Sidley’s Educational Institutions practice combines the significant intellectual resources of the firm with its extensive experience in the issues that uniquely affect higher education. We believe that effective representation of colleges and universities requires a depth of experience with these institutions in order to gain an appreciation of, and sensitivity to, the competing interests that exist in a dynamic campus setting. We have represented multi-campus state universities, large private universities, private liberal arts colleges, religious institutions, technical schools and university museums and hospitals in addressing a wide variety of issues. We provide representation that is cost-effective and protects the long-term interests of the institution, and minimizes disruption to daily operations.
We have extensive experience counseling college and university presidents, provosts, deans, in-house attorneys and faculty committees on issues that arise on a daily basis, including the legal aspects of drafting, implementing and enforcing policies and procedures, and the legal issues associated with transactions such as leases and affiliation agreements. We advise educational institutions in connection with intellectual property rights, ADA compliance including student learning disabilities, harassment and free speech, faculty appointment, promotion, tenure and termination, student conduct and discipline, FERPA compliance, corporate governance, accreditation, employee reductions in force and unionized workforce issues and tax issues. Our lawyers have advised on property acquisitions, reorganizations and institutional involvement in faculty startup ventures. We act as bond counsel, borrower’s counsel and underwriter’s counsel on a wide variety of tax-exempt and taxable financings. We have handled sophisticated litigation on behalf of colleges and universities, both at the trial and appellate levels, and represented universities in qui tam actions and in connection with internal and government investigations.