Who We Are

The General Counsel is the chief legal officer of the CIA. The General Counsel serves as the legal adviser to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and is responsible for the sound and efficient management of the legal affairs of the CIA. The General Counsel is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, a requirement added in the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997.

The CIA Office of General Counsel (OGC) is an independent office of the CIA that is headed by the General Counsel and assists the General Counsel in carrying out his statutory and other responsibilities. On behalf of the General Counsel, OGC provides legal advice and guidance to the Agency and to the Director of the CIA. OGC is responsible for advising the Director on all legal matters relating to his statutory responsibilities and his role as head of the CIA. OGC also provides advice and guidance to those officers and employees within the CIA who have specific responsibility for the conduct of U.S. intelligence activities.


The Office of General Counsel consists of attorneys with a variety of backgrounds and experience. Here is what a few of them have to say about OGC:

"Leaving an AmLaw 100 firm to come to CIA was the best career move I've made. Here, I've found the interesting work and the smart and dedicated colleagues that I'd come to expect at a big firm -- but I have also discovered the joys of practicing law without billable hours and in an environment where commitments to family and other outside activities are both respected and encouraged." -- A lateral CIA attorney

"Starting in OGC as a Summer Law Clerk, growing as an attorney through the Honors Program, and continuing a career here has given me wonderful opportunities. In my opinion, the best part of working in OGC is the variety of jobs you can have, without changing employers. The flexibility of the office, and the number of creative assignments available, is different from nearly every other legal sector job. The challenge, the variety, and the potential to learn new areas of law means every day is different and the experience is rewarding in very diverse ways." -- A current CIA attorney

For more information, visit our Who We Are* page on the full site.

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