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Phil Catanzano has worked in higher education law for over fifteen years, including almost a decade at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights before leaving for private practice in 2015. In addition to his teaching, Catanzano is a practicing attorney, assisting colleges and universities in developing policies, providing training, and advising institutions in the areas of disability law, gender equity in athletics, sexual misconduct on campus, and other areas of federal non-discrimination law. In his practice, Catanzano conducts athletic equity reviews and investigations in cases involving hazing, disability-based discrimination, sexual misconduct, and other forms of discrimination. He also conducts broader reviews of campus climate and compliance with federal law. Catanzano has served as an expert regarding federal non-discrimination law in several court cases throughout the country.
Catanzano is a frequent speaker on federal non-discrimination law and he has published several articles in this area. This includes Accommodations for Disabilities in the Title IX Grievance Process (National Association of College and University Attorneys, 2021); The Supreme Judicial Court Steps into the Complicated World of Student Mental Health (Boston Bar Journal, 2018), and Storm Clouds on the Horizon: Lessons to be Taken from the Recent Wave of Digital Accessibility Challenges (National Association of College and University Attorneys, 2018), among others. He has previously taught courses in education law and higher education law at Boston College Law School and its Lynch School of Education.
Catanzano teaches Higher Education and the Law at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. He has also developed a disability law course for professionals serving in accessibility services offices and general counsel offices. He is currently developing a legal primer curriculum for K-12 educators/administrators, as well as student services professionals.