Candace McLaren Lanham
Candace McLaren Lanham is a litigator who assists clients facing regulatory scrutiny, particularly under Titles VI and VII, Title IX, the Clery Act, and in civil white collar enforcement actions. Drawing on a 21-year legal career, which includes experience as an investigative and compliance manager in both state and federal government and at a university, Candace provides proactive consultation and guidance, risk management advice, and in-house training and instruction particularly to colleges, universities and independent K-12 schools, as well as to companies and individuals employed in highly regulated industries. When these clients face claims, she also leads investigations, provides analyses of risks, and, when necessary, defends these clients in government investigations and litigation.
Candace developed her understanding of the deep level of government scrutiny that institutions of higher education and independent K-12 schools face, in part, from her former role as the Director of the U.S. Department of Education's Clery Act Compliance Division. In this role as the nation's top Clery Act compliance officer, Candace directed and monitored the implementation of and adherence to related policies and procedures through a nationwide compliance program. She also reviewed and edited investigative reports; conducted training sessions on Clery compliance, investigative strategies, and report writing; and assisted with the development of internal processes and electronic databases to monitor non-compliance. During her seven years as Director of the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Special Investigations, Candace directed and supervised investigations into allegations of financial fraud, standardized testing fraud, physical and verbal abuse of students, and other forms of misconduct or criminality lodged against the department’s public school employees.
Candace’s public sector experience also includes a decade of service as an Assistant District Attorney with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, where she investigated, secured grand jury indictments for, and tried hundreds of cases involving allegations of fraud, grand larceny, domestic violence, sexual assault, and a myriad of other crimes before juries and judges. In doing so, she conducted interviews of victims and witnesses; prepared civilians and members of the NYPD for grand jury testimony and direct- and cross-examination; interviewed defendants upon arrest and in proffer sessions; conducted bail, pre-trial, SORA, and sentencing hearings; and negotiated plea bargains.
Candace brings an in-house perspective to her work, as well, having served as the Assistant Vice President of Investigative Services for New York University's Public Safety Department. In this position, she worked with members of the FBI, the NYPD, and the university’s Public Safety staff to oversee and/or conduct investigations into allegations of misconduct and/or criminality committed on or near campus, conducted trainings on a variety of topics for faculty and campus safety officers, and supervised the Department's Special Victims Liaison, who was charged with assisting student and employee victims of sexual violence. Her work also included providing guidance and assistance on matters involving Title IX and Clery Act compliance, serving as a subject matter expert on the prevention of campus violence, conducting trainings for security staff and NYU professors, chairing the university's Threat Assessment Team, and liaising with the FBI and Homeland Security on potential safety threats to the campus community.
Candace also advises and defends independent K-12 schools on legal matters affecting their daily operations, their compliance with federal and state laws, and best practices. Drawn from her experience with the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Special Investigations, Candace counsels heads of schools and senior administrators on the creation and implementation of sexual misconduct policies, conducts trainings on Title IX and leads internal investigations, including those involving allegations of sexual misconduct and racial discrimination. When a crisis arises, she advises institutions how to manage the related legal issues, and will represent the institution in disputes and litigation as needed.
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