What We Do

Our Services

OGC is responsible for managing legal affairs for the University of St. Thomas. Our attorneys represent St. Thomas in legal matters and advise the president, other administrators, faculty, staff and the board of trustees on the broad spectrum of legal issues and considerations that relate to the university’s activities and operations. Our services include:

  • Consulting on, drafting, reviewing, negotiating and interpreting agreements, releases, and waivers;
  • Consulting on and helping to draft, review and interpret policies and plans;
  • Interpreting laws, rules and regulations and advising on ways to assure compliance;
  • Helping to structure and negotiate transactions and initiatives with third parties that involve significant legal considerations or legal risk;
  • Managing the university’s response to legal claims, charges and threats;
  • Coordinating the university’s response to regulatory investigations, subpoenas, warrants and similar third-party legal demands;
  • Serving as the St. Thomas contact for legal counsel representing third parties;
  • Advising on legal aspects of various operational matters; and
  • Engaging outside legal service providers to advise St. Thomas or individual units when appropriate and overseeing their work.

In addition to these services, we administer the university’s EthicsPoint Reporting System and maintain the University Policy Repository, and the general counsel serves as the university’s corporate secretary.

For information about the specific practice areas for each OGC staff member, see Practice Areas.

Practice Areas

To make best use of limited resources, each member of OGC maintains primary responsibility for particular types of legal matters, as detailed below.

If you have an urgent need and the designated person is unavailable, or you are not sure how your matter fits into the topics below, feel free to contact any of us, and we will make sure your matter is directed and handled appropriately.

Subject Matter

Primary Contact

Athletics

Abigail Crouse

Board of Trustees and corporate governance

Sara Gross Methner

Campus safety

Abigail Crouse

Canon law

Sara Gross Methner

Contracts

Sara Gross Methner

Development (fundraising, gifts and grants)

Sara Gross Methner

Disabilities and accessibility

Abigail Crouse

Discrimination

Abigail Crouse

Employee benefits plans

Sara Gross Methner

Employment and labor

Abigail Crouse

Export control

Sara Gross Methner

Financial aid

Abigail Crouse

Immigration

Sara Gross Methner

Independent contractor determinations

Abigail Crouse

Information security and technology

Sara Gross Methner

Intellectual property (copyright, patents, trademarks)

Sara Gross Methner

Legal disputes and litigation

Abigail Crouse

Legal service engagements (e.g., hiring external counsel)

Sara Gross Methner

Legal records

Gina Zitzer

Liability waivers and releases

Abigail Crouse

Notary services

Gina Zitzer

Privacy (FERPA, HIPAA, GINA)

Abigail Crouse

Real estate

Sara Gross Methner

Research (including sponsored research)

Sara Gross Methner

Regulatory inquiries

Abigail Crouse

Secretary certificates

Gina Zitzer

Student affairs

Abigail Crouse

Subpoenas, warrants and similar third-party legal requests for information

Abigail Crouse

Tax

Sara Gross Methner