Arent Fox represents institutions of higher education, both public and private, on a variety of legal matters. We offer our clients a multidisciplinary approach to analyze and resolve a variety of issues, including:
- Academic freedom, first amendment and student rights
- Academic research
- Corporate governance
- Distance learning
- Educational malpractice
- Fund raising, financial aid and tax
- Intellectual property
- Privacy protection
- Student rights and responsibilities
- Hazardous waste
- Labor and employment
- Real estate and construction
- Overseas programs
Specifically, our lawyers:
- Prepare bylaws and other operative documents for structural, antitrust and tax purposes; assist clients with updating this information;
- Advise university personnel and administrations on protection of intellectual property, patent and trademark filing as well as patent ownership issues;
- Advise colleges and universities on the legal issues of commercial sponsorship, including purchased sponsorship of facilities such as athletic stadiums, sports team logos, etc.;
- Handle all tax issues related to 501(c)(3) status, including conducting audits to ensure continued compliance with 501(c)(3) requirements;
- Assist with employment issues unique to higher education, including hiring and termination procedures, affirmative action, ERISA, establishment of benefits, contracts review and tenure;
- Provide immigration counsel, such as securing visas for foreign faculty members and visiting professors;
- Negotiate construction and architectural easements, restrictive covenants, deeds, project management agreements and various other contracts for university building programs; and
- Represent higher education institutions in litigation and administrative proceedings initiated by students, faculty or staff.
In addition, we assist universities in developing strategic plans to expand federal support for university-based research and technology programs, and we represent university hospitals in labor and employment issues and regulatory compliance. We also provide counsel on all aspects of tax compliance, including compensation and fringe benefits; unrelated business income; taxable subsidiaries; acquisitions; royalty, affinity and sponsorship agreements; scholarships; research; tax-exempt bonds; lobbying and political activity; charitable giving; public charity status; nonresident aliens; independent contractors; mergers; conversions; restructuring; and IRS audits.
Our intellectual property lawyers advise individual researchers, professors and universities on intellectual property ownership—including patent, trademark and copyright—and technology transfer issues. We also represent medical schools, hospitals and other health facilities affiliated with various universities, counseling several of the nation’s leading academic health care centers on matters including e-health, distance learning and funding.
A leader in real estate law, Arent Fox represents colleges, universities and other educational institutions in the acquisition and development of facilities and in tax-exempt financing. Additionally, we handle all issues associated with obtaining tax-exempt financing, including real property and federal income taxation matters and other general business matters.