Patricia Davis

Patricia Davis | Farrow-Gillespie & HeathTitle IX Litigation
Employment Litigation

Of Counsel

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Title IX protects students, faculty, and staff at federally-funded educational institutions from gender discrimination including sexual harassment and assault.

In a nation-wide survey 11.7 percent of student respondents across 27 universities reported experiencing nonconsensual sexual contact by physical force, threats of physical force, or incapacitation since they enrolled at their university.

In a groundbreaking and comprehensive 2017 study, 6% of students in the University of Texas system report being sexually assaulted during their time at school.

Since 2011, more than 150 lawsuits have been filed against colleges by male students who were accused of sexual assault but say they were treated unfairly in the discipline process.

All members of educational communities are both entitled to be protected from sexual harassment and assault and to be treated with fairness and given due process if they are accused of harassment or assault. Title IX violations by schools can include:

  • maintaining a campus environment in which students are not protected from sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence;
  • not protecting and caring for those who report that they’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted;
  • treating those who have been accused of sexual harassment or assault unfairly—not giving them the full protection of due process under school policy and federal law;
  • not taking reports of sexual assault or harassment seriously;
  • retaliation against those who report sexual assault or harassment.

Dr. Davis’s practice includes:

  • negotiating solutions to ongoing Title IX violations by institutions—helping students to achieve safety on their campuses;
  • assisting female and male students who have been victims of sexual assault and discrimination by their schools to obtain their rights to education in a safe campus environment;
  • assisting students and faculty members accused of sexual assault to obtain due process throughout the Title IX disciplinary processes, including filing defensive documents and representation at hearings;
  • assisting clients in filing and navigating Title IX complaints with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights against their educational institutions ; and

representing clients in all phases of Title IX litigation against educational institutions, including mediation and obtaining financial and other types of settlements for damages.

Dr. Davis is a former university professor and administrator, positions from which she retired after more than twenty years’ service. She is an experienced Title IX investigator in both the litigation and higher education contexts.  Pat was formerly a litigation attorney with Jackson Walker LLP, and she served as law clerk to the Honorable Barefoot Sanders (deceased), United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas.

Pat holds an M.Div. and Ph.D. in counseling from Princeton Theological Seminary, and received her law degree from Southern Methodist University. Dr. Davis was chair of Southern Methodist University’s most recent (and successful) NCAA Gender Equity review.

Dr. Davis has served on many diverse non-profit boards including the Southern Methodist University Board of Trustees, the SMU Human Rights Advisory Board, the Video Association of Dallas, the International Rescue Committee Dallas Advisory Board, the Planned Parenthood of North Texas Religious Advisory Board, the Embrey Family Foundation Board of Directors, the Grace Presbytery Board on Housing, and the Alliance for Human Dignity (founding member and chair).  She has consulted with numerous additional boards on issues of strategic planning and sexual harassment/abuse.

Dr. Davis has published two books relating to counseling and trauma with adolescents, and numerous articles on sexual harassment, rape, sexual assault as a weapon of war, and human trafficking. Her teaching and scholarship have won a number of national awards including a Henry Luce Foundation Fellowship and a Lilly Foundation Fellowship along with awards from the United Methodist Church for her work with adolescent girls, and the Carey Maguire Center Ethics Award at SMU.

Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP | Dallas, TX

Practice Areas

  • Title IX Law
  • Employment Litigation

Education

  • J.D., Dedman School of Law, Southern Methodist University
  • Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary
  • M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary

Publications and Media