John T. Graff is a nationally recognized higher education attorney with extensive experience advising colleges and universities on matters unique to higher education, including Title IX compliance, investigations and litigation; advice and audit representation in United States Department of Education Clery Act compliance reviews; and all matters related to student affairs operations. John also provides logistical consulting to campus law enforcement agencies throughout the country concerning all aspects of police operations.
John is one of very few attorneys throughout the country to ever lead an operational team responsible for handling conversion of a contract campus security unit into a fully sworn and armed campus police department. He has served as transaction counsel on a $20 million police department merger deal, and has led operations teams charged with developing a municipal police precinct on a higher education campus. John frequently collaborates with clients on development of active shooter response policies and trainings. In July 2016, John served as a tactical operations evaluator for a joint campus law enforcement training designed to enhance law enforcement response capabilities during incidents involving multiple shooters in large event venues.
He frequently collaborates with higher education industry trade organizations and clients throughout the country to provide Clery Act, Title IX, and campus law enforcement policy development. In addition, John provides counsel and training to college and university attorneys, administrators, and police officers. In 2014, John’s work on Clery and Title IX matters earned him the honor of being selected to serve on an advisory committee to two delegates from the National Association of College and University Attorneys participating in the federal negotiated rule making process concerning the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (2013) (“VAWA”) regulations. Following publication of the VAWA regulations, John served on a committee advising those same delegates regarding updates to the United States Department of Education’s Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting (2016 Edition).
Prior to practicing law and providing private consulting, John was a police officer at Boston University where he worked in various units and was decorated for his service. He is a 1998 graduate of the six-month long 29th Municipal Police Officer Class of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Municipal Police Training Committee Academy, was later certified by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in sexual assault investigation, received training in forensic profiling of serial sexual criminals provided by the Massachusetts State Police in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP), was a member of a community policing unit, routinely worked anti-crime (plain clothes) details, and served a rotation in the detective unit.
During law school, John served as an intern in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office where he served in the Family Violence Unit, focusing his work on assisting district attorneys preparing cases for indictment and trial where charges involved sexual assault against adults and minors, and domestic violence between relationship partners or family members.
From 2000 to 2006, John served as the Assistant Director of Boston University’s Office of Judicial Affairs where he conducted numerous sexual assault, sexual harassment, and domestic violence investigations; contributed to enhancement of investigation techniques and procedure; and assisted the university’s crisis management team.
From December 2009 through August 2010, John served as interim associate general counsel at Emerson College in Boston, and he served three terms as a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of College and University Law.