Steptoe & Johnson Higher Education Team attorneys have held leadership positions at both colleges and universities or served as members of governing boards at the state and institutional level. With substantial experience and knowledge, our higher education attorneys understand the challenges college and university leaders face and strive to provide ground-breaking solutions.

With new technological developments, aging infrastructures, and enhanced regulatory and policy concerns, the landscape of higher education is undergoing some significant changes. High education leaders predict that many institutions will cease to exist unless their current business models are altered.

As higher education institutions operate under strict guidelines, our attorneys understand how imperative it is to remain up-to-date on continually evolving policies and principles.


  • Accreditation
  • Affiliated Organization Counseling
  • Bankruptcy
  • Charitable Giving
  • Complex Litigation
  • Construction Law
  • Corporate Governance
  • Employee Benefits/ERISA
  • Environmental
  • Government Relations
  • Insurance Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Labor and Employment Counseling
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Non-Profit Taxation
  • Public Finance
  • Real Estate and Land Use Planning
  • Student Financial Aid
  • Tax and Estate Planning
  • Title IX Enforcement Issues
  • Drafted sexual misconduct policies to comply with Title IX guidelines
  • Evaluated multiple issues arising under federal financial aid statutes and regulations
  • Evaluated multi-state regulatory compliance obligations associated with distance learning initiatives
  • Drafted fundraising policies
  • Evaluated UPMIFA issues
  • Drafted restricted gift agreements
  • Addressed both programmatic and regional accreditation issues
  • Drafted licensing agreements for intellectual property rights
  • Regularly counseled multiple higher education institutions regarding the release of information and compliance with Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  • Defended colleges and universities, as well as affiliated organizations, in grievances, faculty tenure matters and employment matters

What sets us apart

  • More than 300 attorneys
  • More than 40 areas of practices, allowing for cross-team collaboration
  • Top listed firm in West Virginia in a combination of areas by The Best Lawyers in America®
  • Top listed in the U.S. in Energy Law by The Best Lawyers in America®
  • 88 lawyers recognized in The Best Lawyers in America®