Practice Areas & Industries: Greenberg Traurig, LLP


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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Now more than ever, educational institutions must be positioned to adapt quickly to changes in the economic and regulatory landscape. These institutions must think broadly and strategically about the future.

With approximately 1900 attorneys in 29 locations located throughout the United States, Greenberg Traurig’s Education Practice offers unparalleled geographic reach and depth of resources to provide proactive solutions and practical advice to public and private colleges, universities, elementary and charter schools.

Our cross-practice team understands the unique set of challenges facing educational institutions. We frequently draw upon the experience of attorneys throughout the firm to counsel clients in several areas including:

  • Employment and Labor Relations
  • Student Affairs
  • Real Estate, Construction and Environmental Matters
  • Immigration
  • Intellectual Property and Technology
  • Research-Specific Matters
  • Finance
  • ERISA and Tax
  • Government Relations
  • Sports Law and Athletics
  • Health Care
  • Telecommunications
  • Litigation Representation

Employment and Labor Relations

  • Contractual disputes with employees, including:
    • discrimination
    • wage and hour
    • executive benefit and compensation matters
    • Fair Labor Standards Act claims
    • Title VII claims
    • FMLA claims
    • ADA claims
  • Union avoidance campaigns, education and training
  • Collective bargaining negotiations; contract and grievance administration
  • Employee relations advice, counseling and training, including drafting and reviewing policies, handbooks and employment and severance agreements

Student Affairs

  • Advise on matters related to:
    • student privacy
    • admissions
    • health
    • financial aid
    • grading
    • discipline
    • residential life matters
    • emergency action plans
    • student handbooks
  • Internal investigations and campus security issues

Real Estate, Construction and Environmental Matters

  • Acquisition and sale of real property
  • Land use and zoning permitting
  • Financing of student housing and other campus facilities
  • Property management and leasing
  • Construction contracts and disputes
  • Environmental regulations
  • ADA compliance
  • Leases of property from and to third parties
  • Strategic advice regarding capital planning and development, as well as “Town/Gown” relations with local boards and authorities


  • Extraordinary ability and national interest waiver immigrant petitions
  • O-1 nonimmigrant visas
  • Cap-exempt H-1B petitions
  • Waivers of the two-year home country residence requirement for J-1 international scholars
  • Labor Certification sponsorship under the special provisions for colleges and universities
  • I-9 due diligence and federal reporting requirements, including E-Verify
  • Reinstatement of F-1 status
  • Changes to policies and procedures that might impact retention

Intellectual Property (IP) and Technology

  • Policies and licensing agreements regarding technologies developed by university personnel
  • Academic-industry relationships, research agreements and federal compliance (Bayh-Dole)
  • Exposure to liability from unlawful file sharing on computer systems
  • Privacy, data security and information management issues

Research-Specific Matters

  • Research misconduct and compliance-related issues
  • Structure research contracts to comply with private use rules that apply to research conducted in bond-financed space


  • Advice in various aspects of public finance related to educational institutions, including:
    • new markets tax credits
    • qualified school construction bonds and qualified zone academy bonds
    • other tax-exempt bonds
    • taxable bonds
    • charter school revenue bonds
    • credit enhancements for charter schools
  • Other financing needs, including:
    • bank loans
    • lines of credit
    • reimbursement agreements
    • standby bond purchase agreements
    • interest rate swap agreements
  • Compliance regarding tax-exempt bond requirements, including ongoing private use analysis
  • Completion of Schedule K to Form 990
  • Negotiation of various investment vehicles

ERISA and Tax

  • ERISA, retirement plans and pensions, profit-sharing, vacation, health and severance
  • 403(b) plan document and employer internal control procedure requirements, which enable clients to “outsource” fiduciary liability
  • Complex non-profit structures
  • Formation of endowments
  • Charitable solicitation laws
  • Unrelated trade or business income
  • Transfers of entity interests
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Establishment of best-practice plan governance procedures, obtaining and maintaining tax-exempt status
  • IRS audits
  • Federal employment taxes, including FICA taxes paid under Section 218 Agreements
  • 501(c)(3) status: application and compliance

Government Relations

  • Identify policies and regulatory changes which may be necessary to enhance opportunities for effective collaboration among industry, higher education institutions and laboratories
  • Identify opportunities for higher education institutions to support a state’s economy
  • Negotiation of charters with school boards
  • Assist with procurement and related requests for proposals (RFP’s)

Health Care

  • Compliance with state and federal laws related to university health care institutions
  • HIPAA issues
  • Clinical agreements and related issues for human subjects research Strategic Alliances
  • Affiliations and study abroad articulation agreements
  • Online and distance learning initiatives

Sports Law and Athletics

  • Formation of athletic conferences
  • Compliance with NCAA regulations


  • Non-commercial educational broadcasting licensing and regulatory compliance
  • Licenses to operate radio and TV stations on a non-commercial educational basis
  • Transferring licenses when stations are sold
  • Ongoing compliance with various rules, regulations and policies applicable to broadcast licensees
  • Federal Communications Commission proceedings

Litigation Representation

  • Labor and employment matters
  • Government and civil rights matters
  • First Amendment and other constitutional disputes
  • Complex contract and other business litigation matters
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
  • Freedom of Information Act
  • Federal tax matters
  • Class action defense
  • Allegations of misuse of federal grants
  • SEC, DOE, FBI, State Attorneys General and other governmental agencies in criminal and civil investigations and actions