In Corp. Counsel, Vol. 15, May 2008 at 98-99, you can peruse a list of 90 “top-ranked universities and the lawyers that head their legal departments.” In that illustrious grove of academe, however, lurk no less than six that lack a chief legal officer. The bereft six are the Univ. of Delaware, Purdue, Clark, Stevens Institute of Technology, Clarkson, and Penn State. Perhaps they have in-house lawyers but no one designated as even primus inter pares. In fact, I strongly suspect that a few of those half-dozen (5.2% of the group) have a practicing lawyer or two on the payroll.
As a consultant to legal departments as well as an alumnus, I am pleased that my undergraduate college, Harvard, as well as my law school, Columbia, and my LLM school, NYU, each have a general counsel.
One postscript (pun recognized): Georgia Inst. of Technology is headed by a Chief Legal Adviser, which puts that office holder in his place. Just advise me, don’t make any decisions.