Katherine D. Brodie founded and heads the Washington, D.C. team of the firm’s established and respected national higher education law and policy practice. She is one of a small number of attorneys in the United States with a daily practice devoted primarily to the needs of higher education institutions (non-profit, public and proprietary), higher education associations, higher education companies, and investors in higher education. She has a keen interest in supporting institutions and their partners to effectively lead and adapt to the fast pace of change in the U.S. education sector while maintaining high quality postsecondary educational services as measured in cost and student outcomes.
Katherine supports her clients with effective and cost-efficient regulatory advice geared toward identifying and reducing operational risk or facilitating acquisitions, lending and other transactions that promote institutional adaptation and innovation. When necessary, she advocates in defense of institutional interests in response to adverse federal, state or accrediting agency actions with the goal of limiting both institutional liability and the likelihood of reoccurrence through strengthened internal controls.
Ms. Brodie’s experience includes, among other areas of the law, U.S. Department of Education Title IV student financial aid regulations and accrediting agency standards including substantive change (ownership and governance, program, location and other changes), Title IX compliance and response, campus safety, marketing (federal and state misrepresentation prohibitions), distance education, foreign school and overseas operations including study abroad programs, affiliation and partnership agreements, and skills focused programs including coding boot camp and other short term courses. Her advice also includes compliance with U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), U.S. Department of Veterans (VA)/U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) education benefit, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funding, state education grant program, and other federal and state regulations and programs relevant to institutional operations. Because the needs of institutions are so diverse, she is often aided in her work by subject matter experts in the firm’s other disciplines including tax, real estate, immigration, corporate, and trial.
She is a frequent speaker and writer on higher education topics and trends and, as a registered federal lobbyist, advocates before the U.S. Congress and U.S. Department of Education on higher education policy reform proposals.
Areas of Practice
- Accreditation and State Licensure
- Civil Rights Compliance
- Distance Education
- Foreign Schools, Foreign Operations and Study Abroad
- Student Financial Aid
- Government Investigations
- Administrative Law
- Assist Title IV participating institutions of higher education with responding to and limiting the scope of, and liabilities or fines associated with, Title IV program reviews and audits related to federal student financial aid programs, including Clery Act reviews.
- Obtained a ruling from the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia in favor of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools, a trade association of proprietary colleges in the cosmetology field, finding the U.S. Department of Education’s Gainful Employment Rule arbitrary and capricious with respect to application to association schools.
- Serves as counsel to university affiliated medical center regarding accreditation and related issues.
- Serves as counsel to coding boot camp provider regarding state law compliance, accreditation and marketing issues.
- Serves as education regulatory counsel to buyers, sellers and investors in sale or acquisition of postsecondary institutions including state, accrediting agency and U.S. Department of Education compliance regarding same.
- Experience assisting institutions of higher education in responding to state education agency and state attorney general requests for information and formal investigations.
- Assisted study abroad program provider with strategic restructuring to meet accreditation and other long term operational goals.
- Provide tailored counsel to universities and colleges on campus sexual misconduct policies and procedures – Title IX and Clery Act.
- Advise institutions regarding compliance with Title IV incentive compensation ban, bundled service arrangements, and lead generation agreements.
- Assist institutions with defining and managing risk under service contracts with service providers, including Third Party Service providers as defined by Title IV regulations.
- Represent institutions in responding to show cause, withdrawal and adverse accrediting agency actions.
- District of Columbia
- The George Washington University Law School, J.D., 1997
- Editor, Law Review
- Bowdoin College, A.B., with honors, 1990
- Duane Morris LLP
- Special Counsel, 2015-present
- Ritzert & Leyton P.C.
