guidance; on the roles of Title IX and Section 504 coordinators; and on obligations under the ADA, Section 504, and the Clery Act. She also assists educational institutions in coordinating overlapping responsibilities under these laws and with assessing compliance in light of recommendations from the White House Task Force to Prevent Sexual Assault. She provides interactive training on civil rights issues to coordinators, administrators, hearing panels/judicial boards, campus safety departments, and students. She conducts and oversees internal investigations of higher education institutions and other employers.

Representative Matters

  • Title IX, VAWA, and Clery Act: Provides ongoing compliance advice on handling sexual misconduct cases on campus, including with regard to investigations, the campus judicial process, interim measures for complainants, due process and fundamental fairness for accused individuals, and disciplinary sanctions/remedies. Reviews and assesses institutional programs to determine compliance with Title IX, VAWA, and related laws. Reviews and revises policies and procedures under Title IX, Section 504/ADA, and anti-discrimination policies and notices, and annual security reports.
  • Accessibility: Provides guidance to educational institutions, businesses, and other Title III entities on the accessibility of websites and technology; provides compliance advice on reasonable accommodations under the ADA and Section 504. Trains disability services staff and web developers on Section 504/ADA obligations.
  • Discrimination and Harassment: Advises universities on the institutional response to racial harassment on campus and the interplay between First Amendment obligations and harassment. Advises educational institutions on compliance with Section 504 and the ADA in the area of direct threat, and accommodations for individuals with psychiatric disabilities.
  • Defense of governmental inquiries and investigations; litigation: Represents colleges and universities during OCR complaints; assists with the defense of Title IX and sexual misconduct civil actions by accused students.
  • Training: Provides training to hearing panel members and adjudicators, investigators, campus police, and coordinators. Delivers Title IX, ADA/Section 504, and Title VI training.
  • Investigations: Conducts independent investigations of civil rights complaints and allegations of discrimination and harassment. Investigates alleged misconduct, including hazing, by student organizations and athletics teams/within athletics departments.

Pro Bono Experience

Bisi received a Ballard Spahr pro bono award in 2015 for her work in human rights advocacy on the Ballard Women Darfur Project. Bisi created a brochure for the Kennedy Krieger Institute to inform families of children with disabilities about the transition from high school to postsecondary opportunities. Bisi also has represented clients in immigration matters and employment law matters, including issues related to unemployment compensation. She also has worked with clients on special education issues and voting rights matters. In addition, she drafted an education law and policy portion of a manual for grandparents of children in Baltimore County Public Schools.

Professional Activities

National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)
Member, Committee on Legal Education

American Bar Association

Recognition & Accomplishments

The Best Lawyers in America, labor and employment litigation, 2020

Named Best Article Winner by NACAS College Services Magazine, for "Web Design for Inclusive Excellence," October 2014

Recipient, U.S. Department of Education Secretary's Supervisory Award, 2012


"Department of Education Proposes Significant Changes to Title IX Regulations," Ballard Spahr alert, November 16, 2018 

Co-author, "Consent Decree in BarBri Case Includes Compliance With WCAG Standards for Digital Content," Ballard Spahr alert, January 31, 2018

Co-author, "DOJ Rescinds 10 ADA Guidance Documents," Ballard Spahr alert, January 3, 2018 

Co-author, "OCR Withdraws Obama-Era Title IX Guidance," Ballard Spahr alert, September 26, 2017 

Co-author, "New York Federal Courts Allow ADA Website Accessibility Claims to Continue," Ballard Spahr alert, August 11, 2017 

Contributor, "OCR Alert: Avoid Discriminatory Housing Surcharges for Disabled," EduRisk by United Educators Blog, July 2017

Co-author, "Federal Judge Holds Grocery Store Website Subject to ADA," Ballard Spahr alert, June 29, 2017 

"OCR Signals Continued Title IX Enforcement," Ballard Spahr alert, March 27, 2017

