IU Student Legal Services is moving in January. Not out of sight, but to a new location.
From 703 E. 7th St. to the Poplars building in room 712, SLS wants to make sure students are aware of this because unbeknownst to many, SLS provides lawyers to students for a cheap price.
Each semester, every IU student pays $8.80 to SLS.
On SLS’s website, getlegal.indiana.edu, it gives a simple explanation of what the office is all about.
“IU Student Legal Services is your one source for complete, confidential legal advice,” the website reads. “SLS is a nonprofit, on-campus law office serving only IU students. We have a staff of highly qualified attorneys and legal interns to walk you through the process of finding the solution to your legal situation.”
SLS has four full-time licensed attorneys, three full-time support staffers and about 20 law student interns.
Although director Stacee Williams said that SLS can’t get involved with criminal cases or cases against the university, she encourages everyone to still reach out.
“My goal is to help every student who reaches out to us in some way,” Williams said. “Even if it’s not an area where we can get directly involved and provide direct counseling and representation, we can refer the student to someone who can help them in almost any case.”
Williams said off-campus housing is a popular area of interest SLS helps students with. If a student signs a lease for an off-campus house or apartment, those are private contracts SLS can help with.
“What you have are a large number of IU students who are fending for themselves out there off campus, dealing with landlords and trying to learn how to be tenants,” Williams said. “We end up with students having questions about their lease, what their rights are, and a lot of students want to sublease over the summer, so we have a lot of students wanting to come in and see us for help.”
One of the more beneficial programs Williams said SLS has is lease analysis.
The lease analysis is essentially a contract review that gets looked over by an attorney before the student signs.
Williams said SLS helps thousands of students each year with off-campus housing issues.
SLS also deals with plenty of car accident cases, cases in which students are injured or there’s property damage.
To schedule appointments, it’s as easy as walking into the office and scheduling one or doing it from the website.
“One of the things we are always working on is how to effectively market our service to make clearer to students what it is that we do,” Williams said. “I think maybe emphasizing that we help students with off campus issues would be a way to bring some of those folks in.”
Flyers and posters are in residence halls and on screens in class buildings to inform students that SLS is moving buildings, but it’s not just to inform them about the change of scenery.
“It’s also telling them that we are here,” Williams said.
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