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Raymond D. Cotton, Esq.

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Education

  • Harvard University (MS)
  • Harvard University (JD)
  • Monmouth College (BA)

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Massachusetts

Ray exclusively represents higher education and other nonprofit executives and boards of trustees. His clients include colleges, universities, associations, and other nonprofits. He has represented over 250 university boards of trustees, college presidents, and other nonprofit executives during his more than 25 years in practice.

He frequently counsels both boards of trustees and presidents on such matters as contracts, executive compensation, performance evaluation, goal-setting, current and deferred compensation, Intermediate Sanctions, Sarbanes-Oxley, and best practices for managing nonprofit institutions.

Ray is a frequent speaker at the Association of Governing Board’s National Conference on University Trusteeship and on the programs of other higher education associations. He is also a regular contributor to the Chronicle of Higher Education. His legal work and compensation analyses have gotten him recognition in many national publications, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.

Earlier in his career, Ray served in the public sector as special assistant, Office of the Secretary, US Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

He has also served as an adjunct faculty member at both the School of Law and the School of Medicine at George Washington University and Harvard University’s School of Public Health. In addition, he has lectured at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), UCLA, Yale, and many others.

Ray is the first person in the history of Harvard University to have earned degrees from both its law school (JD) and its graduate School of Public Health (MSc).

Recognitions & Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America: Education Law (2013 – 2015)
  • Chambers USA: District of Columbia – Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation (2012 – 2014)

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Member (1991 – 1995), Board of Trustees of Monmouth University
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, National Association of College and University Attorneys