For 25 years, Joanna has served as both attorney-representative and confidant to colleges and universities. Joanna understands that to effectively attend to and resolve the unique issues that arise on college campuses, a higher education attorney must be able to connect the immediate issues to the history and vision of each institution.

To achieve this, Joanna takes the time to fully partner with her clients, building relationships with key administrators and board members. With these resources at hand, Joanna is able to efficiently and appropriately counsel her clients in times of calm or crisis across a range of issues, including:

  • Academic and college affairs
  • E-learning
  • Student and residential life
  • Internal grievance and disciplinary procedures
  • Formation of entities and foundations
  • Discrimination and Title IX issues
  • Provision of services to students and staff with disabilities
  • School policy development and implementation
  • Immigration
  • Regulatory matters
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)     
  • Financial aid
  • Records and transcript issues
  • Accreditation and recertification
  • Faculty contracts, tenure, termination and promotion    

​Bringing the World to College Campuses

Throughout her career, Joanna has assisted colleges and universities in their quest to impart the highest levels of academic excellence to their students. She has facilitated the immigration of international faculty to college campuses from more than 35 countries around the world by steering her institutional clients through the increasingly complex menu of work authorization options, including:

  • Nonimmigrant visa petitions (H-1B, O-1, etc.),
  • Immigrant visa petitions (PERM, outstanding professor or researcher, persons of extraordinary ability and special recruitment permanent residence petitions), and
  • Student issues (F-1, J-1, OPT, SEVIS, etc.).

Keeping Her Clients on Top

Joanna also advises her clients in employment issues, from Form I-9 compliance to taxation issues. Joanna regularly represents clients before the New York State Division of Human Rights and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. In addition, she conducts training for academic administration, faculty and staff on such issues as FERPA, business immigration, sexual harassment and board governance.

Joanna has been quoted in Crain's New York Business, Forbes and Employment Law 360. In addition, Joanna has been an invited speaker on various higher education and immigration topics at nationally attended professional conferences.

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)

  • Assisted two major New York City universities with an educational affiliation prior to their eventual consolidation
  • Successfully defended colleges and universities in Title IX and disability discrimination complaints and investigations before the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights
  • Conducted extensive in-house audit of client’s Forms I-9 and corrected deficiencies, eventually saving the client thousands of dollars in penalty fines when they were audited by Immigration and Customs Enforcement

  • An Interview with Higher Education Attorney Joanna Silver, Legally Bond Podcast, August 15, 2022
  • The Ever-Expanding Role of the GC: Leadership, Governance, COVID & Everything in Between, NACUA Annual Conference, June 2022
  • Background and Reference Checks: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, NACUA Spring 2022 CLE Workshop, March 30, 2022
  • Immigration Issues Facing Colleges and Universities in the United States, Employment Law Alliance Podcast, March 3, 2021
  • COVID-19: Managing a Dynamic University Workplace in the Midst of a Pandemic Webinar, NACUA Briefing, March 26, 2020
  • Immigration Law Compliance for Home Health and Hospice Providers Webinar, Home Care Association of New York State, October 30, 2019
  • Current Developments in Immigration Law and the Implications for Health Care Providers, Hot Topics in Labor Law for Home Care Providers, Home Care Association Education and Research, June 13, 2019
  • Hot Legal Issues in Higher Education, Higher Education Leadership Symposium, February 9, 2018
  • Coming to America: Legal Issues Involved With Recruiting and Enrolling International Students, NACUA Annual Conference, June 2017
  • You Say Goodbye and I Say Hello: Hot Topics in Outbound and Inbound Immigration, NACUA 2016 Spring CLE Workshop, March 2016

  • Co-Author, 2019 Chambers USA Regional Employment Guide, New York Chapter

  • New York School of Interior Design, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel
  • Kingsborough Community College Foundation, Former Trustee, 2010-2013
  • Old Westbury College Foundation, Former Trustee, 2006-2009