BLC offers a wide range of services for non-profit organizations, universities and other educational institutions. In some cases we are providing legal representation and advice; in other cases we are serving as mediators, arbitrators, adjudicators, investigators, or trainers. The sections below describe our expertise in
- Mediation / Arbitration / Adjudication
- Independent Investigations
- Consulting and Organizational Climate Assessment
- Legal Advice and Represenations
- Training and Facilitation
Educational institutions and non-profits are increasingly using mediation, arbitration, and other ADR processes to reduce costs, delay and disruption, and to protect participants’ privacy. BLC’s Jody Newman, Audrey Lee, and David Hoffman have extensive experience in neutral roles (such as mediator) and also providing institutions with advice about the use of these processes. In one such case, the head of an educational institution and a dean used BLC, at the direction of the institution’s board of directors, to mediate their conflict, which was resolved after three mediation sessions. In another case, a conflict between the two medical directors of hospitals that had merged was resolved in mediation, so that the two could work together as co-medical directors. In other instances, BLC professionals are called upon to serve as adjudicators in higher ed matters, such as Title IX disputes. For example, BLC’s Audrey Lee, Jody Newman, and Jim Grumbach serve as members of a pool of Title IX Adjudicators for a major New England university.
BLC conducts independent investigations for colleges, universities, and other educational institutions. BLC’s Jody Newman is a Title IX investigator trained and certified by the Association of Title IX Administrators (“ATIXA”). She is a member of the a Panel of Independent Adjudicators and Investigators for a major New England university, on whose behalf she has conducted numerous investigations.
Today’s institutions face unique challenges in building a culture of inclusion and adapting to new models of organizational governance. BLC’s Jody Newman understands the importance and dynamics of business culture, and helps universities and other nonprofits assess where problems lurk and to find solutions. BLC’s Audrey Lee and David Hoffman also provide services in this area. In one such case, Audrey and David have been asked (in partnership with another organization) to assess the organizational climate in a university department, in which serious sexual misconduct and other organizational problems have generated conflict, interfered with the department’s functioning, and weakened interpersonal relationships among colleagues. The assessment has now led to a multi-prong action plan to move the department forward, which is being implemented.
BLC attorneys Jody Newman and David Hoffman have advised educational institutions and non-profits about internal conflicts and organizational matters. One such case involved a major training institute that was facing more than 200 claims as a result of misconduct by the organization’s leader. With our advice and representation, every one of the claims was successfully resolved without litigation, and the institution rebounded and is thriving today. Jim Grumbach has advised and represented small non-profits in leadership and employment disputes, and as a board member.
Both for preventive and remedial situations, training and facilitated dialogue can benefit institutions, and BLC’s Jody Newman, Audrey Lee, and David Hoffman have experience in providing these services. One such case, currently in process, involves a university that is dealing with serious #MeToo issues, and hired BLC to assist in designing and delivering both an ameliorative process (to give people in the organization a better understanding of what happened) and preventative trainings and dialogues (to improve the organizational climate and heighten awareness about appropriate behavior).