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Higher Education


With deep roots in their communities, colleges and universities are dedicated to ensuring the professional and personal advancement of their students. By understanding both the current needs of their students and the evolving demands of their future careers, an institution of higher education must balance short-term goals with long-range objectives to achieve its mission. Waller’s multidisciplinary Higher Education attorneys understand the challenges faced by public and private colleges and universities, and they are dedicated to providing legal services in which day-to-day operational matters are aligned with long-term strategic objectives.



Labor and Employment

Waller helps institutions of higher education develop and implement effective employment policies and procedures to reduce the risk of employment-related disputes. We also defend colleges and universities in discrimination and harassment complaints, wage and hour compliance and litigation, labor disputes and class action litigation, including FLSA collective actions.


Waller assists higher education clients in their efforts to recruit and retain international faculty members, administrators and physicians at academic medical centers. Our experience ranges from U.S. visas and permanent residence applications to compliance and government audits and investigations.


Waller leverages more than four decades of healthcare experience to assist academic medical centers in joint ventures, acquisitions and other transactional matter. With a dedicated team of healthcare regulatory attorneys we also support AMCs with federal and state regulatory  compliance matters, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement issues, patient privacy issues, technology licensing and more.


Waller advises institutions of higher education regarding their tax-exempt status. We work closely with the executive leadership and boards of directors of colleges and universities on governance and management matters such as compensation issues and excess benefit transactions. Waller offers clients counsel on a wide range fiduciary issues including conflicts of interest, and assists tax-exempt colleges and universities in the development and implementation of policies and best practices.

Employee Benefits

Waller assists colleges and universities with the development and implementation of a wide range of employee benefit programs, including tax-qualified retirement plans, including pension, 401(k) and profit-sharing plans, non-qualified plans, wellness programs, and executive compensation and 162(m) plans

Real Estate

With a deep understanding of the factors influencing local and regional real estate markets, Waller has assisted colleges and universities in real estate acquisitions and development projects for campus expansions. We also assist clients with project development and finance along with land use and zoning issues.


From conceptual design through final completion, Waller assists clients through every phase of construction projects. We have extensive experience in the preparation and negation of design and construction agreements and assist clients in resolving disputes related to workmanship and construction defects, design issues and completion delays.

Government Relations

Both public and private colleges must frequently interact with local and state governments and agencies on matters involving funding, expansion, legislative developments and regulatory issues. Institutions of higher education rely on Waller’s experience government relations team for representation before state legislative and executive branches, and lobbying to promote or oppose legislation that could directly impact a school’s operations or objectives.

Special Investigations

Waller assists colleges and universities in undertaking internal investigations in anticipation of or in response to government inquiries, whistleblower complaints and other situations that pose significant risk or liability.

    Waller is proud to be legal counsel to the Tennessee Independent Colleges & Universities Association (TICUA) 

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