2021

Sarah H. Fay Named Partner Of Schwartz Hannum PC

Schwartz Hannum PC is thrilled to announce that Sarah H. Fay has been named a Partner of the Firm. Sarah is a member of the Firm’s Education Practice group and focuses on the unique legal needs of early child care programs, independent primary and secondary schools, and colleges and universities. Sarah advises these clients on all aspects of school operations, including student and parent issues, employment matters, governance issues, and crisis management.

Sarah routinely advises the Firm’s education clients on the legal framework for admissions processes and enrollment contracts; accommodating students with disabilities; responding to and investigating student interpersonal misconduct; disciplinary matters; student health and safety; risk management strategies for off-campus trips; student records and confidentiality issues; and policies and practices for promoting an inclusive community. For educational institutions that receive federal funding, Sarah assists with Title IX compliance. Sarah also represents schools against breach of contract, consumer protection claims, and disability discrimination claims.

In addition, Sarah counsels clients on the full spectrum of employee matters, including conducting reference and background checks; faculty contracts and offer letters; implementing performance improvement plans; managing leaves; and voluntary early retirement plans, reductions in force, and terminations. Sarah works closely with clients to develop strategies that comply with applicable laws and reflect best practices while maintaining the unique culture of each school.

As part of her practice, Sarah educates students on the evolving definition of consent, anti-bullying and anti-hazing training, acceptable use of technology and social media risks, and other key issues students may confront. In addition, she provides training for faculty, staff, and school administrators on topics ranging from professional boundaries, child abuse and neglect reporting, conducting investigations into student and employee misconduct, accommodating students with disabilities, and other topics unique to the school setting. Sarah is also a frequent presenter at national and local independent school conferences on education law issues.

Sarah is a 2008 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she was a Women’s Swimming and Diving Co-Captain, and received her J.D., cum laude, in 2014 from New England Law, Boston, where she was a recipient of the New England Scholar Award. She is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the State of Rhode Island, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Boston Bar Association, and the Rhode Island Bar Association. In 2020, Sarah was selected by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as an “Up and Coming Lawyer,” and she has been selected as a Massachusetts Super Lawyers® Rising Star each year since 2017.