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Debora L. Osgood

Debora L. Osgood

Practice Areas

Education
Government & Regulatory Affairs

Partner
T: 312-946-1800
F: 312-946-9818
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Debbie Osgood is a Partner in HMBR’s Education Group. Ms. Osgood is a nationally recognized expert on the civil rights laws and regulations that govern educational institutions, having joined the firm after 25 years at the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

More about Debbie Osgood

At Hogan Marren Babbo & Rose, Ms. Osgood has represented educational institutions, including public and private colleges and universities, accrediting entities, and nonprofit organizations, on a wide range of educational policy and legal issues. Her area of specialty is advising educational institutions on how to best position themselves to avoid claims of discrimination by students and employees and how to effectively respond to these claims. Representative matters include:

  • Ongoing consultation to colleges and universities on Title IX investigations;
  • Developing and revising policies and procedures relating to Title IX, VAWA and the Clery Act;
  • Advice and counsel to colleges and universities on responding to OCR investigations;
  • Conducting Title IX and Section 504/Title II training at institutions of higher education;
  • Updating university policies and procedures to address issues affecting students with disabilities, including accommodation issues and “direct threat” leave and withdrawal policies;
  • Conducting internal investigations of discrimination and retaliation allegations;
  • Assessing the compliance of various institutional policies, procedures, and marketing materials;
  • Advising a private university on the development of an overall compliance program; and
  • Advising a non-profit college on endowment issues.

 

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Osgood served as National Enforcement Director with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) from June 2012 to February 2016. In this position, Ms. Osgood was a member of OCR’s senior leadership team and oversaw six of OCR’s twelve regional enforcement offices. She advised senior OCR and other Department officials and regional enforcement staff on the investigation and resolution of cases under each of the civil rights statutes enforced by OCR, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. She also provided national leadership and extensive training to OCR managers and staff on numerous substantive and procedural issues, including Title IX sexual violence, Title IX athletics, and OCR’s Case Processing Manual. She worked collaboratively with other offices in the Department as well as other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, and state agencies on civil rights issues. Ms. Osgood previously held the Office Director and Chief Attorney positions in OCR’s regional office in Chicago. Ms. Osgood worked at OCR under several administrations, including the Obama, Bush and Clinton administrations.

Prior to her government service, Ms. Osgood was an attorney with the Washington, D.C. law firm of Covington and Burling, specializing in federal communications and administrative law.

Professional Memberships/Activities

Member, National Association of College and University Attorneys
Member, National Council of School Attorneys
Member, Illinois Council of School Attorneys
Member, American Bar Association
Member, Chicago Bar Association

While at the U.S. Department of Education, Ms. Osgood was selected as a member of the federal Senior Executive Service, a cadre of top-ranking, career senior government executives with leadership and managerial expertise.

Publications/Presentations

Ms. Osgood is a frequent speaker on civil rights and education issues.  Recent speaking engagements include:

  • University of South Florida System, 2016 Title IX Conference, What Would OCR Think?, 2016.
  • Illinois Council of School Attorneys, Seminar on School Law, Top 10 OCR Questions Answered, 2016.
  • U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, OCR Chicago, OCR’s 2016 Civil Rights Seminar, Appropriate Response to Title IX Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence on Campus:  College and University Perspective, 2016 (with Charles P. Rose, Partner, Hogan Marren Babbo & Rose)
  • Career Education Colleges and Universities (formerly the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities), 2016 Annual Conference, Title IX for Career Schools, 2016.
  • Private Career Colleges and Schools, Region V Conference, Title IX and Clery Act/VAWA, 2016
  • Central States Private Education Network, CSPEN 2nd Annual Conference,Title IX:  Ensuring that Your School is Title IX Compliant, 2016.
  • Metro New York Title IX Compliance Association, Meeting, Emerging Issues regarding Transgender Students on Campus, 2016 Magna Publications, Leadership in Higher Education Conference, Assessing the Needs of Transgender Students at Colleges and Universities, 2016.
  • Magna Publications, Advanced Online Seminar, Transgender Students and Creating a Safe, Inclusive and Legally Compliance Environment, 2016.
  • Magna Publications, Online Seminar, Transgender Students and Employees: How to Comply with the Latest Title IX Guidance, 2016.

Admissions

Illinois (1987)
District of Columbia (1988)

Education

University of Michigan Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1987)
Brown University (B.A., Honors in History, 1983)