SLS offers to protect students

Andy Walton and Andy Walton

Through the course of our college careers, the things that interfere with our effectiveness as students are innumerable.

Examples include family problems, relationships, time constraints and among other things, the need to celebrate that is incumbent upon us proceeding far after our acceptance to this institution. If these, by cause or consequence, are legal issues that interfere with our effectiveness as students, then that’s when students gain a powerful ally.

Student Legal Services, Inc.(SLS) is a law firm, separate from the University, and is there exclusively for students.

There are currently only four colleges or universities in Ohio that provide legal services for their students. There are approximately 150 in the nation. Of all these, there are few that will go to court for students. Bowling Green is one of the few. Representing students in landlord tenant matters, consumer matters, misdemeanor criminal cases, traffic cases, family matters and some miscellaneous things isn’t the entire scope of their capabilities. SLS educates students through seminars, workshops and, among the talented staff, there are three attorneys available to give sound advice:

Rodney A. Fleming is a 1988 graduate of BGSU and received his law degree from the University of Toledo in 1991. He has been the Managing Attorney at Student Legal Services for the past 10 years. In addition to representing hundreds of students each year, Mr. Fleming is responsible for supervising the office and maintaining expenditures within budgetary constraints. He was also the lead attorney in a high profile voting rights lawsuit that took seven years to litigate, and ultimately lead to a victory that guaranteed all students equal access to municipal elections.

Michael S. Skulina is a 1989 graduate of the University of Toledo and a 1992 graduate of the UT College of Law. He joined Student Legal Services in 1995 following three years of private practice in Findlay, Ohio. He is a featured speaker at various campus forums, as well as a long-standing presenter in the Alcohol ‘ Public Policy and Drug Use ‘ Abuse classes. He continues to provide high quality advice and representation to all BGSU students.

Angelita Cruz Bridges, the newest member of SLS, graduated from the University of Toledo College of Law in 2000 and the University of Toledo in 1997. Before coming to SLS, she worked as the Housing Attorney for Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE), a non-profit legal services program in Toledo. She is an Alumna of Sigma Lambda Gamma sorority, Kappa Chapter, and was a member of the University of Toledo Law Review while in law school. Ms. Bridges is enjoying working with the students at SLS and looks forward to learning more about the BGSU community.

Student Legal Services, Inc. is effective in what they do.

For those of you that think you will never need an attorney, be aware that as of June 2004, they had 1,878 office consultations, 993 court appearances, and 843 criminal cases. All of this was since July 1, 2003.

All that is required to retain their services is simply to be a BGSU student, and to pay the $7 fee that is already added to your Bursar bill.

SLS is located in 401 South Hall. Be sure to make an appointment first.

Law Society, in conjunction with Legal Services, is preparing a series of articles to provide students with information that may not only assist them in legal situations, but may also help to avoid them completely. If you have any specific concerns or areas of interest, feel free to contact Law Society or Student Legal Services and let us know. It is important for students to know their rights and responsibilities. Beyond that, it is important for students to realize how affected they are by policies. Students start protecting their rights at the polls.

There will not be another article before election day. SLS and Law Society urge you to vote, and maintain your effectiveness as a student at all costs.