Jonathan Tarnow applies over 25 years of experience in education law to advise clients on a wide range of matters involving the U.S. Department of Education, accrediting bodies, state educational agencies, and other governmental and nongovernmental regulators. Jonathan counsels schools, colleges, universities, publicly traded and privately held education companies, charter school management organizations, private investors, financial institutions, education technology companies and third-party vendors of educational support services, and other organizations involved in the education industry. Jonathan is a frequent speaker and author on education law, as well as privacy and data security laws applicable to educational institutions and services.

Education Regulatory Compliance

Jonathan assists clients to navigate the complex and evolving legal and regulatory landscape that governs the provision of educational programs and services, including Title IV federal student financial aid program requirements; campus crime, safety and sexual assault regulations under the Clery Act and Title IX; rules for federal educational benefits to veterans and active military personnel; state educational licensing and authorization requirements; distance education regulations; and compliance with accrediting standards. He regularly represents clients in regulatory compliance reviews and audits, including administrative agency appeals. Jonathan also has served as a negotiator representing postsecondary institutions in U.S. Department of Education negotiated rulemaking processes.


Education Industry Transactions and Agreements

Jonathan helps clients successfully complete sophisticated transactions and negotiate complex agreements in the education sector. These matters include purchases and sales of educational institutions or their assets, conversions of private institutions from proprietary to nonprofit status, credit facilities to support acquisitions or ongoing operations, institutional mergers, joint venture agreements, charter school management agreements, and contracts between educational institutions and third-party service providers of highly regulated activities including admissions, marketing, financial aid, curriculum and faculty development, and educational program delivery.


Privacy and Data Security

Jonathan advises educational institutions and third-party service providers on privacy and security laws applicable to educational institutions and services, particularly requirements under the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA), the Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA), the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Related Industries


Bar Admissions

District of Columbia


George Washington University Law School
J.D. (1996)

George Washington University
B.A. (1993)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives

Firm Blog Contributions

  • Discerning Data – a forum that discusses developments in privacy, cybersecurity, information governance and data analytics

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • National Association of College and University Attorneys
  • National Association of College and University Business Officers
  • National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

Civic Activities

  • George Washington University Alumni Association — Board of Directors, 2007-15
  • George Washington University — Board of Trustees, 1997-2000
  • District of Columbia Bar, Section on Administrative Law and Agency Practice — Steering Committee (Co-Chair, 2005-06; Member, 2003-06); Education Law and Policy Committee (Chair, 1999-2002)
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