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Jim Newberry focuses his practice on representing colleges and universities and their affiliated organizations.  He recently served as Mayor of Lexington and has extensive leadership experience in the equine industry, legal service industry, state government and higher education.  Mr. Newberry is leader of the firm's Higher Education Team and is co-chair of the firm’s Strategic Planning Committee. He also serves as the Managing Member of the firm's Louisville, Kentucky office.  

Memberships & Awards

The Best Lawyers in America®, Education Law (2016-Present)
Special Justice, Kentucky Supreme Court, 1994

Key Experience

Advised higher education client in connection with financial exigency declaration and with the elimination of academic programs
Advised higher education clients on business operations related to COVID-19
Advised higher education clients on COVID-19 guidance from CDC and from state and local public health agencies

Work Experience

2014 Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
2012-2014 Vice President and General Counsel, Georgetown College, Georgetown, Kentucky
2011-2012 Managing Partner, Hargrove Madden, LLP
2011-2012 Adjunct Professor of Political Science and Executive in Residence, University of Kentucky
2007-2011 Mayor, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, Lexington, Kentucky
1999-2006 Partner, Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP
1990-1998 Partner/Shareholder, Newberry, Hargrove & Baker, P.S.C.
1991-1992 Acting Secretary, Kentucky Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet, Commonwealth of Kentucky
1984-1988 General Counsel, Airdrie Stud, Inc.
1981-1984 Fowler, Measle & Bell

Speaking Engagements

"Tools for Financially Distressed Institutions," Steptoe & Johnson PLLC Webcast, 2022

“After the Dear Colleague Letter: Developing Enhanced Due Process Protections for Title IX Sexual Assault Cases at Public Institutions,” 44 Journal of College and University Law, 78 (2018)

“Faculty Hiring Practices and Faculty Evaluations,” Council of Independent Colleges Workshop for Department and Division Chairs, 2018

“Litigation Update - Due Process,” National Conference on Law and Higher Education, 2018

“Sexual Assault in Higher Education – The Rights of the Accused,” Education Law Association, 2018

“Charting an Institutional Course in Turbulent Higher Education Times,” Carroll University, 2018

Guest Lecturer, Bellarmine University Leadership in Higher Education PhD Program, 2018

“Legal Issues That Keep Presidents Up at Night,” Council of Independent Colleges’ Presidents Institute, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022

“Top Legal Issues Facing Higher Education,” American Academic Leadership Institute, 2016, 2017

“Transgender & Overtime Issues for Higher Education,” Mid-South Athletic Conference, 2016

“Using a Title IX Policy to Educate the Campus,” Pittsburgh Business Times, 2016

“Joining with ACS Colleagues to Reduce Legal Expenses,” Associated Colleges of the South, 2016

“Legal Issues for Colleges and Universities,” Appalachian College Association, 2015

“Legal Issues for Academic Deans,” Appalachian College Association, 2015

“Title IX Overview,” Appalachian College Association, 2015

“Campus Sexual Assaults,” Council for Advancement and Support of Education Annual Conference for Media Relations Professionals, 2015

“Drafting a Title IX Compliant Sexual Misconduct Policy,” Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio, 2015

“Lessons Learned from the (Sweet) Briar Patch,” Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio, 2015

“Drafting a Title IX Compliant Sexual Misconduct Policy,” Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities, 2015

“Legal and Ethical Issues for Colleges and Universities,” Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium, 2015

"Recent Title IX Changes," Council for Christian Colleges and Universities Attorneys Conference, 2014

"Liberal Arts Lessons," University of Kentucky, College of Arts & Sciences, Lexington, KY, 2011

"Franco-American Relations," Lafayette France & America, Paris, France, 2007

"Lessons Learned by a New Mayor," Harvard University Conference for New Mayors, Cambridge, MA, 2007