Higher Education Legal Conference

About the Event

Thursday, March 14, 2024
9:30AM – 6:00PM
Aloft Hotel, Boston

The 2024 conference brought together college and university in-house legal departments, administrators, and firm practitioners to discuss the complex legal needs of these institutions in a changing world. Attendees heard an opening keynote address from Patrick Tutwiler, Ph.D., Secretary of the Executive Office of Education, followed by panel discussions covering Title VI, student unionization, campus speech, antitrust issues, crisis management, and much more.


Keynote Speaker

Patrick Tutwiler
Secretary of the Executive Office of Education
Patrick Tutwiler, PhD is the Secretary of the Executive Office of Education, and the first Black person to ever hold that role in Massachusetts’ history. As Massachusetts Secretary of Education, Tutwiler directs the Executive Office of Education, which oversees early education, K-12, and higher education. Secretary Tutwiler sits on each of the boards governing the Commonwealth’s education agencies, as well as the University of Massachusetts system. He is Governor Maura Healey’s top advisor on education and helps shape the Commonwealth’s education agenda.

Conference Agenda

9:30 AM

Keynote Address

Join us to hear from Secretary of Education Patrick Tutwiler.

10:45 AM

Title VI and Shared Ancestry: Federal Policy and Enforcement

Uncover the nuances of federal policies and enforcement strategies, addressing how higher education institutions’ past experience with challenging social moments can inform their response to what campuses currently are facing, and how national politics have informed recent enforcement activity.

  • Abra Francois, Associate General Counsel, Tufts University (Moderator)
  • Danielle Conley, Partner, Latham & Watkins
  • Guilherme Costa, General Counsel, Bentley University
  • Jeffrey Nolan, Partner, Holland & Knight LLP
  • Anuj Khetarpal, Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts


Laboring Students or Student Labor? Hot Topics in Student Unionization

Delve into recent student unionization issues, including recent NLRB rulings regarding MIT graduate student fellows and the Dartmouth men’s basketball team.

  • Lili Palacios-Baldwin, Deputy General Counsel for Labor, Employment and Litigation, Tufts University (Moderator)
  • Genevieve Aguilar, Counsel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Joseph McConnell, Partner, Morgan Brown & Joy
  • Jason McGraw, Assistant General Counsel, Brandeis University

1:00 PM

Licensing University IP to Early-Stage Companies

Explore the intricacies of university license agreement terms, with a focus on licenses that include equity terms, as well as learn about standard fundraising mechanisms for startups.

  • Jordan Grant, Director of Technology Transactions, Office of Technology Development, Harvard University
  • Matthew Reardon, Partner, Goodwin
  • Claire Superfine Schneider, Counsel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2:15 PM

Campus Speech and Political Activity in an Election Year

Stay ahead of the curve by examining legal aspects related to campus speech and political activities, particularly relevant in the context of an election year.

  • Rebecca Ginzburg, Principal, Law office of Rebecca M. Ginzburg (Moderator)
  • Karen Petrulakis, General Counsel, Wellesley College
  • Chad Pimentel, General Counsel, University System of New Hampshire
  • Brian Burke, Deputy General Counsel, University of Massachusetts Amherst

2:15 PM

Antitrust Issues in Higher Ed

Navigate the legal maze of antitrust issues specific to higher education, gaining valuable perspectives on compliance and risk management.

  • Keith N. Hylton, Professor, Boston University School of Law (Moderator)
  • Ellen Berkman, University Attorney, Harvard University
  • Noah Kaufman, Partner, Morgan Lewis
  • Ryan Struve, Trial Attorney, United States Department of Justice

3:30 PM

Preparing for, Responding to, and Managing Crisis on Campus

Equip yourself with strategies to proactively prepare for, effectively respond to, and skillfully manage crises that may arise on campuses.

  • Madeleine Rodriguez, Partner, Foley Hoag (Moderator)
  • Alexandra Mitropoulos, Senior Counsel, Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP
  • Jill Reilly, Senior Vice President, Denterlein
  • Alex Aronson, Executive Director, Court Accountability

Steering Committee

Abra Francois
Tufts University

Denise Barton
University of Massachusetts

Genevieve Aguilar
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Rebecca Ginzburg
Law Office of Rebecca M. Ginzburg

Jamie Art
Williams College

Javier Guzman
Harvard University

Miriam McKendall
Holland & Knight

Madeleine Rodriguez
Foley Hoag
Conference Chair

Photo Gallery

Thank you to our Sponsors

For more information on sponsoring this conference, click here or contact Mariah Hanlon at mhanlon@bostonbar.org.