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 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 of University Counsel 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 18 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 of University Counsel'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 of University Counsel 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 and vision are to help the institution’s leadership – consisting of the Board of Trustees, President, Chancellors, senior staff, University-Related Organizations and others acting on behalf of the University – realize their goals and objectives. To fulfill this mission and vision, we provide timely, informed and objective legal advice, which in turn:

  • Helps individual decision-makers understand and manage legal risks
  • Fostering sound decision-making
  • Reinforces compliance and the integrity of the institution and its components

OUR CORE PRINCIPLES as we carry out our mission and vision are:

  • Recruiting and retaining personnel, including hiring outside counsel, with exceptional legal knowledge and ability
  • Fostering continuous professional development and enhancement of skills within the team
  • Exhibiting professionalism, integrity and ethical conduct
  • Protecting and promoting trust by achieving an appropriate balance between confidentiality and transparency
  • Operating with a demonstrated commitment to collaboration, 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.