Starting in Fall 2020, students at Minnesota State will have free consultation services with attorneys skilled in immigration matters.
The one-year pilot program will supplement legal services contracted with Mankato-based law firm of Knutson & Casey through and agreement with Donnelly Law of Austin, Minnesota.
Legal services provided through the University’s Student Government leadership, were expanded through a joint effort that included the Carney Center for International Student Services and the Multicultural Center with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
The additional legal services are in response to ever-changing laws and the increased student needs for help with immigration-related issues.
New services may include questions about visa status, undocumented students navigating the DREAM Act or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival or DACA policy.
Legal services may also assist students seeking to study abroad.
Jacy Fry, director of the Carney Center for International Student Services, said the new legal service offers expanded advice that goes beyond student visas.
Guadalupe Quintero with Diversity and Inclusion at Minnesota State Mankato, added that there is a great need for legal advice among Latinx students, particularly following the recent Supreme Court ruling that blocked the Trump Administration’s efforts to end DACA
Knutson and Casey will continue to provide students with contracted general legal services.
Donnelly Law will provide consultation by phone or video conferencing.
The Austin firm will also provide one on-campus visit each semester offering personal consultations, presentations on current topics and updates in immigration law.
It is important to note that all Student Attorney services provided by Student Government only allow for students to consult with the attorneys for advice and guidance.
Students wishing to retain an attorney for court representation, processing of legal documents or other legal representation will need to independently contract with an attorney. The student would also be responsible for paying for those services.
Student Attorney consultations are available during the August-May academic year. Students wishing to schedule an appointment with either provider must visit the Student Government office (CSU 280), call 507-389-2611, or visit www.avoiceforstudents.com and click on the “Student Attorney” link to contact the Student Government Office Manager. That person will aid in scheduling an appointment.
Consultation is also being coordinated through the Kearney International Center and the office of Diversity and Inclusion.