The University Counsel is the chief legal officer for the University and serves as legal advisor to the President and the Board of Trustees. In addition, attorneys in the Office of University Counsel (OUC) provide legal advice and representation to the University, its administrators at all campuses, employees, University Related Organizations, and other agents of the University who seek such advice on behalf of the University arising out of their official University responsibilities. The Office also employs and coordinates the work of outside counsel and is responsible for the legal aspects of University contracts and other legal matters.
The Office of University Counsel is committed to providing quality legal service and advice to its clients. The University is a large and complex organization, with many individual decision-makers who exercise responsibilities on behalf of the University. With an average of 21 years of practice experience, attorneys in the Office of University Counsel work to ensure that the Board of Trustees and the individual decision-makers achieve their objectives in a manner that is consistent with applicable laws and Board of Trustees policies. The Office’s ultimate duty is to represent the interests of the institution.
The Office of University Counsel is responsible for the investigation, evaluation and handling of claims against the University of Illinois made by students, employees and the general public for personal injury and property damage on the Chicago campus. This is managed by the staff in the Chicago Claims Office.
The Chicago Claims Office is also responsible for the investigation, evaluation and handling of medical malpractice claims and litigation involving the University of Illinois Medical Center and staff, as well as the medical programs on the Urbana, Rockford and Peoria campuses.
The Office is in long-standing affiliation with the National Association of College and University Attorneys and interacts regularly with counsel in the Big Ten, the Committee on Institutional Cooperation and at other Illinois public higher education institutions.
The Office of University Counsel’s mission is to support the campuses and the University as a whole by providing legal services, advice and counsel with the highest standards of effectiveness, responsiveness and professional excellence.
OUR VISION is to help our clients attain their goals by:
- Providing informed legal advice and objective counsel
- Fostering sound decision-making
- Maximizing effective delivery of services while controlling costs
- Facilitating transactions in a timely manner
- Mitigating and minimizing potential risks and liabilities
OUR CORE PRINCIPLES as we carry out our mission and vision are:
- Exceptional legal knowledge and ability
- Continuous professional development and enhancement of skills
- Integrity and ethical conduct
- Collaboration and teamwork
- Collegiality and mutual respect
If you have a legal issue or question, please contact the Office of University Counsel on your campus, and you will be appropriately referred.
The attorneys in the office do not provide legal services to faculty, staff or students in their personal matters. Nor do they represent or advise employees with claims against the University. Students with personal legal issues should contact Student Legal Services at UI at Chicago or UI at Urbana-Champaign.