Practice Areas & Industries: Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP


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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Colleges and universities and their affiliated entities are distinctive: they serve a wide constituency, are governed by myriad laws, and operate in an organizational and cultural environment different from any other. In addition, they are under constant pressure to remain competitive and must be flexible to adapt to changes in technology and in the economy.

Schnader brings together attorneys with varied skill sets and backgrounds to provide a holistic and multifaceted approach to address the needs of our higher education clients. We respond to individual situations, always recognizing that plans must be practical and cost-effective. We also fully appreciate that our clients need to develop positive relationships within their local communities and all levels of government.

The Higher Education Practice Group is managed by Marilyn Kutler and Pedro Ramos, both of whom share many years of experience representing a broad spectrum of college, university and other post-secondary education clients. Many of the professionals in our group serve on boards of educational institutions or have worked as faculty or administrators in colleges and universities. These “real-world” experiences enable us to more effectively partner with you to accomplish your goals.

Our involvement with numerous higher education matters give us a head start in addressing short-term problems and realizing long-term goals, as we provide traditional legal counsel, training and information programs, policy and procedure review, and representation in dispute resolution.

Our Breadth of Experience and Perspective

Our Higher Education Practice provides colleges and universities with the support they need to address legal issues in daily operations and future initiatives. Our services include:

Governance: Advise trustees and administrators on fiduciary duties, state corporate law, federal tax-exemption related matters, and the creation, operation and dissolution of affiliated entities.

Employment: Defend against employment-related lawsuits, conduct independent investigations, advise on employment, labor and benefits compliance and strategies, and deliver or assist with training.

Campus Safety: Counsel  on Title IX and Clery Act compliance on an ongoing basis, review and update policies, deliver or assist with training, advise in the procurement of consultants and other related services, and serve as legal advisor to crisis management teams.

Tax: Address federal, state and local tax-exemption issues in the contexts of real estate, business, executive compensation and withholding. Assist development offices with planned giving issues, leveraging our deep experience in trusts and estates.

Intellectual Property: Assist with securing, protecting and/or transferring patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret and licensing rights, and provide special services for academic research centers and related incubators.

Real Estate: Guide all stages of traditional and complex building and campus development projects, from campus planning to finance to regulatory compliance to construction implementation, including student housing, mixed-use projects, hotels and entertainment projects.

Contracted Services: Advise with many types of contractual relationships that support the day-to-day needs of schools, their faculty and students, including drafting, negotiating and implementing agreements for food services and hospitality, security, maintenance, utilities, equipment leasing, consulting services, subcontractor issues, and the full spectrum of procurement activities.

Group Presentations
  Rebecca Lacher and Stephenie Yeung Presented Legal Ethics Workshop, Speakers: Rebecca Lacher and Stephenie Yeung, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, August 19, 2015
Pedro Ramos to Discuss "The Intersection of Title VI, Title IX, the First Amendment and Academic Freedom ", Speaker: Pedro Ramos, Washington, District of Columbia, June 28, 2015
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

Obtaining Relief from Penalties Related to IRS Form 1098-T Filing Deficiencies
Joseph E. Lundy, August 26, 2015
It has been reported that many colleges and universities have received IRS Notices assessing significant penalties for failing to provide accurate or complete information on IRS Forms 1098-T. Going forward, colleges and universities may be able to take advantage of a safe harbor included in...

Title IX Coordinators: Review of New Guidance from the Department of Education
Rebecca Lacher,Pedro A. Ramos, May 14, 2015
On April 24, 2015, the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published a new Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) and a letter directly to Title IX Coordinators, as well as a new 25-page Title IX Resource Guide. These reflect OCR’s focus on ensuring that Title IX Coordinators have the...