"I believe our connection with you has totally made our school stronger overall, and you have helped guide us through some turbulent times."
~ CFO, Independent School

"I appreciate your work on this and the support of [the] firm. You make my life so much easier."
~ Head of School, Independent School

"On first glance, [the handbook is] a beautiful piece of work! Love the new organization."
~ Associate Head and Dean of Students, Independent School

"Many thanks for your marvelous assistance!"
~ College Trustee


Schwartz Hannum is a strategic partner to educational institutions looking to promote a positive learning environment and resolve workplace issues.  Schwartz Hannum’s Schools and Education Practice provides comprehensive guidance to the full spectrum of school and education clients, including many nationally renowned independent schools, colleges and universities.


The Firm’s Schools and Education Practice helps educational leaders meet their legal obligations to both employees and students under state and federal laws.  Our attorneys understand the unique dynamics of the school environment – how each decision, from hiring and admissions to termination and expulsion, affects relationships with students, parents, faculty, staff, and governing boards.


We translate that understanding into solutions that help schools mitigate risk and avoid potential conflicts.  When disputes arise, we provide the administration with representation in litigation before state and federal government agencies, courts, and arbitration panels.


Our Education practice is focused on the critical issues facing school administrators and leadership, including:



  • Allegations of sexual abuse, hazing or bullying
  • Student disciplinary matters
  • Educational malpractice claims
  • Employee disciplinary matters
  • Internal grievances
  • Internal investigations of employee, student or vendor misconduct
  • Promotions and tenure
  • Regulatory compliance, including data security
  • Risk management
  • Terminations and layoffs



  • Acceptable use of technology agreements
  • Admissions documents
  • Athletic documents
  • Board bylaws
  • Bullying prevention and intervention plans
  • Codes of conduct
  • Conflict of interest policies
  • Data security compliance programs
  • Document retention policies
  • Employment agreements
  • Enrollment agreements
  • Faculty and staff offer letters
  • Housing agreements
  • Job descriptions and applications
  • Medical policies
  • Off-campus trip forms and safety compliance
  • Residential guidelines
  • Student, faculty, and employee handbooks
  • Trustee confidentiality agreements
  • Vendor contracts
  • Whistleblower policies



  • Acceptable uses of technology
  • Avoiding discrimination, harassment, and hazing on campus
  • Appropriate use of social media
  • Bullying prevention and intervention
  • Data security compliance
  • Preventing and addressing sex abuse allegations


Litigation defense

  • Employment Claims
  • Student and Parent Claims


Title IX Compliance

  • Policies and procedures for responding to complaints of harassment and/or sexual assault
  • Guidelines for conducting an effective investigation
  • Training those responsible for implementing the complaint response procedures
  • Investigating complaints of harassment, including allegations of sexual assault


Schwartz Hannum is a member of, and a frequent speaker at, the Association of Independent Schools in New England, the National Association of Independent Schools, the National Business Officers Association and many other associations for independent schools.