With Lync (as with OCS), your client is partly configured, in band, from the server and partly based on locally set registry keys. Things such as your contact list are obtained from the server once you are fully registered. Other things, such as whether to check spelling as you type, are set via registry settings. In a number of cases, these registry settings can be overridden by client policy settings. For example, you could set the registry to show emoticons, but disable it via client policy.
Richard Brynsteon has written two excellent blog posts that map every client setting to the registry entry that controls that setting. As well, Richard shows where the registry setting can be overridden by a suitable client policy.
Part one, which sets out information on the General and Personal tabs can be found: Here. Part 2 sets out information on the Contacts List and Status tab can be found: Here.