With access to legal services, Forsyth Tech students may have one less worry in staying on their path to completing their education

Forsyth Tech will partner with the Community Law and Business Clinic at Wake Forest University to provide legal services at no cost to Forsyth Tech students.
The program will run through the office of Forsyth Tech Cares, which was launched as part of the college’s response to COVID-19 and students’ needs outside the classroom during this time of crisis.

“The Forsyth Tech Cares office allows us to assist students with holistic services when ‘life happens’ obstacles threaten to keep them from graduating,” said Stacy Waters Bailey, executive director of student success services. “Having access to legal services is one more way we can help our students persist in their education with one less worry to complete their program.”

Fifteen law students in the Community Law and Business Clinic will work with all students, beginning this week, on a virtual meeting platform.

“This is a win-win for the Wake Forest University Law School’s Community Law and Business Clinic and Forsyth Tech,” said Steve Virgil, professor, Wake Forest University School of Law. “Our law students gain experience applying their legal and client skill development on a variety of legal issues. And, Forsyth Tech students have access to legal services that may be the help they need immediately.”

Primarily, the legal issues will focus on consumer issues (collections, credit reporting, predatory lending issues, etc.), landlord-tenant issues, family law (non-contested divorces/custody paperwork), expungements, business start-up paperwork, immigration issues, and government benefits issues. Essentially, Forsyth Tech students will now have access to free legal services for non-criminal cases.

“Forsyth Tech Cares was underway before COVID-19 and was ramped up as quickly as possible, as COVID-19 revealed many socio-economic inequities,” said Masonne Sawyer, vice president for student success services. “Through a generous grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Foundation, Forsyth Tech Cares is now an office at Forsyth Tech with three full-time Cares Navigators to help serve students.”

The goal of Forsyth Tech Cares is to coordinate and expand the college’s comprehensive wrap-around, holistic student support services. In November 2020, the college hired three full-time Care Navigators, who act as the primary point of contact for students in need, to provide triage to discern their needs and then connect them to the supports to meet those needs. As of January 31, the college has processed 3,963 requests for student assistance.

For more information on Forsyth Tech Cares, contact Stacy Waters Bailey at swatersbailey@forsythtech.edu.