The Office of General Counsel seeks to be one of the nation's preeminent government legal offices by utilizing best practices in organization, hiring, training, supervision, use of technology and outside counsel management and by effective co-operation with the Office of Attorney General in its provision of legal services to the Commonwealth.
Background and Overview
The Office of General Counsel is one of the top legal enterprises in Pennsylvania, representing 36 executive and independent agencies across the Commonwealth. The legal work our team of attorneys performs is as sophisticated and professionally challenging as that performed by our counterparts in the private sector. What distinguishes us most from the in-house counsel of any Fortune 500 Company and attorneys employed by any private law firm is the mission of our office to provide superior legal representation in the context of public service.
The work is diverse and demanding, requiring our attorneys to use the full range of their legal skills to represent the Commonwealth. Although we are headquartered in Harrisburg, we have regional offices throughout the Commonwealth, including Pittsburgh, Scranton, and Philadelphia.
Office of General Counsel attorneys appear in every state and federal court and administrative forum in the Commonwealth and provide counsel on legal issues that touch upon the business of the agencies we represent. Whether we are advocating the Commonwealth’s position in court, reviewing or preparing one of the tens of thousands of contracts that the Commonwealth executes annually, or negotiating a sophisticated investment vehicle, our practice is geared to the particular goals and needs of our clients.
The representation that the Office of General Counsel provides is unlike any found in the private sector. We represent the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Governor, members of the Cabinet, and the executive and independent agencies that manage the business of the Commonwealth. We have successfully represented the Commonwealth in many cases, including those involving the legality of the Commonwealth's prevailing wage rates, the constitutionality of the Education Empowerment Act, and state funding of Pennsylvania's public schools, to name just a few.
The Office of General Counsel employs attorneys with a variety of educational backgrounds, legal disciplines, and expertise. Many OGC attorneys began their careers with the Office of General Counsel and, over the years, have developed experience and expertise in representing the Commonwealth and its agencies. Many other attorneys are former private-sector practitioners, desiring to share and expand their knowledge and experience in the public sector.
OGC was created by the Commonwealth Attorneys Act. Learn more about that Act here