Lyons retires as legal aid

Julie M. Frank

Julie M. Frank

College is all about breaking out on your own, but if you need to break your lease or happen to break something, you may need legal advice from someone.

For many, that someone has been Pat Lyons, but for those students returning to SDSU this fall, that someone will be different.

Pat Lyons has retired as the Students’ Association’s legal aid attorney after 31 years.

“I elected to not renew my legal aid contract because it was time,” Lyons said. “I had discussed legal problems with between 350-600 students a year? It has been a privilege, an honor, to serve our students in the capacity of legal aid attorney.”

The legal aid attorney assists SDSU students with legal advice, according to Lyons. The legal aid also works with SA to bring students presentations about legal issues concerning everything from alcohol consumption to housing, said SA President Alex Brown. One thing the legal aid attorney does not do is provide representation.

Alcohol related problems are the most frequent issues students seek help about, according to Lyons. Off-campus housing is also another issue for a lot of students, dealing with everything from landlords to roommates.

Lyons joined the SDSU faculty in 1975 as an assistant professor in the economics department and became the legal aid attorney the following year.

“It (the legal aid attorney position) was an opportunity to do what I was trained to do,” Lyons said. “Be an attorney, dealing with legal problems. It also was an opportunity to provide a needed service to our students.”

Lyons enjoyed helping students with their legal issues, and the position allowed him to interact one on one with students.

Lyons will continue to teach on campus and looks forward to the upcoming semester.

“We’re going to miss Pat,” Vice President of Student Affairs Marysz Rames said. “It’s a big loss to the program.”

The SA, with the help of Rames, interviewed potential candidates to replace Lyons over the summer.

“We are looking for someone to be there for students, and to look out for their best interests,” Brown said.

The new legal aid will help students with leases and housing issues and may need to do presentations to the residences halls or other student organizations on campus.

“We will never be able to find another Pat Lyons,” Brown said. “He was the first, and he has set the bar incredibly high.”

#1.883378:1535314931.jpg:Lyons_06.jpg:Lyons helped over 350 students a year as legal aide.:Eric Landwehr/University Relations