Photograph of Laurel Pyke Malson

Government Experience

  • Department of Justice: Office of Legal Counsel—Attorney Advisor (1981 – 1985)


  • Wesleyan University, B.A. (1976)
  • Harvard Law School, J.D. (1979)


  • District of Columbia

Laurel Pyke Malson

Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2576
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595

Laurel Pyke Malson is a partner in Crowell & Moring's Washington, D.C. office, a member of the Litigation Group, and chairs the firm's Education Practice. She focuses on litigation, external investigations, and compliance counseling for educational institutions regarding issues such as Title IX, Title VI, Program Integrity Rules, ADEA, First Amendment, faculty misconduct, tenure disputes, and FERPA. She also routinely counsels foreign and domestic clients regarding litigation risk management in the U.S. federal and state courts; and has litigated extensively under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, the International Claims Settlement Act, and other "public law" provisions where foreign and U.S. government, and related entities, are involved. She also has litigated numerous class-actions under, e.g., the Equal Educational Opportunities Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, state consumer fraud provisions, and matters involving academic misconduct allegations, in addition to a broad range of business and individual torts, including civil rights and constitutional violations. In addition, Ms. Malson has counseled and litigated on behalf of a variety of public and private entities, including public school systems (and public charters) and universities, independent secondary schools, academic medical centers and other health care providers, and professional and trade associations. She also serves as a mediator in a wide range of disputes, with a focus on commercial and employment matters.

Recent key representations include: Title IX litigation defending universities against claims brought by both complainants and respondents; litigation involving faculty tenure disputes, compliance counseling, student disciplinary matters, and external investigations of historic faculty misconduct with students; counseling independent schools on procedures for responding to sexual misconduct and similar allegations of discrimination; defense of public university system involving First Amendment freedom of speech claims; advising state university regarding tuition benefits for undocumented students; advocating for victims of Libyan State-sponsored terrorism before the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission of the United States; securing judgments for victims of Iranian State-sponsored terrorism and advocating on their behalf before the US Victims of State-Sponsored Terrorism Fund; defending a large urban public school system in class action and U.S. enforcement action involving English Language Learners, under Title VI and the Equal Educational Opportunities Act; defending the District of Columbia Public Schools in a major class action under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act; defending the American Psychiatric Association in the Ritalin and ECT consumer fraud class action litigations in multiple state and federal jurisdictions; and representing a class of thousands of African American farmers against the U.S. Department of Agriculture to redress claims of race discrimination in federal farm loan credit transactions. She also is a key member of the team that secured a $6 billion judgment on behalf of the estates and family members of seven U.S. nationals that perished, and the U.S. owner of the aircraft that was destroyed, in the 1989 bombing of UTA Flight 772 over the Sahara Desert. (Pugh v. Libya, Case No. 02-2026 (D.D.C.))

Ms. Malson is a Mediator for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and she chaired the Committee on Grievances for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia from 2001 to 2004.

Before entering private practice in 1985, Ms. Malson served in the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice for four years, where she was responsible for a broad range of constitutional and federal statutory matters. Ms. Malson clerked for the Honorable Harry T. Edwards on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (1980-1981) and the Hon. Damon J. Keith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (1979-1980). She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1979, and her B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1976.

Professional Activities and Memberships

National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)
U.S. District Court, District of Columbia -- Panel of Mediators, 1990s – Present
Winner, 2010 International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR)’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Committee on Grievances, Chair, 2001 – 2004
District of Columbia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, Board of Directors, 1994 – 1998
D.C. Circuit Advisory Committee on Procedures, 1986 – 1991
American Bar Association -- International Law Section; Litigation Section

Recent Representations

  • Defend universities against Title IX claims arising out of student disciplinary proceedings.
  • Draft comments for submission to the U.S. Department of Education on behalf of universities in response to NPRM regarding Title IX regulations.
  • Defend universities system against First Amendment freedom of speech claims.
  • Conduct external investigations of allegations of historic faculty misconduct with students.
  • Litigate and resolve university tenure disputes involving various discrimination claims.
  • Conduct of numerous investigations of student and faculty sexual misconduct for independent schools.
  • Investigation of abuse allegations in Division I athletic program.
  • Doe v. Trustees of Princeton University, D.N.J. (2018) (Title IX litigation)
  • MedStar Health, Inc. v. District of Columbia Department of Health, State Health Planning and Development Agency, et al., No. 14-AA-328 (D.C. Court of Appeals) (September 2016) (administrative review of CON Determination)
  • Brief of Amici Curiae The National Domestic Violence Hotline, The National Network to End Domestic Violence, The Battered Women’s Justice Project, and End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin et al., Voisine v. United States, No. 14-10154 (S. Ct. 2016).
  • Congress of Hispanic Educators v. Denver Public Schools v. The United States of America, No. 95-cv-02313-RPM(D.Co.) (Class action involving provision of educational services to English Language Learners).
  • Claim of Donna Marlowe, Foreign Claims Settlement Commission of the U.S., Libya Program ($3 million award).
  • In re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation, No. 08-mc-511 (D.D.C.) (Class action discrimination in USDA farm loan program resulting in $1.25 billion settlement).
  • Pugh v. Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya , et al. (D.D.C) (awarded $6.1 billion judgment, January 24, 2008); Pugh v. Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya , et al., No. 02-2026 (D.D.C. Sept. 3, 2006) aff'd, No. 06-7167 (DC Cir. April 8, 2007) (unpublished order granting summary affirmance).
  • Smith v. Hope Village, Inc., 481 F.Supp. 172 (D.D.C. 2007) (wrongful death action against U.S. Bureau of Prisons and contracting halfway house).
  • Petties v. District of Columbia, (1:95-CV-00148) (class action under IDEA for educational and related services).
  • Fair-Gray v. United States, Case No. 03-01372 (D.D.C.) (FTCA wrongful death claim arising from automobile accident with USAID employee in Kenya).