Access to Free Legal Consultation

Purpose and Summary

Many targets of harassment, bullying, discrimination and/or retaliation report feeling alone, anxious, doubted, and betrayed. Too many ultimately choose to, or are forced to make career changes as a result.

In these situations, obtaining sound legal advice sooner, rather than later, is critical. Therefore, AGU will provide students, postdocs, and untenured faculty members experiencing harassment, bullying, discrimination, retaliation or other misconduct (as defined in the AGU Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics policy) with legal advice at no cost to you.

The purpose of offering this service is to empower individuals so they can make informed decisions with confidence, educate individuals about formal and informal and internal and external remedies, promote effective communication, and offer guidance in charting a successful course forward.

AGU’s goal is to ensure targets of harassment, bullying, discrimination or retaliation do not feel alone, and have access to expert advice as soon as issues arise. While AGU’s legal consultant may assist in the preparation of correspondence and/or formal reports (if necessary), AGU’s legal consultant cannot represent individuals if litigation is sought or determined necessary. In that case she may, upon request, provide referrals for private litigation attorneys (at your own expense), or help identify other organizations that may be able to provide low cost or free litigation assistance.

The Consultant

AGU’s legal consultant is Attorney Kristina Larsen. Kristina is a lawyer, activist, and advocate for those facing harassment, bullying, discrimination, retaliation or other challenges in academia and the workplace. She is passionate about educating and empowering individuals with the goal of resolving conflict.

As a former University administrator with more than twenty years’ experience in higher education, human resources, and employment law, Kristina’s unique perspective allows her to assist individuals identify the root causes of conflict, understand applicable laws and policies, navigate complex politics and power dynamics, determine risk tolerance and goals, and create and implement solutions intended to avert or minimize harm.

Kristina has represented and advised numerous individuals at many public and private universities and other academic institutions.

Eligibility

This free legal consultation is available to student, postdoc, and untenured faculty members of partnering Ethics and Equity Center organizations with an explicit legal service arrangement with the Center. AGU’s legal consultant is not available to advise individuals accused of misconduct.

Referral Process

If you wish to utilize this service, please complete the request form found at this link. Your request will be reviewed for eligibility by a member of the ECC staff. All requests are considered strictly confidential and regardless of whether approved or not, the requestor’s identity will never be shared with anyone other than ECC staff and our legal consultant.

If approved, ECC staff will inform you and the consultant as soon as practical.

If approved, you will be eligible for up to 3 hours of legal consultation with Kristina at no cost to you. If there are special circumstances, Kristina may request an exception to provide additional hours at no cost to you. These will be considered and approved by ECC staff on a case by case basis.

Confidentiality

Once a referral request is approved by AGU, you are responsible for contacting Kristina directly. All communications with Kristina are strictly confidential and nothing discussed will be shared with anyone else, including the partner institution or the staff of the EEC.

Although AGU will maintain data for the purposes of assessing the need and value of this program, collected date will never include individual names or titles.