The Vice President for Legal Affairs serves as the chief legal officer and general counsel to The University of Texas at Austin and the president, administrative officers, faculty, and staff when acting within the course and scope of their employment. The Vice President also serves as the chief ethics officer.
Our mission is to provide high quality service and leadership in proactively managing and coordinating University legal affairs; to support and enhance the University's educational, research, public service mission, core purpose, and core values; and to advance the overall mission of the University through:
- timely and accurate provision of legal advice and counsel to University officers and administrators;
- serving as a resource for ethical informed decision-making and creative problem solving;
- educating University personnel in order to reduce the risks of litigation and liability;
- coordinating and supervising all legal services for the University; and
- representing the University in state and national discussions of legal issues concerning higher education.
This includes: bringing a legal and ethical perspective and strategies into University decision-making and planning; strategizing and advising on creative ways to establish and advance University programs and collaborations on campus, in our state, nationally, and internationally; solving legal issues; providing training on legal issues; providing University-wide committee representation; providing other legal and ethics advice, guidance, and representation; managing litigation; managing the use of outside counsel; representing the University in state and national discussions on legal issues and policy; and, liaising with the UT System Office of General Counsel and the Office of the Attorney General.
We are guided by operating principles of: integrity and the highest ethical standards; a commitment to excellence; continuously updated legal expertise; professionalism; creativity; sound decision-making; prevention; effectiveness; risk management; teamwork; effective communication; courtesy and respect; consensus-building; timeliness; and professional growth.
Our office does not represent university administrators, faculty, staff, students, or individuals in personal legal matters.