Student Legal Services at Virginia Tech (SLS at VT) provides free
and confidential legal advice to currently enrolled Virginia Tech
students and Virginia Tech registered student organizations (RSOs)
at the Blacksburg campus. VCOM students at the Blacksburg campus
are also eligible. The legal services at SLS are provided by a VA
licensed attorney in good standing with the VA State Bar, and are
funded from a portion of the student activity fee paid by the Blacksburg
campus students. SLS is overseen by an SLS Board, consisting
of students, faculty, and staff. The SLS attorney is not a VT
employee but an independent contractor; the SLS Board contracts
annually with the attorney to provide legal services to VT students.
The SLS office is a law office; therefore, attorney – client privilege
applies to all communication between students and the SLS attorney.
The SLS attorney provides legal advice on a variety of matters such as,
but not limited to, leases, criminal charges, traffic tickets, contracts,
employment, consumer issues, immigration, etc. Also, the attorney can
prepare basic legal documents such as wills, powers of attorney, and
some contracts. Limited advice and assistance is provided in tax, and
family law matters, such as divorce and custody. If the matter is such that
the SLS attorney cannot help you, the attorney will try and provide you with
referrals for outside lawyers who can assists you.
The SLS attorney also maintains this website, which can provide some helpful
tips on various legal topics. The information contained herein is based on
Virginia and US law in effect at the time of each page’s publication. It serves
as general guidelines only, and it is not meant to be used in place of actual
legal advice provided by a lawyer. If you have a legal problem and you are a
VT student, make an appointment with the SLS attorney. If you are no longer
a VT student (alumni), the SLS attorney can assist you with an attorney
referral. If you are a member of the general public, you can use the VA State
Bar referral service by calling (800) 552-7977.
Finally, the SLS attorney is available to speak at student organization meetings
about various legal topics that may be of interest to VT students. If interested,
call the SLS office for more information.
Services not provided
Because the SLS attorney is a VA licensed attorney, the attorney can only provide
advice on VA laws and federal laws, but not laws of other states, where the attorney
is not licensed to practice. Due to the large number of students seen each year in
the SLS office, and the large portion of them having some type of court appearance,
court representation by the SLS attorney is not possible; however, the SLS attorney
will assess if the student indeed needs a lawyer representing him/her, and if yes, the
SLS attorney will provide the student with names of outside lawyers who can represent
the student in court. The SLS attorney cannot provide assistance in matters involving
Student vs Student, Student vs University, or Student vs Parent disputes; in those
situation only initial assessment will be provided, and the SLS attorney will furnish
the student with referrals for outside lawyers.