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Students Receive Legal Aid Through Student Government

Students Receive Legal Aid Through Student Government

By Benjamin Mandile

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 | Number of views (431)

The Student Legal Aid Service allows students to get legal advice from an attorney at no cost to the student.

It can be stressful to find an attorney, but this is an opportunity for a student to receive legal advice from an attorney on campus, Mark Mastalski, director of the Dr. Terry R. Bacon Leadership Center, said.  

There are a number of areas covered in this service, Arthur Jacobs, the attorney hired to provide student legal aid, said.

Some of these conversations cover municipal violations, minor criminal offenses and family law, among others, he said.

Some students occasionally ask for advice and guidance about repaying student loans, but it is not asked about often, Jacobs said.  

Due to a clause in his contract, Jacobs cannot provide direct legal advice to students with cases against the school,  Dustin Fink, the Associated Students of Fort Lewis College president said.

Jacobs is allowed to review the process a student might face, Mastalski said.

The attendance of students varies, but most commonly there are two students for each session, Jacobs said.

Once students hear about the service once, they usually come back with other questions, he said.

Jacobs used to have sessions six times a semester but now he comes four times a semester, Mastalski said.

ASFLC provides the service to the student body through the student activity fee; the service’s cost is a line item in ASFLC’s personal budget, Fink said.

The current contract between ASFLC and Jacobs is for $1000, at an hourly rate of $75 an hour, he said.

Jacobs was brought on during the 2012-2013 academic year, Mastalski said.

Legal aid is a service provided at most institutions, but the size and scope of the service depends on the size of the institution, he said.

Sessions occur in the ASFLC suite, SU 167, from noon until 1:30 p.m. The next session will be held tomorrow.


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