For Use: Legal Aid

In four hours, Karl Rysted can either run a marathon or give legal aid to four students requiring guidance. Rysted is the current Legal aid and ASNMSU advisor, and has served the position for three years.

“As the advisor for ASNMSU, I work with HR to make sure that students are working the correct hours, I’ll answer questions students have during senate, and I get to do fun things like sit in as a judge for homecoming,” Rysted said. “Thankfully, I get to do a lot of fun things and interact with the students a lot at events with a job like this.”

In regards to a previously covered issue with ASNMSU changing allotted hours for student employees, Rysted has had a very active hand in ensuring the legality of the process. “We’ve been working a lot on compliance with HR to make exceptions on positions that require more hours,” Rysted said. “I’ve prepared training for those positions, and we’ve been working on it for about a year now since President Chavez was in office.”

When Karl isn’t actively participating in the happenings of ASNMSU, he is serving as a legal aid to students, whether as a starting point or a guiding hand. “I have both undergraduate and grad students coming in, meeting with me for up to an hour.” Students are able to schedule meetings with Karl by visiting the ASNMSU office and filling out prerequisite paperwork to help him assess the situation before their scheduled meeting. They can also schedule multiple appointments throughout their court process to gain prolonged assistance “I’ll have some clients come in multiple times for the same issue, or unfortunately have several problems they need help resolving over the course of their tenure at NMSU,” Rysted noted. He also maintains contact through email for students who require further assistance.

As legal aid to the students, Rysted is able to provide answers regarding proper procedure leading up to trials as well as what paperwork will need to be filled out. He will review the paperwork and assist students in pursuing the best options for them. “I had one student who had a problem where they had been to the hospital and their insurance wasn’t covering it. I referred her to the state superintendent of insurance, and she wound up not having to pay for anything. She brought the letter back to me and we were both really excited!”

Rysted has also worked with local attorneys to help offer students discounted representation if they need private representation. “If it is a matter they need a private attorney for, I’ll refer them to one who is part of our program. Attorneys will range anywhere from $200-$250 an hour depending on the case, so any discount can be extremely helpful.”

On top of specialized assistance on a case-by-case basis, Rysted has also collected information to help all students avoid problems before they occur. “I have a list of bad landlords and car dealers as complaints come in to help students avoid potentially troublesome contracts or practices,” Rysted said. “With landlords there’s kind of a three step process to ensure you have a good opportunity. You need to make sure your landlord isn’t shady, go over the lease before signing it, and then make sure you’re being shown the actual apartment you’ll be staying in.” Rysted offered the tip that students are more likely to be fined for damages in places where a model room was used as opposed to the actual property. “You also need to get requests for work orders in writing to legally obligate the landlord to fix it.”

While not as detailed or prevalent to students, Rysted has also compiled tricks for mastering the car dealership. “The single biggest piece of advice I have for car dealers is that you should make sure you never feel pressured. You are likely to have the feeling that a deal is too good to be true, and a lot of local dealers make you pay for it on the back end.,” Rysted said. “Everything turn into a legal problem if things go wrong, and we want to make sure students are prepared for that.”


Karl Rysted’s office is located inside of the ASNMSU suite of Corbett, and a full list of his tips and tricks can be found at his website: studentlegalaid.nmsu.edu.

Author: nmsuroundup

The student voice of New Mexico State University since 1907.

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