Birmingham firm Martineau Johnson is to be the principal legal adviser to Bournemouth University.
Partner, Paul Pharaoh, says the deal will fuel a major expansion in the education law team, which he leads.
He said: "Our concentration on developing our national education practice has worked to good effect and this new contract is further proof.
"Despite the uncertainties in funding, education is a sector that is experiencing tremendous growth, not only in terms of student numbers and the size of higher and further education institutions. It is also growing in complexity as the universities and colleges are under pressure to expand facilities and accommodation and to become more involved with the commercial world.
"We are finding that this extra complexity makes specialist teams of legal advisers more attractive to universities and the provision of an integrated service which fully understands the pressures they face is increasingly important. This latest appointment will help us to continue with our plans to grow the education law part of our practice and to increase our market share further and we expect to be recruiting more people in response."
And the education law team has added yet another university to its client list. The firm's higher education team has been asked to provide legal advice to Leicester-based De Montfort University.
Clive Read, a property specialist, said: "The likely continuing growth in the education sector suggests that property development and property issues will grow in importance still further."