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Secondary and Higher Education

McLane Middleton's education group represents a large number of colleges and independent schools in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and provides consultation and training services to schools and school associations in New England and nationwide. The Group has extensive experience in understanding the unique nature of the governance of educational institutions as well as in handling difficult issues that may arise such as relating to tax exempt status, restrictions on endowment, faculty compensation and tenure issues, and student discipline, to name a few.

Risk Management and Counseling

We provide day-to-day counseling assistance on every aspect of school operations, such as faculty performance management, terminations, investigations and leave of absence issues. We also provide counseling regarding student matters, such as student discipline, leave of absence and tuition issues. We also assist in drafting student and employee policies and documents such as handbooks, enrollment agreements, employee contracts and permission slips.

Trainings

We train school human resources personnel and managers on avoiding wrongful discharge and discrimination claims, hiring to firing strategies, and conducting investigations. Our education group provides risk management training for key administrators working with students on high risk issues such as student misuse of social media (including sexting), acquaintance rape and underage sexual relations, and drug and alcohol abuse. We train school health care providers on high risk issues such as dealing with students and their parents about eating disorders; managing psychotropic medications for students; balancing the need for information sharing; and confidentiality and privacy protections. We also provide trainings on all aspects of safe schools such as preventing and responding to harassment, hazing, bullying, abuse reporting and mandatory reporting obligations. Our attorneys create and tailor workshops to fit the unique needs or interests of the school. Among our popular programs are: "Your Role in Maintaining a Safe School Environment," "Setting and Maintaining Appropriate Boundaries with Students," and "Coaching Legally and Safely."

Crisis Response

McLane Middleton is experienced at dealing with virtually every kind of crisis a school might experience. These include natural disasters such as severe flooding, tornadoes, and ice storms and the resulting damages to school facilities, operations and infrastructure. We also assist schools in responding to discovery of extreme misconduct toward students and employees by current or past employees. We assist schools in responding to, identifying and investigating financial misdealing and other types of fraud.

Litigation

McLane Middleton is a regional leader in litigation involving education institutions. We handle all types of litigation against schools and their employees, including employment, environmental, criminal, construction, and insurance litigation.

Intellectual Property

We routinely assist schools with intellectual property matters, such as how to best protect their valuable intellectual property rights as well as how to avoid infringing the rights of others.  In the area of trademark protection, we secure U.S. protection/registration of school names and crests/logos (service marks). In addition to protecting the school's name/logo for educational services, we advise and assist schools with expanding trademark protection to various school publications, clothing and other merchandise (trademarks). Federal registration provides important remedies that help protect the school's name and crest/logo from third party misuse and infringement.  We also advise schools on copyright matters, including securing copyright ownership and infringement matters. Every day, schools create copyrightable works and use third party protected works. Schools need to know how to secure rights and avoid infringement claims in the copyright area.  Learn more about the firm's intellectual property practice group.

Governance

Our attorneys counsel several independent schools relating to their governance matters, including updating Bylaws, ensuring compliance with state and federal non-profit regulations and filings, as well as establishing gift acceptance and conflict of interest policies. Our attorneys have served as former board chairs and long-term members of the board of trustees of independent schools and, as a result, have unique insight to the issues and oversight responsibilities of trustees of independent schools. In addition, McLane Middleton attorneys have chaired the search committee for a Head of School, including the creation of the position description, interview and decision making process, as well as the crafting of an employment contract.

 

For additional information about our Education practice, see the Education industry page.

Integrity and trust

At McLane Middleton we establish and maintain long-standing relationships with our clients to help us better achieve their unique goals over time. This approach to building trust requires that our esteemed lawyers and professionals use their broad, in-depth knowledge and work together with integrity to ascertain sound resolutions to legal matters for their clients.

Strength in numbers

McLane Middleton is made up of more than 90 attorneys who represent a broad range of clients throughout the region, delivering customized solutions. As a firm we are recognized as having the highest legal ability rating. The firm is rated Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell and is recognized as one of the nation's leading law firms in Chambers USA. Our attorneys are distinguished leaders in their respective practice areas.

Meet Our People

Commitment and collaboration

McLane Middleton's versatile group of attorneys and paralegals become trusted authorities on each case through collaboration. We work with our clients to learn their individual needs first and foremost and, together, we develop comprehensive solutions to their specific legal matters. This approach helps us exceed our clients' expectations efficiently and effectively, client by client, case by case.

Practice Areas

A history of excellence

McLane Middleton was established in 1919 in New Hampshire, and has five offices across two states. However, deep historical roots don't allow you to become innate. Our firm is organized, technological, and knowledgeable. Our history means we are recognized. But our reputation is built on the highest quality of service and experience in very specific areas of law.

The Firm

Intelligence paired with action

Our team continuously seeks opportunities to enhance their professional development and put key learnings to action. The pursuit of further insight guides us to volunteer service opportunities, speaking engagements, and teaching roles. Our lawyers are sought after thought leaders across their industries, and recipients of leadership awards throughout the region.