Local lawyer lends expertise

Student Government now has a new lawyer available for students through their legal services program.

The program was started about two years ago with a previous lawyer who was let go due to scheduling difficulties, said Morgan Toms, candidate for Student Government president.

Emily Fransted, attorney at law for Lobert & Fransted, P.C. in Big Rapids, is the new lawyer available to students.

Toms said she spoke with Gale Lopez, a professor who teaches paralegal courses, who recommended Fransted to be the lawyer. At the first Student Government meeting of the spring semester, Fransted was introduced as the job recipient.

“As far as the agreement with the university, my role is to advise students in regard to whatever legal problems they come in with,” said Fransted.

If students have a legal problem, they may schedule a 30-minute session with Fransted to seek advice on how to handle the problem they are dealing with.

Fransted said if students need to seek further advice, she would meet with them in private to have a question and answer, revising discussion of what their issues are.

So far, issues that Fransted has discussed with students include landlord/tenant issues, criminal issues, bankruptcy questions, small claims actions, foreclosure actions and a couple of family matters.

“I think it’s definitely needed, and students don’t always have the resources, the knowledge, or the funds to seek legal advice,” said Toms. “I’m happy with what we’ve been doing and how we’ve been doing it. I’ve had students come out of their appointment very happy.”

She said there was one student who came out of a consultation a couple of years ago and another consultation this semester, and he said there was a drastic improvement.

“It was a credit card debt issue, and he was so lost and afraid and didn’t know where to start,” said Toms. “He felt a lot better when he came out of his appointment.”

Fransted said she has dealt with quite a few credit card debt issues.

“That’s one of the popular ones and something college kids definitely deal with,” said Fransted.

Toms said appointments are typically on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Toms will facilitate the appointments and gt students connected to Fransted as soon as possible.

If students cannot meet with Fransted in person, they may call the Student Government office at ext. 2611. n