UC Irvine’s new Legal Clinic, which was established by Associated Students of UCI and will be managed by a College Legal Clinic director, is scheduled to open its doors to the UCI community during third week and offer students free confidential legal advice from local attorneys. The clinic will be housed in the ASUCI conference room for two hours every Wednesday.
‘Life presents problems. UCI is a large community with 25,000 students and chances are there are students that need help, or maybe they need advice for something that is not necessarily an urgent matter or a specific problem,’ said College Legal Clinic Director Adam Lent.
Lent is confident that the clinic will help such people, citing a radio show on KFI news radio where you can call in and get advice from an attorney as an example.
‘The UCI legal clinic, besides being a referral service, goes one step further and allows students to meet face-to-face with an attorney to discuss any issue they want,’ Lent said.
Students must make an appointment on the ASUCI Web site before attending the 2 to 4 p.m. weekly office hours. Students who are unable to attend those hours may use the cancellation round, which is an official state certified referral service, to contact attorneys from a database and obtain a free consultation over the phone.
‘[I hope that the clinic establishes] a feeling that ASUCI is a valuable component of this campus and [that] they are here to help the students,’ Williams said. ‘The students should feel that they have a voice and options that collectively can be a powerful force.’
In previous years, ASUCI has organized free legal advice for students through a program at Cal State Fullerton. However, ASUCI hopes to make the program more efficient and accessible for students by cutting out the third-party organizer.
The attorneys vary in their specialties and can refer students to another attorney from the database if unable to answer a student’s particular question.
‘[The clinic will] provide students with qualified legal advice,’ Williams said. ‘This is a way for students to talk to an attorney about anything in a comfortable, convenient setting. Students are usually poor and these attorneys have agreed to help students in the preliminary steps for free and then a discounted rate might be negotiated if the case progresses.’