Verrill's Higher Education Group has served as trusted legal counsel to some of the region's most respected educational institutions. Our attorneys are well-prepared to meet the diverse legal needs of colleges and universities of all sizes, ranging from small liberal arts schools to community colleges to large and complex university systems.

We provide services in a cost-effective, efficient manner and are cognizant of the economic realities facing educational institutions. We work closely with college and university counsel or directly with the school's management and other staff on a broad range of issues, including transactional, bond financing, litigation, regulatory, patent and intellectual property, student affairs, and risk management issues. Our group is composed of attorneys from a variety of legal disciplines, all committed to providing individualized advice, advocacy, and counsel to the educational institutions we represent.

Student Health and Safety

  • Compliance with Title IX, FERPA, Clery Act, HIPAA, ADA, HEOA, Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act, etc.
  • Review, revision, and development of policies for student health functions, including student medical leave policies and procedures (voluntary and involuntary)
  • Development of behavioral intervention teams and consultation on issues of team composition and function
  • Confidentiality, state law, and professional licensing compliance advice
  • Guidance regarding parental notification and disclosure of student information
  • Guidance on student mental health issues, including risk management and disclosure matters
  • Advice on consent-to-treatment issues
  • Development of best practice guidelines relative to student eating disorder issues
  • Provision of on-campus education and training to inform campus community of rights and responsibilities relative to student health and safety
  • Facilitation of discussions between student health services and other campus functions such as counseling centers, dean’s offices, campus police, etc.

Student Affairs

  • Student privacy and confidentiality, including the retention, maintenance, and disclosure of education records in compliance with FERPA
  • Compliance with Title IX and Clery Act
  • Sexual assault, misconduct, and harassment policies and training
  • Academic honor code policies
  • Student handbook and social code policies relating to hazing, alcohol, student organizations, freedom of speech, political activity, and medical leaves of absence
  • Counsel during investigations, judicial procedures, hearings, and appeals
  • IT security matters
  • Blogging (risks, best practices, legal and regulatory guidelines)
  • Issues related to student criminal activity and involvement with local law enforcement
  • Diversity issues
  • Liability related to experiential learning and student study-abroad programs
  • Academic freedom and related issues

Sustainability and Environmental Compliance

  • Environmental permitting and compliance
  • Construction and real estate disputes
  • Sustainability compliance and green design
  • Land use
  • Permitting
  • Historic preservation

Labor and Employment

  • Discrimination issues
  • Hiring and termination
  • Tenure issues
  • Union/management issues
  • OSHA matters
  • Senior administration contracting and negotiation

Governance

  • Not-for-profit and tax-exempt corporation law
  • Board governance and development
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance and fiduciary best practices

Academic Medical Center Representation

  • Corporate and regulatory compliance
  • Accreditation matters
  • JCAHO compliance
  • HIPAA and state privacy law compliance
  • Institutional structure and organization matters
  • Research and research misconduct matters

Intellectual Property and Technology

  • Patent, trademark, and copyright
  • Technology transfer arrangements
  • Licensing of copyrighted materials

Corporate and Tax

  • Joint ventures
  • Financing and investments

Estate Planning, Charitable Trusts, and Exempt Organization Taxation

  • Trust documentation
  • Representation in estate and trust disputes
  • Charitable giving plans and procedures
  • Compliance with private inurement rules
  • Federal and state tax reporting and other disclosures
  • Institutional financing
  • Tax-exempt bonds as financing tools
  • Capital financing advice
  • Lender and borrower representation

Employee Benefits

  • Employee retirement plans
  • Employee health benefit plans
  • Executive and special compensation arrangements
  • Compliance with intermediate sanctions rules

Firm Highlights

Blog

Podcast: The Legal Perspective of Creating a Respectful and Inclusive Workplace

Matter

Aquaculture

Verrill represents both growers and coastal landowners regarding leasing and licensing of aquaculture enterprises.

Event

AHLA Academic Medical Centers and Teaching Hospitals Institute

In January, attorneys Kate Heffernan and Andrew Rusczek will be presenting at the American Health Lawyers Association's Academic Medical Centers and Teaching Hospitals Institute conference in Arlington, VA. The conference is designed to address...

Event

Annual Employment Law Update: HR 2020 Vision for the Future

News

Prominent Attorneys Join Verrill’s Family Law Practice

(January 23, 2020) – Verrill is pleased to welcome attorneys Nancy O’Donnell and David Friedman to the firm’s Boston office as the newest members of its Family Law Group. The addition of O’Donnell and...

Blog

First Circuit Acts on Appeal by South Portland Pipeline Company

On January 10, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit acted on the Portland Pipe Line Corporation’s (PPLC) appeal of the district court order upholding a South Portland zoning ordinance that...

Publication/Podcast

More Proposed Changes to CCPA Geared to Health Care and Life Sciences Industries

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”) took effect on January 1, 2020. Days later on January 8, 2020, the California Senate Health Committee unanimously approved Senate bill A.B. 713 (the “Bill”) to...

News

Michael K. Fee to Lead Verrill’s Health Care and Life Sciences Defense Practice

(January 22, 2020) – Verrill is pleased to welcome Michael K. Fee to the firm’s Boston office as a Partner in its nationally recognized Health Care & Life Sciences Group and as the leader...

Matter

Protection of Private Coastal Property Rights for Conservation of Intertidal Habitat

Verrill successfully represented coastal landowners in first-impression litigation against a Canadian seaweed harvesting company with global operations to determine who owns the sea plants that are growing on private intertidal property in Maine. In...

Publication/Podcast

Is the New U.S.-China Agreement What Was Prescribed?

The trade relationship between China and the United States has been top of mind for businesses over the past year. In spring 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping denied the U.S. Government's request to end...