Navigating the Waters: Best Practices for Addressing a Title IX Investigation

How do you respond to a Title IX investigation?

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. This article outlines the general steps to take if you are a subject of a Title IX investigation.


It is essential to consult with an attorney who specializes in Title IX cases to help you navigate the complex and unique aspects of Title IX investigations.

1. Understand Title IX and its Scope

First, it is important to understand what Title IX covers. You can find detailed information at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) website.

2. Immediate Response to the Notice

Upon receiving notice of a Title IX investigation, take the following steps:

  • Review the Notification Carefully: Understand the allegations and timeline.
  • Consult an Attorney: Legal guidance can be essential in preserving your rights.
  • Avoid Direct Communication: Do not communicate with the complainant or other involved parties without legal counsel.
  • Preserve Relevant Evidence: This includes emails, text messages, and other documentation that could be pertinent to the investigation.

3. Engage an Experienced Title IX Attorney

Engaging an attorney experienced in Title IX law can provide you with vital expertise and support. Here at Botsford & Roark, we provide comprehensive support for Title IX matters. Visit our website for more information.

4. Prepare for the Investigation

With the guidance of your attorney, you should:

  • Identify Relevant Witnesses: Who can provide information to support your case?
  • Compile Evidence: Collect and organize evidence that supports your position.
  • Understand the Investigative Process: Familiarize yourself with your institution’s Title IX policies and procedures, available on its official website.

5. Cooperate with the Investigation

Cooperation is key. Ensure that you:

  • Respond to Requests Timely: Comply with all timelines as much as possible.
  • Be Truthful: Provide accurate information during interviews.
  • Work with Your Attorney: Regularly consult with your attorney throughout the process.

6. Consider Mediation

In some cases, mediation may be an option. Discuss this possibility with your attorney and the Title IX coordinator.

7. Appeals Process

If the outcome of the investigation is not in your favor, you may have the right to appeal. This process should be outlined in your institution’s Title IX policy.

8. External Complaints

If you believe your rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with the OCR. Details can be found here.


Title IX investigations are complex and require a careful response. Consult with an experienced attorney, understand the process, cooperate with the investigation, and consider all available options, including mediation and appeals. Following these steps will help you navigate a Title IX investigation with greater confidence and effectiveness.

Need legal help? Contact us now to get the help you need.

Austin Criminal Defense Attorney Brian Roark

About the Author

Brian Roark is an experienced criminal defense attorney and Title IX lawyer, and former professor of Trial Advocacy at the University of Texas School of Law. He has successfully represented clients in a wide range of criminal cases, including DWIs, drug offenses, and violent crimes. Brian has extensive experience representing clients in university Title IX proceedings, helping students navigate these complex and often stressful processes. He is committed to providing his clients with compassionate and personalized legal representation and has a proven track record of achieving positive results.

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