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Partner - Julie C. Fay

Julie C. Fay


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Julie C. Fay represents a wide range of educational and other non-profit institutions, including k-12 public and independent schools and colleges and universities, in legal issues related to students, employees, governance and policy. Her work has included advising camps and after school programs, in addition to serving as independent counsel for organizational ombudsman programs for higher education and other entities. Julie understands the education environment and is sensitive to the unique issues of a modern educational institution. Serving as general counsel, Julie works collaboratively with lawyers across the firm to provide comprehensive, practical, legal advice and effective solutions to meet the business needs of sophisticated educators. Prompt, attentive service is the hallmark of Julie’s practice.

Julie emphasizes a preventative, practical approach. Her work with educational institutions on wide-ranging issues allows her the peripheral vision that is often needed to help schools navigate and respond to difficult situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and claims of sexual misconduct. A member of Shipman’s School Law practice group, Julie most recently has been assisting schools in all matters related to pandemic response, including complicated re-opening plans, policy development, and employment issues, and understanding complex legislation, including the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). 

Julie advises schools on all aspects of day-to-day operations, including student and faculty matters, student discipline, special education, student health, confidentiality, mandated reporting, employment issues, handbooks and general school governance and policy. She is well versed in Title IX and schools’ obligations under the IDEA, Section 504 and the ADA, and conducts and advises schools in investigations. Julie also represents schools in administrative hearings, including expulsion hearings, special education due process hearings and related proceedings, and has advised and represented schools in matters before the Office for Civil Rights.

Julie regularly provides training and professional development workshops for faculty, staff and students on current and important topics, such as professional boundaries, social media, sexual assault and harassment, and special education. She is a seasoned presenter for national educational associations, including CAIS, NAIS, TABS, AISNE, CAS, NSBA, ConnCASE, and CIAC. Julie is a past president of the Connecticut Council of School Attorneys (COSA) and is a former adjunct professor at Quinnipiac Law School where she taught a course on Education and the Law.

Having worked as an independent school teacher and coach prior to pursuing her legal career, Julie brings her unique, personal experience and valuable insight to her education practice.


  • Listed as a Connecticut Super Lawyer Rising Star®: Schools & Education (2011-2012)
  • Connecticut Bar Association Honor Roll, Connecticut Pro Bono Network (2005)
  • Connecticut Bar Foundation: James W. Cooper Fellow
  • Connecticut Law Review, Articles Editor

Teaching Positions

  • Quinnipiac University School of Law: Former Adjunct Professor, Education Law (2009-2014)

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Connecticut Bar Association: Education Law Committee
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Connecticut Council of School Attorneys: President (2010-2011); Secretary (2009-2010)
  • Massachusetts Council of School Attorneys
  • National School Boards Association
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys
  • National Association of Independent Schools
  • National Business Officers Association
  • Connecticut Association of Independent Schools

Community Involvement

  • Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, Human Rights Committee (2018-Present)

Counseled Independent School through Investigation of Claims of Sexual Misconduct

Counseled independent school on effective prevention and response to allegations of historic sexual misconduct involving students. Provided guidance on investigation, and assisted in the development of comprehensive and legally compliant sexual misconduct policies.


