UNC is currently facing several legal challenges, including a class-action lawsuit from two former student-athletes filed last week.

To handle the breadth of the lawsuits, UNC has retained the services of New York-based Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, according to UNC Chancellor Carol Folt.

“We have many different challenges, and a lot of them will play out at different levels,” she says. “Some will be local. Some will go all the way to the national level.”

Folts adds this is a high influx of cases to handle at one time.

“It is true that every university has a constant flow of legal actions,” she says. “We are at a new level, at another level, an unusual level, maybe the greatest level.”

Chancellor Folt also says they typically work with local firms but do need to reach beyond those resources at times.

“Some times the expertise may come from another firm,” she says. “This particular integration will also include local firms. It’s that synthesis that we’re using; that I think will really help us.”

The chancellor also says they are wading through an influx of public records.

“Our whole enterprise, legally, has really grown here,” she says. “We’re using it as an opportunity to get the assistance that we need, and then think about how to restructure our office so that it can be nimble and flexible.”

Chancellor Folt adds they would rather contract out during these heavy times, because – hopefully – this staff will not typically be necessary.

“We don’t want to buy a 50 person legal team, because I hope we don’t need that for the rest of our time here,” she says. “So you need those experts.”

Meanwhile, UNC is also searching for a replacement for their general counsel.

Most recently, Rashanda McCants – former UNC women’s basketball player – and Devon Ramsay – former UNC football player – filed a lawsuit against UNC and the NCAA, alleging they didn’t receive a proper college education during their time in Chapel Hill. This lawsuit is one of the many ripple effects following the Wainstein report that found UNC was offering classes with little or no faculty involvement where, typically, high grades were handed out for minimal work.

Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham says he has not had an opportunity to asses that suit.

“I became aware of it when it was filed, but [I] have not had a chance to read it yet,” he says. “And I haven’t been a part of conversations on campus about its implication yet.”

Former football player Michael McAdoo has also filed a class-action lawsuit directed only at the university.

The university is also listed, along with Harvard University, in a complaint that was filed in November. That suit calls for race-neutral admission processes at all universities, after alleging the schools cap the number of Asian students that they will admit.

There is also the ongoing lawsuit regarding Mary Willingham and the effort to settle her workplace harassment claim.

And in August, a female student filed a complaint alleging the university mishandled her sexual assault case.

The law firm hired by UNC will be paid $990 per hour of service from partners and associate fees will range from $450 to $975 per hour. That payment was approved by the governor and state attorney general.