Education Law

Our firm represents colleges, universities, and independent schools on governance, student and employee disciplinary matters, risk management, sexual abuse and discrimination allegations, enrollment agreements, school bylaws, student/parent handbooks, and more. 

The head of our education practice, Kevin Kinne, is an experienced independent investigator of misconduct allegations under Title IX and other education laws. Our education attorneys have developed long-standing relationships as trusted advisors to colleges, universities, and independent schools, helping them resolve issues in a practical and expeditious manner.

Independent Title IX Investigations

Kevin Kinne has extensive experience in higher education law and conducting independent investigations for colleges, universities, and private secondary schools. Academic institutions that need a qualified and unbiased investigator in Title IX and other matters trust Kevin because he is thorough, fair, and treats all participants in the investigative process with respect. He has earned praise from many schools for his rapport with witnesses and for the quality of his final investigative reports.

Counsel for Faculty Grievance Panels

Faculty grievance panels are essential tools in academia. Whether convened for tenure appeals or disciplinary purposes, faculty grievance panels face difficult legal and procedural issues as they navigate through the grievance process. Faculty members appointed to those panels need experienced and independent counsel that is unaffiliated with the institution to advise them on educational law. We have the experience and expertise to successfully guide faculty members through the entire process, from the first meeting of panel members through the grievance hearing. We work side by side with the panel to help them respond to legal issues as they arise and mitigate risk for the individual panel members.

Hazing, Bullying, and Sexual Abuse Allegations

Our firm provides guidance to academic institutions faced with allegations of hazing, bullying, or sexual abuse. Whether an allegation is made against a student or an employee, we can assist schools in conducting a prompt investigation, making discipline decisions, and conducting a risk assessment. If a complaint of hazing, bullying, or abuse results in a lawsuit, our lawyers will represent the institution through litigation.

Employment Matters

Our attorneys have extensive experience in counseling clients on employment matters. This expertise extends to colleges, universities, and schools and their unique needs and challenges as employers. We assist our educational clients in drafting faculty and staff offer letters, and counsel schools on promotions and tenure. When disciplinary measures must be taken against an employee, or when terminations or layoffs are necessary, we provide practical yet compassionate guidance.

Internal Grievances

Our firm can assist educational institutions in handling internal grievances of all kinds. When a grievance comes from a student, staff member, or parent, we understand that such matters must be investigated and addressed quickly and with care. We guide our clients through the process with skill and expertise.

Student Discipline

Cohen Kinne’s education attorneys are dedicated in representing educational institutions in student disciplinary matters. We recognize that balancing the rights and interests of individual students with the needs of a school community as a whole can be challenging. We are available to our clients to provide guidance on procedure, to assist in investigations, to formulate appropriate disciplinary actions, and to represent schools in challenges to student disciplinary decisions.

Student, Faculty, and Employee Handbooks

Handbooks are an important tool for setting expectations and formalizing procedures to be followed by all members of a school community, and can help address conflicts and misunderstandings before they begin. Our attorneys assist educational institutions in writing and revising handbooks for students, faculty, and employees. Since each educational institution has different goals and concerns, we work collaboratively with clients to craft handbooks that meet the needs of the unique school community.

Legal Compliance and Training

We work with our clients to ensure legal compliance with the complex laws and regulations that govern educational institutions. Training can help schools better serve their students and staff, while also helping the school avoid future conflicts. In addition to offering training, our team of educational lawyers can help schools assess their compliance in specific areas of concern.

Litigation and Defense of Student, Parent, and Employee Claims

We represent colleges, universities, and independent schools, both as plaintiffs and as defendants. We zealously advocate for our clients, in the courtroom and in administrative proceedings, combining our decades of litigation experience with our firm’s understanding of the unique needs of educational organizations. Whether an academic institution is involved in an employment dispute, a discrimination complaint, a contract issue, or any other type of civil litigation, we are prepared to help you effectively resolve the issue.
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