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Tip of the Week | A Day in the Life: What Does a Title IX Consultant Do All Day Long?

Brett A. Sokolow, J.D., TNG Consulting, LLC

Reinvention is a human necessity. As I celebrate my 25th year in this profession, I reflect on many reinventions leading up to my role today (which is the real subject of this blog). When I first started, I was a keynote speaker on risk reduction/prevention at over 2,000 schools and colleges. That led to becoming a Clery Act expert and consultant, and to then becoming a Title IX and behavioral intervention expert consultant. When I left student-facing work, I wondered if there would be enough clientele to support my consulting work. Now, TNG has 25 full-time consultants, all working with hundreds of schools, colleges, and other organizations to ensure compliance, enhance safety, and manage risk. When I scaled back from the constant travel of consulting, I took on the CEO role and have straddled firm management and client-facing work ever since, though my title is now Chair. Many people think I sit and answer listserv emails all day long for the ATIXA listserv, and some days it truly feels that way. But our 11,000+ ATIXA members aren’t our only constituency. We have 5000+ members in NABITA and serve 400-500 clients yearly as consultants, entirely outside of our membership association roles. So, what do I really do all day?

Here’s a glimpse into a typical day in the life of a Title IX Consultant:

  • A partner oversees every TNG investigation; thus, part of my day often includes the review of an investigation report written by one of our 25 Title IX/civil rights investigators so that they can meet a client deadline to complete the report.
  • I review a climate assessment, a draft policy, a hearing rationale, an appeal rationale, or one of the other standard reports or documents created by our consultants for a client.
  • One of the most fulfilling (to me) and valuable (to our clients) services we provide is to walk through a complaint with the client and work with them to create a roadmap for the process. Many clients feel more secure when they know that we have reviewed their plans to ensure compliance, accurately determined Title IX jurisdiction, lodged the correct charges, and anticipated potential issues, challenges, pitfalls, and obstacles. Part of almost every day is spent on calls with clients to strategize a roadmap to address a complaint.
  • Listserv(ice). With 11,000 members, half subscribed to the ATIXA listserv, our very active community is not bashful with their questions. Because we empower anonymous posting, our members can securely post their tough questions! Every day, our team tries to get to every question we can. It’s intense but a great way to connect and crowdsource the information our members need. So, part of my day is responding to listserv queries.
  • I’ve been an interim Title IX administrator for the past year because there aren’t enough candidates for open positions in the field. Do you think it may be time for you to make a career change? Have you considered taking up Title IX work? Everyone is hiring! So part of my day is serving our clients in my interim capacity, which could include case management, intake, arranging supportive measures, or a host of other Title IX-related responsibilities. With 27 current interim placements for our consultants, this is a decent percentage of our daily work.
  • Work on ongoing projects: write a tip of the week for members; polish up an expert witness report on a federal lawsuit; contribute to an amicus brief; edit a policy for a client; engage in course design for a new workshop. Every day is different, but some version of these tasks is always waiting in my queue.
  • During a partner meeting, we discuss trends in the field. What implications will the 2023 Title IX regulations have for our clients? How can we help them to prepare? When will the final rule be final, and how do we effectively guide the field in anticipation?
  • I meet with a newly hired TNG consultant and talk about their caseload, client management, deadlines, travel horror stories, analytical challenges, and the complex client problems they are trying to solve. Occam’s razor to the rescue, usually. Mentorship is a significant contributor to the joy of the job, and all TNG consultants mentor new hires since we always seem to be hiring.
  • I field a couple of inquiries a day from colleagues in the field who want to come to work for TNG. Are we hiring? For A-level talent, there is always a place at TNG.
  • I respond to a journalist’s inquiry and hope I articulate my perspective clearly and effectively. Nope, misquoted again!
  • Some days are training days, and our team is teaching one of our 40+ workshops or certification courses. ATIXA has now certified more than 60,000 Title IX professionals. Our ATIXA and NABITA teams are teaching/training someone, somewhere, every day.
  • I prep for a hearing. I’ve been a decision-maker for more than 50 Title IX hearings since August 2020. So, I’m always getting ready for the next one and finishing the rationale letter for the last one. Did I get this one right? Let’s go back over the facts again – the stakes are high!

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