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SA/PPS 01.02 - Responsibilities of the Attorney for Students

Responsibilities of the Attorney for Students

SA/PPS No. 01.02 (01.02)
Issue No. 6
Effective Date: 5/17/2018
Next Review Date: 5/01/2020 (E2Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Attorney for Students

  1. POLICY STATEMENTS

    1. The Student Affairs Division is committed to the recruitment and retention of a heterogeneous and qualified student body and to providing services that enhance their personal development and contribute to the fulfillment of their goals. The following procedures contribute to the implementation of this policy.

    2. The purpose of this document is to set forth the authority and limitations of the attorney for Students (AFS) at Texas State University. The delineation of these duties will enable the AFS to perform his or her functions more efficiently and will enable students at Texas State to make the best possible use of all legal services provided.

    3. Specific objectives of this document include:

      1. to explain the role and function of the AFS;

      2. to set forth limitations on the activities of the AFS to conform with policy set forth by The Texas State University System (TSUS) Board of Regents; and

      3. to set forth the qualifications of the AFS;

  2. RESPONSIBILITIES AND LIMITATIONS

    1. The primary responsibilities of the AFS will be:

      1. to advise students of standard legal procedures and of their rights and responsibilities under the law, analyze legal issues and defenses, prepare students for pro se litigation, and to effectively communicate with adverse parties;

      2. to prepare and present programs regarding legal matters that are beneficial to Texas State students;

      3. to perform legal research in order to deliver accurate legal advice to students;

      4. to educate students on how to self-advocate when practical and recommend retention of outside legal counsel when deemed advisable;

      5. to consult with university personnel, including but not limited to, the University Police, assistant dean for Student Justice, the dean of Students, and all other appropriate university officials concerning university rules and regulations and issues that affect students;

      6. to keep a record of the activities of the office. The university recognizes the privileged attorney-client relationship that exists between the AFS and those students with whom he or she counsels. In order to render general reports of services when called upon, the AFS shall compile and maintain accurate and efficient files, which will not jeopardize attorney-client privilege. Specifically, the AFS should keep records of the number of students counseled, the most common types of problems encountered, and such other records deemed necessary.

      7. to counsel students on how to resolve disputes by mediation and negotiation when, in the opinion of the AFS, it could lead to the circumvention of litigation; and

      8. to refer students to, and consult with, the university ombudsperson as needed.

    2. The AFS has no authority or responsibility to:

      1. file court documents, maintain actions, or represent students in civil or criminal litigation or in hearings before university boards and committees;

      2. prepare legal instruments or documents for students;

      3. prepare and mail demand letters to persons against whom students feel aggrieved or contact such persons by telephone or in person in a role as advocate for the student. The AFS may however, contact other persons, with client permission when necessary, in order to clarify a student’s problem or to obtain a full understanding of the issues involved; or

      4. advise students on other matters that require extensive specialization or time.

    3. The AFS is not required to render legal services to persons other than students currently enrolled at the university. The AFS may, within his or her discretion and as time allows when requested, render legal advice to Texas State faculty and staff.

    4. The AFS may acquaint students with all applicable statutes, cases, and university rules and regulations. The AFS should not advocate, encourage, or maintain any action against Texas State or against other Texas State students.

    5. The AFS is bound by the ethical considerations and disciplinary rules set forth in the Code of Professional Responsibility promulgated by the Supreme Court of Texas for Texas attorneys.

    6. The AFS is bound by the attorney-client privilege and his or her oath to preserve that.

  3. QUALIFICATIONS

    1. The AFS shall be a graduate of an accredited law school, hold at least a J.D. degree, be a member of the State Bar of Texas, and be a full-time or half-time employee of the university.
  4. REVIEWER OF THIS PPS

    1. Reviewer of this PPS includes the following:

      Position Date
      Attorney for Students May 1 E2Y
  5. CERTIFICATION STATEMENT

    This PPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State Student Affairs policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Attorney for Students; senior reviewer of this PPS

    Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

    Vice President for Student Affairs