Obtaining Legal Help from the SPLC

The Student Press Law Center's legal staff provides free information to student journalists, their advisers and others working on their behalf. Help is available on almost any media law matter of concern to the student press (censorship, libel law, copyright law, freedom of information law, are a few examples). While the Center does not represent individual clients, we can often make referrals to media law attorneys in your area willing to provide free assistance when legal representation is necessary. All requests to the SPLC for legal assistance or information are confidential.

Unfortunately, we cannot provide information to individuals not connected to the student media, but we can help point you to other sources of legal help. Students working on school research projects are directed to the Homework Zone.

Choose one of the three ways described below to request assistance from the SPLC

  • SPLC Virtual Lawyer
    The Student Press Law Center legal staff has been helping student media since 1974, and the answers to most of your legal questions can usually be found on our Web site.

    Always on call, our Virtual Lawyer stands ready to conduct a short, online interview that can help direct you to the information you need when you need it.

  • Take me to the Virtual Lawyer

  • For urgent help or if you feel you need to speak to someone directly, you should call the Student Press Law Center's hotline at our Arlington, Va., office during our normal business hours, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. (EST), Monday - Friday. (Note: From Memorial Day through Labor Day, our offices close at 4:30 p.m. on Fridays)

    Student Press Law Center Legal Hotline (703) 807-1904

  • Non-urgent requests or questions can be made by e-mail or regular mail. Because the SPLC responds to over 2,000 requests for legal help and information each year, an individual written response to questions is not always possible. Because of this, please always include a telephone number and address in your post or letter. Questions left by e-mail are usually responded to within one to five business days.

    To ask a legal question by e-mail

    Complete the secure SPLC Legal Help Form

    To ask a legal question by regular mail:
    (include your telephone number and return address)

  • Student Press Law Center
    1101 Wilson Blvd.
    Suite 1100
    Arlington, VA 22209-2275

    (Note: Documents sent to the SPLC cannot be returned.)