The mandatory student incidental fee tacked onto tuition grants you access to several services worth taking advantage of. Are you looking to change your name or gender? File a restraining order? File for bankruptcy? Student Legal Services (SLS) can help. One perk that comes from the hefty fee (a whopping $263 per term for full-time students) could be a lawyer. Whether you need legal advice or representation, it’s easy to schedule a confidential appointment to consult legal professionals right on campus at no additional cost. They can’t discuss legal matters over the phone, but they do offer drop-in hours for consumer, landlord tenant, small claims and traffic matters. Plus, the free notary service is an easy way to save ten bucks.
If their expertise falls short, SLS may refer you to a specific clinic or private attorney. Check out the website for a hub of local legal resources devoted to specific areas of law (immigration, family, criminal are just a few), but make sure to schedule an appointment with SLS to ensure you get all the support available to you.
There are some caveats: If SLS helps you with a case, the legal services are free, but you’d still need to cover other costs like filing fees and records requests. Since they only practice law in Oregon, they can’t help students with issues in other states. They don’t assist cases between two students, a student and PSU administration, faculty or staff.
If you are an aspiring legal professional, consider applying to “Explore the Law,” a free program that includes mentorship with legal professionals, a mock law school class, and law school prep workshops. (Application deadline is in Spring and the program spans from Fall through Winter quarter. Check out the website for more information like a rubric for how they applications.)
The Student Legal Services (SLS) is part of the Global Diversity & Inclusion Department located in SMSU, room M343.