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Office of General Counsel recognized for diversity and quality of life

UCOP’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) has been recognized as an In-House Legal Department of the Year for 2012 by The Recorder, a statewide legal newspaper.

The award was one of six given to Bay Area in-house legal departments in a range of categories, including corporate compliance, technology systems, and pro bono work. OGC’s award was for diversity and quality of life. This is the first year the awards have been given.

Senior Counsel Sunil Kulkarni (pictured above, right, with Chas Cardall of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, one of the law firms sponsoring the awards) accepted the award on OGC’s behalf at an Oct. 30 reception in San Francisco.

“This recognition confirms what I have known for a long time,” said Charles F. Robinson, UCOP vice president and general counsel for Legal Affairs. “The attorneys and staff at OGC, both in Oakland and on UC’s campuses, are dedicated to delivering exceptionally high quality, timely and responsive solutions to our clients while being collaborative, supportive, respectful of differences and committed to fairness, diversity and work-life balance.”

The award specifically recognized OGC for promoting diversity and quality of life in a number of ways, including the large percentage of women and minority attorneys on its systemwide and campus staffs, its succession planning and rising stars programs and its encouragement of flex- and part-time work arrangements.

Other winners were The Gap, Tesla Motors, and NetApp. OGC was the only public legal department to be recognized.

With one of the largest university legal departments in the world, OGC provides legal services to the entire UC system, including all 10 campuses, five medical centers and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. OGC’s legal work is quite varied, ranging from enabling stem cell research to proceed at UC research facilities, to successfully defending professional liability cases against UC hospitals and doctors, and securing UC attendance for undocumented high school students as required under California law.

OGC attorneys also provide pro bono legal service, community outreach for many legal and non-legal organizations (e.g., National Association of College and University Attorneys, American Health Lawyers Association, City of Oakland Landmarks Preservation Board) and fundraising activities for local charities (such as this month’s UCOP pre-Thanksgiving bake sale).

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