New England Student Defense


JONATHAN COOK code of conduct attorney

Jonathan Cook of Sayer REgan & Thayer, LLP

Sayer Regan & Thayer, LLP’s (SR&T) New England Student Defense practice, is managed by Jonathan Cook, one of the most experienced Title IX and higher education discipline defense attorneys in the United States. He has advised students, staff and educators in more than 150 college and university disciplinary proceedings nationwide. Our attorneys at SR&T are licensed to practice law in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. We use local counsel in other jurisdictions as necessary in order to give our clients the best possible representation and combination of our extensive higher education discipline experience with local counsel should litigation arise. See SRT attorney profiles here.

Jonathan’s accomplishments include numerous successful outcomes at the hearing level for clients accused of Title IX campus sexual assault violations at several different universities, as well as aggressive work on behalf of complainants in Title IX cases. He is an exceptionally well-rounded advocate who is equally skilled in independent investigations, in the university hearing room, in the appeals process, at the negotiating table with university administrators as well as in the criminal courts.

Jonathan is well versed in Title VII, Title IX, FERPA, FOIA and HIPAA, the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, the Clery Act, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and applicable Office of Civil Rights guidelines under the U.S. Department of Education. 

Jonathan spent five years at Washington, D.C. firm, Wu, Grohovsky & Whipple, PLLC. Jonathan helped build WGW’s DC Student Defense practice alongside former top federal sex crime prosecutors. At WGW, Jonathan secured favorable outcomes for clients accused of a wide spectrum of campus conduct code violations in addition to not losing a Title IX case in 2015. Jonathan was also active in the firm’s criminal and white collar practices where he worked closely with federal sentencing guidelines, whistle-blower, corporate and transactional practices.

Professional appearances include guest lectures at George Washington University on student conduct policies and served as Title IX CLE Panelist at the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s 2017 convention in Washington, D.C., and Title IX panelist at the Rhode Island Bar Association’s 2019 Annual Meeting’s workshop, Campus Sexual Misconduct Proceedings: The Litigation and Regulatory Playing field.

Jonathan served as a public affairs professional for Porter Novelli's Washington, D.C. office, where he was an integral part of several award winning public relations campaigns. His background in public affairs and media relations enables him to advise his clients beyond immediate legal matters to help protect reputations from harm. Jonathan is a 2012 graduate of Roger Williams University School of Law where he served on the Moot Court Board and was president of both the Criminal Law Society and the American Constitution Society.

Jonathan is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Virginia, and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Jonathan and his family recently relocated from Washington, D.C. to Newport, RI, where Jonathan sat for the Rhode Island Bar exam on July 30-31, 2019, results to be released November 2019.


Outside of Virginia and the District of Columbia, Jonathan’s assistance is educational advice, and does not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. If litigation becomes necessary outside of the jurisdictions SR&T covers as mentioned above, Jonathan may associate with local counsel to be admitted pro hac vice.

Recent successful outcomes secured at: The University of Rhode Island, Simmons University, Tufts University, Connecticut College, Liberty University, and the University of Nevada.