Student Legal Services
Program Description Student Legal Services Program, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
- DEFINITION OF THE STUDENTS' ATTORNEY'S STATUS IN THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY
The students' attorney shall be an independent contractor with the University, and shall not be an employee of the University. The contract between the University and the attorney shall specifically recognize this contractual relationship.
The attorney shall recognize that the performance of his or her duties as an attorney requires participation in attorney-client relationships with student clients.
In the performance of his or her duties, the students' attorney shall act in an individual capacity and not as a representative of the University. Any opinions or views expressed by the students' attorney in the performance of his or her functions shall not be construed to represent the opinions or views of the University.
- FUNCTIONS OF THE STUDENT LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAM AND THE STUDENTS' ATTORNEY
The following are the functions of the student legal services program and the students' attorney:
- The students' attorney will assist only eligible students of SIUE seeking legal advice and/or referral.
- The primary functions of the students' attorney are to provide advice and referrals and to act as a consultant in legal matters.
- The students' attorney will act as an advisory and legal consultant to student activities organizations. The allocation of time to said activities shall in no way interfere with the primary functions of the student legal services program for eligible students.
- The students' attorney shall not receive nor accept any type of payment or benefit for activities performed for an eligible student, nor for any referral of an eligible student to another attorney (nor shall the students' attorney be reimbursed for preliminary work performed on a matter referred to another attorney, and attorneys to whom matters are referred by the students' attorneys shall be made to understand that fees which they charge are not to be computed to include or cover such preliminary work), except for such payments or benefits as are provided for by the contract between the University and the students' attorney.
- The students' attorney will act as a liaison with the local bar association(s). The intent of such liaison activity shall be to gain general support for the student legal services program and to facilitate the efficient referral of students to other attorneys as appropriate.
- The student legal services program is intended to provide students with opportunities for experiences in the legal profession. Accordingly, paralegal training programs and/or internship programs may be established in conjunction with the student legal services program.
Any such programs proposed shall be established in accordance with University policies and procedures concerning such programs, and in a manner which will not violate prohibitions concerning the unauthorized practice of law.
- The student legal services program is intended to inform students of their legal rights and to assist them in avoiding legal difficulties. Toward this end, the students' attorney may provide assistance and information in the form of booklets, information sheets, seminars, and other presentations; and may be assisted in this pursuit by individuals acting under paralegal training programs and/or internship programs if such programs are established. The students' attorney shall be responsible for, and shall act as coordinator of all such preventive law activities initiated under this program.
- SERVICES AND LIMITATIONS OF THE PROGRAM
- Available Services
The students' attorney may assist eligible students with the following types of matters but only for the provision of advice and/or referral to another attorney, and within the confines of the general limitations of the program and any specific limitations noted for specific types of matters.
- Tenant and/or landlord problems.
- Contracts and consumer matters, including the review and enforcement of consumer, employment, and insurance contracts; matters pertaining to warranties and defective products or services; creditor's and debtor's rights; garnishment and other collection actions; and informal arrangements with creditors.
- Marital relations, but only for advice to the legal aspects of a problem and referral to another attorney.
- Notarial acts may be performed by the attorney.
- Conferences, correspondence or negotiations with adverse parties and/or their attorneys or agents in efforts to settle a matter short of litigation and/or prior to an appearance in any litigation. Such matters may be further restricted by the prohibition concerning excessive time and/or resource commitments.
- Bankruptcy advice, including debt and loan payment counseling services. However, all such matters which involve Southern Illinois University as a creditor, or which seek to discharge through bankruptcy a debt to Southern Illinois University are prohibited from coverage under the program.
- Administrative agency matters, including unemployment compensation and veteran's benefits.
- Small claims and traffic violation matters without criminal penalties.
- Limitations on Services
The students' attorney is restricted as noted from acting as agent or attorney for any student(s) in the following matters:
- Suits against the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and the Student Government of SIUE, or any of their parts or officials when they are functioning in their official capacity are prohibited.
- Any matter prohibited by the Code of Professional Responsibility, as from time to time amended, is prohibited.
- The drafting of wills for estates in excess of $50,000.00 is prohibited. The attorney may not act as a representative of any estate nor as attorney for such a representative.
- All tax matters and estate planning, including the preparation and the filing of tax returns and the drafting of trust agreements are prohibited.
- Incorporation of groups for private profit is prohibited.
- Any criminal matter, including but not limited to felonies, misdemeanors, petty offenses and business offenses, are prohibited from coverage under this program.
- All preexisting legal matters are prohibited from coverage under this program. "Preexisting legal matters" are defined as any legal matter occurring before the student gained eligibility under this program.
