Student Legal Services is funded entirely through student fees to serve CSU Students. Though they only serve students, they do provide free notary services for faculty and staff and are always willing to help refer staff to recommended services in the Fort Collins area. If you know of any student that may be struggling with something outside of their studies, this could be the place to send them.
“Our intent is to make sure that all of the faculty and staff are aware we are here and are able to refer their students to us when they learn of problems that students encounter,” said Kathleen Harward, the director of Student Legal Services.
One of the important services the office provides is helping students run a background check on themselves to determine if there are any criminal records that may be sealed before they graduate or apply for jobs and internships. The earlier students with any type of police contact are referred to the legal services office, the better their chances are of resolving the situation with best outcomes, including avoiding a permanent criminal record where possible.
“Faculty and staff are in the best position to be able to direct students to our services because they are generally one of the first points of contact when a student is having legal issues,” said Forrest Orswell, staff attorney. “We see students that are prevented from engaging in internships or other university requirements because of something on their record and that puts students in a tough spot.”
Undocumented students face the challenge of proving eligibility to work at internships that are a requirement to complete certain degrees. Student Legal Services is a part of a campus collaboration to work with these students so they can fulfill their graduation requirements. The collaborative team is made up of employees from all over campus including the Career Center and the Financial Aid Office.
“If you are aware of students that may have obstacles when applying for an internship now or a job in the future, send them our way so we can assist them and refer them to other help as well,” said Harward.
Student Legal Services offers several other kinds of legal help including examining off-campus housing documents, business formation, setting up a will, dealing with family-law issues and several other areas that can be found on their website at sls.colostate.edu/services/.
CSU Student Legal Services, a fully confidential service by law, is served by a dedicated staff with decades of legal experience and provides in-depth, one-on-one service to over 1,000 students a year. Students are encouraged to call at (970) 491-1482 or stop by the office, Lory Student Center 284.
“Professors especially are in a unique position to engage with students on this personal level, and if they can send their students to us, we can get them focused back on succeeding in school instead of legal issues,” said Orswell.