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Contact Information
3030 Student Services Building
1200 West Harrison Street
(312) 996-9214
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Student Legal Service
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About the Service
   Who is eligible to use the service?
   What are the available services?
   What are the excluded services?
   How is my confidentiality protected?
 
Using the Service
   Scheduling Individual Appointments
   Court Appearances
   Notary Public Service
    Brochures available
 
Legal Resources
   Landlord/Tenant Law
   Traffic Violations
   Referrals
   Other Links
 

About the Service

The Student Legal Service at UIC is a law office which was instituted at the request of students in the mid 1980’s. Its purpose is to provide legal advice and representation to currently registered students, so as to facilitate their education by assisting in the prevention and solving of problems.

An attorney is on staff at Student Legal Service (SLS) to assist currently enrolled UIC students. A secretary and a student paralegal provide further support.

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Who is eligible to use the service?

Because students provide the funding for the service, legal representation is available only to eligible students. In order to be eligible, you must (1) be enrolled currently at UIC, (2) pay the student services fee, and (3) have a legal matter for which SLS provides service. When you are no longer eligible, SLS will withdraw from the case.

A student may not ask for advice on behalf of another person (relative, friend, etc.), unless the case in some way affects the student. The service is not available to post-doctoral students, those participating in optional practical training, medical residents, employees and staff of UIC or participants in special programs who do not pay the activity fee.

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What are the available services?

The attorney advises and assists students with a wide variety of matters including the following types of issues:

  • Landlord/tenant questions, subleases and roommate contracts.
  • Auto accidents and insurance. Settlement of injury and damage cases.
  • Traffic tickets, including assistance with handling of out-of-state tickets.
  • Consumer questions: small claims, debt collection, bankruptcy, purchase contracts. Procedures for Pro Se (small claims) court.
  • Powers of attorney.
  • Divorce, name change, and other family issues.
  • Employment.
  • Contract review.

In some matters, the attorney may make referrals to low-income services or to outside attorneys in specialized areas.

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What are the excluded services?

The following restrictions apply to the program:

  • The attorneys will not advise a student who has a problem with another UIC student, a UIC faculty member, a UIC staff member, or an office within the University.

  • The attorney may not advise in any claim against the University of Illinois, its trustees, officers, agents, associations, and employees.

  • The attorney may not advise students regarding grievance and disciplinary procedures at UIC and may not represent them in any such proceeding.

  • The attorney may not advise concerning income producing ventures, such as beginning or continuing a business.

  • The attorney may neither represent students in real estate closings nor represent student landlords in court.

  • The attorney does not advise on immigration matters nor represent the student before the Immigration Service. Matters relating to the student visa are handled by the Office of International Services. For other issues, we may be able to provide references to other organizations or attorneys who handle immigration matters.

  • The attorney advises about but does not draft wills or trusts, nor prepare taxes.

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How is my confidentiality protected?

Within the law of the State of Illinois is an article containing the Code of Professional Responsibility that regulates the relationship between lawyers and their clients. By virtue of the payment of your student activity fee, you become our client.

The law of Illinois states: "A lawyer shall not, during or after termination of the professional relationship with the client, use or reveal a confidence or secret of the client known to the lawyer unless the client consents after disclosure." A confidence is information protected by the attorney-client privilege under applicable law and a secret is any other information gained in the professional relationship that the client has requested be held inviolate or the disclosure of which would be embarrassing to or would likely be detrimental to the client.

Except under very narrow circumstances, the law prohibits the following behaviors by a lawyer:

  • Revealing a confidence or secret of his or her client to any non-lawyer, including his or her spouse.
  • Using a confidence or secret of his or her client to the disadvantage of the client.
  • Using a confidence or secret of his or her client for the advantage of himself or herself or of a third person, unless the client consents, after full disclosure.

A lawyer must also exercise reasonable care to prevent his or her employees, associates, and others whose services he or she uses from disclosing or using the secrets or confidences of a client, except under the very narrow circumstances outlined above.

What does this mean to you? It means you can tell us anything with complete confidence. You need not hold back that you actually did what you are accused of doing. To advise you well, we need a complete picture of the factual situation. You should not lie or withhold unfavorable information. If you lie, we probably will never know it, but the information you get will be based upon your lie or upon our incomplete knowledge of the facts. That means the information you receive is useless.

The Student Legal Service lawyer is not an employee of the University of Illinois. Any case files I have are my personal property. When closed, they go into my storage area. The University is not privy to anything in your file or to our conversations with you. If you have any further questions about confidentiality, feel free to discuss them with us personally.

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Using the Service

Scheduling Individual Appointments

The service is located in the Student Services Building, 1200 West Harrison Street, Room 3030, within the Office of the Dean of Students.

Students who need legal assistance may call (312) 996-9214 or come to the office to make an appointment to consult with the attorney. Appointments are scheduled between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., except during the noon hour, on weekdays. Most consultations take place within forty-eight hours of the initial contact.

Before the consultation, the student must present a UIC student ID card and class schedule or other proof of current enrollment, which includes payment of the student activity fee. The student then completes a form detailing the situation and submits copies of documents pertaining to the question or problem, e.g., lease, traffic ticket, accident report, sales contract, insurance policy, court paper, or letter.

No attorney's fees are charged for the basic services rendered by SLS, which is funded from student activity fees. The attorney-client privilege is strictly enforced. All student files are the private property of the attorney and are never viewed by anyone outside the SLS office.

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Court Appearances

The attorney is available for representation in the following matters:

  • Uncontested family matters, including divorce (not involving children or real estate), adoption, and name change. Uncontested means no other attorney is representing any other party in the matter and all parties have signed all necessary consents for the action.
  • Misdemeanors not requiring trial.
  • Traffic offenses (not requiring trial) other than parking tickets or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • This office may not file personal injury lawsuits or originate lawsuits in small claims courts on behalf of students.

Referrals to outside lawyers will be made, however, in cases where the representation of SLS lawyers is prohibited.

The attorney provides limited representation in court on a first-come, first-serve basis. We represent students in all Cook County courtrooms, as well as in Lake, McHenry, DuPage, Kane and Will Counties. A preset mileage fee is charged for all work done on a student's behalf outside the office. This fee is paid directly to the attorney to cover the cost of travel to and from the court. The attorney may not represent students outside the above counties at any time. All travel and court costs, including appearance fees, must be paid in cash by the student before the attorney appears in court.

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Notary Public ServiceSLS staff will notarize signatures and sworn statements at no charge. No appointment is necessary unless the request is for service that will take extensive time.

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Brochures available

Free literature on a variety of legal topics is available in the SLS office to help students understand their rights and responsibilities.

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Legal Resources

Landlord/Tenant Law

Chicago Landlord/Tenant Ordinance

http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dcd/supp_info/rents_right.html

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Traffic Violations

City of Chicago Parking Violations

https://parkingtickets.cityofchicago.org/CPSWeb/web/EnterTickets.jsp

 

 

SR-22 Insurance

 

http://www.cookcountycourt.org/Portals/0/Traffic%20Court%20Division/Forms/Proof%20of%20Financial%20Responsibility.pdf

Illinois Secretary of State change of address form

http://www.ilsos.gov/addrchange/

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Referrals

Chicago Bar Association Referral Service

http://www.chicagobar.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Need_a_Lawyer

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Other Links

IRS tax forms

http://www.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsInstructions.html

Illinois tax forms

http://tax.illinois.gov/taxforms/

Astronomy picture of the day

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

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