The best lawyer $7 can buy

Lisa Ann Brown

From an objective standpoint, I do not seem like the type of woman that would need to utilize Student Legal Services. I am a graduate student at Kent as well as an English as a Second Language instructor at another university, and I have never been in trouble with the law in my entire life.

However, I recently decided to move to another apartment. Before I could sign the lease, the landlord performed a background and credit check. My credit was good, but the background check showed, to my surprise, that I had an extensive police record in Tampa, Florida (though I’ve never been there in my life), including a felony conviction for throwing a missile in traffic.

I was advised by the landlord to call the circuit court in Tampa and was transferred in numerous circles on the telephone and directed to Web sites that no longer existed. After several hours of frustration, someone suggested to me that I try Student Legal Services.

I was able to make an appointment for the next day with attorney Carol Crimi. She was professional and prompt, writing letters to all of the credit agencies as well as background check agency that had provided the incorrect record. Within a month, the record was corrected.

Knowing that I paid a measly $7 per semester for access to Student Legal Services, I admit that I had no expectation of such high-caliber service. I expected the attorney to advise me on how to solve the problem; I had no idea that she would go through the required steps to solve it for me. While I have received excellent service from many departments at Kent State University, my experience at Student Legal Services with Carol Crimi ranks among the most impressive that I have had here at Kent State University.

In conclusion, I would like to advise all students: By all means, do NOT waive out of your $7 legal service fee. While you indeed may be the finest, most upstanding citizen at the university, sometimes credit agencies, cell phone companies, and background checking agencies can make mistakes. You could also very well become the victim of identity theft. Even if you understand the legal system, sometimes you need the political power of someone with an “Esquire” attached to his or her name to stand behind you in order to provoke expedient action. While you may not need to utilize the fee while you are at Kent, it could also very well be the best $7 you have ever spent.

Lisa Ann Brown is a graduate student in higher education administration.