About Us

Mission Statement

The Washington and Lee University ("W&L" or "University") Office of General Counsel ("OGC") is committed to providing high-quality legal services and facilitating the mission of W&L, while practicing and promoting W&L's core values of honor, integrity, civility, and inclusiveness.

Our Services

The OGC oversees all University legal matters, and provides legal advice and counsel to the Board of Trustees, the President, and other University administrators when acting in the course and scope of their employment or as University agents conducting business on behalf of W&L. To assist in the advancement of W&L's mission, strategic priorities, and goals, the OGC provides and coordinates all legal services for the University, manages all University legal affairs, evaluates and monitors institutional risk, and handles all legal matters generated by University operations, including the colleges, centers, departments, and other operating units.

The OGC provides advice on a broad spectrum of legal, governance, compliance, and enterprise risk management ("ERM") issues, and:

  • represents the University in litigation, alternative dispute resolution, and governmental proceedings;
  • serves as a resource for informed decision-making, risk mitigation, and creative problem-solving to facilitate the University's pursuit of its mission and strategic priorities;
  • advises University personnel on policy development and education and training initiatives to promote a culture of compliance, and to ensure excellence in fulfilling W&L's legal, ethical and compliance obligations;
  • provides advice and counsel to facilitate commercial transactions; and
  • serves as the point of contact for all interaction with outside counsel, retained by the OGC in its sole discretion when warranted.

The OGC's areas of experience and practice include litigation, alternative dispute resolution, governance, policy development and implementation, college athletics and NCAA compliance, Title IX, Due Process, drafting and negotiating contracts, commercial transactions, governmental regulation, labor and employment, promotion and tenure, student affairs, student conduct, construction and facilities, intellectual property, ERM, ethics and compliance, employee benefits, donor relations and gift planning, grants and sponsored research, information privacy and security, FERPA, domestic and international travel, first amendment and free speech, civil rights, disability law, bankruptcy, real estate, and faculty, student, and employee grievances.

The OGC represents the University, but does not represent or provide legal services to individual students, faculty, or staff.  For personal legal advice, students, faculty, and staff should consult a private attorney. 

Attorney-Client Privilege

The attorney-client privilege encourages full disclosure by protecting the confidentiality of communications between lawyers and their clients. Not all communications qualify for the attorney-client privilege; for example, the mere presence of an attorney at a meeting without the provision of legal advice is not sufficient. Furthermore, the privilege can be lost if the subject matter is discussed with anyone who does not need to know.

For examples of when the attorney-client privilege applies and doesn't apply and how to best protect communications with the OGC, see the OGC Attorney-Client Privilege Primer.