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Holly E. Peterson

Direct: 202.221.8006
Main: 202.221.8100
Fax: 202.221.8001
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Holly Peterson is an attorney with significant experience in the association and nonprofit, employment, and education sectors. She excels at translating complex regulatory and legal issues into practical and digestible client solutions that harmonize with important cultural, ethical, political, social, and financial considerations.

Prior to joining the Tenenbaum Law Group, Holly served in a senior role on the Legal Resources and Leadership Teams at the National Association of College and University Attorneys for eight years, where she was immersed in legal and operational issues impacting the nonprofit education sector, including issues related to students, employment, discrimination and harassment, disability accommodations, regulatory compliance, internal and external investigations, and board governance. During her time at NACUA, Holly acquired significant experience with association and nonprofit operations and management.

Prior to that, Holly worked as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Maryland for four years, where she litigated on behalf of and provided advice for the 13 public colleges and universities in Maryland. In 2015, while working for the Attorney General’s Office, she received the Exceptional Service Award for her work in policy development on behalf of the University System of Maryland.

Before beginning her legal career, Holly worked in higher education administration at both public universities and private, nonprofit universities, gaining experience that has given her unique and valuable insights into public and nonprofit administration.

Holly is passionate about serving with a sense of purpose and is driven by the goals and aspirations of the nonprofit sector. She is committed to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging – values that guided her day-to-day work in the association world and that ignited early in her life, as evidenced, for example, by her two-year appointment as an ally to the executive leadership of the LGBT Law School Alliance. Holly currently volunteers with a nonprofit women’s group committed to addressing income inequality and other access barriers. 

Education

  • J.D., University of Maryland School of Law, 2010
  • M.A., Education Policy, Planning & Administration, University of Maryland, 2007
  • B.A., Government and World Religions, Georgetown University, 2002

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • 2011-23, Member, National Association of College and University Attorneys
  • 2017-Present, Member, American Society of Association Executives
  • In 2015, Holly was the recipient of the Exceptional Service Award from the Maryland Attorney General’s Office. Attorney General Douglas Gansler bestowed the award for Holly’s work in policy development on behalf of the University System of Maryland.
  • 2015-23, Associate Director of Legal Resources, National Association of College and University Attorneys
  • 2011-15, Attorney, Maryland Attorney General’s Office, Educational Affairs Division

Click on Title to View the Publication

Title IX and Athletics: From Then to Now (Article), National Association of College and University Attorneys Lawyers New to Higher Education Workshop, Chicago, IL

Title IX and Sexual Misconduct: From Then to Now (Article), National Association of College and University Attorneys Lawyers New to Higher Education Workshop, Chicago, IL

Case Law Update (Article), Association of Student Conduct Administrators Annual Conference, Portland, OR

When Free Speech and Inclusion Collide: Legal and Practical Considerations for Campuses Caught in the Crossfire (Article), National Association of College and University Attorneys Higher Education Discrimination Law Workshop (Virtual)

Key Aspects of the 2017 Title IX Q&A: Practical Tips During the Interim Regulatory Period (Article), National Association of College and University Attorneys

Proactive and Responsive Strategies for Managing Campus Unrest (Article), National Association of College and University Attorneys Annual Conference, Chicago, IL

Click on Title to View the Presentation or Ancillary Material

March 20, 2022
Student Affairs Legal Issues, 2022 Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD
February 11, 2022
Student Conduct Legal Issues, 2022 Association of Student Conduct Administrators Annual Conference, Washington, DC
March 24, 2021
Higher Education Legal Update, 2021 Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education Annual Conference (Virtual)
February 10, 2021
Top Student Conduct Legal Issues of 2020: COVID Conduct and Cyber Cheating, Association of Student Conduct Administrators Annual Conference (Virtual)
October 7, 2020
The Intersection of Title IX and Title VII in Employment, 2020 College and University Professional Association for Human Resources Annual Conference (Virtual)
March 31, 2020
Bias Response Protocol, 2020 Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education Annual Conference (Virtual)
February 7, 2020
Legal Issues in Student Conduct Administration, Association of Student Conduct Administrators, Washington, DC
January 13, 2020
Title IX Updates, 2020 Community College Legal Issues Conference, Orlando, FL
October 21, 2019
Legal Update on Sexual Misconduct in the Employment Setting: The Application of Title IX and Title VII for Employees, Denver, CO
March 12, 2019
The Intersection of Disability Law and Student Conduct, 2019 Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education Annual Conference, Los Angeles, CA
February 9, 2019
The Top Legal Issues in Student Conduct Administration, 2019 Association of Student Conduct Administrators Annual Conference, Jacksonville, FL

