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The Office of Legal Affairs was established in 1972 to provide direct, readily accessible, on-campus legal resources to University administrators, faculty and staff in the performance of their duties. It offers a full range of legal services and expertise, with concentration in areas of particular importance to a public research university. The professional and fiduciary responsibility of the Office of Legal Affairs is to the University and the President. It is a component of the Office of the President.

J. Terry Roach, the Executive Assistant to the President for Legal Affairs is the chief legal officer for the University. The Executive Assistant serves as the attorney for the President and the institution's principal administrators, advising them on the intersection of law, policy and management.

The Office of Legal Affairs serves as the University's interface with the legal community, responding to inquiries, subpoenas, demand letters, summonses, interrogatories, and other forms of legal process directed to administrators, faculty and staff.

It sees to their representation in judicial and administrative proceedings. The Office of Legal Affairs is responsible for managing incipient legal claims. It is also responsible for supervising and coordinating the investigation of all reports of sexual harassment.

The Office of Legal Affairs drafts, reviews and negotiates business instruments and policy documents. Counsel review the University's major procurement and research contracts, employment agreements, leases and conveyances for form and legal sufficiency. The Office prepares and comments on academic and administrative policies, documents and procedures.