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Partner - Leander A. Dolphin

Leander A. Dolphin


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Leander A. Dolphin is a member of the firm’s seven-person Management Committee. 

Leander is a partner in the firm's School Law practice group and 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.


  • Listed as a Connecticut Super Lawyer Rising Star®: Schools & Education (2013-2017)
  • American Bar Foundation: Fellow
  • Connecticut Bar Foundation: James W. Cooper Fellow
  • National Bar Association: "40 Under 40 Nation's Best Advocates" Award (2017)
  • 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)
  • National Business Officers Association

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.


October 28, 2020  Law Firm Retention: The Achilles Heel of Diversity
December 5-7, 2019  2019 TABS Conference
September 21, 2019  2019 CAIS Annual Conference on Governance
June 19, 2019  2019 NAPLA Conference
May 17, 2019  CLE Event: Labor and Employment Spring Seminar: 2019 Public Sector Legal Update
April 23, 2019  On the Front Lines: Raising Awareness of Child Trafficking and Exploitation in Connecticut's Schools - Hartford
November 26, 2018  #Metoo: Preventing and Responding to Sexual Harassment in the Professional Workplace
November 9, 2018  Conduct & Disability
June 15, 2018  The FMLA: Challenges for Independent Schools
May 2, 2018  The Grit Project: How to Develop the Secret Skills of America's Top Women Attorneys CLE
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

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Cover of American School Board Journal

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  • 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
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

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