Co-author, "SCOTUS, New Dear Colleague Letter Muddle Transgender Issues Under Title IX," Ballard Spahr alert, March 9, 2017

Co-author, "DOJ Continues ADA Web Accessibility Enforcement," Ballard Spahr alert, October 19, 2016

Co-author, "OCR Decides Lack of Procedural Protections for Accused Students Violates Title IX, " Ballard Spahr alert, October 13, 2016

Co-author, "DOJ Requests Further Comments on Web Accessibility Rules," Ballard Spahr alert, May 3, 2016

Co-author, "Effective Communication with People with Disabilities," Ballard Spahr Mortgage Banking Update, March 17, 2016

"Federal Government Remains Focused on Title IX Compliance," Ballard Spahr alert, January 28, 2016

Co-author, "DOJ Delays Web Accessibility Regulations; Enforcement Actions Continue," Ballard Spahr alert, December 2, 2015

"OCR Takes a Stand on Transgender Students in Locker Rooms," Ballard Spahr alert, November 4, 2015

Co-author, "DOJ Issues FAQs on Service Animals," Ballard Spahr alert, July 20, 2015

"DOJ Issues FAQs on Service Animals," Ballard Spahr Higher Education alert, July 14, 2015

Co-author, "VAWA Regulations Take Effect July 1," Ballard Spahr alert, July 1, 2015

Co-author, "U.S. Department of Education Releases New Title IX Guidance," Ballard Spahr Higher Education alert, April 27, 2015

Co-author, "Vassar College Prevails in Respondent’s Title IX Lawsuit," Ballard Spahr Higher Education alert, April 9, 2015

Co-author, "Managing the Institutional Response to Race-Based Harassment," Ballard Spahr alert, April 8, 2015

"White House Task Force on Sexual Assault Advises Colleges on Working with Law Enforcement," Ballard Spahr Higher Education alert, January 28, 2015

"Clery Act Changes Published; OCR Resolves Transgender Complaint," Ballard Spahr Higher Education alert, October 20, 2014

"Web Design for Inclusive Excellence," NACAS College Services Magazine, Vol. 14, No. 2, Summer 2014

Co-author, "Department of Education Proposes New Campus Safety Rules," Ballard Spahr Higher Education alert, June 20, 2014

"DOJ Enters into ‘Landmark’ Settlement with Law School Admission Council," Ballard Spahr Higher Education alert, May 21, 2014

Co-author, "White House Task Force on Sexual Assault Releases First Report; OCR Issues Long-Awaited FAQs," Ballard Spahr Higher Education alert, April 29, 2014

Co-author, "Federal Negotiators Allow Lawyers, Other Advisers To Participate in Campus Sexual Assault Hearings," Ballard Spahr Higher Education alert, April 3, 2014

Co-author, "New Campus SaVE Act Requirements Effective Today," Ballard Spahr Higher Education alert, March 7, 2014

Co-author, "President Obama Establishes Task Force To Focus on Campus Sexual Assaults," Ballard Spahr Higher Education alert, January 24, 2014

"U.S. District Judge Orders Creighton University To Accommodate Deaf Medical Student," Ballard Spahr Higher Education alert, December 27, 2013

Co-author, "College Settles Pregnancy Discrimination Complaint," Ballard Spahr Higher Education alert, December 12, 2013

Co-author, "Incidents of Race-Based Bullying Highlight Need for Prompt and Effective Responses by Educational Institutions," Ballard Spahr Higher Education alert, November 25, 2013

"U.S. Department of Education Imposes $275,000 Fine for Clery Act Violations," Ballard Spahr Higher Education alert, November 12, 2013

Co-author, "OCR Investigations of Educational Institutions Find Violations of Title IX, Section 504, ADA," Ballard Spahr Higher Education alert, November 8, 2013

"Maryland Failed To Desegregate Higher Education System, District Court Rules," Ballard Spahr Higher Education alert, October 9, 2013

