Higher Education

At Bowles Rice, we understand higher education from a legal, regulatory and business perspective, but we also understand that colleges and universities are different from other entities in terms of their mission, culture, values and goals. 

Our team of attorneys works closely with in-house counsel, school officials and administrators on a wide variety of higher education law issues, ranging from day-to-day counseling to high-stakes litigation. We are committed to providing high-quality, cost-effective representation that is tailored to each individual institution.  To that end, our firm has a full-service, multi-disciplinary team of seasoned practitioners who are equipped to handle the uniquely diverse, complex and sophisticated needs of colleges and universities in the following areas:

  • Employment Counseling and Litigation 
  • Internal Investigations & Risk Management 
  • Employee & Faculty Grievances
  • Title IX Investigations and Compliance 
  • Title IX Litigation 
  • Cleary Act Compliance
  • FERPA Compliance 
  • OCR Complaints 
  • EEOC Complaints
  • OSHA/Workplace Safety 
  • Employee Benefits/ERISA 
  • Executive Compensation
  • Complex Litigation and Appeals 
  • Public Finance 
  • Transactions 
  • Real Estate and Land Use Planning 
  • Construction Law 
  • Non-Profit Board Governance 
  • Government Relations 
  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
  • Tax 
  • Tax-exempt Organizations Regulatory Compliance
  • Tax-exempt Foundations
  • Scholarship Fund Regulatory Compliance
  • Public Private Partnerships
  • Charitable Giving and Estate Planning 
  • Intellectual Property 
  • Data Protection, Privacy, and Cybersecurity 
  • Risk & Crisis Management

Bowles Rice provides these legal services to institutions of higher learning across West Virginia and throughout the region. Our firm's vast experience in higher education includes attorneys who serve or have served on college and university governing boards, visiting committees and foundation boards as well as adjunct instructors, guest lecturers and professors. Additionally, former firm partner David C. Hardesty, Jr. successfully served as president of West Virginia University for more than a decade. Following his tenure as president, he taught at the WVU College of Law and maintained an "of counsel" relationship with Bowles Rice until retiring in 2019.

Our firm also maintains active participation and involvement with education-based groups, including the National Association of College and University Attorneys; Higher Education Policy Commission; West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education; Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia; West Virginia Community College Association; and West Virginia Independent Colleges and Universities. These affiliations give our attorneys a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the needs of higher education clients.

A full-service firm, Bowles Rice is well-known and highly respected for its work in the education sector. Our team approach ensures efficient and cost-effective representation, and with seven offices located in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Virginia, we are geographically well-positioned to assist clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic and surrounding regions.

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