December 18, 2020  With COVID-19 Vaccines Finally Arriving, Employers Must Ask and Answer Difficult Questions
September 21, 2020  Governor Lamont Issues New Executive Order Allowing Testing Alternative to Self-Quarantine Following Travel
September 16, 2020  Political Issues on Independent School Campuses
May 14, 2020  New Guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program For Small Businesses
April 27, 2020  New Coronavirus Relief Bill Replenishes SBA's Paycheck Protection Program
April 13, 2020  FAQs for Independent Schools Considering a Loan Under the Paycheck Protection Program of the CARES Act
March 10, 2020  Preparing for School Closures: Key Takeaways from New State Guidance and Special Education Considerations
March 6, 2020  Prevention and Response: Planning for Coronavirus in Connecticut Public Schools
March 5, 2020  Prevention and Response: Planning for Coronavirus in Independent Schools
February 4, 2020  Coronavirus: Guidance for Schools
January 27, 2020  Pay Attention to the Truth in Lending Act When Offering Tuition Payment Plans
January/February 2020  Risk & Compliance: Out of Sight, Top of Mind
October 24, 2019  Considering Artificial Turf? Pause for PFAS First
October 14, 2019  1st Circuit Addresses Due Process Rights in Title IX Hearings
October 10, 2019  National Ombudsman Day
May 8, 2019  Measles Outbreak and Implications for Connecticut Schools
April 17, 2019  "Varsity Blues:" Lessons To Be Learned From The Admissions Scandal
May 23, 2018  Massachusetts' Supreme Court Finds Colleges May Face Liability for Student Suicide Under Certain Circumstances
May 8, 2018  The GDPR is Coming: Keep Calm and Plan
March 20, 2018  NAIS and TABS Task Force Issue Final Report on Educator Sexual Misconduct
February 21, 2018  Second Circuit Upholds Ruling in Munn v. Hotchkiss
September 25, 2017  U.S. Department of Education Withdraws Prior Title IX Guidance and Issues Interim Guidance on Sexual Misconduct
August 14, 2017  Connecticut Supreme Court Issues Decision in Munn v. Hotchkiss
July 6, 2017  Connecticut Independent Schools Required to Perform Background Checks on Potential Employees Effective July 1, 2017
April 18, 2017  Mandated Reporting and Professional Boundaries: Important Training for Faculty and Staff
November 14, 2016  Ban the Box, But Do Your Due Diligence

View All »


October 2020  CLE Event: Virtual Seminar - 2020 Fall Labor and Employment Webinar Series
October 21, 2020  CAIS Annual Conference on Business & Operations
September 14, 2020  Webinar: Title IX- An Overview of Recent Significant Changes in the Law
April 23, 2020  Webinar: Compliance Considerations of Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans
December 5-7, 2019  2019 TABS Conference
November 14, 2019  United Educators Risk Management Forum, Nutmeg Group: The Nuts and Bolts of Handbooks for Independent Schools
October 23, 2019  22nd Annual CHA Statewide Conference
October 17, 2019  Webinar: Anonymous Reporting and Electronic Monitoring: Useful Tools or Potential Minefields for Schools?
October 1, 2019  Webinar: Legal Check-Up: Student Health Issues
September 21, 2019  2019 CAIS Annual Conference on Governance
February 26, 2019  Webinar: The Nuts and Bolts of Student Handbooks for Independent Schools
November 1, 2018   2018 AISNE Governance Conference
October 18-19, 2018  2018 NAIS-TABS Legal Symposium
May 1, 2018  CAIS Annual Conference on Business, Legal and Facilities Affairs
November 30 - December 2, 2017  2017 TABS Annual Conference
November 2, 2017  AISNE 2017 Governance Conference
October 3, 2017  Webinar: Mandated Reporting in Connecticut - Understanding Legal Obligations and Best Practice
September 23, 2017  2017 CAIS Annual Conference on Governance
August 22, 2017  Connecticut Independent Schools Employment Law: Background Check Requirements
March 29, 2017  United Educators Nutmeg Group/CAIS Risk Management Forum: Independent School Medical Issues
October 14, 2016  2016 NAIS-TABS Legal Symposium: Student Discipline in the Cyber-Age
June 14, 2016  Transgender Issues in Independent Schools
March 31, 2016  United Educators Risk Management Forum, Nutmeg Group: Legal Perspectives on Social Media
March 28, 2016  Drawing the Line: Legal Issues and Professional Boundaries in Independent Schools
February 24 – 26, 2016  2016 NAIS Annual Conference

View All »


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  • University of Connecticut School of Law, J.D., 2001, with honors
  • Middlebury College, M.A., 1995
  • Williams College, B.A., 1991, cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of CT
  • U.S. District Court, District of MA

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