Vice President and General Counsel

The General Counsel

The General Counsel serves as the Colleges’ chief legal officer and represents the Colleges on all legal matters. This representation includes providing legal services and advice to the Board of Trustees, President, cabinet and divisions, and all other duly authorized representatives of the Colleges acting in their capacity for the Colleges. The General Counsel is exclusively responsible for retaining outside counsel and supervises all such professional services with the goal of minimizing costs to the institution.

The goal of the General Counsel is to advance the mission of the Colleges by providing effective, timely, strategic and thoughtful legal advice in support of the Colleges’ mission.

As Assistant Secretary to the Board, Lou is elected by the Board of Trustees pursuant to the Colleges’ Bylaws. The Assistant Secretary provides governance advice to the Board of Trustees and is the institutional record-keeper. The Assistant Secretary directs and manages strategic and logistical support to the Board with the assistance of the Director of Board and Community Relations.​

About the General Counsel

Lou Guard

Louis H. Guard was named counsel to the Colleges in May 2014, a role he held in addition to serving as chief of staff until his appointment as Vice President. A cum laude graduate of Hobart College and Cornell Law School, Guard provides legal advice and counsel across institutional areas, assists the president with all major initiatives and projects, and is responsible for the strategic direction of legal affairs for the Colleges. Guard serves as Assistant Secretary to the Board of Trustees, and is the primary governance advisor to the Board. A Geneva native, he is admitted to practice law in New York and Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the Colleges, Guard worked at leading law firms in Philadelphia, Pa., and Rochester N.Y. Guard is an active member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) and is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Cornell Law School where he teaches a seminar on the law of higher education. Guard currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Journal of College and University Law.

E-Mail Lou Guard

The Office of General Counsel only handles the Colleges’ legal matters and represents only the Colleges, not any individual. If you need an attorney for personal matters the New York State Bar Association’s free referral service may be of assistance: 1-800-342-3661.

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Jacki Baroody
Assistant to the President
Phone: (315) 781-3309

Catherine Williams
Vice President for Marketing and Communications
Phone: (315) 781-3696


Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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