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 Under 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
- 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
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
- Co-author, "Department of Education Publishes Final Rules for Financial Value Transparency and Gainful Employment," Duane Morris Alert, September 29, 2023
- Co-author, "Fifth Circuit Halts New Borrower Defense to Repayment Rule: What It Means and What to Expect Next," Duane Morris Alert, August 16, 2023
- Author, "Future of Borrower Defense May Look Different," Insider Higher Ed, April 13, 2023
- Co-author, "New Borrower Defense Rule Expands Student Loan Discharges on Multiple Fronts," Pratt's Journal of Bankruptcy Law, November-December 2022
- Co-author, "New Borrower Defense Rule Expands Student Loan Discharges on Multiple Fronts," Duane Morris Alert, July 11, 2022
- Co-author, "Educational Institutions: Proposed Title IX Regulations Once Again Shift Obligations of Institutions and Coordinators," Duane Morris Alert, June 29, 2022
- Co-author, "FTC Announces Rulemaking and Request for Public Comments on Deceptive and Unfair Marketing Using Earnings Claims," Duane Morris Alert, March 2, 2022
- Author, "U.S. Department of Education Negotiated Rulemaking – Session One Recap: Part Three," October 15, 2021
- Author, "U.S. Department of Education Negotiated Rulemaking – Session One Recap: Part Two," October 14, 2021
- Author, "U.S. Department of Education Negotiated Rulemaking – Session One Recap," October 13, 2021
- Author, "USDE: The Era of “Rule by Letter” is…Back?" September 29, 2021
- Author, "Duane Morris Analyzes USDE’s Notice Establishing Negotiated Rulemaking Committee and First Round of Negotiation Topics," August 10, 2021
- Co-author, "Supreme Court Denies Student Request to Block University Vaccine Mandate," Duane Morris Alert, August 16, 2021
- Author, "USDE Publishes Six Proposed Priorities, Gives Insight Into Biden Administration’s Agenda," August 6, 2021
- Author, "Another Hint? Interpreting How the Biden Administration Will Approach Title IX Regulations," April 6, 2021
- Author, "The Higher Education Provisions of The American Rescue Plan Act and What to Expect Next," March 22, 2021
- Author, "The 2019 Borrower Defense Rule Survives Summary Judgment (Mostly) Intact," March 19, 2021
- Author, "President Biden Issues Executive Order Directing U.S. Department of Education to Reassess Title IX Rules," March 8, 2021
- Author, "U.S. Department of Education Solicits Comments on Proposed Institutional Eligibility Criteria for HEERF Supplemental Aid," March 2, 2021
- Author, "Guidance and Considerations for Masks on Campus: Students and Employees," March 2, 2021
- Author, "Biden Administration Confirms Continued Exceptions for Certain International Students and Academics," February 24, 2021