Center City Lawyers Getting $550-$660 Per Hour for UVA Rape Claims Work

The Pepper Hamilton attorneys are helping the embattled school with its handling of allegations.

The University of Virginia has hired Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton LLP to consult with the school over its response to rape and sexual assault claims as well as claims of sexual harassment. The school recently came under national scrutiny after rape allegations surfaced in a controversial Rolling Stone story.

According to a contract obtained by Philadelphia magazine, UVA will pay Pepper Hamilton partners Gina Maisto Smith (left) and Leslie Gomez (right) an hourly rate of $660 and $550, respectively.

Both attorneys, previously with Ballard Spahr, are part of subcommittees of the U.S. Department of Education’s Negotiated Rulemaking Committee for the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, aka the Campus SaVE Act. Both are former sex crimes prosecutors.

Smith and Gomez came under fire last year for a report they issued to Los Angeles’ Occidental College. They were accused of blaming recent turmoil at the school on a sexual assault activist group.

We asked Smith to tell us more about the work that she and Gomez would be doing with UVA, but instead, Pepper Hamilton’s marketing director sent us this statement:

…Pepper Hamilton LLP will provide consultation services and guidance regarding the University’s response to and handling of sexual and gender-based harassment and violence complaints and reports under federal laws. Pepper Hamilton’s services will include assistance and support regarding new and ongoing Title IX sexual assault reports and cases, implementation of current and proposed Title IX sexual assault policies, protocols involving local law enforcement, an assessment of the University’s policies, procedures and practices with respect to applicable federal laws, and assistance to the University in its responses to the ongoing case and compliance reviews conducted by the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education.