College & University Law Experience. Professionalism. Results.

College and University Lawyers in Boston

Experienced Higher Education Attorneys in Boston

Rose Law Partners represents colleges and universities, as well as independent schools and other academic and charitable organizations, in a wide variety of legal matters. The firm is recognized as one of the Best Law Firms for Education Law by U.S. News & World Report. Our Boston higher education lawyers have extensive experience in college and university law.

On This Page:

What is Higher Education Litigation?

Establishments of higher learning must be prepared for a large variety of legal issues and obstacles, ranging from First Amendment rights to labor and employment conflicts to student safety and campus security. The laws and regulations that influence colleges and universities are continuously evolving.

At Rose Law Partners, we understand higher education and all the diverse legal issues that may emerge from it. We have experience defending small and large universities alike and have a team of skilled attorneys who have experience counseling and advising post-secondary institutions.

Higher Education Cases We Handle

Our specific practice areas in college and university law include, but are not limited to:

Colleges & Universities We Have Represented

Rose Law Partners has represented and defended:

  • Andover Newton Theological School
  • Bentley University
  • Boston College
  • Boston University
  • Brandeis University
  • Cambridge College
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • Emerson College
  • Hampshire College
  • Forsyth Institute
  • Harvard University
  • Laboure' College
  • Lesley University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • New England School of Acupuncture
  • New York University
  • Noble and Greenough School
  • Princeton University
  • Pine Manor College
  • Regis College
  • Rivers School
  • Tufts University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Western New England University
  • Wheelock College
  • Williams College
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • America East Conference

We have also represented college and university presidents, trustees, deans, provosts, department chairs, tenure committees, and other faculty members in their administrative and academic roles.

About Our College & University Litigation Team

  • Alan D. Rose, the Managing Partner of the firm, is recognized as one of Boston’s premier lawyers in the field of Education Law by The Best Lawyers in America. In 2013, he was named the Education Lawyer of the Year in Boston by The Best Lawyers in America. He is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys and has been a speaker at its annual conferences in San Antonio in 1995 (tenure litigation), Washington, D.C., in 2000 (student discipline cases), San Diego in 2001 (student discipline), and mid-year conferences in Austin, Texas in 2003 and Phoenix, Arizona in 2005 (ADA claims). He has also appeared on CNN, New England Cable News, and Channel 5 on higher education-related issues. He is a member of the Boston Bar Association College and University Law Section.
  • Laura B. Kirshenbaum is a partner at the firm. She advises Massachusetts educational institutions on their code of conduct policies, student and faculty disciplinary matters, general employment practices, and, when necessary, litigation. She has represented several Massachusetts universities in state and federal court and before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. She has also conducted independent investigations into students’ sexual assault allegations.

Notable Cases: Alan D. Rose

Alan Rose, assisted by his colleagues at our firm, has handled a great number of notable cases, including but not limited to:

  • Successfully argued the leading Massachusetts case in the Supreme Judicial Court on student discipline (Schaer v. Brandeis University, 432 Mass. 474, 735 N.E.2d 373) and many other student discipline cases
  • Successfully tried, with inside counsel, a leading ADA case involving students with learning disabilities (Guckenberger v. Boston University, 957 F.Supp. 306, 974 F.Supp. 106, 8 F.Supp.2d 82, 8 F.Supp.2d 91 (D.Mass.))
  • Successfully argued a leading case involving academic adjustments for learning disabled students (Wynne v. Tufts University School of Medicine, 932 F.2d 19 (en banc) (1991) and 976 F.2d 791 (1st Cir.))
  • Successfully represented universities in numerous civil rights and discrimination claims brought by faculty members, students, and staff
  • Successfully represented, at jury trial and on appeal, two academic researchers and two hospitals in a federal qui tam whistleblower case, United States ex rel. Jones v. Brigham and Women's Hospital, et al., 780 F.3d 479 (1st Cir.)
  • Filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of 14 Massachusetts colleges and universities in support of the position of MIT in Shin v. MIT, involving claims against administrators arising from an undergraduate student's suicide
  • Filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of eleven Massachusetts colleges and universities in support of the position of Tufts University in Roman v. Trustees of Tufts College, 461 Mass. 707, 964 N.E.2d 331, a leading case involving the applicability of the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act to colleges and universities
  • With Anthony Moriello and Aidan Flanagan, filed an amicus brief in September 2017 on behalf of 18 Massachusetts colleges and universities in support of the position of MIT in Nguyen v. MIT, a precedent-setting case in the Supreme Judicial Court (as of January 1, 2018), also involving claims against administrators arising from a suicide of a graduate student
  • Filed an amicus brief in 2018 on behalf of 16 Massachusetts colleges and universities in opposition to President Trump's travel ban
  • Advised a college on a reduction in force of tenured and non-tenured faculty and staff (with no litigation brought)
  • Represented a tenure review committee accused of bias in the denial of tenure
  • Represented a university in probate court in connection with donor concerns about the university’s handling of its art museum
  • Served as the prosecutor in tenure revocation proceedings
  • Represented a university under investigation for fraud against the United States (no charges were brought)
  • Advised colleges on the rules and regulations governing the collection of student loans
  • Represented universities in commercial, real estate and construction litigation
  • Drafted tenure and student discipline guidelines
  • Represented universities in response to subpoenas for records by governmental agencies and private parties
  • Represented colleges and universities in federal Office for Civil Rights investigations and internal investigations
  • Represented a major university in a federal investigation concerning the use of federal grants
  • Advised and represented universities in COVID-19 litigation

NOTABLE CASES: Laura B. Kirshenbaum

Laura B. Kirshenbaum’s experiences include, among others:

  • Representing universities in litigation involving Title IX, disability, gender, and racial discrimination, and breach of contract
  • Representing universities before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
  • Advising universities on the development and drafting of voluntary retirement packages
  • Drafting assistance on policies: student, academic, staff, business conduct, policy review process
  • Internal investigations on student, employment, and academic issues

For more information about higher education litigation or to discuss your legal needs, call (617) 712-0230, or contact us online.


  • Complex Litigation Matters
  • Boutique Litigation Firm
  • Hands-On Representation
  • Decades of Combined Experience


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