Thompson & Horton attorneys serve higher education clients in a wide variety of legal, policy, and compliance arenas involving:
- All aspects of Title IX law, including litigation, audits, training, and internal and Office for Civil Rights investigations
- All aspects of general educational law, including rights and responsibilities under the Texas Education Code, Title 19 of the Texas Administrative Code, Texas Local Government Code, Texas Government Code, and federal law
- Compliance with the Texas Open Meetings Act, Public Information Act, records retention laws, conflict of interest laws, and related defense and litigation
- Academic freedom, curriculum issues, faculty publishing, and freedom of speech, including providing advice, training, dispute resolution, and policy development.
- Campus police and public safety, including drafting police regulation manuals and general orders; advising on trespass orders, expunction orders, grand jury subpoenas, and internal investigations; compliance with Texas Commission on Law Enforcement regulations; representing police departments in F-5 hearings; and advising on search and seizure laws
- Compliance with the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act, including policy development, compliance with subpoenas, and employee training
- Students’ claims regarding harassment and discrimination, including providing training, investigations, and defense of Office for Civil Rights claims
- Compliance with the Clery Act, the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, and Title IX, including policy development, training, prevention of sexual assault, and defense of claims
- Student misconduct and discipline, including advising administrators on the investigation and discipline of students and conducting expulsion hearings; drafting policies compliant with state law and federal due process; and staff training
- Compliance with disability laws, including student accommodation issues in academic and non-academic programs
- Title IX, including compliance with student financial aid regulations, athlete eligibility, program integrity, and equity rules
- Board governance and risk management
- Copyright and trademark law, including faculty publishing, student works, use of social media, and use of third-party materials
- Student issues, including student fees, releases and forms for student activities, student handbooks, legal issues affecting international students, and student/faculty relations
- Academic matters, including admissions and registration, online education programs, and dual-credit programs
- Preparation of reverse articulation agreements between institutions of higher education, clinical affiliation agreements with local hospitals, and contracts between community colleges and other entities such as school districts, and use/license agreements
- Data breach response and general technology issues
- Drug testing of students and employees and compliance programs related to security and drug and alcohol use
- Service area issues, branch campuses, and out-of-district issues
Highlights of our work include:
- We have represented a prominent university client in high-profile litigation involving claims of liability by multiple plaintiffs for alleged acts of sexual harassment by other students.
- We assisted several institutions of higher education in developing policies and procedures to comply with new federal requirements regarding prevention of sexual violence.
- We assisted multiple community colleges in complying with student federal financial aid program integrity regulations by developing new procedures and forms and interacting with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of the Inspector General.
- We obtained a favorable federal appellate ruling in an important case involving Title IX.
- We successfully defended community colleges against students’ complaints filed with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights. We managed a response to a high-profile inquiry by the U.S. Department of Justice.
- We obtained an injunction to prevent a disruptive former student from returning to campus.
In the higher education arena, Thompson & Horton attorneys are uniquely qualified to handle all issues, from administrative counsel to high-profile litigation.