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What is SLS?
Since 1979, Student Legal Services (“SLS”) has been assisting students. SLS is a division of Student Life, and is a full-service law office consisting of five (5) full-time attorneys, one paralegal, and a legal secretary/office manager. Our service is only available to currently enrolled students, at the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus.
Overall, our staff has a wide range of experience and knowledge of the law. Further, our attorneys specifically are all highly effective in their roles because they are familiar with the Ann Arbor court system to include the judges, county prosecutors, city attorneys, and other practicing attorneys.
What does SLS do?
The attorneys at SLS can advise you regarding your legal rights and represent you, if needed, in Washtenaw County courts only. It is also possible for the staff to negotiate with various individuals on your behalf (i.e. debt collectors). The attorneys also make various presentations throughout the school year, and they are also available to speak to student groups, if requested.
Your discussions with our attorneys and other staff are protected by attorney/client privilege. We will not discuss your case with your parents, friends, spouses, or the University of Michigan without your written consent.
- SLS cannot assist you against another U of M student (contact the Ombudsman’s office)
- SLS cannot assist you against the University (contact the Ombudsman’s office)
- Our attorneys are licensed in the State of Michigan and their advice is limited to this state
- Our attorneys appear in the courts within Washtenaw County only
What legal areas do SLS handle?
- Criminal Defense
- Housing (landlord/tenant)
- Family (examples):
- Child Support
- Custody Issues
- Legal Name Change
- PPO filing
- Estate Planning (under "Family" - examples):
- Consultation on basic estate planning
- Medical Directives
- Power of Attorneys
- Consumer (examples):
- Auto Repair Disputes
- Bankruptcy (advice only)
- Debt Collection Assistance
- Employment Contract Review
- Identity Theft
- Insurance Claims
- Traffic (defense assistance)
- Small Claims Court (assistance with the process)
- Notary Services
- True Copy Service
- Immigration Matters (SLS can refer eligible students, to an immigration attorney, for a 90-minute consultation)
The above list is not all inclusive of the areas for which we provide services. If you do not see the area of your legal situation, please call our office to see if we can assist you.
How much does SLS cost?
SLS is funded through a nominal fee, which each student pays every semester. There are no additional fees charged for the attorney's services. However, the student is responsible for any costs associated with the case to include court filing fees, court fines, and service of process fees. Any fees will be explained to you by the attorney assigned to your case.
How do I get service?
If for any reason you are in need of legal advice and/or service, please call 734-763-9920 to schedule an appointment. It is especially important that you contact us as soon as possible regarding any upcoming court appearances or if you are served with a summons and complaint. No legal advice will be provided over the phone.
What to expect at the appointment?
When you come on the day of your appointment, please note:
- Each appointment lasts 20-minutes (except for appointments with U. Ashwin Patel)
- Arrive 5 - 10 minutes prior to your appointment to complete our client intake form
- Be on time – if our appointments are booked that day, you may need to reschedule
- Be prepared to show us your U of M Student Identification card
- Bring any documentation/information related to your matter, for the attorney’s review
- We will ask that you complete our exit survey after your appointment