Title IX: Safety and Security on College and University Campuses

We help colleges and universities provide a safe and secure learning environment, which affords students the protections they are entitled to under Title IX

Our approach

Title IX transformed the postsecondary landscape for millions of students by enhancing academic, financial and athletic benefits. Its focus is to ensure students have a safe setting in which to pursue their education.

The failure of some colleges and universities to properly police themselves according to the dictates of Title IX and the “Dear Colleague” letter has resulted in a proliferation of federal government action, legislation, private lawsuits and other causes of action with the potential for large damage awards. To avoid these unwanted scenarios, colleges and universities must carefully coordinate Title IX compliance with the mandates of other applicable federal laws, including the Clery Act, Campus SAVE Act, FERPA and HIPAA.  And they need to comply with state law as well.

We offer unique experience and knowledge through an interdisciplinary team of attorneys and former high level state and federal elected and appointed officials, who’ve worked all sides of these issues.

  • Establishing, implementing and monitoring Title IX compliance programs
  • Counseling on risk management best practices and correcting course on processes that are out of compliance
  • Defending institutions involved with litigation

Our Campus Safety & Educational Services for Colleges and Universities include:

  • Specialized safety and security training programs for college security and safety chiefs focusing on and addressing sexual harassment and violence, assault, domestic and relationship violence and allegations of Title IX violations
  • Internal meetings with campus leadership including but not limited to security directors, human resources, legal departments, faculty heads, Title IX coordinators and other administrators to ensure proper protocols, procedures and policies are in place
  • External meetings with campus leadership and external partners including local police departments and prosecutors
  • Internal training sessions for campus leadership including but not limited to all responsible for Title IX compliance
  • External coordinated training sessions with local police departments and prosecutors
  • Training presentations and programs on internal workplace culture and environment including issues related to safety and security
  • Programs aimed at safety among students including driving, substance abuse and relationship violence
  • Mentoring and internship programs to provide better service to those who lack an adequate voice and opportunity to be heard in the process

We work with

  • Research universities
  • Public universities
  • Small private colleges
  • Professional schools
  • Medical schools
  • Schools of the performing and visual arts

Recent experience

  • Defended institutions in claims arising out of alleged faculty-on-student and student-on-student sexual harassment or assault.
  • Advised institutions on the remedial measures and investigative procedures to ensure Title IX compliance when an alleged incident is reported.
  • Counselled educational clients on proper steps in student disciplinary processes and defended institutions in lawsuits brought by students challenging the disciplinary determinations.
  • Represented a university at all phases of an OCR Title IX athletics equity case. Our representation included early resolution negotiations with counsel for complainants and OCR and participated in settlement hearings. We also received and coordinated client response to OCR’s data requests, prepared witnesses and participated in all interviews of the client’s personnel. In addition, we monitored all of OCR’s open activities on campus, including facilities and equipment inspections and drafted client rebuttal to issues raised by OCR, advocating on behalf of non-traditional, emerging women’s sports programs. We responded to OCR’s final report and rebuttal of same.
  • Represented universities and prepared athletic directors, administrators, coaches, trainers and staff for OCR investigative interviews and have participated in those interviews.
  • Presented evidence to OCR to counterbalance complaints.
  • Represented a college athletic conference in connection with various labor and employment matters, including drafting of employment contracts and offer letters.

Hold off or proceed?

Inside Higher Ed | March 26, 2020

Providence Complex Commercial Disputes partner Steven Richard says the lack of a fixed time frame for the completion of Title IX investigations has created uncertainty for colleges and universities during this public health crisis.

When the national discourse of sexual abuse seeps into the office

Long Island Business News | October 04, 2018

Long Island Labor & Employment associate Tony Dulgerian is quoted in this story about how employers can respond to the current national dialogue by having conversations with employees about workplace harassment.

Clarifying student due process rights at 6th Circuit

Law360 | September 12, 2018

Providence Complex Commercial Disputes partner Steven Richard wrote this article analyzing a 6th Circuit court ruling that found a student accused of sexual assault on a college campus was deprived of his due process rights.

Continuing violation doctrine' can defeat Title IX limitations defense

Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly | September 12, 2018

Providence Complex Commercial Disputes partner Steven Richard is mentioned in this article for his representation of Brown University in a Title IX case.

Adding relevance to anti-harassment training

Long Island Business News | June 10, 2018

Long Island labor and employment associate David Tauster is quoted in this article analyzing the impact of legislation signed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo requiring all employers to adopt sexual harassment prevention policies.

Outlawing sexual harassment

HR Executive.com | May 15, 2018

Boston partner and labor and employment practice group leader David Rosenthal is quoted in this story on the possibility of states passing tougher laws against workplace sexual harassment as a result of the #MeToo movement.

East County gym sued over transgender locker access

Fox 5 San Diego | May 01, 2018

Los Angeles labor and employment associate Erin Holyoke is quoted in this article about a discrimination lawsuit filed by Nixon Peabody and the ACLU Foundation of San Diego and Imperial Counties on behalf of their client Christynne Wood, a transgender woman, against a Crunch Fitness gym in San Diego county.

Higher Education Should Note Recent Title VII Rulings

Law360 | April 04, 2018

This expert analysis of recent circuit court decisions involving claims of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation at colleges and universities was co-written by Albany government investigations and white-collar defense partner Tina Sciocchetti, Boston government investigations and white-collar defense associate Julianna Malogolowkin and Rochester commercial litigation associate Zachary Osinski.

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