"OCR and DOJ Clarify Use of Race in College and University Admissions," Ballard Spahr Higher Education alert, September 30, 2013

Speaking Engagements

Speaker, "Balancing Process and Protections: Student Conduct Processes and Disabilities Accommodations," NACUA Annual Conference 2018, Minneapolis, June 24, 2018

Speaker, "Faculty or Other Employees Accused of Crimes or Off-Duty Misconduct," NACUA CLE Workshop, Philadelphia, March 23, 2018 

Speaker, "Back to School – Lessons Learned from the 2016-2017 Academic Year," Ballard Spahr webinar, September 14, 2017 

Speaker, "Litigation Forum: Standing, Employment Law, Cybersecurity, ADA Compliance, and More," MBA's Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference, Miami, May 7, 2017 

Speaker, "2017 IT Accessibility Landscape and Strategies Update," EDUCAUSE Live! Webinar, April 27, 2017

"SCOTUS, New Dear Colleague Letter Muddle Transgender Issues Under Title IX," Ballard Spahr webinar, March 16, 2017 

"General Counsel Issues in Higher Education," Ballard Spahr webinar, January 17, 2017

"Title IX Now: New Insights on Investigations and Adjudications," EduRisk Training Conference, November 17 – 18, 2016

"Title IX Update," Ballard Spahr webinar, September 22, 2016

"Camps on Campus: Emerging Issues," Ballard Spahr and United Educators webinar, April 26, 2016

"Diversity Issues in Higher Education," Ballard Spahr webinar, April 19, 2016

Panelist, "Accessible Websites and Effective Communication," Ballard Spahr webinar, March 22, 2016

"Kick Off: Hot Topics in Higher Education Webinar Series," Ballard Spahr webinar, December 9, 2015

Moderator, "Best Practices in Digital Accessibility: Ensuring Accessible Websites, Course Materials, and More," NACUA Compliance Workshop, Washington, D.C., November 12, 2015

"Practical Considerations in Title IX Compliance," AAAED Professional Development and Training Institute, hosted by Temple University, Philadelphia, November 12, 2015

"Digital Accessibility: The Future Has Arrived," Ballard Spahr webinar, October 27, 2015

"25 Years of the Americans with Disabilities and a Review of Significant Cases from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights," Maryland Association on Higher Education and Disability, Columbia, Md., September 25, 2015

"Preventing and Defending Against OCR Title IX Investigations," Westminster College – Not Alone Symposium, Salt Lake City, September 18, 2015

"Preventing and Defending Against Challenges by Students Accused of Sexual Misconduct," Ballard Spahr webinar, February 26, 2015

Instructor, "Title IX Compliance," AAAED Title IX Institute, January 2015

"A Conversation with OCR: Investigating and Responding to Sexual Misconduct on Campus," Ballard Spahr program, Washington, D.C., July 29, 2014

"Dealing with the Entitlement Generation: Preventing and Litigating Legal Challenges to Discipline and Grading of Students," NACUA Annual Conference 2014, Denver, June 23, 2014

"Advanced Topics in Title IX Compliance and Beyond: A Thoughtful Discussion of Critical Issues in the Institutional Approach and Response to Sexual Violence on Campus,"Part IIof a Ballard Spahr webinar, March 18, 2014, and Part I , February 27, 2014

"Hot Topics in Fair Housing and Accessibility," Ballard Spahr CLE webinar, December 5, 2013

"Accessible Instruction – Websites and Course Materials in the Digital Age,"Ballard Spahr webinar, October 23, 2013

"Accessible Instruction – Websites and Course Materials in the Digital Age," NASPA Law and Policy Conference, October 21, 2013

Georgetown University Law Center (J.D. 2003)

University of Maryland, Baltimore County (M.A. 2000)

Hamilton College (B.A. 1995)


Proficient in French

District of Columbia