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For the third year in a row, the Tenenbaum Law Group PLLC has been “ranked” by the prestigious U.S. Legal 500 for 2024 in its national Not-for-Profit category. One of only 19 law firms ranked nationwide and the only boutique firm, this is a highly coveted, distinguished honor. TLG Managing Partner Jeff Tenenbaum is also one of only five members of the U.S. Legal 500 Not-for-Profit Hall of Fame. Details can be found here and here.

Here is Legal 500’s 2024 editorial overview of the firm:

“Boutique firm Tenenbaum Law Group PLLC has seen rapid growth since its establishment in 2020 and now works with an expansive roster of clients from the medical, sustainability, and cultural sectors, among others. Jeffrey Tenenbaum leads the team and is known as ‘a leading expert in the field’, covering a broad range of issues relating to IP, antitrust, and charitable gift restrictions in addition to handling internal investigations. Nisha Thakker, who co-founded the firm alongside Tenenbaum, has a particular focus on corporate governance, development, and risk management. Susan Hamsher is a further key name. All named lawyers are based in Washington DC.”

Here are excerpts from the 2024 published Legal 500 client testimonials:

‘This practice is unique because of their focus of expertise and practical solutions. They understand the business realities associations face and are not interested in simply telling them what “the law says”. Rather, they are interested in helping guide you through the nuances of a risk assessment to determine what course of action is the best for your association’s business operations.’

‘The firm specializes in everything tax-exempt nonprofit. There’s not a subject related to that world for which they lack the expertise.’

‘Jeff Tenenbaum is an excellent advisor, understanding all the needs of nonprofits with contacts throughout the sector and a personal touch that makes you feel like you’re his only client.’

‘Jeff Tenenbaum is a leading expert in the field of nonprofit law.’

‘Jeff is extremely knowledgeable and responsive.’

In addition to other honors and recognitions, in its first four years of existence (2020-24), TLG was awarded the (top) Tier 1 designation in the Washington, DC metropolitan area for Nonprofit/Charities Law by Best Law Firms. TLG Managing Partner Jeff Tenenbaum was the 2006 recipient of the American Bar Association’s Outstanding Nonprofit Lawyer of the Year Award, is one of only five attorneys in the prestigious U.S. Legal 500’s Not-for-Profit Hall of Fame, is listed in the 2012-24 editions of Best Lawyers for Nonprofit/Charities Law nationally, and is listed in the 2014-24 editions of Super Lawyers in its Nonprofit Organizations category.

Attorney(s): Jeff Tenenbaum, Nisha Thakker, Susan Hamsher, Holly Peterson, Kevin Serafino

The Tenenbaum Law Group (TLG) is pleased to announce the addition of its fifth attorney, Counsel Holly Peterson, to the firm. Prior to joining TLG, Holly served in a senior role on the Legal Resources Team and Leadership Team at the National Association of College and University Attorneys for eight years, where she was immersed in legal and operational issues impacting the nonprofit education sector.

During that time, she also acquired significant experience with association and nonprofit operations and management. Prior to that, Holly served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Maryland for four years, where she advised and litigated on behalf of the 13 public colleges and universities in Maryland.

She has significant experience in the association and nonprofit, employment, and education sectors, and excels at translating complex regulatory and legal issues into practical and digestible solutions for nonprofit organizations. Holly will help to service the firm’s client base of over 650 associations and nonprofits, as well as companies and executives that work with or provide services to nonprofits. Founded on January 1, 2020 by Managing Partner Jeff Tenenbaum and Partner Nisha Thakker, TLG is nationally recognized, five-attorney, Washington, DC-based, boutique law firm focused exclusively on the nonprofit sector, with clients across the United States.