Higher Education


Higher Education

  • Print This Page Email This Page

Stevens & Lee/Griffin provides a wide range of strategic, financial and legal services to colleges and universities and their foundations throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. We maintain a unique understanding of the industry as a whole and insight into the challenges and opportunities colleges and universities face. Our scope of work is broad and includes higher education finance, government affairs, strategic and transactional services, structured finance, capital raising and development and planned giving, as well as traditional legal matters relating to education and student affairs, employment, benefits and real estate, among many others.

In addition, our platform professionals have counseled institutions of higher education on consolidation in the industry. For example, we represented The Dickinson School of Law, one of the oldest private law schools in the country, in its merger with The Pennsylvania State University, and the Pennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine in its merger with Temple University.

Educational and occupational diversity with a platform approach

It’s not only our extensive experience representing colleges and universities that sets us apart from other professional services firms. Our diverse educational and occupational expertise coupled with our multidisciplinary platform approach allows us to bring a unique skill set and a disciplined understanding to the issues faced by those in the higher education industry.

A number of our professionals are either current or past trustees of more than a dozen colleges and universities, and many of our professionals have served in senior executive positions and as faculty at institutions of higher education.

Because of our multidisciplinary platform, we’re able to approach both problems and opportunities from multiple service perspectives. Our platform includes Stevens & Lee, among the 200 largest law firms in the country with over 75 years of service to the industry; Financial S&Lutions, a financial advisory firm that works closely with our tax-exempt finance team; a government affairs unit that advocates on behalf of institutions of higher education; and Griffin Financial Group LLC, a FINRA-licensed investment bank which serves as strategic financial consultant to clients in this industry looking to capitalize on growth opportunities.

Legal Services

Stevens & Lee provides a complete range of legal services to colleges and universities. We serve as outside general counsel to a number of colleges and universities, as well as their foundations, and possess a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities they face. We also serve as long-time general counsel to the second largest student loan processor in the United States, and are known for providing creative solutions to complex problems within the industry. Among the many areas we provide counsel include:

  • Higher education finance
  • Education law and student affairs
  • Development and planned giving
  • Mergers, acquisitions and consolidations
  • Real estate and land use
  • Environmental
  • Litigation
  • Labor and employment
  • Employee benefits
  • Technology
  • Intellectual property

For a detailed description of the legal services we provide to the higher education industry, please visit www.stevenslee.com.

Financial Advisory

Financial S&Lutions, LLC is a registered municipal advisory firm which provides financial advisory and debt-related consulting services to the higher education industry. Our team of professionals has the experience and expertise to evaluate and provide timely, focused and innovative solutions. We strive to assist colleges and universities in arriving at the best possible solution consistent with achieving their strategic and operational goals. We have extensive experience in a wide variety of financial advisory services, including:

  • Capital planning
  • Resource allocation
  • Debt analysis
  • Debt management and policy development
  • Debt issuance
  • Private placements
  • Financial modeling
  • Derivative advisory and monitoring
  • Covenant restructuring
  • Continuity disclosure
  • Rating and investor presentations
  • RFP assistance

Financial S&Lutions has the practical experience and knowledge to assist colleges and universities to achieve the lowest possible borrowing costs, and works to develop financial plans which can be practically implemented to achieve long term operational and strategic goals.

For a more detailed description of the financial advisory services we provide, please visit www.fsandl.com.

Government Affairs

For decades, our platform’s government affairs professionals have advocated on behalf of Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities. Our professionals have assisted colleges and universities in securing directed grants, and have helped institutions to create new programs and have worked on their behalf to secure the state funding necessary to implement them.

We are highly familiar with student loan programs and the unique approaches available to fund the gap between government guaranteed student loans and the true cost of educating their recipients. For example, we assisted the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) in establishing an innovative loan forgiveness program to help ease the loan repayment burdens of nursing school graduates in the Commonwealth. We again teamed with PHEAA to assist them in the creation of two tax-exempt charitable foundations to raise funding from private donors and utilize PHEAA’s servicing capabilities to deliver that funding to students in the form of financial aid for higher education.

Investment Banking, Corporate Finance and Accounting

Griffin Financial Group is a FINRA-licensed investment bank which provides colleges and universities with unparalleled expertise in strategic, financial and transactional services.

Griffin professionals assisted The Dickinson School of Law in its merger with The Pennsylvania State University and have counseled others on horizontal consolidation in higher education, including process, economics and educational considerations, as well as balance sheet restructuring and other strategic alternatives for colleges and universities.

For a more detailed description of our platform’s investment banking services for colleges and universities, please visit www.griffinfingroup.com.