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

Publication/Podcast

Can Nonprofits Require COVID-19 Vaccines?

On June 10, employment and labor attorney Tawny Alvarez spoke with Maine Association of Nonprofits for its blog post "Help Desk FAQ: Can Nonprofits Require COVID-19 Vaccines?" As MANP continues to receive questions from...

Publication/Podcast

Portland Maine Business Podcast with Tawny Alvarez

On this week's Portland Maine Business Podcast , a podcast with Shelby Turcotte of Shelby Trained, he interviews employment and labor attorney Tawny Alvarez who shares stories that contributed to shaping her as a...

Blog

Massachusetts Now Requires Paid COVID-19 Leave for all Employees

Massachusetts now requires all employers, regardless of size, with Massachusetts employees to offer employees paid, job-protected leave for certain COVID-19-related reasons, including to get or recover from a COVID-19 vaccine. Massachusetts also has established...

Matter

Copyright Litigation: Software

Defended equipment manufacturer in copyright dispute involving firmware for digital subscriber line access multiplexers (“DSLAMs”). Case resolved favorably.

Blog

Connecticut Employers Take Note – Cease Seeking Past Pay Information

Big changes are coming to Connecticut employers and with it, many organizational hiring practices with the passage of HB Number 6380. HB Number 6380 limits the disclosure of wage information from past positions. Currently...

News

Maine's Evolving Economy and the Future of Remote Work

On June 8, Maine Public published "The Future of Remote Work: The Outlook for Maine Employers and Workers As Offices Re-Open," covering its Maine’s Evolving Economy series that focuses on the shifts in Maine’s...

Matter

Trademark Litigation: Software

Represented trademark owner in litigation with foreign software company. Successfully defeated motion to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds, which was affirmed on appeal. Also successfully defeated summary judgment motion, which resulted in case settling before...

Event

FCBA New England Chapter Program

Join FCBA New England Chapter for a program on RDOF from a State Perspective: Lessons Learned So Far. Attorney Geoff Why will be moderating a panel session with invited FCC, industry, and state representatives...

News

Advice from Former Portland Charter Commission

On June 23, Portland Phoenix published an article, "Those who have been there predict Portland Charter Commission faces steep learning curve," discussing the organizational meeting with Portland's newly elected Charter Commission. In the meeting...

Event

MAME's 32nd Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament

Please join us as we sponsor MAME’s 32nd Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament! Proceeds go to the MAME Scholarship Fund to help support students interested in entering the manufacturing and trade industry in Maine. At...

Contact Verrill at (855) 307 0700