Student Legal Services (SLS) charges eligible students paying full student fees $30 for up to a one-hour consultation with an attorney. If needed, a one-hour follow-up appointment on the same legal issue is generally included in that cost. (Please note that the fee structure is slightly different if criminal co-defendants come in together for a consultation, and that we do not offer follow-up appointments on some types of consultations.) Students who are only paying base student fees must pay a small additional amount for a consultation. Currently, the additional amount is $5.00, making the total amount for a consultation $35.00.
To be represented by an SLS attorney, you will have to sign a fee agreement and pay an additional fee called a services retainer. The amount of the services retainer will depend on several factors including the type, seriousness and number of your legal issues, the amount of work the attorney needs to do to help you with your issues and the locations of the courts where any cases have been or may be filed.
Most SLS services retainers are “flat fee,” meaning that there is a set amount paid to SLS for attorney representation. Current SLS flat fees generally range from $100 to $2700, depending on the student’s circumstances. Services retainers pay only for attorney time and do not cover expenses related to representation such as filing, jury, blood retest, subpoena and expert witness fees. Students are responsible for all such costs and may have to pay a separate retainer to cover them.
On certain types of cases, SLS attorneys must be hired on an hourly basis. In these situations, a student must pay an initial services retainer and perhaps a costs retainer, and then supplement those retainers with additional money as needed to cover the hourly attorney fees and expenses related to the representation.
Regardless of the type of any retainer paid to SLS, it will never include fees assessed by the court such as those for fines, surcharges, restitution and/or other money judgments. Similarly, a retainer will never include costs for things like evaluations, treatment, classes, drug testing and/or community service.
The SLS attorney will discuss the retainer(s) and other anticipated costs for your legal situation at a consultation if you think you might want to hire him or her. Retainer information will also be outlined in a fee agreement.
Please note that even though you meet the eligibility requirements, there is no guarantee that an SLS attorney will take you on as a client or continue to represent you until your legal situation is resolved. For example, some legal issues require resources the office does not have and sometimes limitations on our services or other issues prevent representation. In the event we cannot help you, we may be able to refer you to someone who can.
Students with documentation of certain types of Financial Aid may qualify for partial fee waiver.
All payments to SLS must be made by cash or check only. SLS cannot accept debit/credit cards or bill student accounts.