What is Student Legal Services?
WVU Student Legal Services was established in 1973. Student Legal Services has one full-time, licensed attorney, and one part-time, licensed attorney to provide free legal services to WVU students.
We assist students with:
- Advice-Only for criminal matters
- Landlord-tenant disputes
- Consumer matters
- Family law matters
- Insurance claims
- Powers of attorney
- Debt collection defense
- Legal mediation services
Students are only responsible for paying any court-costs, fees incidental to litigation, fines, penalties, or amounts of any judgments awarded against you.
We cannot represent students against other students, or students against WVU or WVU faculty/staff.
Why would my student need a lawyer?
Starting on a college career is an exciting time, for you and your student. It is also a time full of new experiences and responsibilities, and your student may need some help navigating this unfamiliar territory.
Students may need legal assistance in many different ways. Some students may need assistance dealing with a bad landlord, while some students may need assistance regarding an insurance claim.
Campus life brings with it several situations that can give rise to legal issues – underage alcohol use, possession of marijuana, and other misdemeanor criminal charges.
Such situations can be overwhelming to a student. While we cannot represent students in criminal matters, we can give helpful advice regarding these matters.
WVU Student Legal Services provides a wide scope of services to students. Preventive education is an active goal of our office.
Our office makes frequent presentations to classes and students regarding various legal issues.
Legal Counseling is another service our office provides. We encourage students to schedule an appointment, so that we can assist them with any questions or concerns they may have. This can help educate them as to their legal rights and responsibilities, and alleviate stress that an unanswered legal question might be causing them.
In Court Presentation
WVU Student Legal Services provides in-court representation for students in several areas, subject to the discretion of the attorneys. These areas include: landlord tenant, family, and other civil cases. Providing in-court representation for students protects them from being at an unfair disadvantage in the court system, as well as ultimately saving them time and money.
It is important to note that our office cannot provide in-court representation for students in criminal cases.
The majority of our cases are landlord tenant. This is an area where students typically need the most help, and the cost of hiring a private lawyer would be prohibitive. Representing residential tenants is not cost-effective for private attorneys, and students would be forced to represent themselves, and be at a distinct disadvantage.
Your Role as a Parent
Your primary role is to guide your student to our office. It is important for parents to understand that their students have a confidential relationship with their lawyers. This means that a lawyer is absolutely prohibited from discussing what transpired between them with anyone. Information will not be released to anyone, including the University administration or family members.
This confidentiality can be waived, allowing the lawyer to discuss the matter with third parties, but only after a full discussion with the student client, and obtaining such a waiver in writing.
When it comes to scheduling appointments, parents cannot schedule appointments for their students. Students must take the initiative of calling and scheduling an appointment with our office.
West Virginia University Student Legal Services is provided at no charge to all currently enrolled WVU students.