Organization, Mission and Functions Manual: Office of Legal Counsel

Office of Legal Counsel 
organization chartd

The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) carries out the Attorney General's functions under 28 U.S.C. 511-513, which in part provide that the Attorney General shall give his/her advice and opinion on questions of law when required by the President or by heads of executive or military departments.

The mission of OLC is to assist the Attorney General in carrying out his/her statutory responsibility of furnishing legal advice to the President and the heads of the executive and military departments, and to provide legal advice and assistance to other components of the Department of Justice upon request.

The major functions of OLC are to:

  • Draft the Attorney General's formal opinions and render its own opinions to the White House and to the heads of executive departments and agencies on a variety of legal questions involving the operations of the executive branch.
  • Review as to form and legality all proposed Executive Orders, certain Presidential proclamations, and regulations requiring approval by the President or the Attorney General.
  • Render opinions to the Attorney General and to the heads of the various organizational units of the Department on questions of law arising in the administration of the Department.
  • Advise the Attorney General in connection with the review of decisions by the Board of Immigration Appeals and other organizational units of the Department.
  • Prepare reports on proposed legislation submitted to the Department for comment, and reports to the Office of Management and Budget on enrolled bills.

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Updated September 9, 2014

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