Joel Rudnick is a principal in the firm’s education practice and has focused exclusively on representing universities, colleges, and other postsecondary schools, service providers, investors and lenders on compliance, litigation and transactional matters since 1992.

Joel advises clients on compliance issues arising out of all aspects of the federal, state, and accrediting agency regulation of public and private postsecondary educational institutions, with a primary focus on Title IV federal student aid matters.

Joel has extensive experience representing institutions in proceedings before the United States Department of Education as well as before accrediting bodies and state licensing agencies and in federal court. He has helped resolve hundreds of program review and audit findings through preparation and submission of responses, informal resolution with the Department, and the administrative appeal process. He represents clients in show cause, revocation, termination, emergency action, and fine proceedings. He also assists clients with internal reviews and investigations on a wide range of compliance matters and with external investigations conducted by federal and state authorities, including the Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General.

Joel counsels clients on regulatory and transactional issues arising from acquisitions and investments in postsecondary educational institutions and service providers as well as in educational service contracts between colleges and service providers and in credit agreements between institutions and lenders. He has provided regulatory advice to clients in over one hundred postsecondary educational transactions ranging in size from under $1M to over $1B. He develops and negotiates agreements, advises on regulatory risks and transaction structuring, supervises and conducts due diligence reviews, and secures regulatory approvals of transactions.

Joel speaks frequently on breaking regulatory issues affecting the postsecondary education community, including at conferences and seminars for the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), the Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU), and the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) as well as for other national, state and regional associations.

Joel's experience also includes:

  • Title IV Enforcement: Successfully represented a postsecondary institution in connection with the reconsideration of the denial of the institution’s recertification to participate in the Title IV programs.
  • False Claims Act Litigation: Successfully represented postsecondary institution in false claims action brought by former employees by obtaining federal court dismissal of the action.
  • Regulatory Approvals for New Institution: Successfully represented a non-profit educational institution in connection with obtaining institutional accreditation, programmatic accreditation, state licensure, and federal approval to participate in the Title IV federal student aid programs.
  • Program Review: Successfully represented a postsecondary institution in response to a program review report that resulted in withdrawal of several requirements to perform multi-year file reviews.
  • Program Review Preparation: Successfully represented a postsecondary institution during a program review visit that resulted in the issuance of an expedited determination letter with no unresolved findings of noncompliance.
  • Transactions: Represented the Advisory Board Company in its $850M acquisition of Royall & Company, a student engagement and enrollment management solutions provider to higher education institutions.
  • Transactions: Provided regulatory advice to clients in connection with initial public offering of stock in parent company of group of postsecondary educational institutions.
  • Accreditation Proceedings: Successfully represented a postsecondary institution in a show case proceeding before an accreditation body hearing panel that resulted in rescission of the show cause order.
  • State Licensure Proceedings: Successfully represented a postsecondary institution in connection with a proceeding by a state licensing agency to revoke the approval of an educational program.
  • Federal Court Litigation: Represented trustee in bankruptcy in several matters in federal court against bond companies.
  • Compliance Reviews: Conducted comprehensive mock program review report for multi-campus postsecondary educational institution and issued comprehensive report of findings and recommendations.
  • Emergency Action Proceeding: Represented client in administrative litigation resulting in the reversal of an emergency action initiated by the U.S. Department of Education against a group of postsecondary institutions.
  • Clery Act Enforcement: Represented client in connection with responses to allegations of noncompliance by the U.S. Department of Education arising under the Clery Act.
  • ADA Enforcement/Office of Civil Rights: Defended postsecondary institution in proceeding before the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights and resolved and closed out the proceeding through submissions and settlement with the Department.
  • Investigations: Provided regulatory advice to group of educational institutions in connection with requests for information from a Congressional committee.
  • Title IX Review: Provided regulatory advice to postsecondary educational institution in connection with review of Title IX procedures and practices.
PRACTICE AREAS
Accreditation
Education
Education Policy
Government Relations and Public Policy
Litigation – Education
Program Reviews and IG Audits
Title IV Eligibility and Compliance
Transactions
EDUCATION

J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1991
B.S., New York University, 1988

BAR MEMBERSHIPS

District of Columbia
Maryland

MEMBERSHIPS & ACTIVITIES

Member, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

Member, National Association of College and University Attorneys