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General Counsel

The Role of General Counsel

The General Counsel serves as the primary legal advisor to the University, the President, and University academic and non-academic offices, as well as affiliated entities in carrying out the duties and responsibilities of Emporia State University. In order to fulfill this role, this office makes it a point to give clear answers, opinions, and advice. Our goal is to minimize legal risk to the University and to resolve the University’s legal issues, as well as to assist in finding ways to accomplish those things that are in the best interests of the University. While the fulfillment of this goal involves addressing issues as they arise, it also requires a proactive stance toward the legal environment in which the University operates. As an ancient legal maxim states: “The Law aids the vigilant, not those asleep on their rights.”


Duties of the General Counsel include: 

  • Identify legal issues and provide full range of legal advice to the President;

  • Respond to inquiries from administrators, faculty, and staff, as well as from university, school, department, and student committees and organizations on matters relevant to the University;

  • Review and draft contracts and other legal documents, as well as preparing formal legal opinions and memos;

  • Assist in formation and implementation of institutional strategies, policies and procedures for addressing legal risk;

  • Review and advise on legislation, policies, rules and regulations;

  • Coordinate outside counsel and staff of the Office of the Attorney General in representing ESU in litigation;

  • Represent the University in relations with outside organizations and agencies;

  • Serve as the Kansas Open Records Request officer;

  • Serve as the Governmental Relations Officer for the University.

The role of the General Counsel is to represent the University. Therefore we cannot represent individuals on personal legal matters, and we cannot provide personal legal advice to faculty, staff, or students.

Please Contact Us

Contact our office if you have a question, even if you aren’t sure whether you should. We are always ready to listen and to take appropriate action. If the matter is best handled by someone else, we will refer you to the appropriate office.


General Counsel:

Kevin Johnson 

Plumb Hall, 202-D

Campus Box 4001

1200 Commercial Street

Emporia, KS 66801

Phone: 620-341-5525

Fax: 620-341-5553



Legal Assistant:

Lisa Moritz

Plumb Hall, 202-N

Campus Box 4001

1200 Commercial Street

Emporia, KS 66801

Phone: 620-341-5518

Fax: 620-341-5553