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Small enough to provide specific attention, yet big enough to have a wide breadth of expertise. - Chambers USA


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Goldberg Kohn's talented and creative lawyers have been fortunate to represent educational institutions across the spectrum, from non-profit universities to for-profit educational institutions. The firm represents grade schools, high schools, colleges and universities in a wide variety of litigation, compliance and labor and employment issues. Goldberg Kohn also represents a large number of charter schools and has been on the forefront of the alternative school movement. Goldberg Kohn is passionate about helping educational institutions grow stronger so that they can better serve their students.

Not-For-Profit Education

Goldberg Kohn has advised private universities and schools on a range of topics, including various employment law and executive compensation matters, intellectual property litigation involving trademark protection in an international partnering arrangement between two universities, and tax and ERISA issues. The firm has worked with schools and educational organizations to obtain and preserve federally recognized tax-exempt status, as well as counseled them on "unrelated business taxable income," tax-exempt financing and fundraising, and other esoteric tax issues.

The firm's attorneys have also advised clients on failure to educate and educational malpractice matters, ensuring that the related, complex underlying insurance coverage issues are fully appreciated. Goldberg Kohn has represented clients in complex tenure disputes, handled mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances, and have represented clients on matters arising out of teaching and research activities.

For-Profit Education

Goldberg Kohn represents many organizations whose business is education, including a public company that operates 83 global campuses offering programs in business, visual arts, computer technology and culinary development; an internet-based company that offers online scholarship and financial aid information to prospective college students; a company specializing in language immersion programs for children; and a company that produces corporate training software. The range of services the firm provides for the for-profit education sector includes structuring and negotiating mergers and acquisitions, school management agreements, curriculum licenses, joint venture agreements, e-commerce contracts, and private equity financing.

School Reform

The firm has invested significant time and energy toward understanding the dynamics fueling school reform efforts. Goldberg Kohn is not content to understand the law as it currently exists rather it strives to predict and influence how legal and business issues will evolve in this dynamic environment.

Goldberg Kohn currently serves as outside labor and employment counsel to an association of educational institutions and the firm represents nearly 20 charter schools. The firm's work for these schools encompasses a wide spectrum of legal services, including bond financing and contract negotiations with one of the country's largest school districts and with some of the country’s largest public and private education management companies. Goldberg Kohn has successfully defended schools in litigation matters involving claims of employment discrimination, wrongful termination of a management contract, wrongful disclosure of discipline, construction  and design litigation, and tort claims (negligent supervision, failure to warn).

Leaders in Education

Several attorneys are active participants in education initiatives. David Chizewer is at the forefront of the legal issues affecting the education reform movement. He is one of the founders and Board President of the Chicago International Charter School, the nation's largest charter school, and also founded the Illinois Network of Charter Schools. He has been a member of the Education Policy Group for Barack Obama's U.S. Senate and Presidential Campaigns. In May 2005, he argued a seminal charter school case before the Illinois Supreme Court. Gerald Jenkins is also a founding board member of Chicago International Charter School and served as a board member for Highland Park School District #108 for seven years, including  serving as the district's president.

Representative Matters

  • Advised clients on failure to educate and educational malpractice matters, ensuring that the related, complex underlying insurance coverage issues are fully appreciated.
  • Represented clients in complex tenure disputes.
  • Handled mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances.
  • Handled violation of copyright and patent infringement matters.
  • Represented clients on matters arising out of teaching and research activities.
  • Advised  educational institutions regarding threatened tort claims based on failure to protect student disciplinary records, negligence, failure to accommodate under the ADA, discriminatory discipline, failure to warn or conduct adequate background checks, and many other educational liability issues.
  • Drafted, trained and advised clients regarding discrimination and harassment prevention policies, including extensive training of educational administrative and instructing personnel on these issues.
  • Counseled university through process of determining whether and how to terminate a tenured professor.
  • Represented university in threatened litigation against another university related to protection of university's intellectual property and curriculum from foreign educational institution.
  • Drafted Educational Management Organization agreements.
  • Drafted and implemented incentive programs for senior administrators to preserve human resources during discussions related to proposed merger of educational institutions.
  • Advised educational institutions about obligations and rights in union organizing campaigns, including defense of related charges. 

Attorneys At Law

55 East Monroe Street
Suite 3300
Chicago, Illinois 60603-5792
Tel: 312.201.4000
Fax: 312.332.2196


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