In This Section:

General Counsel

University of Wisconsin System

Questions may be addressed to: Lori Fuller, Senior Human Resources Manager; UW System Human Resources; at or (608) 263-0847.

The Office of General Counsel (OGC) provides comprehensive legal services to the UW System comprehensive campuses and to UW Colleges and UW-Extension, including advice on a wide variety of legal matters such as personnel issues, student affairs, public records and open meetings, real estate, risk management, and immigration, among others. OGC also reviews and drafts policies; reviews, drafts, and negotiates contracts; represents UW institutions in administrative hearings; and acts as a liaison with the Wisconsin Department of Justice in litigation filed in court. An emphasis on proactive and preventive law is foremost, and OGC attorneys provide training on legal issues to administrators and staff throughout the UW System.

The OGC provides legal advice and representation to the Board of Regents of the UW System, UW System Administration, UW System institutions, and UW System administrators and staff, and serves as liaison to state government offices and agencies, including the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Major Responsibilities:        

The General Counsel is the chief legal officer of the University of Wisconsin (UW) System. The General Counsel serves as principal legal counsel to the Board of Regents, the UW System President and the System Administration, and the Chancellors of UW institutions.  The General Counsel also coordinates and oversees the provision of legal services to all UW System institutions, rendering oral and written legal advice on a wide array of legal subjects to institutional employees and officers.  The General Counsel must exercise professional judgment and discretion in the identification, management, and resolution of legal problems involving the Board of Regents, the UW System, and UW institutions.

The major responsibilities of this position are to:

  • Serve the Board of Regents and the System President by providing legal advice, research, training and representation on all matters pertinent to higher education including but not limited to: the business operations of public universities; the statutory and constitutional framework and federal and administrative regulations applicable to institutions of higher education; litigation management; employment law and personnel matters; academic shared governance; student affairs; real estate transactions; trademark, copyright and intellectual property matters; technology transfer; immigration issues; ethics and conflict of interest; review, development, and negotiation of contracts; public records and open meetings; risk management; disability law; discrimination; Title IX; and bankruptcy and collection matters.
  • Attend all Board of Regents meetings, including closed sessions.
  • Serve as Assistant Trust Officer to the Board of Regents.
  • Serve as liaison to the Office of the State Attorney General.
  • Manage and distribute caseload of attorneys and support staff in the Office of General Counsel to ensure that all UW System clients are provided high quality legal services in a timely manner.
  • Coordinate the delivery of legal services throughout the UW System with counsel at UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee.
  • Provide advice and counsel to administrators, faculty, staff and students regarding governance rights, duties and responsibilities.
  • Participate actively in UW System policy discussions as a member of the President’s Cabinet and the Administrative Staff.
  • Attend formal and informal professional education with respect to state and federal laws and recent court decisions having a bearing on actual or potential legal issues for the UW System and institutions of higher education.
  • Serve as the UW System’s primary representative to the National Association of College and University Attorneys.
  • Develop and present preventive law programs and training for UW System faculty, staff and administrators.
  • Oversee the Office of General Counsel budget.
  • Draft and review policies and procedures as requested by authorized individuals.
  • Analyze and interpret state and federal laws and administrative code provisions and review proposed legislation for policy and procedural impact on the UW System.

This position may require in-state and out-of-state travel.

Minimum Qualifications:

In order to be considered for this position, applicants must have:

  • Juris Doctorate (JD) degree from an A.B.A. accredited law school.
  • Licensure or eligibility for licensure to practice law in the state of Wisconsin within one year of date of appointment.
  • Minimum of ten (10) years of significant and progressively responsible legal experience.
  • Superior oral and written communication skills.
  • Proven record of ability to analyze complex legal issues, and capacity to serve as a creative thinker and problem-solver. 
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully lead and manage experienced attorneys and support staff.
  • Demonstrated experience providing counsel to organizations operating under Wisconsin’s open meetings and open records laws.
  • Demonstrated ability providing effective ethics and conflict of interest counsel to Boards and to organizational leaders.

Conditions of Employment: This is a full-time, salaried (exempt) limited appointee position. Salary will be commensurate with the successful candidate’s qualifications and experience.  UW System employees receive an excellent benefit package: Summary - Faculty, Academic Staff & Limited Appointees. Please see this link for total compensation information: UW System Total Compensation Estimator. Special Note: The UW System conducts criminal background checks for final candidate(s).

To ensure full consideration, complete applications must be received by Friday, November 17, 2017. 

However, applications will be accepted until the position is filled. 

Application process:  Applications are to be completed online.  To apply, the following items are required to ensure full consideration:

(1) A cover letter specifically addressing how your education and experience relate to the position and qualifications described above, with an emphasis on the areas outlined under “Minimum Qualifications”; (2) a comprehensive résumé; and (3) the names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers for at least three professional (including supervisory) references. Your application materials also need to include a statement of whether you wish to have your application held in confidence or made available to the public upon request.  Please note that in the absence of any statement regarding confidentiality, we will assume you do not wish to have your application held in confidence.

See University of Wisconsin System for general information.

The University of Wisconsin System will not reveal the identities of applicants who request confidentiality in writing, except that the identity of the successful candidate will be released. 

See Wis. Stat. sec. 19.36(7).

All application materials detailed above need to be combined into one single PDF document.  Please upload this single PDF document to the “Upload a New Resumé” section of the online application process.  Please do NOT submit individual documents in the “Add Attachment” or “Add References “sections of the process.

Questions may be addressed to: Lori Fuller, Senior Human Resources Manager; UW System Human Resources; at or (608) 263-0847.

The University of Wisconsin System Administration is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and actively seeks and encourages applications from women, minorities, and person with disabilities.