University Counsel

The Office of University Counsel provides legal advice and services to the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Attorneys represent the University in many types of administrative matters, including hearings.

Legal services and consultation are provided to the University’s professional schools — dentistry, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and social work — and to the Graduate School in Baltimore, as well as to the executive and administrative offices that support the education, research, and service missions of the University. The professional staff includes five attorneys and three paralegals.

The Office of University Counsel is the liaison between the University and the Office of the Attorney General, which is the primary litigation counsel for the University, and between the institution and outside legal counsel retained by the Office of the Attorney General and the University for specialized work.


Susan Gillette, JD, is vice president and general counsel. She established the legal services office in 1981 after moving from private practice to the University. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School. Her primary areas of concentration are corporate and governance issues, tax and finance, legal relationships with the University of Maryland Medical Center and other affiliated organizations, research matters, international projects, immigration, and public ethics and conflict of interest.

Irma Robins, MBA, JD, is deputy general counsel. She joined the office in 1998 after a career in business and a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law. Her professional focus includes academic and student affairs, faculty matters, public information, research, and institutional compliance.

Arthur “Skip” Rose, JD, university counsel, came to the University in 2004 after a career of more than 20 years in private practice. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. His University work centers on intellectual property licensing and development transactions, real property issues, procurement, complex business contracts, research agreements, and research compliance.

Alana Kyriakakis, JD, university counsel, joined the office in 2014 with 10 years of experience working for public institutions of higher education in the University System of Georgia. Her experience included representation of the state’s designated health sciences university and its only public medical school. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law. Her professional work focuses on faculty and staff employment matters, collective bargaining, student affairs, and public safety concerns.

Deepa Bhattacharyya, JD, associate university counsel, joined the office in 2017. She is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law. She has more than 16 years of legal experience and has worked on legislative and land use issues, advice and opinions, and litigation for government agencies at the state and local levels. She also worked as counsel to a health care provider before coming to UMB. Her primary assignments include legal support for complex matters generated by the Office of Research and Development and the negotiation and drafting of contracts for entrepreneurial transactions of school and administrative units.

Allison S. Levin, JD, staff attorney, joined the office in 2016 after a fellowship at the University of Maryland University College Office of Legal Affairs. She is a graduate of the Widener University School of Law. She works with University counsel on matters pertaining to student and academic affairs, human resources, and other related areas.


The work of the attorneys is supported by paralegals Dorothy Trueheart-Griffin, who works primarily with Gillette; Renita Lewis, who works primarily with Robins and Kyriakakis; and Samantha “Sam” Mezzasalma, who works primarily with Rose, Bhattacharyya, and Levin. Lewis also handles trademark registrations.

Specialized Legal Work

The Office of University Counsel manages relationships with outside counsel engaged by the University for specialized legal work beyond the scope of the general counsel’s office. Most University legal activity is handled by the Office of University Counsel or the Office of the Attorney General. Outside firms are retained under case-by-case authorization from the University Counsel/Office of the Attorney General.

Within the Office of the Attorney General, Christopher Lord, the deputy counsel of the educational affairs division, is primary counsel to the University. Katherine Bainbridge shares the responsibility for UMB work. Lord is an experienced corporate and litigation attorney. Lord and Bainbridge oversee the work of other attorneys in the division who are assigned to University matters. Other assistant attorneys general also provide advice and litigation support to the University. 


Staff Contact Information

Samantha "Sam" Mezzasalma
Dorothy Trueheart-Griffin

Renita Lewis
Deepa Bhattacharyya
Susan Gillette
Alana Kyriakakis
Allison Levin
Irma Robins
Arthur “Skip” Rose

The Office of University Counsel does not provide legal services to the University of Maryland Medical System or its affiliated hospitals, including the University of Maryland Medical Center, or to University System of Maryland institutions other than the University of Maryland, Baltimore.