Administrative Policies

AD49 Office of General Counsel (formerly Contacts with University's Legal Counsel)

Policy Status: 


Policy Steward: 

Vice President for Administration


  • Purpose
  • Responsibility
  • Contact with the Office
  • Legal Documents Including Subpoenas
  • Further Information

    To outline the function and duties of the University’s Office of General Counsel.


    The Office of General Counsel represents the University in all legal matters. The Office of General Counsel works in an integral manner with many parts of the University in order to achieve the best legal outcomes for the University. All legal matters are to be referred first to the Office of General Counsel which will determine where the referred matter is to be sent for resolution. The Office of General Counsel also maintains a list of approved counsel to be used at times when the Office is not directly handling the legal matter. Counsel not on these approved lists may not be contacted without written authorization from the Office of General Counsel. The Office shall monitor all contacts with outside legal counsel. The Office will work closely with The Office of Risk Management in order to properly manage all legal matters.

    The Office of General Counsel shall monitor all legal matters and examine and approve all legal invoices except in cases of conflict. In cases of conflict, the Senior Vice President for Finance and Business shall approve all legal invoices.


    The Office of General Counsel shall be contacted as soon as possible after a legal matter is received or identified. All referrals must be in writing giving the name of the parties, a brief description of the matter, and whether the matter is routine or priority. If you consider the matter sensitive, please call the office for instruction. Even if already aware of the matter, your administrative leader, Academic Dean or Chancellor should be copied on any referral to this office.

    The address for the Office is:

    Office of General Counsel
    The Pennsylvania State University
    227 West Beaver Avenue
    Suite 507
    State College, PA 16801

    Office: (814) 867-4088

    In case of any emergency, the Office and any attorney member of the General Counsel staff may be notified by phone.


    All legal documents including subpoenas are to be referred to or routed through The Office of General Counsel. The Office has the prerogative to send them to other parties after receipt. The Office of General Counsel shall establish all procedures for handling and addressing legal documents.


    For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of General Counsel.

    Most Recent Changes:

    • July 23, 2015 - Editorial changes. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.

    Revision History (and effective dates):

    • September 4, 2013 - Editorial change. Revised the CONTACT WITH THE OFFICE section, to reflect the removal of the Old Main office address.
    • February 25, 2013 - Editorial change. Revised the CONTACT WITH THE OFFICE section, to reflect an additional address as well as their office in Old Main.
    • July 6, 2012 - Editorial change. Removed contact information (mobile and E-mail) in the CONTACT WITH THE OFFICE section, pending directive from new counsel.
    • July 19, 2010 - This policy has been renamed (formerly known as Contacts With The University's Legal Counsel) along with major revisions to the policy verbiage to reflect the establishment of the Office of General Counsel.
    • June 14, 2006 - Revision History added.
    • April 10, 1998 - Title changes, as well as relocated and renumbered Policy AD49 from HR70 (previously PS70)
    • November 25, 1987 - Title changes.
    • December 13, 1971 - New Policy

    Date Approved: 

    July 12, 2010

    Date Published: 

    July 19, 2010

    Effective Date: 

    July 19, 2010