- Counsel, 2012-2015
- Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities
- Vice President of Government and Legal Affairs, 2009-2012
- Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
- Counsel, 2003-2009
- Associate, 1997-2003
- Co-author, "'Forever GI Bill' Will Expand Post-9/11 GI Bill for Veterans, Service Members and Family," Duane Morris Alert, August 3, 2017
- Co-author, "U.S. Department of Education Senior Department Official Announces Decision to Terminate Federal Recognition of Higher Education Accreditor," Duane Morris Alert, September 23, 2016
- Co-author, "Clery Act Enforcement on the Rise: October 1, 2016 Deadline for Colleges and Universities to Complete and Distribute Annual Security Report Fast Approaching," Duane Morris Alert, August 30, 2016
- Co-author, "U.S. Department of Education Issues Additional Guidance for Higher Education Institutions Regarding Obligations Related to Third-Party Servicers," Duane Morris Alert, August 24, 2016
- Co-author, "Education and Justice Departments Issue Controversial Title IX Guidance on Transgender Students Equating Sex with Gender Identity," Duane Morris Alert, June 3, 2016
- Author, "Contingency Planning for School Closure - Key Considerations," Career Education Review, February 2016
- Author, "Title IX and VAWA: Building Safer Campuses," MaxKnowledge Training Course, (On-Line Title IX Coordinator Training Course), November 2015
- Co-author, "Student Data Protection in an Era of Education Technology Innovation," Duane Morris Alert, August 7, 2015
- Co-author, "Postsecondary Institutions Subject to the New Federal "Gainful Employment" Rule Have Until July 31, 2015, to Complete Reporting of Data to U.S. Department of Education," Duane Morris Alert, July 27, 2015
- Author, "U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance on Title IV Eligibility for Students Without a High School Diploma Who Are Enrolled in Eligible Career Pathway Programs," Duane Morris Alert, June 25, 2015
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Presenter: Regions Conference, "Focus on Misrepresentation: Best Practices for Identifying and Mitigating Risk" and "Higher Education Act Update" - February 2017 (Kansas City, KS)
- Presenter: Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training, "Legal Workshop," 2016 Annual Conference, November 4, 2016 (Orlando, FL)
- Presenter: Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training, "Latest Legal Trends That Could Impact Your School," 2016 Annual Conference, November 5, 2016 (Orlando, FL)
- Presenter: Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training, "Annual Legal Update," 2016 Annual Conference, November 6, 2016 (Orlando, FL)
- Presenter: Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training, 2016 Annual Conference, November 1, 2016 (Albuquerque)
- Presenter: Career Colleges and Schools of Texas, 2016 Annual Conference, October 2016 (Austin)
- Presenter: Pennsylvania Association of Private School Administrators, "Title IV Misrepresentation Rule & Department of Education's Borrower Defense to Repayment Rulemaking - What You Need to Know;" July 21, 2016 (Harrisburg, PA)
- Presenter: "Title IV Misrepresentation Rule & Department of Education's Borrower Defense to Repayment Rulemaking - What You Need to Know," March 14, 2016 (Denver); April 19, 2016 (Philadelphia); and May 12, 2016 (Chicago), Regions Conference for Private Schools and Colleges
- Webinar Author and Co-Presenter: "Title IV Misrepresentation Rule & Department of Education's Borrower Defense Rulemaking - What You Need to Know Now," February 19, 2016
- Presenter, "Title IX and VAWA: Building Safer Campuses," 2015 Annual Conference of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools, October 25, 2015
- Lead Instructor, "Title IX Coordinator Training Course," 2015 Annual Conference of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools, October 26, 2015
- Speaker, "Leveraging the Present and Future of Social Media to Connect and Engage Future Graduates," 31st Annual Conference "Strong Student, Proud Graduates," California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools (CAPPS), October 8, 2015
- Webinar: "Gainful Employment Rule Compliance: Steps and Strategies for Finding Your Way Forward" for the membership of the Pennsylvania Association of Private School Administrators, August 5, 2015
- Webinar: "Gainful Employment Rule Reporting: An 'Up Against the Deadline' Final Review of Reporting Requirements and Q&A with Education Lawyers" for the membership of the Pennsylvania Association of Private School Administrators, July 15, 2015
- Webinar Presenter: Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA) and Title IX Requirements for Postsecondary Institutions, American Association of Cosmetology Schools, June 25, 2015
- Presentation on Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA) and Title IX Requirements for Postsecondary Institutions, 2015 Annual Conference, Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, Denver, CO, June 4, 2015