Lawyers New to Higher Education Online Course

The law of higher education is an expansive practice area, encompassing everything from aviation law to zoning law and everything in between.  Hundreds of federal laws and thousands of federal regulations govern college and university operations, in addition to state laws and System, board, and institutional policies.  On top of that, colleges and universities are unique institutions with distinctive legal considerations and customs.  Tenure, shared governance, academic freedom, FERPA, and student conduct, just to name a few, are concepts that are not found in the corporate setting but are central to college and university operations.

This online course, delivered by 25 NACUA member veterans, is designed for lawyers who are new to higher education.  Whether you have been practicing for 3 years or 20 years, the course will acquaint you to topics such as:

  • Faculty Issues
  • Federal Anti-Discrimination Law
  • Athletics
  • Title IX and Sexual Misconduct
  • International Issues
  • College and University Contracts
  • The Clery Act
  • Student Conduct
  • Research Compliance

In addition to 14 classes, which will be recorded, in the fall, registrants will also have the opportunity to attend live forums to "meet the experts" and ask live questions, build a NACUA network, and further explore higher education legal topics.

Who Should Participate?

This course is designed for NACUA member attorneys who are new to higher education law.  Based on historic data from past Lawyers New to Higher Education offerings, the typical registrant may have been practicing law in a different field before transitioning to higher education legal practice.

Course Schedule

Welcome and Practical Advice to New Campus Counsel

  • Welcome and brief overview of NACUA
    Brief overview of legal issues unique to higher education
    Practical advice on transitioning to the practice of higher education law

Meet the Faculty

  • Faculty tenure and employment relationships
    Faculty duties, performance management and discipline
    Academic Freedom/ First Amendment
    Practical issues and problem solving

The FUNdamentals of FUNdamental FERPA

  • An overview of the FERPA framework and its key definitions
    The principal disclosure exceptions
    The often forgotten “inspect and review” and “seek amendment” rights
    Saving the best for last: FERPA’s enforcement mechanism

Introduction to Sexual Misconduct Issues: Title IX, Title VII, and the Courts

Federal Antidiscrimination Law

  • Encountering and Addressing Anti-Discrimination Matters in Higher Education (e.g., Title VI, Title VII, Title IX, ADA)
    Race, Color, Religion & National
    Origin - Discrimination and Harassment
    Sex Discrimination and Related Legal Issues
    Free Speech, Diversity, and Inclusion

Wheels Up! – Navigating University International Programs

  • Understand different frameworks for evaluating international initiatives
    Review select U.S. and foreign law compliance issues and discuss recent trends and hot topics – e.g., international employment; foreign taxation; export controls; foreign influence; international student recruitment; online and remote learning; global data privacy; and international student health and safety concerns.
    Share unique contract terms, tips, and strategies to negotiate cross-border contracts

Free Speech on Public and Private Campuses: Key Considerations and Current Issues

  • Policies and speech codes
    Bias incidents and the intersection of protected speech and diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts
    Managing campus protests
    Employee speech

Research Compliance, Intellectual Property, and Technology Transfer

  • Federally sponsored university research: the regulatory regime
    Compliance: common financial, administrative, and scientific/bioethics compliance issues in research
    Intellectual property: ownership and use of employee, student and third party IP
    Tech transfer: considerations for innovation and commercialization

College Athletics

  • NCAA structure and enforcement
    Athletics contracts
    Title IX and intercollegiate athletics
    Wages, benefits, and the use of name, image, and likeness
    Trending topics

Contract Administration

  • Unique issues related to contract administration on college and university campuses
    The role of counsel in contract administration
    Who is entering into contracts at your university? Signature authority and policies related to contract administration Key contractual provisions
    Practical take-aways related to contract review

Student Discipline and the Role of Legal Counsel

  • Key foundational concepts and legal obligations: due process and contractual obligations, public versus private colleges and universities
    Academic versus conduct problems, graduate and professional programs, disability and Title IX cases
    Litigation lessons for policy development and practice
    The many changing dynamics on campus and student life trends - what these mean for campus lawyers

Student Disability Law Issues – Microsession

  • Academic accommodation issues in higher education context
    Emotional support animal issues
    Threat to self and/or threat to others issues
    Leave and withdrawal issues
    Web accessibility issues

Quickly and Clearly Clery: Introduction to the Campus Crime Reporting Law – Microsession

  • Introduction to the Clery Act, including the history, developments along the way, enforcement, and more.
    Discussion of the main components of Clery compliance, including reporting and disclosure of crime statistics in the ASR, the crime log, timely warnings and emergency notifications, and the fire log.
    Exploration of the Clery Handbook—What is it, how is it used in practice, and does it contain the answer to my question?
    Overview of enforcement actions, program reviews, and fines.s

An Introduction to Higher Education Counsel’s Office: Ethical Issues

  • General principles of ethics for college and university attorneys
    Representing an institutional client – ethical issues and practical strategies
    Attorney-client privilege – elements, exceptions, and waivers
    Special challenges taking on non-legal roles


About Online Courses

NACUA's online courses give participants in-depth coverage of important issues in the practice of higher education law. Each course features webinars that enable participants to ask questions to...

CLE Credit Information

You may be eligible to receive CLE credit for participating in a NACUA online course. MCLE credit is subject to each state's rules and regulations. States differ in their definition of "CLE"...

Frequently Asked Questions

This eight-week course contains narrated PowerPoint presentations (like pre-recorded virtual seminars), self-assessment quizzes, and reading assignments. In addition, this course...