Grace H. Lee

Partner

Grace Lee focuses her practice on employment law, risk management, and other compliance and regulatory matters that impact independent schools and nonprofit organizations. Grace works collaboratively with business officers, board members, human resources professionals, and heads of schools to advance the mission, priorities, and culture of institutions while meeting business needs and mitigating potential liability. She has significant experience formulating and implementing policies and procedures that assist her clients in complying with applicable state and federal laws.

Grace develops best practices on a wide range of legal issues facing independent schools, including employee relations, disciplinary actions, wage and hour compliance, student safety and disciplinary issues, social media issues, and contract disputes. She conducts internal compliance audits, and also drafts and reviews key documents used by independent schools, such as employment contracts, student enrollment contracts, vendor agreements, employee and student handbooks, conflict of interest policies and procedures, whistleblower policies, document retention and destruction plans, bylaws, insurance policies, and government documents.

In addition to providing her clients with proactive and preventive strategies, Grace has experience defending schools against claims regarding employment discrimination, harassment, retaliatory discharge, and wage and hour claims before administrative agencies and federal and state courts.

Grace previously served as vice president, legal affairs with the National Business Officers Association (NBOA), where she assisted more than 1,300 member schools with a wide range of legal and compliance priorities and was responsible for identifying, communicating, and monitoring legal and human resources issues related to nonprofit independent school business operations. At NBOA, Grace developed and taught online courses, was a frequent contributor to NetAssets Magazine, and co-authored the book, Culture Meets Compliance: The NBOA Guide to Assessing Human Resources at Independent Schools. Grace serves as legal counsel to NBOA.

Grace draws from her wealth of experience to conduct training for independent school professionals on a broad range of topics, including effective hiring practices, performance management, appropriate boundaries with students, and prevention of harassment and discrimination. Grace is a frequent presenter at national and local independent school association conferences, has conducted webinars, and has written extensively on legal issues affecting independent schools.

Experience

Government Experience

  • Attorney-Advisor, Department of Homeland Security, Labor and Employment Law

Insights

Credentials
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Education

  • J.D. George Washington University Law School 2001
    • Judicial extern, The Honorable Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, United States District Court for the District of Columbia
    • Law clerk, Domestic Violence Clinic
  • B.A. Northwestern University 1998

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Member, Society of Human Resources Management
  • Member, DC Society of Human Resources Management
  • Member, College and University Professional Association for Human Resources
  • Member, Korean American Bar Association
  • Former board member, Young Lawyers Section, Bar Association of the District of Columbia