Cindy Irani assists clients with navigating emerging issues and regulatory compliance in education law and political law.

Cindy has experience dealing with issues pertaining to the federal Higher Education Act, state educational licensing laws and the accreditation of institutions of higher education. She helps advise nonprofit and for-profit educational institutions, education companies and private investors on complex transactions, including changes of ownership involving postsecondary institutions. Cindy also counsels higher education accrediting bodies on a broad range of legal and regulatory issues.

Cindy counsels clients on compliance with campaign finance laws and regulations at federal, state and local levels of government, including: the permissibility of political contributions and activities by corporations, PACs and other entities; reporting and registration requirements and ethics restrictions imposed on contributors; and pay-to-play laws. She also advises clients on lobbying laws, including the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 and state and local lobbying laws, and governmental ethics statutes and rules governing gifts and travel.

Cindy handles matters regarding the certification and participation of disadvantaged, women and minority business enterprises (D/W/MBEs) in the government contracting process. She assists clients with preparing D/W/MBE certification applications, assessing certification eligibility and addressing certification eligibility requirements.

Representative Matters

  • Counseled private investors, education companies and other entities on purchases and sales of postsecondary educational institutions or their assets, and credit facilities to support acquisitions or ongoing operations and other complex transactions involving colleges and universities
  • Advised postsecondary institutions on legal matters arising from institutional participation in Title IV federal student aid programs, including state authorization, as well as student records privacy
  • Advised accrediting agencies regarding a broad range of applicable legal and regulatory issues, including the development of accrediting policies and standards
  • Provided ongoing political law compliance counsel to various companies and firms
  • Researched and drafted multi-state surveys of campaign finance and lobbying laws/regulations for various clients
  • Assisted minority/women-owned business enterprises with applying to private and public certifying agencies for D/W/MBE certification


Bar Admissions



University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
B.A. with honors

Indiana University Maurer School of Law
J.D. Federal Communications Law Journal

Insights & Events

Updates August 2021

New U.S. Department of Education Regulations on Distance Education and Other Title IV Program Matters Effective July 1, 2021

22 min read  
Publication October 2020

Reminder to Higher Education Institutions of October 30 Deadline for CARES Act HEERF Institutional Fund Reports

3 min read  
Updates August 2020

Revised Higher Education Reporting Requirements for CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students

3 min read  
Updates August 2020

Regulatory Agency and Selected Accreditor Resources for Higher Education Institutions Regarding COVID-19 Pandemic

9 min read  
Updates August 2020

Education Department Extends COVID-19 Regulatory Flexibilities for Title IV Programs; Announces Implementation of President’s Executive Order for Continued Student Loan Borrower Relief

4 min read  
Updates June 2020

New Supplemental Guidance and Deadlines Issued for Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds Under the CARES Act

5 min read  
Updates June 2020

Interim Final Rule Issued for CARES Act’s Higher Education Emergency Student Grant Eligibility

4 min read  
Updates May 2020

U.S. Department of Education Expands COVID-19 Regulatory Flexibilities for Higher Education Institutions

10 min read  
Updates May 2020

U.S. Department of Education Requires Higher Education Institutions to Post CARES Act Funding Information on Websites

3 min read  
Updates May 2020

U.S. Department of Education Releases Additional Details on CARES Act Funds for Minority Serving Institutions, Institutions Serving Low-Income Students and Other Institutions with the Greatest Unmet Coronavirus Needs, and State Discretionary Grants

8 min read  

Leadership & Community

Pro Bono

  • Firm liaison to Ascend Justice (formerly Domestic Violence Legal Clinic)

Professional Associations

  • Indiana University Maurer School of Law – Bloomington, Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (Past Treasurer)

Firm Leadership

  • Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP — Associates Committee, 2016-19
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