Sarah Baum has joined DePaul as the new director of Croak Student Legal Services. It is a homecoming of sorts, as Baum graduated from the College of Law in 2008.
Prior to joining CSLS, Baum worked in Chicago at LAF (Legal Assistance Foundation), which provides free civil legal services to low-income individuals and other vulnerable groups. Through her experience there, Baum brings a substantive knowledge in a wide variety of legal issues to CSLS.
Since it was founded in 2006, CSLS has served more than 2,250 DePaul students by advising them of their legal rights and responsibilities. “The mission of CSLS is to help students resolve their legal problems with as little disruption as possible to their educational endeavors,” Baum said.
The office focuses on preventative law with the goal of enabling students to make educated choices. Other services include advice on tenant-landlord issues, leases, misdemeanor criminal offenses and referral services. CSLS cannot offer advice or help on any issues that would be adverse to the university.
“One of my top priorities as CSLS director is raising students’ awareness of this valuable resource,” she said. “We are increasing our marketing and outreach efforts by building a social media presence and by presenting directly to student groups about the services we offer.”
Baum plans to continue working with various DePaul offices and student services to integrate CSLS into the continuum of care offered to DePaul students. She hopes faculty and staff will encourage students experiencing legal difficulties to contact CSLS.
In addition to providing direct legal services to individual students, CSLS is also available to give presentations on topics that commonly concern students, such as landlord-tenant law, drug and alcohol laws, and police encounters.
This article originally appeared in DePaul's Newsline publication.