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Fraternities and Sororities

As a full-service law firm with over 100 years of experience, Ice Miller understands the importance of values and principles espoused by fraternities and sororities – leadership, personal and professional development, character development, achievement of goals, good citizenship and cooperation. We understand the ever-changing legal and business climates affecting fraternities and sororities, as well as the social and cultural issues that impact fraternal organizations and the risks and challenges they face on a daily basis.

Even with proper planning, from time-to-time, due to the nature of fraternal organizations, events still occur that require rapid response and coordination. Our team knows how to handle crisis management situations. In addition, Ice Miller attorneys proactively advise clients on steps to take to reduce risk and to develop strategies to identify and mitigate those risks. 

As our higher education system continues to change and the campus social culture evolves, fraternities and sororities will play an increasingly important leadership role as it relates to the collegiate experience and alumni engagement.

In order to operate effective organizations with valuable programming and support for collegiate members, fraternities and sororities must stay ahead of the issues that can create risks for their organizations. Ice Miller helps fraternal organizations monitor business, legal and regulatory matters and supports national organizations as they operate their business and staff, serve their communities, engage their alumni, and continue the tradition and values of Greek Life for collegians.

Ice Miller understands and tailors its services to the unique needs of each client and draws on our Firm’s depth of experiences to assist our clients with a variety of matters. Our work for fraternities and sororities includes:
 
  • Advising on matters related to foundations and fundraising efforts
  • Advising on risk management best practices for national organization and chapters
  • Advising on liability risk management issues and exposures, including sexual assault, premises liability, security issues and others
  • Engaging in real estate transactions including leasing, constructing, buying or selling of national headquarters or chapter houses
  • Advising on data security and privacy matters
  • Advising on crisis management situations
  • Assisting with employment-related matters
  • Assisting with internal investigations
  • Lobbying on behalf of national organizations
  • Monitoring and navigating local, state and federal tax laws
  • Navigating and advising on issues related to member discipline matters, hazing and complaints
  • Navigating relationships with contractors and vendors
  • Organizing grassroots efforts for changes to laws impacting the organizations
  • Preparing governance documents such as bylaws, constitutions and policy manuals
  • Protecting significant assets, innovations and brands
  • Representing organizations on matters related to local housing corporations and employees
  • Reviewing governance structure and advise on proactive and effective changes
  • Structuring new entities for the organization
  • Conducting training for staff and boards on governance and other matters
Ice Miller is committed to fraternities and sororities and making sure they remain an integral part of leadership and service for collegiate and alumni members.

Ice Miller is proud to be a member of the National Panhellenic Conference Partner program.
 

Representative Experience

Delta Alpha of Alpha Tau Omega, Inc.
Delta Alpha of Alpha Tau Omega, Inc. is the ATO alumni organization which owns and operates the former ATO house at IU Bloomington. Ice Miller advised the organization on a variety of risk management issues and the development of risk avoidance strategies incident to their ownership of the fraternity house, including risks associated with alcohol consumption, sexual assault, hazing and discriminatory behavior. In addition to our general risk management work, we counseled the Board in response to legal issues arising out of a video that was posted on social media depicting activities at the ATO house involving chapter members and exotic dancers. Our work involved addressing issues with the University, the National Chapter, member/house residents, parents and the housing entity Board. The situation involved a wide array of legal and other issues including crisis/incident response, Chapter suspension, lease analysis/termination, addressing member and parent concerns and challenges and potential liability exposure analysis. We have also advised the organization regarding various governance and nonprofit matters.

Sorority Client
Ice Miller assisted a sorority client in planning and implementing a new structure to house all chapter employees at an entity controlled by the National Fraternity to streamline operations and assist in mitigating the risk and liability that occurs by having each chapter individually employ its workers. Work on this project included identification and evaluation of various structural options and the risks/benefits associated with each, as well as assistance with implementation of the selected strategy.
 

Professionals

Name Position Phone Email
Michael Chabraja Partner 312-726-8149
Matt Ehinger Partner 317-236-2183
Christina Laun Fugate Partner 317-236-2374
Gina M. Giacone Partner 317-236-5829
Drew J. Miroff Partner 317-236-2267
Ryan McCabe Poor Partner 317-236-5976
Melissa Proffitt Partner-in-Charge of Client Relations 317-236-2470
Amanda Redick Of Counsel 317-236-2398
Katie M. Glick Agribusiness Strategy Manager 317-236-2129
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