MALVERN, Pa., Sept. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- NCHERM is pleased to welcome Tulane University and Occidental College as its two newest retainer clients, following a summer than has seen its Special Counsel retainer program expand to include twenty-six college and university campuses, making NCHERM one of the largest higher education law practices in the country.
NCHERM's service as outside counsel includes small, private liberal-arts colleges, religiously affiliated colleges, community colleges, and large public universities. This yearly retainer contract saw a 100% renewal rate this year. Additionally, NCHERM has seen unprecedented new growth in this program this year, include recent retainers with Whittier College, University of the Pacific, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Salisbury University, Franklin & Marshall College, Bridgepoint Education, Wesley College, Coastal Bend College, and the University of Arizona.
Asked what is contributing to the popularity of this program, NCHERM Managing Partner Brett A. Sokolow explained, "There are several reasons. One is that our flat fee model continues to be a great way for colleges to access legal expertise without an out-of-control hourly meter running. That meter can cause some campuses to avoid asking for a legal opinion when one is really needed." Yet, NCHERM Partner Saundra K. Schuster pointed out that most campuses that have retained NCHERM already have in-house legal counsel. "We don't compete with in-house counsel. They engage us, knowing we can help in areas where they are overwhelmed, or lack the specific expertise NCHERM brings to its practice. We have strong and mutually supportive relationships with the in-house attorneys on each campus."
The second reason, added NCHERM's third partner, W. Scott Lewis, relates to the uniqueness of functioning essentially as student affairs legal counsel. "For some campuses, we are more like general counsel, but for most campuses, it's more accurate to consider us 'specific counsel.'" Lewis continued, "Student affairs has its own set of particular needs, a broad spectrum of compliance requirements (Clery Act, FERPA, Title IX, ADA, Drug Free Schools, etc.), and the need for legal advice that understands the priority is to balance legal requirements with the overarching goal of student development. We speak that language, but in addition to student issues, we also understand and help our clients to deftly navigate the political waters that can arise in faculty and staff employment issues."
For more details on the cost-effective NCHERM Special Counsel Retainer program, visit http://www.ncherm.org/special-counsel.html
For a list of the more than 50 campuses that have retained NCHERM in the last ten years, visit http://www.ncherm.org/founder.html
For inquiries about how to have NCHERM on retainer to your campus, please contact Kate Halligan, NCHERM Director of Client Relationships, (610) 579-3725, Kate@ncherm.org
SOURCE The National Center for Higher Education Risk Management, Ltd.