Lisa N. Cloutier

Lisa N. Cloutier

MANAGING LEGAL COUNSEL | BOSTON

Lisa N. Cloutier represents students and school employee survivors of sexual harassment and assault and survivors of gender identity and gender expression-based harassment and assault in obtaining justice through school Title IX proceedings, civil litigation, Office for Civil Rights ("OCR") complaints, and Clery complaints.  Ms. Cloutier also represents survivors of other types of discrimination in education including, but not limited to, disability and race discrimination, in vindicating their rights.

Ms. Cloutier is a national expert with over fifteen years of experience in successfully advocating for survivors at K-12 schools and higher education institutions, and in related policy work on these issues. Ms. Cloutier’s track record of results for her courageous clients regularly has included obtaining course final grade changes, significant tuition refunds and monetary awards, the suspension and expulsion of student perpetrators, the suspension and other significant, permanent sanctions against tenured faculty members at top national universities, and policy changes. Ms. Cloutier also routinely obtains many other results for her clients, including interim measures and accommodations that assist her clients to stay in school, eliminate the impact of the assault or harassment on their academics, and begin the healing process. As an expert on trauma-informed investigative practices and interactions with sexual assault survivors and who has written training curricula for over twenty-five universities on these issues, Ms. Cloutier always brings a trauma-sensitive approach to her work with survivors, which leads her to form strong, productive relationships with her clients.

Previously, Ms. Cloutier served as a Supervisory General Attorney/Compliance Team Leader at the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. In this role, Ms. Cloutier supervised a team of six attorneys and investigators in enforcing federal civil rights laws regarding sex (covering sexual harassment, assault, gender-based harassment, and other sex discrimination), race, color, national origin, disability, and age discrimination. Ms. Cloutier was responsible for overseeing this six-person staff in evaluating complaints, conducting investigations, and negotiating agreements with schools to remedy violations and conclude investigations.

Prior to working at OCR, Ms. Cloutier served as a consultant to Futures Without Violence and other organizations and universities regarding civil rights in education, with a particular focus on sexual assault, sexual harassment, and gender-based harassment. Ms. Cloutier wrote training curricula and model policies and advised over twenty-five diverse colleges and universities on preventing sexual assault, sexual harassment and gender-based harassment and complying with federal civil rights and higher education laws. Ms. Cloutier also advised and represented student survivors of gender-based violence in campus disciplinary proceedings.

Ms. Cloutier also practiced for approximately five years in the Complex Commercial Litigation Group at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, a large, international law firm, where she honed top-notch litigation and negotiation skills and represented corporations in a range of high-stakes litigation of Fortune 100 companies pertaining to a wide variety of issues. Ms. Cloutier secured multi-million dollar settlements for clients, guided clients successfully through regulatory inquiries, and won lawsuits at the trial and appellate levels. During this time, she also completed significant pro bono work representing survivors of sexual violence, stalking, and other intimate partner violence.

After law school, Ms. Cloutier clerked for U.S. District Judge Lawrence Kahn, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York. In her pro bono practice, Ms. Cloutier wrote a habeas corpus brief using a novel Eighth Amendment argument, that she crafted, resulting in the federal court vacating her client’s death sentence after twenty-five years of unsuccessful appeals.

Bar Admissions:

  • Massachusetts
  • New York

Education:

  • J.D., Harvard Law School
    • Managing Editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender
    • President of Students Organized for the Prevention of Domestic Violence ("Stop DV")
    • Co-Writer of the 1st Law in the Nation Enabling GPS Tracking of Domestic Violence Offenders at a High Risk of Re-Assaulting Victims (This Law Has Been Replicated in Over Twenty-Five States)
    • Co-Presented a Training Module on Universities' Title IX Obligations to Sexual Violence Survivors at a U.S. Department of Justice: Office on Violence Against Women ("OVW") National Conference
  • Bachelor of Arts in Politics, Brandeis University, magna cum laude
    • 2001 Truman Scholar Recipient for Public Service Accomplishments
    • 2000 Massachusetts National Organization for Women’s ("NOW") Woman of Courage Award Recipient
    • Member of the Phi Beta Kappa (ΦΒΚ) Honor Society

Certification:

  • The Danger Assessment ("DA"): Intimate Partner Violence ("IPV") Lethality Risk Assessment

Featured Work:

  • Featured Panelist, 2018 Truman Scholars National Conference, Washington D.C.
Ms. Cloutier may be reached at lcloutier@tfnlgroup.com.