- All cases involving excessive time and/or resource commitments are prohibited from coverage under this program. The determination of whether a case would involve excessive commitments shall be left to the discretion of the students' attorney. A student whose case or matter has been refused on such grounds may file a grievance with the Advisory Board for a review and consideration of the bases of such determination.
- The attorney shall not be involved in student academic, student affairs, or faculty grievance cases.
- The students' attorney shall not give advice, counsel, or representation to an eligible student in a matter involving another eligible student, but shall advise both students of the conflict and where possible assist the students with referrals to other counsel if appropriate.
- The students' attorney may not appear in person or by pleadings or brief before any civil or criminal court or administrative agency, state or federal, as a representative of, or counsel for any individual when such appearances would arise from any matters accepted by the attorney under the auspices of this program.
- ADVISORY BOARD TO THE STUDENT LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAM, SIUE
- Membership and Procedures of the Advisory Board
The Advisory Board shall consist of:
- Six student members with voting rights, who shall be appointed by the Student Senate in conformity with the established procedures of the Personnel Committee of the Student Senate. Of these six student members, no more than two may, at any one time by Student Senators. Student Senate staff members shall not be precluded from membership on the Advisory Board by virtue of their position;
- The Chairperson of the Advisory Board who shall be appointed by the Student Body President with the advice and consent of the Student Senate. The Chairperson shall be appointed for a one-year term of office and shall have voting rights;
- Four ex-officio members serving without voting rights, who shall be:
- the students' attorney;
- the Chief Officer for Student Affairs of SIUE, or designee;
- one member of the local bar appointed by the Madison County Bar Association; and
- one member appointed by the Department of Political Sciences, SIUE, which individual shall also serve as the academic advisor to any paralegal training and/or internship programs which may be established.
- There shall be no time limit placed on the term of office of members of the Advisory Board with the exception of the Chairperson of the Advisory Board.
- The Advisory Board shall meet bi-weekly, or at the call of the Chairperson, or at the call of a majority of the membership of the Advisory Board.
- The Advisory Board may establish and dissolve as it deems fit, committees and subcommittees of the Board to perform specific functions as charged by the Board.
- The Chief Officer for Student Affairs, SIUE, or designee, shall act as the fiscal officer for the program.
- On contractual matters the students' attorney shall initially communicate with the fiscal officer of the program, and on policy and procedural matters the students' attorney shall initially communicate with the Chairperson of the Advisory Board.
- Responsibilities of the Advisory Board
The Advisory Board shall be responsible for overseeing the operation and development of the student legal services program at SIUE, and for maintaining compliance of the program with applicable University and Board of Trustees' policies and state and federal law and regulations having the force of law. The Board shall: (1) develop and propose bylaws detailing operating procedures and guidelines for the program and the Advisory Board, and recommend such bylaws, and any changes thereto which from time to time may be necessary, to the Student Body President, the Chief Officer for Student Affairs and the Chancellor of the University for approval; (2) make recommendations concerning structural changes in the program's functions, services, and/or restrictions to the Student Body President, the Chief Officer for Student Affairs and the Chancellor of the University for approval; (3) make recommendations concerning the employment and/or dismissal of the students' attorney; (4) prepare (in cooperation with the students' attorney, and in accordance with the Constitution of the Student Senate and the guidelines of the Budget Committee of the Student Senate), budget reports and requests concerning the program for submission to the Budget Committee of the Student Senate; (5) review and evaluate the program's operations, functions, personnel and services and make such reports and/or recommendations concerning such matters as are required by the program's structure, or as the Advisory Board deems necessary; and (6) develop procedures for the handling of grievances or complaints arising from the program, and act as the hearing body for all grievances or complaints filed against the program or personnel within the program.
- Program Review and Reports
The students' attorney, in connection with the Chairperson of the Advisory Board, shall report each term to the Student Body President and the Chancellor of the University concerning the operation and progress of the program. An annual report concerning the operation and progress of the program, along with the budget proposal making detailed recommendations for the following fiscal year's budget allocation shall be made by the students' attorney in cooperation with the Advisory Board. This annual report and budget proposal shall be submitted to the Student Government and the Chancellor of the University at the beginning of the fiscal year. The annual report shall include the number and nature of matters or problems considered and a similar accounting of all referrals made. These reports shall not breach the attorney-client relationship. The specific requirements for such reports shall be reduced to writing and shall be included as a part of the contract between the University and the attorney.
Approved by President effective 4/16/91
This policy was issued on November 5, 2002, replacing the November 1, 2002 version.
Document Reference: 3D1
Origin: VIII Code D; OC 4/17/84; OC 10/23/84; OC 4/16/91