The CSU Employee Appreciation Board recognized CSU Student Legal Services for the unit’s exemplary service on Feb. 8.
This dedicated group works tirelessly to provide free legal services to the CSU student population and empowers them to resolve their own legal issues through counseling and education. The caring staff at SLS is composed of a director/attorney, three additional on-site attorneys, two contracted immigration attorneys, and an office manager/paralegal.
The group was nominated by Jennifer Van Norman, director of student case management, for going above and beyond to help CSU’s undocumented students with the difficulties surrounding DACA. Van Norman wrote, “SLS Director Kathy Harward and her team have worked tirelessly to fight for the rights of DACA students in addition to the care and service of the rest of the student population.”
SLS began contracting with experienced immigration attorneys Penny Gonzales-Soto and Cristina Steel-Kaplan one year ago to assist undocumented students and international students with challenges that escalated with changes in national politics. The group has met with many undocumented students and attended or led many presentations to better serve students who were concerned over the possible threat of deportation. SLS has learned over the past year that the earlier one gets accurate advice, the more options there may be to solve immigration problems.
For staff members not eligible for the student program, the above-mentioned immigration attorneys provide initial advisement for a very reasonable fee ($100 to $150). Harward urges colleagues across campus with immigration issues to invest in an initial advisement and to not rely upon hearsay advice or advice from “notarios” or non-experts.
“We’ve found that some families are not devising their plan on accurate information and are missing avenues and strategies that would help,” Harward said.
For more information on contacting an immigration attorney, contact SLS at 491-1482 or visit their website.
Created in 1971, CSU’s Student Legal Services is proud to be one of the oldest student legal service offices in the nation. For over four decades, SLS has helped tens of thousands of students and is still going strong.