Overview of Services

The Center for Student Legal Services provides the students of Ohio University with advice and representation for legal issues that occur in Athens County and that are tried in Athens County courts. We are staffed by two full-time attorneys who have nearly 50 years of combined experience in civil and criminal law. Our criminal defense attorney, Patrick McGee, represents students for misdemeanors, including underage possession and/or consumption of alcohol, possession of marijuana and/or paraphernalia, operating a vehicle under the influence, disorderly conduct, and trespassing. Our civil litigation attorney, Kimberlee Francis, represents students in tenant-landlord disputes and other small claims cases.  Our attorneys also offer advice and assistance in many other areas of student concern, including filing petitions to seal criminal records (expungements), what to look for when seeking off-campus housing, tenant/landlord rights and responsibilities, co-tenant or sub-lease agreement guidance, lease agreement and non-housing contract reviews, and consumer complaints. Additionally, we offer notary services.

Limitations of Services

There are some areas of law and some situations where the Center for Student Legal Services cannot advise or represent students. These areas and circumstances include, but are not limited to, family law (divorce and child custody), tax law, bankruptcy, employment law, real estate law, immigration and visa issues, copyright/intellectual property law, personal injury or property damage cases, situations where the student would want to make a complaint against Ohio University or an agent of OU (faculty/staff), and in situations where an OU student would want to make a complaint against another OU student.

Our Philosophy and Mission

The Center for Student Legal Services does not condone or encourage violations of the law. Our philosophy is that students are adults who are capable of making their own decisions and that they should be informed of their legal rights and the ramifications of their actions before making choices that may be against the law. We cannot prevent students from violating the law, but we realize that everyone makes mistakes and might need legal help in order to prevent one bad decision from jeopardizing their entire future. We also believe that students should be treated fairly in the legal system and should be free from undue harassment. Our mission is to provide the students of Ohio University with quality, affordable legal services. We strive to educate students on their legal rights and responsibilities as citizens of their city, state, and country. We want every student to be aware of their legal rights and responsibilities in order to lessen the chances of needing an attorney. We also work to help students reach satisfactory resolutions to their issues so that they can concentrate on their education.