Peter S. Leyton


Peter has represented many institutions of higher education, as well as associations of schools and private-investment groups, with respect to regulatory, compliance and transactional matters since 1980.

This work involves frequent, if not daily, interaction with the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), national, regional and programmatic accrediting agencies and state licensing agencies, as well as other third parties.

Peter served on the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) Board of Directors from 1998-2000, 2002-2004 and 2010-2012.  He is actively involved in advising APSCU on legislative, regulatory and litigation matters, such as the DOE program-integrity regulations.

He was a non-federal negotiator representing the association and its membership during the 1999 negotiated rule-making process before DOE.

Prior to the founding of Ritzert & Leyton in 1994, Peter was a partner in the Washington, D.C., law firm of White, Verville, Fulton & Saner (1980 to 1994), where his practice focused on postsecondary education.

Before entering the practice of law, he was a senior program analyst from 1974 to 1980 with the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, where he focused on education, among other issues.

Peter received his law degree from Catholic University of America’s School of Law in 1980, a Master’s degree in Public Administration from American University in 1974, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Antioch College in 1971.

He is an active member of the District of Columbia and Virginia bars and has been specially admitted to appear before numerous state and federal courts around the country.

Peter has written and frequently spoken on issues affecting postsecondary institutions of higher education, including contributions to Career Education Review and The Link. At Ritzert & Leyton, his practice focuses on postsecondary education law. Peter has earned the AV® Preeminent™ Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®.

Contact Peter at or 703.934.9826.