Why would my student need a Lawyer?

What Parents Need to Know?

Your Role as a Parent

Your primary role is to guide your student to our service. 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 transpires between them with anyone. In fact, the lawyers cannot even disclose that a particular student is a client.

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.

Parents cannot schedule appointments for their student. The student must fill out the intake sheet online or in the office, and take the initiative of actually scheduling the appointment. The name of a student who uses the office is not disclosed to the University of Illinois.

The University of Illinois Student Legal Service is provided at no charge to students who have paid their Student Organization Resource Fee (S.O.R.F.), which is assessed automatically at registration. If a student chooses to refund this fee, s/he is not eligible for any service during that semester.

Starting on a college career is an exciting time, for you and your student, and a time full of hope and optimism.

It is also a time full of new experiences and responsibilities, and your student may need some help in navigating this unfamiliar territory.

It is important to realize that students may need legal assistance through no fault of their own. Consumer fraud, identity theft, and bad landlords can happen to anyone.

Of course, there are ample opportunities for problems relating to the students’ behavior or those in the community.

Campus life brings with it numerous situations that can give rise to legal hassles – traffic tickets, underage alcohol use, and even various misdemeanor criminal charges.

Such matters can be overwhelming to a student, and on-campus legal advice and representation can help keep an academic career from being derailed.


The University of Illinois Student Legal Service provides a broad range of services to students. Preventive education is an active goal of the office. Our web site carries an array of legal information, and pageviews average over 2000 per month, more during the academic year.

  • We publish numerous brochures dedicated to legal issues pertinent to student life. See our website at: www.odos.illinois.edu/sls
  • We place ads in the student newspaper and on the campus radio station to send out messages of legal importance to students.
  • The attorneys make frequent presentations in residence halls, sorority and fraternity houses, and other student-oriented arenas to serve the student population.


Legal counseling is another service the office provides. We encourage students to visit the office with their questions and concerns. This can help educate them as to their legal rights and responsibilities, and eliminate much of the guesswork of life on this campus and in this community.

Our role as legal counselors is intended to improve the comfort level of students on this campus so they can better keep their lives focused on their educational goals. Parents should feel free to direct their students to the office for legal advice.

In Court Representation

The office provides in-court representation for students in the areas of traffic c, misdemeanor defense, and landlord-tenant matters. This protects students from being at an unfair disadvantage in the court system, as well as saving them valuable time and money.

Cost Containment

The average working resident of Champaign Urbana can find it difficult to afford legal representation when it’s needed. The University of Illinois student population would face insurmountable financial obstacles when seeking legal assistance without the Student Legal Service office.

The minimum hourly rate charged by local attorneys hovers around $125.00. Representation in traffic court can run up to $500.00 for defense on a simple moving violation to $1,500.00 on a DUI that settles without the need for a trial.

In the area where students regularly need the most help – landlord-tenant cases – the cost of a private lawyer would be prohibitive. Representing residential tenants is simply not cost-effective for private attorneys, and students would be forced to represent themselves when in a dispute with their landlords, and would consistently be at a distinct disadvantage.