Title IX / Sexual Harassment / Higher Ed
We specialise in representing people who have faced discrimination and unfair treatment in higher education, including students and staff, both in the United States and United Kingdom. We have represented staff in claims against universities for unfair dismissal and discrimination, and we frequently represent university students who have experienced sexual harassment or sexual violence. Our founding partner was a plaintiff in the pathbreaking Title IX lawsuit Alexander v. Yale, which established for the first time that sexual harassment at a university is illegal, and we frequently bring successful cases in this area.
Types of work
Our lawyers have successfully brought cases against universities across the United States for violations of Title IX, representing students who have experienced discrimination, sexual violence or sexual harassment and have not been protected by their institution.
We provide review services and training for higher education institutions to ensure that they are compliant with relevant laws, including Title IX, the Clery Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
We advise university faculty and staff in the US and UK, from lecturers/assistant professors to vice chancellors/university presidents, on tenure and promotion, sexual harassment claims and employment disputes.
Athletes at an elite school were harassed, bullied and forced to practice at dangerous levels of intensity.
Coaches for a highly-ranked university women’s sports team sexually harassed the players, required them to practice for far too many hours and ignored their resulting injuries. We negotiated a substantial settlement with the university on our clients' behalf.
Two graduate students at UCLA were repeatedly harassed by a professor with an international reputation.
He pinned them up against their cars, stuck his tongue down their throats, and regularly pressed them to sleep with him. They complained to the university, which gave him a mild punishment that provoked uproar on campus when the full story became public. The university had failed to follow proper procedures in handling the complaint and we negotiated a large settlement for our clients.
A British university vice chancellor with a distinguished record was suddenly targeted for dismissal by the new board chair.
The board chair threatened to hurt our client's reputation unless he left immediately and accepted a smaller retirement package than he was entitled to. We quickly intervened to negotiate a dignified departure, with a substantially enhanced retirement package.
A graduate student at a major university was harassed by her supervisor, who was infatuated with her and barraged her with emails and texts.
The university mishandled its internal investigation. We filed suit and negotiated a healthy settlement for our client.
Two professors at a New England college suffered ostracism and retaliation at the hands of administrators after they complained that Jewish cultural concerns were being ignored.
Another administrator was falsely accused of being racist and fired. Our clients are suing the college in federal court.
The Vice President for Academic Affairs at a Midwestern US college, a Muslim woman, was repeatedly screamed at and demeaned by her superior.
She was excluded from most of her job responsibilities and ridiculed publicly because she wore a hijab. We negotiated a substantial settlement on her behalf.
We are advising a group of English graduate students who have been victims of sexual harassment, as they organise to secure national standards for how universities treat harassment cases.
The 1752 Group is working with the National Union of Students and MPs to devise legislation that will help curb a rampant problem in English universities of student to student sexual violence and staff to student sexual harassment. We are contributing our expertise in sexual harassment cases to their efforts.
The development director of a Cambridge college with an excellent record was the target of an outside consultant's report apparently ordered up to provide an excuse to terminate her.
This all occurred just as she was planning to go on maternity leave. We negotiated a substantial increase in the departure package offered.
A university fundraising consultant found himself suddenly ostracized by his client when it turned out his efforts were so successful he would earn more commission than the client wanted.
We advised the consultant as he negotiated a compromise that allowed him to earn a large amount but also preserve his reputation in the close-knit world he operates in.
A group of distinguished faculty at the University of Rochester, New York were ignored when they complained to the administration about sexual harassment by one of their colleagues.
We filed federal complaints that sparked major protests at the university and by scholars around the world, and prompted the university’s president to resign. TIME Magazine named two of our clients “Persons of the Year” in 2017. An outside law firm hired by the University produced a report costing $5 million confirming virtually all the factual claims in our lawsuit, which is pending in US District Court.