Keg lawyer to the rescue
Self-described "keg lawyer" C.L. Lindsay III has been helping college students out of legal jams for the past six years with his CO-STAR (Coalition for Student & Academic Rights) organization. Ten thousand calls a year prompted him to write The College Student's Guide To The Law, covering everything from getting a grade changed (meet with the prof before moving up the ladder) to throwing a fuzz-free soiree (post a sign saying "private party"). His parents must be so proud.
Where do most students have problems with the law?
Alcohol is a really big one. Sixty percent of the people that call us up have alcohol in some way involved in the violation.
Do students get a bad rap, or do they deserve the punishments they get?
Given that 99 percent of the people who come to me with alcohol infractions are under 21, I think they are at fault. But local and campus police will often discard the Constitutionwell, it's more like bending the ruleswhen they walk into a party and say, "Can we have a look around?" But there isn't any conspiracy to bust kids.
Do you think we should drop the legal age to 18?
I do. I find the law paternalistic.
Did you have a lot of legal problems when you were at school?
I wish I had a ton of great stories, but I studied a lot in school. It says "former college party-er" on the back of the book but that's hyperbole. I drank but never had any really big scrapes.
You tell students where they're likely to get caught if drinking when driving.
I don't think there is anything wrong with people knowing how the system works. In the alcohol section I say very clearly that this is information that can be used in two different ways. But if you start to talk to people about laws they'll get more responsible. I don't condone any illegal activity.
Which schools are the best for dealing with student legal problems?
The ones that I don't get any calls from. I've been very impressed with the big state schools. Their staffs are very professional and know a lot of things I don't expect them to know. Small schools can be more difficult.
How about college towns?
Big cities know how to deal with college kids. They have bigger things to worry about. Small towns that are absorbed by the college, that aren't really prepared, do worse. These are towns where a noise violation will mobilize the entire police force.
You left gambling out of the book.
I left out drugs, too. Maybe I'll put them in the next bookpiss off society one faction at a time. Joshua Davidovich