WilmerHale has substantial experience in advising and representing colleges, universities and other educational institutions, as well as testing and other educational service providers. The firm’s diverse practice within the industry covers the full spectrum of business, regulatory and litigation matters, involving such issues as affirmative action, civil rights, joint ventures and licensing, employment and employee benefits, acquisitions, restructuring and the creation of for-profit subsidiaries, copyright infringement, protection of intellectual property, bid protests involving government contracts, antitrust and taxation.

Our lawyers have served in government and have provided counsel on Capitol Hill and within the Executive Branch on education-related matters. In addition, our lawyers have years of experience handling educational issues for a range of leading institutions. Many have counseled major educational companies and major universities for decades, and a number are, or have been, trustees of large and small institutions.

The Federal Government imposes substantial regulatory requirements on academic institutions. Our lawyers are well versed in these regulatory obligations and advise on the areas of most pressing and consistent concern.

Federal Funds:

Perhaps the most basic but critical area in which we provide advice is on the use of federal funds – what university costs are allowed, when certain university costs can be allocated to federal grants, contracts or cooperative agreements, and what uses can be made of federal funds. A number of the largest research institutions in the country turn to us to help answer these questions, and to structure their efforts so as not to prejudice either the amounts they can receive or the activities in which they can engage.

  • We provided guidance and guidelines to several top research institutions on the allowable and unallowable uses of federal funds for certain research.
  • We provided guidance on the allocation of funding to research work.
  • We provide continuing advice on the allocation of research funds for student research assistants.

Title IV Eligibility:

  • We assist a number of universities on student financial aid issues, including obtaining Title IV eligibility and assuring it is not revoked. This includes resolving internal questions about compliance with Higher Education Act and regulatory requirements, especially in light of the Program Integrity regulations, and making the case to the Department of Education.
  • We also have negotiated with the Department of Education over appropriate repayments when the Department asserts non-compliance with aid requirements or information retention requirements.

K-12

Our representation before the Department of Education included assuring that regulations allowed schools to use certain bases for determining that a student has a learning disability for purposes of placement under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Ethics Requirements

  • We work with a large number of the most prominent universities on ethics issues.
  • We have helped major universities and research institutions to develop and revise federally compliant conflict of interest programs. These can be among the most difficult issues because of the huge sensitivity that the researcher has about the personal consequences of university action.
  • We have advised on compliance with and handling of breaches of confidentiality in NIH funded projects. As with conflict of interest, the professor sees her or his life working hanging in the balance.

Congress

We represent a number of universities and educational companies in assuring that their interests are taken into account when Congress considers educational legislation.

  • We represented cooperative education colleges to assure that financial aid provisions take account of living expenses when considering financial resources.
  • We have helped universities obtain funding to allow them to do the most advanced research work in areas of importance to various federal agencies.
  • We represented a non-profit education college to assure that those studying through distance programs were eligible for federal initiatives that were available to those who attend traditional universities.
  • We helped ensure that federal stimulus funds would be directed to school systems that need to acquire certain instructional materials.
  • We worked with children’s advocates and assessment companies to assure that every Head Start program would be capable of providing cognitive and developmental evaluations to the children in their programs.
  • We worked with private student loan providers to assure that loans could be provided to students in ways which maximize student understanding of their financial obligations, while keeping paperwork and bureaucratic involvement to a minimum.

For more information on our work related to education, please visit our Education Industry pages.

WilmerHale has substantial experience in advising and representing colleges, universities and other educational institutions, as well as testing and other educational service providers. The firm’s diverse practice within the industry covers the full spectrum of business, regulatory and litigation matters, involving such issues as affirmative action, civil rights, joint ventures and licensing, employment and employee benefits, acquisitions, restructuring and the creation of for-profit subsidiaries, copyright infringement, protection of intellectual property, bid protests involving government contracts, antitrust and taxation.

Our lawyers have served in government and have provided counsel on Capitol Hill and within the Executive Branch on education-related matters. In addition, our lawyers have years of experience handling educational issues for a range of leading institutions. Many have counseled major educational companies and major universities for decades, and a number are, or have been, trustees of large and small institutions.

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Contacts

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Gorelick, Jamie

Jamie Gorelick

Chair, Defense, National Security and Government Contracts Practice Group

Co-Chair, Strategic Response Group

+1 202 663 6500 (t)

jamie.gorelick@wilmerhale.com

Berman, Bruce M.

Bruce M. Berman

Partner

+1 202 663 6173 (t)

bruce.berman@wilmerhale.com

Bowker, David W.

David W. Bowker

Partner

+1 202 663 6558 (t)

david.bowker@wilmerhale.com

Boynton, Brian

Brian Boynton

Partner

+1 202 663 6044 (t)

brian.boynton@wilmerhale.com

Cohn, Andrew H.

Andrew H. Cohn

Partner

+1 617 526 6218 (t)

andrew.cohn@wilmerhale.com

Curtis, Douglas

Douglas Curtis

Partner

+1 212 230 8802 (t)

douglas.curtis@wilmerhale.com

Fleming, Mark C.

Mark C. Fleming

Partner

+1 617 526 6909 (t)

mark.fleming@wilmerhale.com

Gorelick, Jamie

Jamie Gorelick

Partner

+1 202 663 6500 (t)

jamie.gorelick@wilmerhale.com

Hurewitz, Barry J.

Barry J. Hurewitz

Partner

+1 202 663 6089 (t)

barry.hurewitz@wilmerhale.com