Practice Areas & Industries: Greenberg Traurig, LLP


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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Greenberg Traurig’s attorneys have wide-ranging experience representing not-for-profit and for-profit private and public higher educational institutions, and secondary and elementary schools (including charter and religious schools) across the United States. We understand that the challenges facing educational institutions are far too diverse and complex for a few attorneys focusing on education to handle well. Lawyers in virtually all of our practice groups have extensive experience representing educational institutions, whether it be in the areas of labor and employment, governance, 501(c)(3) status and compliance, ERISA and tax, immigration, real estate and construction, environmental, governmental affairs, finance or litigation.

We have approximately 1,750 lawyers in 29 locations in the United States, as well as in six locations internationally, to meet all the legal needs of educational institutions in an efficient and cost effective manner.

We understand that the challenges facing educational institutions are far too diverse and complex for a few attorneys focusing on education to handle well.

Labor & Employment

  • Assist in contractual disputes with employees, including tenure termination issues and advancement
  • Handle employment litigation, including discrimination, wage and hour, benefit matters, claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Americans With Disabilities Act, and civil rights cases
  • Assist with union avoidance campaigns, education and training
  • Assist with collective bargaining negotiations and contract and grievance administration for institutions that are unionized; counsel clients on disciplinary and staffing issues
  • Provide employee relations advice, counseling and training, including drafting and reviewing policies, handbooks and employment and severance agreements


  • Help clients petition for foreign workers, visiting scholars and researchers to fill temporary  nonimmigrant positions and for permanent immigrant positions; advise clients on I-9 due diligence and federal reporting requirements, including E-Verify; counsel on changing policies and procedures affecting retention of foreign workforce
  • Prepare and file U.S.-based temporary visas and permanent residence applications for universities on behalf of their professors, instructors and research scholars
  • Advise universities’ International Student Offices regarding student visa matters


  • Assist with employee benefits matters, including ERISA, retirement plans and pensions, profit-sharing, vacation, health and severance; advise on the new 403(b) plan document and employer internal control procedure requirements, which enable clients to “outsource” fiduciary liability
  • Counsel clients on an array of tax issues, including complex non-profit structures, formation of endowments, charitable solicitation laws, unrelated trade or business income, transfers of entity interests, mergers, acquisitions, establishment of best-practice plan governance procedures, obtaining and maintaining tax-exempt status, IRS audits, and Federal employment taxes, including FICA taxes paid under Section 218 Agreements

Student Life

  • Advise on student privacy, admissions, health, financial aid, grading, discipline and residential life matters; draft and review emergency action plans and student handbooks
  • Assist with internal investigations and coordinate with local authorities
  • Advise on campus security issues


  • Advise on by-laws and corporate authority
  • Advise on executive benefits and compensation issues
  • Assist with charter school organization

Real Estate, Construction and Environmental

  • Assist with capital planning and development
  • Assist with the acquisition and sale of real property, land use and zoning permitting, financing of student housing and other campus facilities, property management and leasing
  • Advise clients on construction contracts and disputes, environmental regulations and ADA compliance
  • Represent clients on leases of property from and to third parties
  • Provide assistance with respect to “Town/Gown” relations, local boards and authorities, etc.

At GT, we understand that fixed hourly rate billing does not work for all clients’ or for all matters, and we have been successful in utilizing a wide range of alternative fee arrangements to meet our clients’ legal needs.


  • Represent clients on all their financing needs, including tax-exempt bonds, new market tax credits, taxable bonds, bank loans, lines of credit, reimbursement agreements or standby bond purchase agreements, and interest rate swap agreements
  • Assist clients with compliance  regarding tax-exempt bond requirements, including ongoing private use analysis
  • Assist clients with completion of Schedule K to Form 990
  • Provide ongoing advice on investments and assist in negotiation of various investment vehicles


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


  • Represent educational institutions on a host of issues, including 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 and class action defense
  • Defend clients in SEC, DOE, FBI, State Attorneys General and other governmental agencies in criminal and civil investigations and actions
  • Represent professors regarding allegations of misuse of federal grants

Intellectual Property (IP) & Technology

  • Represent clients in the development, protection and enforcement of their IP
  • Advise on policies and licensing agreements regarding technologies developed by university personnel
  • Assist with academic-industry relationships, research agreements and federal compliance (Bayh-Dole)
  • Help reduce exposure to liability from unlawful file sharing on computer systems
  • Develop strategies to address privacy, data security and information management issues


  • Represent clients on non-commercial educational broadcasting licensing and regulatory compliance. Represent colleges and universities in obtaining licenses to operate radio and TV stations on a non-commercial educational basis, as well as transferring licenses when stations are sold, and in ongoing compliance with various rules, regulations and policies applicable to such broadcast licensees
  • Assist education organizations in Federal Communications Commission proceedings

Health Care

  • Audit and assist in compliance with state and federal laws related to university health care institutions
  • Provide advice with HIPAA issues
  • Clinical agreements and related issues for human subjects research

Strategic Alliances

  • Advise and assist with affiliations and study abroad articulation agreements
  • Advise and assist with online and distance learning initiatives

Compliance and Planning

  • Provide assistance with state and federal regulatory compliance
  • Assist with emergency action plans


  • Advise on vendor contracts, drafts and negotiations

Government Relations

  • Provide school districts, charter schools, colleges and universities with sound advice and help them understand the governmental processes involved in creating new policies
  • Help 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)

Charter Schools

  • The firm has a separate Charter School Group that is engaged in all aspects of charter school representation, including working on charter school bond  issues and new market tax credit financings, and providing real estate, zoning, 501(c)(3), labor and employment, litigation and other services to charter schools nationwide

Sports Law/Athletics

  • Assist with and advise on the formation of athletic conferences and compliance with NCAA regulations

Special Education

  • Represent non-public providers of special education services and programming, including advice on corporate structure, state operating approvals and regulatory compliance

New York State Education Approvals and Permission to Operate

  • Advise on corporate formation, obtaining consents to incorporate, operations, program approval and on-line programming for all types of entities providing educational services and programming, including business and trade schools. Assist clients in satisfying licensing requirements for professionals