A little update here guys. I got a call back this morning from the firm. The attorney said the firm would be glad to represent me and they would do so 'Pro Bono'. He said they looked over a few cases and they seemed pretty clear cut in my rights at owning the images. I told him about the response that I got from the adviser and forwarded him that response and the copyright policy for him to take a look at. He told me they were going to look those over and at a few other cases and let me know what they'd like me to do in a few days. I asked him what he thought of their response and he was also of the opinion they realized they screwed up and didn't have much if any legal grounds. He told me then the worst that can really happen is that I will have to go in front of a university board to agree on rights, but said even that was a long shot. He said in the meantime don't reply to the email with their lawyers response and if the adviser hassles me direct him to speak with the attorney. So That's what's going on for the lawyer side.
EMS: Great line that gave me a good laugh!
Flying: I am learning those things and broadening my skills, but I feel as if this step is too far. Especially since I wasn't told until after I started shooting for them. I put my own time, effort and money into this endeavor knowing it's a school publication and I'm not being paid and being completely satisfied with that situation. I like that my skills are being challenged and I'm learning the field of Photo J while building a portfolio. And if you look throughout the thread I'm trying to handle this in the best manner to continue this relationship that I have with The Lantern without being taken advantage of, which is what I feel is happening to me with the rights grab they are trying to push.
Spellman: Pretty much right on what I see is going on here.
Several Posters: While I agree that it would be a stretch, I'm just going to play it safe and not make any changes to the way I'm posting on my site.