Jenner and Block LLP



The education industry is experiencing tremendous growth and investment.  Schools and education companies need smart, sophisticated legal counsel who are familiar with the industry and the ever-changing regulatory environment.  Jenner & Block is uniquely positioned to serve these clients.  The Jenner & Block Education Industry Team includes attorneys with extensive litigation and counseling experience combined with particular competence handling matters involving students and faculty, insurance disputes and privacy issues at colleges and universities, and serving a variety of clients in the school reform law area.  The Firm has a deep level of expertise in the industry at both the post-secondary and pre-K-12 level.

Litigation Involving Colleges and Universities

Our litigation attorneys have experience representing colleges and universities in a variety of matters including:

  • Employment and faculty tenure litigation, including defending suits alleging discrimination, harassment and retaliation
  • Student rights litigation, including defending suits related to expulsion, harassment and matters regarding academic dishonesty charges, student privacy and admissions issues
  • Internal investigations and counseling, including conducting internal investigations of board policies and management decision making
  • Insurance litigation
  • Privacy and information governance
  • False Claims Act matters relating to federal grant and loan programs and U.S. Department of Education regulatory compliance issues

Pre-K-12 School Reform Law

Our education lawyers also advise education industry clients, including school reform organizations, charter schools and charter school networks, school districts, private schools and other institutions on how to achieve their policy goals.  The practice includes both litigation and counseling on a wide range of federal and local school reform law, governance, public law and regulatory issues and matters relating to the design and implementation of public-private education ventures. We have developed substantial experience in the following key areas of school reform:

  • New school development
  • Teacher quality reforms
  • Virtual learning
  • Public/private education ventures
  • Student and parent rights

Jenner & Block Education Industry Team:

  • Litigates disputes involving school reform laws, regulations and policies at the federal, state and local level
  • Counsels charter school networks and education management organizations, turnaround specialists, virtual education providers and private school operators regarding all aspects of new school start-up
  • Conducts multi-state regulatory compliance reviews for education organizations and entities
  • Evaluates legal and regulatory environment for new public/private education ventures, private equity firms and education start-ups
  • Drafts, analyzes and negotiates agreements between state agencies/local school districts and private school providers and management organizations
  • Handles school law matters on behalf of schools, students (public and private) and parents involving federal and state privacy, residency, disciplinary and special education laws and regulations.

Representative Matters

  • Served as independent administrator of settlement agreement between state attorney general and for-profit online provider relating to recruitment and marketing practices
  • One of our partners serves as counsel to the compensation committee of the board of directors of a public company that owns several for-profit educational institutions
  • Counseled charter school on feasibility and legal implications of multi-state combination within charter network and advised local school board and negotiated revisions to comprehensive management services agreement.
  • Conducted multi-state regulatory compliance review for Fortune 1000 company following acquisition of fast-growing K-12 virtual education provider.  Analyzed applicable statutes, regulations and local district policies and regulations to evaluate business model and expansion plans.
  • One of our partners represented a major publicly traded education company in various corporate/M&A, tax and benefits matters.
  • One of our partners represented a publicly traded education company in antitrust matters
  • One of our partners counseled an industry group on antitrust and trade association issues
  • Performed multi-state statutory and regulatory review for national education reform organization and revised standard performance agreement templates for use throughout the United States.
  • Performed review of Illinois laws and regulations pertaining to for-profit private schools for rapidly growing provider of individualized education programs.
  • Analyzed federal, state and local laws and regulations relating to provision of discounted Internet service to public school children and their families.
  • Prepared and negotiated agreements between education providers and state and local education agencies.
  • Litigated matters on behalf of private schools, students and parents involving federal and state privacy, residency, disciplinary and special education laws and regulations.
  • Represented plaintiffs in challenge to school funding system in Illinois.
  • One of our partners serves as outside counsel to the Illinois State Charter School Commission.
  • One of our partners served as a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission established to evaluate the Chicago Public Schools’ magnet and selective enrollment admissions policy.
  • One of our partners served as an expert review panelist for the U.S. Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement programs.

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