Jonathan Helwink


  • Jonathan Helwink
  • Phone: +1 202 776 7826

    Read Jonathan Helwink's blog Import to Address Book

  • Duane Morris LLP
    901 New York Avenue N.W., Suite 700 East
    Washington, DC 20001-4795

Jonathan Helwink focuses his practice on education policy and institutional compliance with U.S. Department of Education regulations, including Title IV student aid; accreditation; change of ownership transactions; borrower defense to repayment issues; and Title IX, Clery Act and campus safety.

Mr. Helwink’s unique perspective comes from his time spent in government, in private practice and as a teacher. He began his career in higher education as a tenured history instructor at a community college in Chicago. After attending law school while continuing to teach, Mr. Helwink joined a higher education practice focusing on Title IV, Title IX and institutional staff training. Most recently, he served as the Attorney Advisor to the Secretary of Education and Special Counsel at the U.S. Department of Education, where he focused on advising senior leadership on accreditation matters; driving policy positions on Title IV issues; writing the Department’s 2020 Clery Act Appendix for the FSA Handbook; and co-authoring the 2019 Gainful Employment Rule rescission and the 2019 Borrower Defense to Repayment Regulations.


  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois


  • Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., 2015
  • DePaul University, M.A., 2003
  • Elmhurst College, B.A., 2001


  • Duane Morris LLP
    - Associate, 2021-present
  • U.S. Department of Education
    - Special Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, 2020-2021
    - Attorney Advisor, Office of the Under Secretary, 2019-2020
    - Special Assistant, Office of Postsecondary Education, 2019
  • Hogan Marren Babbo & Rose Ltd.
    - Of Counsel, 2017-2018
  • Wilbur Wright College
    - Tenured History Instructor, 2007-2018

Honors and Awards

  • Named to Best Lawyers "Ones to Watch," 2024

Representative Matters

  • Assisted client with preparation of the corporate governance documents necessary to secure educational accreditation, designing and implementing necessary internal procedures to avoid conflict of interest, self-dealing and excess benefit transactions and preparation and prosecution of the client’s Application for Recognition of Exemption under IRC 501(c)(3). The matter involved navigation of the complex requirements of education regulation, California state law rules applicable to nonprofit organizations and federal laws applicable to IRC 501(c)(3) organizations.

  • Spearheaded and drafted response and efforts to provide public comment for interested parties to two U.S. Department of Education-negotiated rulemaking efforts.

  • Represented a university in an investigation by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, prompted by a complaint that alleged that the school failed to provide reasonable accommodations for a student with disabilities. The Department concluded that the university handled the matter in total compliance with institutional policies and all applicable federal law.

  • Represented private university in opposing borrower defense to loan repayment claims.

  • Represented seller in the sale of a career training school.

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "What Does It All Mean? The U.S. Department of Education’s Regulatory Reach Over Service Providers for Institutions of Higher Education," Duane Morris LLP Webinar, March 2, 2023
  • Speaker, "Other Final Rule Provisions and Enforcement Predictions," Duane Morris Webinar, December 13, 2022
  • Speaker, "The Institutional Response and Recoupment Process," Duane Morris Webinar, December 6, 2022
  • Speaker, "Introduction to the Final Rule and Borrower Adjudication Provisions," Duane Morris Webinar, November 29, 2022
  • Speaker, "Title IV Program Participation Training Session," Distance Education Accrediting Commission, May 3, 2022
  • Speaker, "Negotiated Rulemaking: From Start to Finish," Career Education Conference, June 15, 2021
  • Speaker, "Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF): The Latest Guidance for Schools," Duane Morris LLP, Webinar, April 9, 2021

Selected Publications