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Opinion: Free legal counseling levels the playing field

The decision to establish free legal counseling for students on campus provides a service to those who may not be able to afford expensive legal advice when they need it.

The service simply makes sense, and I commend the administration for making this a reality.

When college students ?nd themselves in need of legal advice, they might not be able to afford it as easily as those who are financially stable. In these cases, the students may feel desperate and hopeless.

Hopefully, lawyer and FSU alumnus Craig C. Stern’s free service to students acts as a lifeboat for those contending with the legal system, and students are essentially given a chance to receive help – a chance they would otherwise not have.

FSU students are fortunate to have this service at their disposal. It’s something not o8ered at many colleges.

I believe it has the potential to enable students to defend themselves, something they perhaps could not do if they were forced to pay legal fees they could not afford.

The service could also potentially keep students out of jail, which would give them the opportunity to complete their education, earn a degree and enter the workforce with a chance to shine.

The program has already attracted more students than expected in a short amount of time, according to an article in the Oct. 16 edition of The Gatepost. I believe this hints that the program’s success won’t just be short-term.

Besides saving students a little (or a lot) of money, it gives them a lot of power, in a sense, because they can utilize a service that isn’t generally made available to them.

For students trying to defend themselves, having this opportunity to consult with a legal professional – one who is not only established in his field, but is also an alumnus of FSU – can empower them and is something for which students should be grateful.

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