Liz is a connector, problem solver and relationship builder in the education industry, including primary/secondary and university/higher education levels. Her passion is addressing the diverse legal needs of clients in school and higher education to help them achieve their respective missions through various public, nonprofit and for-profit operational platforms.

Beginning her career as a business litigator, Liz’s practice has evolved into a business advisor role primarily working with school leaders on the many issues facing schools, colleges and universities as they strive to deal with legal compliance and shifting campus demands. She works with a variety of public traditional and charter schools, private schools, colleges, universities, foundations, education management organizations (EMOs) and charter management organizations (CMOs). Whether the issue at hand is school policy, governance, compliance, risk and claims management, study abroad, foreign students on campus, or construction issues, Liz provides a solid foundation of knowledge and experience. In addition, Liz has been called upon to assist with the licensure and chartering of new schools and provides valuable insight regarding institutional partnering with outside providers. She works regularly on matters involving auxiliary or international college campus sites, including state authorization requirements for degree-granting programs.

Across the spectrum of education law, Liz’s depth of experience provides intuitive support and advice for school managers, college administrators and governing boards alike.


  • NC Campus Police Cameras: Law Enforcement Agency Recordings under N.C.G.S. § 132-1.4A, Webinar, November 15, 2016
  • Trending Campus Legal Risks, and Minors on Campus, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, November 9, 2016
  • 2016 Clery Act Update: Changes in the 2016 Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting Webinar, September 22, 2016
  • Protecting Minors on Campus: Obligations, Policies, Procedures, and Best Practices, January 2012, National Association of College and University Attorneys, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. With Beth Jones
  • Legal Updates for College and University Administrators, annual presentations, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, 2010-2016
  • The ‘Top Ten’ Pitfalls and Governance Mistakes That Can Cause Trouble for Charter School Boards – and the Best Practices to Help Avoid Them, October 2011, National Heritage Academies Board Symposium, Grand Rapids, Michigan. With Mark Henriques
  • Campus Threat Assessments, June 2010, National Association of College and University Attorneys, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
  • Understanding and Applying FERPA and HIPAA Laws to Student Health Records, March 2009, Council of Campus Health Professionals, Raleigh, North Carolina 

Civic and Professional Activities

  • North Carolina State Bar
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Education Law Section
    • Past Chair and Executive Council 1999-2010
  • The Mississippi Bar
  • Institutional Representative Member, National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)
  • National School Boards Association
  • North Carolina Council of School Attorneys
  • Board Member, Independent College Fund of NC (ICFNC), 2013-2016
  • North Carolina Governor’s School Task Force (2011-2012)
  • White Memorial Presbyterian Church (Officer 2004-2010)
    • Youth Advisor
    • Junior League of Raleigh (past officer)
    • National Charity League (past officer)

Honors and Awards

  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America©, Real Estate Law, 2015 - Present 
  • Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite

Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

  • Outside counsel to institutions of higher education for over thirty years. Risk management, governance, international study, land and facilities use and protection; administration adviser and confidant; financial aid and funding; licensure and accreditation.
  • Chartering of new schools and continuous operational support through opening, expansion, renewal and review processes.
  • Navigation of state authorization issues for degree-granting institutions, both inbound to North Carolina and outbound to other states.
  • Support to education associations, education industry support groups and consultants to the education industry.
  • Cross-institutional affiliations, articulation arrangements and innovation in providing educational programs and services in a highly-regulated and compliance-sensitive environment; campus constituencies; grant compliance.

Bar admissions

1983, Mississippi

1987, North Carolina

Admitted to practice before:

  • United States Supreme Court
  • Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina
  • Southern District of Mississippi
  • North Carolina State Courts
  • Mississippi State Courts


  • J.D., 1983, University of Kentucky School of Law
    • Kentucky Law Journal
  • B.A., 1980, Vanderbilt University
    • magna cum laude