Ever since its founding, James & Hoffman has been providing advice and representation to academicians and other professionals in a wide variety of circumstances affecting their employment and their careers. The firm’s Academic & Professional practice emphasizes the issues of greatest value to each group: tenure, academic freedom and research integrity for the former, and financial security and career development for the latter. With increasing frequency, we have been helping our clients establish independent entities to pursue their professional goals.

James & Hoffman regularly and successfully represents professors from a host of disciplines in such critical aspects of their academic careers as pursuit of academic tenure and defense of tenure rights; protection of academic freedom (including the right of free inquiry and economic support of that right); and defense in investigations and proceedings involving accusations of research misconduct. Our clients come from major universities in the D.C. metropolitan area and beyond, as well as from research organizations such as the National Institutes of Health.


The firm’s Academic & Professional practice emphasizes the issues of greatest value to each group: tenure, academic freedom and research integrity for the former, and financial security and career development for the latter.


Our representation has included advocacy in University and governmental grievance and dispute resolution processes and before institutional boards of inquiry. Although the firm respects the sensibilities of its academic clients and attempts to resolve disputes within the processes provided by the University or other relevant institution, we do not hesitate to move into the courts if the internal processes malfunction. For instance, having successfully defeated a proposed compensation reduction program for tenured scientists at Georgetown University in the University’s grievance process, the firm brought suit when the University refused to recognize that result. The subsequent settlement of that lawsuit achieved elimination of the challenged compensation program.

The firm also regularly represents a wide variety of executives and professionals (including journalists) in the for-profit and non-profit, government and private sectors, by negotiating employment contracts and departure packages and, when necessary, arbitrating or litigating disputes. Given the great mobility of our professional and executive clients, we have developed special expertise in non-competition law and have successfully advised a host of clients in avoiding the pitfalls for the unwary in non-competition agreements. Finally, we have developed considerable expertise in advising our entrepreneurial clients in structuring, forming and governing their own corporate and quasi-corporate organizations. See Corporate and Non-Profit.