Mission and Operating Principles

Morgan Tower

The mission of the Office of  General Counsel (OGC) is to provide high quality legal advice, guidance, and representation to advance and protect the mission and vision of Morgan State University. To fulfill this mission, the OGC will be guided by the following operating principles:

Mission-Centered
Legal representation and services provided by OGC are to be consistent with the University’s mission and with OGC’s mission.  In providing services to individual university administrators, the larger needs of the University should remain paramount.

Knowledge-Based
It is important to stay current in the relevant areas of law and to conduct sufficient research to be able to make informed judgments in advising clients.  The creation, integration, transfer, and application of knowledge, both within and without OGC, are crucial to providing quality legal advice and representation.

Prevention
We should view the prevention of legal problems as a primary goal.  Avoiding problems and litigation in the first place is preferred over the adjudication of legal problems.  We should encourage clients to seek our advice concerning how to develop policies and procedures that reduce the risk of legal problems.  We should take the opportunity, when legal problems arise, to educate our clients concerning the prevention of future legal problems, and concerning the OGC’s role and function at the University.

Integrity
We should conduct ourselves in a manner that earns the trust and respect of our clients while exercising our independent professional judgment.

Efficiency
We should appreciate the time constraints of our clients and strive to complete time-sensitive tasks within reasonable deadlines, without sacrificing quality and integrity.  Within the office, we should be conscious of resource constraints and strive to work “smarter” by, for example, utilizing already- existing policies, not duplicating research, coordinating activities, and consulting with co-workers.

Consistency
As we provide effective, mission-centered service to our clients, inevitably there will be persons displeased with the results of our representations or counsel.  While we cannot please everyone, we can be consistent in our responses to like situations and treat all persons with equal consideration and respect.  Persons may be less displeased with an unfavorable outcome if they know the process was fair.

Consensus-Building
We should mediate and assist in building consensus on issues among the diverse interests that comprise the University.

Balanced Excellence
In order to best serve our clients, it is crucial to strike a balance between the quantity and the quality of the work product we provide, recognizing the need for productivity, while never losing sight of our professional obligation to deliver high quality services.

Teamwork
Within the office, we must foster an atmosphere of mutual support, communication, and encouragement.

Courtesy
We must treat our clients and co-workers with courtesy and respect.  We must make it clear to our clients and co-workers that we expect to be treated with courtesy and respect in return.

Growth
Personal and professional growth is vital to the quality of the services we provide as well as the happiness of the staff.  This is true for the staff as individuals, as well as for the office as a whole.