Explore Our Capabilities

Education

Overview

Education is one of our nation’s most valuable industries. It teaches our children, trains our workforce, develops effective leaders, and introduces new technologies. Educational institutions are often among the largest and highest-profile employers in our communities. Consequently, the legal issues they encounter can be complex, wide in scope, and of the utmost importance.

Parker Poe is uniquely positioned to serve the multifaceted legal needs of educational institutions. The firm has a long history of partnering with public and private colleges and universities in the Carolinas. We have also represented K-12 public, private, and charter schools in the Southeast and beyond, and we have counseled businesses involved in the advancement of educational initiatives.

Many of our attorneys practicing in this area are members of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA). They regularly attend the annual conference as well as NACUA workshops and seminars. In addition, Parker Poe is Select Counsel in North Carolina for United Educators Insurance, a specialized liability insurance carrier for colleges, universities, and independent schools. Our attorneys have also participated extensively in university system and K-12 school boards.

Our Education Team encompasses attorneys from multiple practices, including finance, employment, employee benefits, intellectual property, and litigation. We work with school officials, trustees, and in-house counsel in all areas of their legal needs. Together, we devise practical and flexible solutions for the increasingly complex matters that affect their operation today and our country’s success tomorrow.

By The Numbers

  • 0Attorneys in seven offices

Representative Experience

In addition to serving as regular counsel for Brevard College, Johnson C. Smith University, Pfeiffer University, and William Peace University, below are examples of our specific areas of experience.

Public Finance

  • Served as bond counsel for 14 of the constituent institutions of the University of North Carolina system.
  • Served as bond counsel for housing projects undertaken by foundations related to constituent institutions of the University of North Carolina.
  • Served as bond counsel for private colleges, secondary schools, and charter schools in North Carolina.

Employment

  • Served as employment and technology counsel for Central Piedmont Community College.
  • Handled faculty tenure and contract renewal/non-renewal issues, including internal administrative proceedings and constitutional issues affecting public institutions.
  • Drafted and revised student, faculty, and staff handbooks.
  • Provided general employment representation, including defense of Department of Education inquiries, administrative charges, and litigation, as well as human resource counseling and internal investigations.
  • Offered advice and representation in internal disciplinary board hearings and procedures involving students, faculty, and staff, as well as special student life issues.
  • Provided employee benefits representation on such matters as 403(b) and other retirement programs, 457 and non-qualified executive compensation plans, executive compensation determinations and documentation, tax-exemption issues (including compliance with intermediate sanctions rules and special rules applicable to church-related plans), and medical and other welfare plans.
  • Handled visa and immigration matters affecting students, faculty, and staff.
  • Advised on compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Litigation

  • Defended educational institutions against contractual, personal injury, and other claims brought by persons inside or outside of the college, university, or school community.
  • Acted as special litigation counsel for colleges and universities in matters of statewide importance, such as the successful defense of North Carolina's tuition reimbursement program for private universities.
  • Responded to inquiries and complaints involving Title VI and Title IX issues, as well as other federal statutory or regulatory requirements.

Intellectual Property

  • Assisted with intellectual property registration, maintenance, protection, and defense for trademarks and copyrights, and assisted universities to maximize the benefits of their intellectual property assets through licensing, donation, sale, technology transfer, and other creative methods.
  • Provided intellectual property dispute resolution and litigation services, including patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, and other intellectual property litigation.

Government Relations & Lobbying

  • Lobbied before the North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia legislatures on issues of critical importance to public and private colleges, universities, and schools.

Campus Improvements, Expansion & Development

  • Served as counsel for real estate acquisitions, dispositions, leases, financings, title examinations and due diligence inspections, development and construction contracts, and title insurance matters, including title claims.
  • Counseled North Carolina State University in connection with the development of Centennial Campus, including potential public-private partnerships by the university to benefit students researchers, public agencies, and businesses.
  • Advised Duke University and Duke University Hospital in connection with new construction and renovation projects, as well as supplier disputes.
  • Provided counsel to a university in an arrangement with its foundation in the development and lease of multiple student housing projects.
  • Advised a university in connection with the design and construction of a central energy plant resulting in a positive resolution for the university.

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Professionals

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