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The Office handles a broad spectrum of legal issues involving the university, including operations, litigation, student issues, real property and construction, fundraising, environmental and other government regulations, intellectual property (including copyright and use of the Tufts University name), employment, tenure, finance and investment, academic affiliation, trust administration, and general legal policy. While we endeavor to handle matters internally to the best extent possible, we regularly engage and supervise outside counsel to provide additional expertise.

Certain legal issues are handled by other departments at the university, who often consult with the Office of University Counsel. Matters relating to technology transfer and research administration are managed by the Office of the Vice Provost. The Office of Gift Planning, part of the Advancement Division, includes two attorneys who handle most gift planning issues.

The OUC provides legal advice and representation to the University, its trustees, administrators, employees, university related organizations, and other agents of the University who have legal concerns arising out of their official University responsibilities. In all such matters, the attorneys in the Office of University Counsel represent the University. When the attorneys interact with faculty, staff, or students on legal matters, it is important that the individual understand that the University attorneys owe their allegiance to the institution. If at any time in the course of a legal matter a conflict of interest arises between the institution and an employee, the University attorneys will represent the institution. They can not and do not advise faculty, staff, or students on personal legal matters.