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Education: Higher Education

Miller Nash Graham & Dunn's education law team comprises attorneys who regularly work with a variety of public and private educational institutions and who appreciate the need to thoughtfully evaluate how legal decisions and strategies intersect with each education client's overall educational mission.

Our education law attorneys are knowledgeable about traditional legal issues facing educational institutions, including student conduct and dismissal matters; campus safety, including VAWA and Clery Act issues; serious personal-injury claims, such as concussions; discrimination laws, such as Title IX, the ADA, and Section 504; employment issues, as well as faculty promotion and tenure; and unique aspects of serving the “business” needs of education clients, such as public records, FERPA, and financial aid.  Our work includes front-end compliance work, such as the development and implementation of Title IX regulations and guidance; representation in front of administrative agencies, including the EEOC and OCR; and defense of lawsuits pursued in state and federal courts. We regularly handle and defend sensitive claims that have consequences beyond the specific party or parties asserting them, and work with a range of campus leaders and in-house counsel in doing so. 

Our attorneys also serve educational institutions in a broad variety of other areas, including intellectual property, particularly copyright and trademark, data privacy, environmental compliance and toxic tort claims, nonprofit governance and restrictions, FCC issues, affiliation and licensing agreements, and the land use permitting, construction contracting, and financing required for expansion projects.

We are proud of our ability to anticipate and respond to the evolving legal service needs of our education clients and to work with educational institutions to support their missions.

Representative Experience

Review, draft, and negotiate general business agreements for school districts, colleges, and universities, including lease agreements, promissory notes and trust deeds, releases, waivers, policies, purchase and sale agreements, easements, intergovernmental agreements, license agreements, affiliation agreements, co-branding agreements, and services agreements. 
  • Represented a university in a lease and multi-year service contract for photocopiers, mail room services and copy room services.
  • Represented a school district in documenting rights and obligations in a long-term collaboration with a nonprofit university.
  • Represented a university in evaluating a potential merger, affiliation, or asset acquisition of another nonprofit organization.
  • Represented a university in documenting the affiliation with another nonprofit organization.
Successfully defended public university in class action by persons who enrolled in two early retirement programs.
Represented university on real estate issues (e.g., land acquisition and leasing) in connection with development of satellite healthcare campus in Hillsboro, Oregon.
Represented a university in a campus extension project that included cleanup and redevelopment of a downtown Seattle industrial site into mixed-use building for campus use. Contamination came from dry cleaners, carpet cleaning, dye works, and metal electroplating.
Assisted Portland Community College in the development and implementation of its 2000 and 2008 bond program expansions, including land use, construction contracts, property acquisition, and election law issues.