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Outside Counsel

 

The Pennsylvania Governors Office of General Counsel (OGC) serves as the Governors in-house legal counsel, representing the Governor and his Cabinet in virtually every facet of Pennsylvania government. OGCs lawyers, spread across more than 30 agencies, provide legal advice in a myriad of disciplines as diverse as environmental, labor, and education law, as well as construction law and public finance.

 

In discharging its duties and responsibilities to its clients, OGC has the need, from time to time, to engage the assistance of outside law firms. Those firms who choose to seek business with the Commonwealth are expected, if selected, to provide legal services of the very highest caliber. One of the components of the engagement is a Contract for Legal Services, the standard form of which can be found here. (The standard form may be modified, depending on the specific terms and conditions of the engagement.)

 

In accordance with Executive Order 2015-2, effective January 20, 2015, the Office of General Counsel now utilizes a competitive process for the procurement of legal services. This process is designed to improve transparency and enhance public perception that the selection of outside counsel is fair and free of political influences or other improper considerations. Generally speaking, outside counsel will be competitively sourced utilizing a two-step process: the first step is prequalification through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for various categories of legal services. The RFQ sets forth the minimum qualifications for inclusion. Interested law firms and attorneys will file a Statement of Qualifications with the Office of General Counsel. Once submitted, the applicants qualifications are evaluated by a committee consisting of representatives from the various Commonwealth agencies that procure outside counsel. Counsel meeting the qualifications will then be approved for inclusion in specific Requests for Proposal as they may be issued from time to time. Each prequalified firm will have a standard contract for legal services in place (see previous paragraph), with cost to be negotiated at a later date for the specific engagement to be performed.