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Partner - Leander A. Dolphin

Leander A. Dolphin

Partner

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Leander A. Dolphin is a partner in the firm’s School Law practice group and serves as Co-Chair of the firm’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. She represents public school districts, independent schools, and colleges and universities in education and employment matters, including student discipline, sexual harassment (Title IX) matters, disability-related matters, employee discipline and discharge, special education disputes, and investigations. In addition, she represents clients in claims before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. Leander also represents private and non-profit clients in employment litigation matters, and provides counseling in employment law to clients in both the private and public sectors.

Leander previously served as Vice President, HR & General Counsel at Girl Scouts of Connecticut, developing an HR infrastructure and assisting the organization in navigating various corporate, real estate, contractual, and employment issues to successful results. Leander has conducted numerous professional development workshops for private and public sector clients on topics such as sexual harassment, bullying, special education, disability discrimination, and confidentiality issues.

Distinctions

  • Listed as a Connecticut Super Lawyer Rising Star®: Schools & Education (2013-2016)
  • American Bar Foundation: Fellow
  • Connecticut Bar Foundation: James W. Cooper Fellow
  • New Leader in the Law, Connecticut Law Tribune (2014)
  • Lawyers of Color's Hot List (2014)
  • Lawyers of Color - High Achievers, Connecticut Law Tribune (2011)
  • 100 Women of Color Awards 2017
  • Howard Law Journal, Executive Solicitations Editor

Teaching Positions

  • Quinnipiac University School of Law: Adjunct Professor, Education Law

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association: Litigation; Young Lawyers
  • Connecticut Bar Association: Labor & Employment Section
  • National Bar Association: Commercial Law Section
  • National School Boards Association: Council of School Attorneys
  • Connecticut School Attorneys Council
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys
  • ​George W. Crawford Black Bar Association: Member, Board of Directors (2007-2008); Secretary (2005-2007)

Community Involvement

  • The Ethel Walker School: Board of Trustees
  • The Governor's Prevention Partnership: Board Member (2012-present)
  • The Lawyer's Collaborative for Diversity, Inc. (LCD): Associates Advisory Committee
  • Hartt School for Performing Arts: Board of Trustees (2010-2013)
  • Girl Scouts of Connecticut: Fund Development Committee (2009-2010); Girl Scouts of the USA: National Delegate (Girl Scouts of Connecticut Delegation) (2008)
  • Fred D. Wish School Volunteer Tutor Program (2004-2007)

Successful Representation in Title IX, IDEA/Section 504 and Harassment/Bullying Cases

Successfully represented multiple school districts in claims before the Office of Civil Rights, alleging violation of the IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as well as claims alleging violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 (sex discrimination), Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (race discrimination) and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") (disability discrimination). Negotiated numerous resolution agreements, avoiding letters of findings by OCR or corrective action.

Successful Representation in IDEA Case Involving Extended Day Program

Successfully represented a Connecticut Board of Education in defense of a claim brought under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA"). The Parent sued our client, claiming that the Board was required to fund an extended day program at a private placement. The Board of Education prevailed at hearing, with the hearing officer finding that the District had provided a free appropriate public education for the student, and the student did not require placement in an extended day program at public expense.

Events

March 10, 2017  CLE Event: Labor and Employment Spring Seminar: 2017 Public Sector Legal Update
February 10, 2017  Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for Colleges and Universities
December 14, 2016  Board Meets World: A Board Member's Guide to Working With Stakeholders - Hartford, CT
October 14, 2016  New England Bar Association Annual Meeting
October 7, 2016  New Themes in ADA Compliance
June 21, 2016  Important CT College and University Update on the New Federal Overtime Rule
June 2, 2016  Webinar: Top Legal Issues for Connecticut Charter Schools
March 17, 2016  Labor and Employment Spring Seminar: 2016 Public Sector Legal Update
February 24 – 26, 2016  2016 NAIS Annual Conference
December 1, 2015  Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges (CCIC): Legal Issues in Admissions for Independent Colleges
October 8, 2015  October 8, 2015 - Sexual Harassment Prevention Training - Hartford, CT
May 13, 2015  Webinar: Top Tips for Accommodations under the ADA - Who's Ready for Summer Camp?
March 19-21, 2015  National School Boards Association (NSBA) Council of School Attorneys 2015 School Law Seminar
January 13, 2015  Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges (CCIC) 2015 Member Forum
November 14-15, 2014  2014 Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE)/Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) Convention
November 7, 2014  Effective Response to Sexual Violence Claims on Campus Under Title IX
October 29, 2014  Webinar: Dealing With Bullying - Tips for School Staff
June 25 - June 27, 2014  2014 Independent School Conference on Law and Policy
May 14, 2014  A Special Education Primer for Connecticut's Charter Schools
March 13, 2014  Labor and Employment Spring Seminar: 2014 Public Sector Legal Update
January 14, 2014  Hartford - Peanuts, Concussions and Extracurriculars: Exploring the Landscape of Section 504
November 16, 2013  2013 Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE)/Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) Convention
October 3, 2013  Protected-Class Harassment and Bullying - October 3, Hartford
May 8, 2013  Top Legal Issues for Connecticut's Charter Schools
March 28, 2013  Labor and Employment Spring Seminar: 2013 Public Sector Legal Update

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Cover of American School Board Journal
 

Practice Areas

Industries & Featured Services

Education

  • Howard University School of Law, J.D., 2004
  • Wesleyan University, B.A., 1999, high honors

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of CT

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