Conrad O’Brien partner Patricia Hamill has been named to The Legal Intelligencer’s list of Pennsylvania Trailblazers. The Trailblazers award recognizes top attorneys in Pennsylvania “who are truly agents of change” and “highlight[s] those that are sincerely innovators and thought leaders.” As Chair of the firm’s Title IX, Due Process & Campus Discipline practice group, Patricia has become one of the country’s leading Title IX attorneys and has represented close to 200 students nationwide in disciplinary matters or litigation involving more than 70 colleges and universities. As reported in the Trailblazers supplement, after spending 30 years as a commercial litigator, she accepted a case of a Swarthmore College student who had been expelled for sexual misconduct. Patricia obtained a favorable settlement for her client, and that case led to another involving Brandeis University and then to matters across the country.
The Trailblazers supplement describes Patricia’s pioneering spirit: “over the past six years, Hamill has helped Conrad O’Brien build a national practice in Title IX litigation and disciplinary matters. She wants colleges and universities to take sexual assault reports seriously—and to respect the rights even of the accused.” Patricia says, “I don’t come at this from any doctrine other than these processes should be as fair as possible to all participants.”
Patricia has used her experience as a platform for advocacy. In 2019, Patricia was invited to testify before the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) at the full committee hearing on “Reauthorizing HEA: Addressing Campus Sexual Assault and Ensuring Student Safety and Rights.” Looking forward, she is awaiting new federal regulations that will govern how colleges and universities conduct sexual misconduct investigations. “With the #MeToo movement in full swing, ‘it’s all coming to a head,’” says Patricia.
See Patricia's profile from "The Legal Intelligencer" here.