Verrill’s Higher Education practice 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, 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 comprised 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 center, deans’ offices, campus police, etc.

Student Affairs

  • Student privacy & 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

Maine Public Utilities Commission Approves Weaver Wind Power Contract

On July 12, 2019, the Maine Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved a long-term contract for the purchase of power from Weaver Wind, a 72.6 MW wind power project in Hancock County Maine. The expected...

Publication/Podcast

What Maine Employers Need To Know About Changes In Personnel Practices Following This Legislative Session

In late June, labor and employment attorney Tawny Alvarez and Division Leader Paul Carelis of MassPay partnered to deliver a discussion on the latest laws and regulations that were enacted during Maine's most recent...

Matter

Champion of Wind Energy Projects

News

Verrill Ranked A Top Law Firm for Women by The National Law Journal for Third Consecutive Year

(July 30, 2019) – After the recent recognition from Law360 as one of the top law firms in the country for female partners, Verrill Dana has again been recognized as one of the top...

Event

HCCA 2019 Boston Regional Conference

On September 6, health care attorney Andrew Rusczek will be presenting at the HCCA 2019 Boston Regional Conference in Boston, MA. He will be presenting with Jigar Kadakia, Chief Information Security and Privacy Officer...

Blog

403(b) Plans Must Comply with the “Once In, Always In” Rule This Year

Tax-exempt employers whose 403(b) plans have failed to comply with the “once in, always in” eligibility rule in the past should be well on their way to compliance by now.   IRS Notice 2018-95  granted...

News

Same Values, New Look: Verrill Dana Announces New Brand and Website

(August 20, 2019) – Verrill Dana, LLP is pleased to announce the launch of the firm’s new website, verrill-law.com, in tandem with a rebrand which includes a new logo. The firm will now go...

Matter

Online Education Services Provider Acquisition

Publication/Podcast

Massachusetts Budget Update: Commonwealth Now Waiting on Governor Baker

On July 22, 2019, the Massachusetts House of Representatives (“House”) and Senate Conference Committee (“Conference Committee”) released the Commonwealth’s $43.1 billion fiscal year 2020 budget bill (“ H. 4000 ”). It passed the House...

Event

Maine Association of Realtors Annual Convention: Developing Opportunities: How You Can Take Advantage of the New Opportunity Zones

On October 8, business law attorneys, Regina Flaherty, Mark Googins, and Cheryl Johnson will be presenting at the Maine Commercial Association of Realtors' Annual Convention, "Developing Opportunities: How You Can Take Advantage of the...