Skip to Main Content

Keeping you informed

Parker Poe Launches Higher Education Initiative

Firm emerges as resource for legal counsel among colleges and universities in North Carolina and beyond

  • May 17, 2016

Charlotte, NC – Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP announces the formalization of a higher education initiative, led by Parker Poe Raleigh attorneys Russell Killen and Will Cannon. Parker Poe’s cross-functional group consists of 15 attorneys across the firm’s offices. The team assists both private and public universities in fields such as bond funding, real estate, intellectual property, employment, immigration, benefits, civil rights and student discipline, and government relations.

The team currently works with a diverse base of institutions from large public universities to small private colleges. Parker Poe’s long-standing relationships with schools across the Southeast also include Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and community colleges.

Parker Poe’s education group has extensive experience in helping colleges and universities navigate a broad range of legal issues. Cannon lends his expertise in trademark and copyright law, while Killen and his colleague, Catharine Arrowood, often advise university general counsels. Killen focuses on assisting universities with public/private developments, as well as campus expansion and redevelopment, and he represents universities in construction and real property disputes.

Also based in Raleigh, Sarah Ford works with schools across the state on becoming compliant with Title IX requirements for preventing and responding to sexual assault. Ford and her colleague, Stacy Wood, regularly provide employment advice to universities.

From the firm’s Charlotte office, Don Ubell and Scott Leo have served as bond counsel to nearly every university in the state. Steve Hunting provides legal services to the higher education industry in the area of alternative energy agreements, and Steve Long and Scott Manning focus on tax law. Senior team members of Parker Poe’s education initiative also are members of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), the premier organization in the field of higher education law.

“Our higher education group provides today’s universities with a broad spectrum of legal services,” says Parker Poe Managing Partner Tom Griffin. “The Southeast and specifically North Carolina are home to some of the best colleges and universities in the country, and Parker Poe looks forward to helping them reach their goals for continued growth.”

In a testament to the firm’s partnership with its education clients, former Parker Poe Raleigh Partner Jeff Bandini recently was named by NC State University to serve as its first Associate Vice Chancellor for University Real Estate Operations. The Real Estate Operations office was created in January following the realignment and consolidation of the university’s real estate functions. Additionally, Parker Poe Raleigh Partner Julie Wicker Lee recently accepted a position as the Associate General Counsel at UNC-Wilmington.

About Parker Poe

Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP has approximately 200 lawyers in seven offices located in major markets across North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The firm provides legal counsel to large commercial and public organizations on litigation, corporate and regulatory matters. For more information, please visit