Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

PO Box 641031
Pullman, WA 99164-1031


The Washington State University Division is comprised of five attorneys and two professional staff.  The Pullman-based division provides legal services to the state’s land grant university.  WSU is a complex client with campuses in Pullman, Spokane, the Tri-Cities, and Vancouver; agricultural research operations statewide; and extension field offices in every county in the state.  WSU enrolls approximately 26,000 students and has more than 7,400 employees.


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Legal Services Provided

Division attorneys provide advice and representation on a host of legal issues, many of which are unique to an academic environment, including issues relating to:  real estate; research; intellectual property; statewide Extension operations (including 4-H programs); intercollegiate athletics; student affairs; personnel and employment law; development/fund-raising; taxation; constitutional law; public contracting; animal law and other matters related to the College of Veterinary Medicine; and construction.  Division attorneys also provide representation on non-tort related litigation in a variety of forums.

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Major Issues

WSU is a large, complex client that has significant national and international interests and a diverse student body.  Major issues routinely consist of First Amendment questions, national and international research concerns, major business and real estate developments, and personnel and student matters.  Recent major issues have included:  defending against water rights litigation and prevailing wage litigation, both related to the development of an internationally rated golf course on campus; advising on the establishment of a business presence in foreign countries; advising on internal investigations relating to allegations of discrimination and/or harassment; participating in the negotiation team for a large information technology systems acquisition (the first of its kind in the state); and helping the client to identify and implement business strategies to address the current fiscal downturn.  The division also devotes as much time as possible to proactive legal advice and training. 

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