Candace McLaren Lanham
Candace McLaren Lanham assists colleges and universities in matters involving Title IX compliance, the Clery Act, other state and federal laws and related issues. Drawing on a 20-year legal career that includes experience as an investigative and compliance manager in both government and at a university, Candace provides proactive consultation and guidance, risk management advisement, and in-house training and instruction. When institutions of higher education face claims, she also leads investigations, provides analysis of the risks, and, when necessary, defends these clients in government investigations and litigation.
Candace developed her understanding of the deep level of scrutiny that colleges and universities face under Title IX and the Clery Act 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 investigative reports; conducted training sessions on Clery compliance, investigative strategies, and investigative report writing; and assisted with the development of internal processes and electronic databases to monitor non-compliance. Her public sector experience also includes roles as the Director of the Office of Special Investigations for the New York City Department of Education, where she oversaw the investigation of more than 12,000 complaints of employee misconduct and/or criminality annually; and as an Assistant District Attorney with the New York County District Attorney's Office, where she investigated and prosecuted a myriad of crimes.
Candace also brings an in-house perspective to her work, having served as the Assistant Vice President of Investigative Services for New York University's Public Safety Department. In this position, she oversaw and/or conducted investigations into allegations of criminality committed on or near campus, and supervised the Department's Special Victims Liaison, who was charged with assisting student and staff 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 advises and defends independent K-12 schools on legal matters affecting their daily operations, their compliance with federal and state laws, and best practices. Her experience, drawn from seven years as the director of the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Special Investigations, includes counseling the heads of schools and senior administrators on the creation of sexual misconduct policies, and advising on internal investigations into allegations of employee sexual misconduct. When a crisis arises, she advises institutions how to manage the related legal issues, and will generally lead the investigation or represent the institution in disputes and litigation.