Rebecca is frequently relied upon by higher education institutions, independent schools, and corporate clients to be their trusted counsel on employment, student, policy, and compliance issues. As a member of the Education and School Law and Labor and Employment Teams, Rebecca draws on her experience working for the federal courts to guide clients through the many stages of complex litigation and to anticipate and minimize their business risks. Rebecca is also an experienced investigator, conducting and assisting clients in managing sensitive internal investigations, including in the areas of Title IX and sexual misconduct, student discipline, and faculty and staff misconduct.
Rebecca fully understands the unique challenges that educational institutions face and is regularly called upon to advise them on matters such as Title IX and sexual misconduct; student discipline; reasonable accommodations and accessibility; FERPA compliance; athletics; campus police issues; international programs; licensure; and affiliation agreements. In addition to working closely with private institutions, Rebecca has represented community colleges, traditional public school systems, and public charter schools, which has given her a deep knowledge of public records laws, constitutional issues, and government regulations that public entities confront.
Rebecca also counsels education and corporate clients through website accessibility complaints and investigations, employment terminations, RIFs, restructurings, FLSA compliance, retaliation, and return to work FMLA and ADA issues. Rebecca represents clients in state and federal courts, the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings.
Presentations and Publications
- Back to the Future…of Work in 2021, co-presented with Beth Tyner Jones and Benita Jones before NC CUPA-HR, January 22, 2021
- FERPA in the Electronic Age, presented before NCICU Registrars Administrative Group Meeting, December 1, 2020
- Title IX Updates and Current Trends; Legal Issues Update, presented before NCICU Administrative Group Meetings, December 2018
- Changing Legal Landscape for Higher Ed HR, presented before NC CUPA-HR, April 24, 2017
- Opening Borders to Distance Education: North Carolina’s Entry into the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (‘SARA’), published in Education Law (North Carolina Bar Association Education Section, June 2016)
- The Pitfalls of Filing Materials Under Seal, published in The Middle Ground (Federal Bar Association – Middle District of North Carolina Chapter, October 2014)
Civic and Professional Activities
- National Association of College and University Attorneys
- Council Member, North Carolina Bar Association Education Section, 2016-2019
- Editor, Education Law, North Carolina Bar Association Education Section Newsletter, 2015-2016
- Member, Wake County Bar Association
- Member, 10th Judicial District Bar
- Member, UNC Alumni Clerkship Committee
Honors and Awards
Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (BL Rankings), Litigation – Labor and Employment, 2021
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.
- Defended businesses and educational institutions against website accessibility claims before federal agencies and in litigation.
- Conducted a sensitive investigation into allegations of hazing, discrimination, and harassment on college athletics team.
- Represented institutions under investigation for discrimination based on race and national origin, sex, and disability by the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, achieving dismissal with no findings of wrongdoing.
- Served as a key member of a team investigating allegations of misconduct against a university president.
- Defended employers against claims of wrongful termination and employment discrimination before state and federal agencies and in state and federal courts.
- Advised institutions while avoiding reputational risk in sensitive Title IX and sexual misconduct investigations, hearings, and appeals.
- Guided institutions and employers through complex policy revisions.