Office of the General Counsel

Gerard T. Leone, Jr. | General Counsel

Denise Barton | Deputy General Counsel

Peter Michelson | Deputy General Counsel

About the Office of General Counsel

The Office of the General Counsel (“OGC”) works collaboratively with our University clients and campus colleagues as the University’s in-house law firm. The OGC advises and provides guidance on myriad issues to ensure that the University acts in accord with state and federal law and regulations, applicable University procedures, and best practices.  We provide professional, creative, and thoughtful counsel to help achieve the University’s goals in a strategic, ethical, and efficient manner.  

The OGC works within the Office of the President and supports the President, the Board of Trustees, the five Chancellors, and other University officers and employees acting on the University's behalf at all five campuses of the University and its affiliates. The OGC’s lawyers are generalists and specialists who handle all types of issues that affect higher education including, but not limited to: labor and employment; intellectual property (patent, trademark, copyright, and licensing); immigration and international affairs; litigation; governance and compliance; ethics; risk management; real estate; and commercial and contract law.

Mission statement

The Office of the General Counsel provides the University with leadership on legal matters and works collaboratively with University clients and campus colleagues to achieve the University’s mission by providing trusted legal advice and guidance, and vigorous advocacy.


We are legal leaders, dedicated to offering counsel that is innovative and creative, yet practical and achievable in accord with the best practices of the finest public research universities.


We are firmly committed to providing excellent legal services to support the University in its mission, and dedicated to enriching the University’s culture and environment of integrity, service, diversity, and inclusion.