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.

Recent examples

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.

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.

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.

The university mishandled its internal investigation. We filed suit and negotiated a healthy settlement for our client.

Another administrator was falsely accused of being racist and fired. Our clients are suing the college in federal court.

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.

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.

This all occurred just as she was planning to go on maternity leave. We negotiated a substantial increase in the departure package offered.

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.

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.

We filed a federal lawsuit in New York.  Hundreds of students, faculty and alumni rallied and signed open letters supporting our clients and confirming their criticisms of management. The hospital instituted a campaign of “listening sessions” to improve its culture, and our lawsuit is proceeding.