Historically Black Colleges and Universities

McGuireWoods is one of only a few law firms with a team dedicated to representing historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). With a culture grounded in the belief that diverse backgrounds and experiences drive the best results, the firm helps HBCUs advance their mission to educate Black students, leaders and role models.

McGuireWoods has offices in several jurisdictions where HBCUs are located, including North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, South Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.

Members of the firm’s multidisciplinary education team adopt a holistic approach to address the panoply of concerns HBCUs — like higher education institutions generally — face, from Title IX issues, to policies, practices and procedures, to budgetary requirements.

Yet HBCUs, as unique academic spaces for Black students, confront specific questions other institutions may not, including challenges related to financial investments, student retention, and enrollment and accreditation. Although congressional funding for HBCUs has increased over the past few years, there remains a need for increased funding for campus infrastructure.

Leveraging the experience of lawyers throughout the firm, McGuireWoods’ education team addresses the needs of public and private HBCUs. For example, firm lawyers know the ins and outs of Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which provides appropriations for HBCUs to help them strengthen their academic, administrative and fiscal capabilities.

The firm’s experience with HBCUs includes:

  • Title IX litigation;
  • bond restructuring and litigation;
  • intellectual property matters;
  • recovery of trust assets;
  • public finance matters;
  • commercial real estate matters;
  • complicated tax matters as well as advice and counsel for tax-exempt organizations;
  • crisis management;
  • media and public relations;
  • privacy and data protection;
  • contract management; and
  • insurance coverage and management.

McGuireWoods Consulting — the law firm’s public affairs affiliate — shapes federal and state education policy and helps HBCUs deliver tools and strategies needed to inform policy debates. McGuireWoods Consulting works with the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity Through Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which eliminates barriers HBCUs face in providing high-quality education.

In addition, McGuireWoods Consulting senior advisor G.K. Butterfield — a former North Carolina congressman and past chair of the Congressional Black Caucus — created CBC Tech 2020, an initiative that encourages meaningful corporate partnerships with HBCUs. McGuireWoods Consulting senior advisor James W. Dyke Jr. — Virginia’s secretary of education under former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder and domestic policy advisor to former Vice President Walter Mondale — is one of the principal advocates for Virginia HBCUs and now serves on the board of visitors for Norfolk State University. 

McGuireWoods is one of only a few law firms with a team dedicated to representing historically Black colleges and universities.