Mission/Organization

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OFFICE OF COUNSEL
THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA SYSTEM
MISSION

The mission of the Office of Counsel is to provide comprehensive legal services to and for the benefit of its client, The Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama. The Office of Counsel furnishes legal services to the Board of Trustees directly, through its members and committees, and indirectly, through senior administrators for the University’s System office, three campuses and affiliated foundations. Services are provided by attorneys and staff strategically located throughout the University of Alabama System..

The Office of Counsel will provide, manage, and coordinate legal services promptly, reliably, efficiently and professionally, and will ensure that the services provided through the use of outside counsel yield the best quality service at a reasonable cost. The Office of Counsel will exercise the highest ethical standards and professional competence, and will effectively communicate constructive advice based on independent judgment and thoughtful analysis.


 OFFICE OF COUNSEL
 THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA IN HUNTSVILLE

The Office of Counsel at The University of Alabama in Huntsville operates in the context established by the Bylaws of The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama. The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama is a public educational and constitutional instrumentality of the State of Alabama that is incorporated by statute, and Article III, Section 4 of its Bylaws provides as follows with respect to the General Counsel:

The General Counsel shall be appointed by the Chancellor with the approval of the Board. The relationship between the General Counsel and the Board of Trustees of the University shall be that of attorney-client and shall be governed at all times by the rules and standards of professional conduct.  The General Counsel shall, as authorized by the Board, prosecute and defend claims, and engage outside counsel to represent the University's interests.  The General Counsel and its staff will be available at all times to advise the Board on any matter involving the University's interests. 

Pursuant to this Bylaw, campus legal offices exist at each of the three constituent universities that comprise The University of Alabama System. These campus legal offices, together with that of the General Counsel, make up the Office of Counsel of The University of Alabama System. The attorneys in the UAH Office of Counsel are employed by The University of Alabama System, and they and their administrative support staff report to and function under the oversight of the General Counsel.

The role of the UAH Office of Counsel is to deliver to the University, in both its general corporate and specific campus setting, high quality legal services in a timely and economical way. These services involve the application of traditional legal skills, such as drafting, advising, defending, etc., in the distinctive legal environment of a public university. As part of the administrative team, the UAH attorneys are committed to helping the institution, as the "client," achieve its lawful ends, while at the same time maintaining the standards of independent judgment and professionalism that are fundamental to the practice of law in any setting.

The UAH attorneys are available for consultation or to provide other legal services to executive and administrative officials, other employees, faculty, and students. Only those issues that are institutional, as opposed to personal, in nature, however, are within the scope of the legal representation/assistance activities that are authorized for the attorneys. In addition, the Office of Counsel cannot become involved in any matter on behalf of an employee where the employee's interests may become adversarial to that of the University.

The Office of Counsel is committed to being a helpful and service-oriented resource for the UAH community with respect to its need for legal services.