Ray exclusively represents higher education and other nonprofit executives and boards of trustees. His clients include colleges, universities, associations, and other nonprofits. He has represented over 250 university boards of trustees, college presidents, and other nonprofit executives during his more than 25 years in practice.
He frequently counsels both boards of trustees and presidents on such matters as contracts, executive compensation, performance evaluation, goal-setting, current and deferred compensation, Intermediate Sanctions, Sarbanes-Oxley, and best practices for managing nonprofit institutions.
Ray is a frequent speaker at the Association of Governing Board's National Conference on University Trusteeship and on the programs of other higher education associations. He is also a regular contributor to the Chronicle of Higher Education. His legal work and compensation analyses have gotten him recognition in many national publications, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.
Earlier in his career, Ray served in the public sector as special assistant, Office of the Secretary, US Department of Health, Education and Welfare.
He has also served as an adjunct faculty member at both the School of Law and the School of Medicine at George Washington University and Harvard University's School of Public Health. In addition, he has lectured at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), UCLA, Yale, and many others.
Ray is the first person in the history of Harvard University to have earned degrees from both its law school (JD) and its graduate School of Public Health (MSc).
Recognitions & Awards
•Best Lawyers in America: Education Law (2013 - 2016)
•Chambers USA: District of Columbia - Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (2012 - 2015)
•Colleges Must Compete to Attract the Best Leadership, New York Times (06.24.2014)
•Speaker, Promises to Keep: Higher Education and the Public Trust, American Council on Education's 97th Annual Meeting, American Council on Education, Washington, DC 20009 (03.14.2015)
•Speaker, The President's Second Contract: What to Keep and What to Change, 2015 Presidents Institute, The Council of Independent Colleges, San Diego, CA (01.05.2015)
•Speaker, Reaching an Agreement: Negotiating a Contract, National Women's Leadership Forum, American Council on Education, Washington, DC (12.03.2014)
•Speaker, Presidential Compensation 2014: The Latest Developments, 2014 NAICU Annual Meeting, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), Washington, DC (02.04.2014)
•Speaker, Reaching an Agreement: Making the Right Choice and Negotiating that Contract, Advancing to the Presidency, American Council on Education, Washington, DC (10.10.2013)
•Speaker, Negotiating a Presidential Contract: How to Protect the University While Being Fair to the President, 2013 AGB National Conference on Trusteeship, Association of Governing Boards, San Francisco, CA (04.22.2013)
•Speaker, Reaching an Agreement: Negotiating Your Contract, Knowing Your Options, Spectrum Executive Leadership Program, American Council on Education, Alexandria, VA (03.28.2013)
•Speaker, Presidential Contracts: Are You Adequately Protected if Things Go Awry?, The American Council on Education's 95th Annual Meeting, American Council on Education (ACE), Washington, DC (03.03.2013)
•Speaker, Executive Compensation and Contracts: Best Practices in 2013, 2013 National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference, National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), Philadephia, PA (02.28.2013)
•Speaker, Presidential Employment Agreement: Necessity, Negotiation, and the Issues, 2013 National Assocation of Independent Colleges and Universities Annual Meeting, NAICU, Washington, DC (02.05.2013)
•Speaker, Negotiating Your First Presidential Contract, 40th Annual Institute for Chief Academic Officers, The Council of Independents Colleges (CIC), San Antonio, TX (11.05.2012)
•Speaker, Reaching an Agreement: Making the Right Choice and Negotiating that Contract, Advancing to the Presidency, American Council on Education (ACE), Washington, DC (10.11.2012)
•Speaker, Academic Affairs Winter Meeting, American Association of State Colleges & Universities (02.05.2010)
•Speaker, Presidential Compensation in 2010: Improving Your Contract, 2010 Annual Meeting, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, Washington, DC (02.02.2010)
• Seventy-One Mintz Levin Attorneys Included in The Best Lawyers in America, 2016 Edition, (08.17.2015)
•Quoted in No Golden Parachute, Inside Higher Ed (08.13.2015)
•Quoted in Stage Is Set for Uncommon Ugliness in Illinois Chancellor's Exit, Chronicle of Higher Education (08.13.2015)
• Raymond D. Cotton to Present at American Council on Education's National Women's Leadership Forum, (06.15.2015)
• Fifty-Two Mintz Levin Attorneys Featured in Chambers USA 2015 Guide, (05.19.2015)
•Quoted in Asking for Less, Inside Higher Ed (05.14.2015)
•Quoted in Miami U President to be Paid $419K after Stepping Down, Dayton Daily News (05.14.2015)
• Raymond D. Cotton to Present at National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities Annual Meeting, (01.28.2015