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Working at CSU

CSU attorneys 'raise the bar'

April 6, 2009

Because of their shared passion for their work and love of CSU, the Colorado State University Activities Board is honoring the Office of General Counsel with a luncheon in tribute of their dedication. "Their wide caseload requires them to have expertise in so many different areas," comments CSU Activities Board President JoAnn Cornell. "This is impressive in itself, but their obvious loyalty to CSU and commitment to its future shows how dedicated this group really is."


"We just could not have a better team right now," exclaims Amy Parsons, deputy general counsel, for the Office of General Counsel. "The lawyers, paralegals, and support staff assembled in our office right now are the best team we’ve ever had. They love what they do."

Protecting legal interests

The Office of General Counsel has the cumbersome task of protecting the legal interests of the entire Colorado State University System. From real estate and intellectual property to employment and risk management, this nine-person team handles all legal matters that will or could impact the System. “At one point or another, we work in every different part of the law because every different part affects the University,” Parsons says.

New matters come in by the handful (or handfuls) each day. Parsons explains that each attorney works on approximately 20 matters at any given time, but that it often varies. Some matters are short-term or more advice driven, while others are long-term and involve several pieces of potential litigation.

The Office is made up of six attorneys, each with certain specialties. “Because we’re such a small office and there is a large amount of work, we all need to know something about all the different areas of the law to back each other up,” comments Parsons.

In addition to the caseload, the Office of General Counsel also analyzes, on some level, every single law that is introduced in the Colorado legislature. “We keep an eye on them and try to take a position…how will it support the university, does it need amendments, do we oppose it…we work closely with our legislative liaisons ,” Parsons adds.

Advisors, counselors, legal experts, teachers

Service to Colorado State University remains the utmost priority for the office. Two of the attorneys also serve as special assistant professors. They teach a master’s level law class in the fall and a new Ph.D. level class beginning next spring.

“We like to do it, because it helps us get out into the University community and interact with faculty and students in a different way,” explains Parsons. In this role, they are able to use the most current case examples and utilize University experiences in the classroom. The entire office takes part in this instructional endeavor, as the other four attorneys serve as guest lecturers.

Other service to the University includes sitting on various committees that need a legal eye. “Every person in the office has a set of committees that they serve on. It’s important to a lot of committees to make sure there is a lawyer on the team looking out for them,” says Parsons.

Inaugural "Law Day" this summer

In addition to that University service, the Office of General Counsel also puts on many training sessions throughout campus. The Office will be hosting the first ever Law Day this summer. The full-day event will concentrate on a variety of topics such as contracts, employment, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA. Parsons continues, “We’ll be putting it on for the whole university. Supervisors can send people they think need additional training.”

Equipping University staff with knowledge about the law is a critical step in protecting the legal integrity of the University. But the Office of General Counsel’s role, reaches much farther than handling the University’s legal matters. 

CSU Activities Board


Contact: Katie Boeder
E-mail: Katie.Boeder@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-0993