Published: April 29, 2024

gavel on a deskJustice matters, and justice begins with fairness. Obstacles to fairness with respect to legal matters include the challenges faced by students of traditionally marginalized populations, such as the overrepresentation of people of color in the criminal justice system. Fairness can also be hard to come by for other reasons such as transportation problems, time constraints, financial difficulties, cultural differences and personal health issues. Additionally, students are often unfamiliar with legal processes, putting them at risk of exploitation by others who are more knowledgeable, such as landlords. 

If you are facing a legal issue, Student Legal Services (SLS) can provide you with legal support and guidance as well as equitable access to services and fair treatment, regardless of your circumstances. 

How SLS ensures equity 

Convenience and accessibility are critical when you need legal help. Located conveniently on campus, we aim to see students within two business days of when you contact us. Our services are subsidized by student fees, which allows us to make our consultation services affordable for eligible students at $35 or less.  

Some consultations are even free. Representation is also offered for many legal issues at a fraction of the cost of a private attorney. 

More than just a legal office, we offer a welcoming, judgment-free environment where every student is treated with respect no matter the legal issue or personal challenge.  

Advocating for student rights 

We act as a check on the power imbalances that students may encounter, advocating for fair treatment in disputes with landlords, law enforcement and, in some cases, the university itself.  

SLS is dedicated solely to supporting students’ interests to help you succeed during and after college. We are ethically obligated and committed to confidentiality and, as such, SLS staff are some of the few people on campus who are not mandatory reporters. You can rest easy knowing that you can trust us with your legal matters. 

We encourage students to share everything about their legal situation so that our attorneys can help each one to the fullest extent.

We encourage students to share everything about their legal situation so that our attorneys can provide the best help. We work to understand each student’s case fully, providing guidance and support every step of the way. This includes helping students understand the applicable law, frame legal issues, formulate case strategies, collect evidence and organize legal arguments. You may also be able to hire SLS to assist you with your legal issue. 

Equity in action 

In cases ranging from landlord disputes to discriminatory law enforcement actions, SLS has ensured that students are treated fairly by securing favorable legal outcomes. 

Here are some real-life examples of instances in which we have protected students' rights: 

  • Negotiated a settlement worth over $36,000 for students whose landlord took advantage of them by renovating their home in violation of numerous federal, state and local laws while the students were living there. The landlord was also collecting full rent the entire time.  
  • Demanded and received a full return of an international student’s security deposit after a landlord withheld the deposit from the student for more than two years.  
  • Received case dismissals for two Black students who were the only ones charged for underage drinking at a party, although many other people at the party were also underage and drinking.  
  • Received criminal case dismissals for students who picked up a beer that a police officer planted in a public place. 
  • Received a case dismissal for a student charged with a crime after police entered his residence illegally.  
  • Successfully defended a student against entry of what would have been an improper civil restraining order. 
  • Helped a student who was accused of cheating on a class assignment advocate for himself to a finding of “Not Responsible.”  

Collaboration for comprehensive support 

Legal issues often intersect with other aspects of life such as academic success and well-being. When authorized to do so, SLS can collaborate closely with campus resources and external legal entities to make sure we are supporting every aspect of your experience. 

For example, with students' consent, we partner with Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution (SCCR), Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) and private healthcare providers to provide holistic support to meet each student’s individual legal needs. 

Additionally, we work with CU Boulder Police to provide training on students' constitutional rights and raise awareness of issues that affect student rights. Check out all our legal tips to learn about your rights and responsibilities. 

If you need legal help, contact us to schedule an appointment by calling 303-492-6813 or visiting the SLS office in UMC 311.