Office of the General Counsel

Brief Biography


Laurence Pendleton


Laurence Pendleton serves as the General Counsel and Secretary to the Board of Trustees at Tennessee State University (TSU). In his role as the General Counsel, Mr. Pendleton provides legal services to the President, Board of Trustees, Senior Leadership Team, and other administrators and members of the University community. Mr. Pendleton advises administrators the Board of Trustees on various legal issues, represents TSU in civil matters and administrative/enforcement proceedings, and provides litigation support.

Mr. Pendleton also drafts and reviews contracts and policies, conducts training sessions on various topics, and advises on faculty affairs and student affairs, constitutional, real estate and intellectual property matters, and other matters.  Mr. Pendleton serves as a member of the President's Cabinet and works closely and collaboratively with senior administrators, faculty leaders, and staff on various standing and ad hoc committees.

As Secretary to the Board of Trustees, Mr. Pendleton assists the President and the Board with governance matters, supports the Board Chair and President in preparation for Board meetings, participates in Board and Board Committee meetings, and provides other services, as needed or requested.

Prior to joining TSU, Mr. Pendleton served as an Assistant General Counsel in the Office of the General Counsel for the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), where he acted as lead counsel to several institutions in the TBR system and provided legal advice on institutional and system wide legal issues.

Before joining the TBR, Mr. Pendleton worked as an in house lawyer for several years in the Office of General Counsel for the Colorado State University System, advising the governing board and CSU and CSU-Pueblo administrators on a variety of legal issues, overseeing the CSU System's litigation matters, and acting as primary legal counsel to CSU-Pueblo.

Mr. Pendleton has also worked as a litigation attorney in the Denver office of an international law firm, Holme Roberts and Owen, and served for several years as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Denver College of Law.

Mr. Pendleton is an active member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys.  He served on NACUA's Board of Directors from 2007-2010, and has served on numerous NACUA committees.  Mr. Pendleton is the author of "Academic Freedom and Political Diversity: A Campus Lawyer's Guide to Addressing and Managing Legal Issues Involving Expressions of Political and Religious Beliefs in the Classroom and Professional Disposition Requirements" (published in the NACUA Handbook for Lawyers New to Higher Education, second and third editions).  Mr. Pendleton has been a frequent speaker at NACUA conferences and workshops. He also was a speaker at the University of Vermont's 2007 Annual Conference on Legal Issues in Higher Education, and has served as a Trial Advocacy Judge at Vanderbilt University Law School.  

Mr. Pendleton received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Kansas, and was awarded his Jurist Doctorate from University of Iowa.











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