Editors note: Every year, The Daily News produces the orientation guide for incoming freshman. This story first appeared in The Cardinal Field Guide printed in May 2017. To read the full issue, click here.
Student Legal Services is a free service offered to Ball State Students with services ranging from criminal to civil law. They can provide students with documents such as roommate agreements and housing inspection forms.
The most requested service fluctuates year-to-year, season-to-season, attorney at law John Connor said.
What to bring
Student ID card and number
SLS offers counseling, referrals, preventative education and acts as a legal resource center.
Where to go
Lower level of L.A. Pittenger Student Center, room L-17.
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students seeking legal help during the summer will need to respect summer hours: Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“At one point in time, criminal issues were most frequent,” Connor said.
However, more recently, Connor found his most requested service comes from student organizations. Often, student organizations need releases and waivers for events they host. This practice helps follow risk management requirements.
Despite marketing their services at orientation and at resource fairs, Connor said students often find him after creating a problem. When he interacts with parents at said fairs, they all say, “My son/daughter won’t/better not need you.”
However, SLS isn’t just a resource to dig students out of trouble, the office offers preventative resources that help students avoid making mistakes, he said.
Connor encouraged students to, “Think proactively rather than waiting for a problem.”
Among preventative education resources, students can find a legal guide and pamphlets on domestic violence, debt management, off-campus housing rights, identity theft, financial responsibility, power of attorney and even Indiana’s comparative fault/negligence statute.
Connor encouraged students to come in and talk before sending out any personal identification, signing a lease or studying abroad. Sitting down can help solve any hypothetical problems while abroad and can help prevent identity theft and overpaying.
In order to seek counsel from legal services, students must schedule an appointment in person.