Law Student Division Holds Another Successful Annual Meeting in San Francisco
More than 470 law students from across the country gathered in San Francisco to attend the 2010 ABA Annual Meeting. Law Student Division members had the opportunity to attend training events, take part in roundtable discussions, and network with other law students and lawyers from across the nation.
The Fourth Annual Career Fair opened the Division’s Annual Meeting. Twenty-two employers spoke with almost 300 students about their organizations, employment opportunities, and areas of practice. Additionally, students met with résumé consultants who reviewed their résumés on-site and advised on style, form, and content.
Student Bar Association presidents, ABA representatives, Law Student Division liaisons, and circuit lieutenant governors had several training and networking opportunities at panel discussions and orientations geared toward them.
ABA training helped ABA representative Evelyn McKinney “figure out exactly where my place is between the student body and the ABA.”
“It was really useful to see how many resources I have at my fingertips,” said McKinney, a second-year student at the University of Alabama School of Law. “I can access financial support, idea banks, and specialists for what ever my project may be.”
Jeremy Evans, SBA president at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, attended the SBA roundtables and open forums. “We were able to gather great initiatives like holding weekly deans-SBA meetings, ABA grant writing ideas, website and Facebook promotions, and many other wonderful ways to bring together your school’s administration, students, American Bar Association, and Student Bar Associations,” said Evans, a third-year law student, adding that the annual conventions “are the best idea-making, network-initiating, and open-minded starting gatherings that an SBA President or ABA leader can and should attend before beginning their year in leadership.”
In addition to learning from each other, students had a chance to learn from professionals and law school deans. A deans’ panel discussion focused on how students can best communicate with the administration. Lawyers at a seminar entitled “How to Find a Job in a Small Firm” emphasized the importance of new lawyers being flexible, team players, being involved the community, and adding value to the firm. Lawyer Vicki Levy Eskin told the students to ask themselves: How are you going to fit in? How flexible are you? and What are you willing to do (to help the firm)? “Prove yourself as a team player,” she said.
Law students also got a chance to learn about particular fields of law in seminars such as:
“Careers in Alternative Dispute Resolution,” “Careers in Labor and Employment Law,” “24,000 Federal Government Legal Jobs will be open this Decade: So How Do I get One?” and “What Does a Career in National Security Law Really Look Like?”
Third-year Syracause University College of Law student Steven Goodstadt attended the ADR seminar. “Prior to the lecture, I was intrigued by ADR but not interested in making that my profession,” he said. “However, after listening to the speeches and the wide range of jobs that ADR does encompass, it opened up a new realm of lawyering to me—one that seems very interesting.”
At the Annual Meeting, the Division honored schools, individuals, and publications with awards. Awards were presented for: Diversity, Public Interest, SBA, Outstanding Law Student Division Liaison, Law School Newspaper, Membership and Activity, and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). For a complete list of award winners, see page 34 or visit www.abanet.org/lsd/awards.
Attendees also elected new national officers, and debated and decided on four proposed resolutions.
The 2011 ABA Annual Meeting will be in Toronto, August 4–9.
Student Bar Association Presidents Elect New Vice Chair
The 2010–11 Law Student Division vice chair for Student Bar Associations aims to make each SBA a stronger advocate for the law students it represents, and has laid out a three- point plan to meet that goal.
“By adopting these goals, we, as a community, could change the profession and our professional society,” says Carter L. Alleman, a third-year student at Valparaiso University School of Law in Valparaiso, Indiana. As vice chair of SBAs, Alleman says his duties include being a liaison between SBA presidents and the Division; voicing SBA concerns and opinions to the Division; and making sure that resources are created, publicized, and made available to SBA presidents.
First among his goals is a plan to meet with each Circuit governor and explore ways to promote the ABA in each circuit. “I will also help the circuits analyze and explore the needs of SBAs that all schools use,” says Alleman, who is also SBA president at Valparaiso. “This will allow the presidents to mold their SBAs to meet school-specific needs on improving the ABA brand and removing a cookie cutter solution all the schools use.”
Alleman’s second goal is for SBAs to actively partner with other student organizations. “Student programs are successful when multiple organizations pool resources and talents,” he says. “As vice chair, I will work with each SBA to provide unique programs across the ABA for the students to experience.
“It is not enough for students to go to class and study,” he adds. “The practice of law is not learned solely in the classroom but through interactions with peers and colleagues.”
Third, he will encourage the use of technology as a tool to bring the legal community together. “I plan to implement the broad range of options for connectiveness to bring people together so that students, faculty, attorneys, and the community can relay their experiences to friends and family,” Alleman says.
Three Students Elected to Represent Division in ABA House of Delegates
Student Bar Association presidents and American Bar Association representatives from the 199 ABA-approved law schools nationwide elected three law students to serve as the Division’s 2010–11 delegates to the ABA House of Delegates. Elected at this year’s Annual Meeting, the delegates are responsible for helping establish ABA policy about the administration of the association and its positions on professional and public issues.
Eric Cavanaugh, a third-year student at the University of South Carolina School (USC) of Law in Columbia, South Carolina, brings a fresh perspective to the position. “I am honored to have been elected to represent my fellow students in the ABA House of Delegates,” says Cavanaugh, who comes from a professional background in sales and serves as cochair and founder of the Law Student Ambassador Program at USC. “I look forward to an exciting year and the opportunity to keep important issues concerning law students at the forefront of the ABA.”
Tiffany Colbert, last year’s governor for the 5th Circuit, brings to the Division her vast knowledge of the ABA and the Law Student Division. “I’m thrilled and honored to continue the tradition of ABA law student leadership here at Stetson,” says Colbert, a third-year student at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida. “I look forward to advocating the issues impacting the law students my fellow delegates and I represent.”
She recently became a member of the ABA Grassroots Action Team. “I feel that as law students, we can make a greater impact working together,” says Colbert. One of her projects is developing letters that students can send to their elected representatives in Washington, D.C., on topics such as student loan debt. “One voice can create a ripple, but together we can make waves,” she says.
Richard Manhattan, in his final year at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas Boyd School of Law, returns to the Division for another innovative and inspiring year. “I have unfinished business with the Law Student Division,” says Manhattan, who was last year’s 14th Circuit governor. “By the second half of this year, I want to have a professional service program in place so that law students can get more networking value out of their ABA membership.”
Law Student Division Hosts Fourth Annual Career Fair
Law students attending the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco met with representatives of law firms, government agencies, and volunteer organizations; got career advice and job search strategies; and had their résumés reviewed as part of the Law School Division’s fourth annual Career Fair.
Employers, including the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts; California Public Utilities Commission; Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia; the U.S. Air Force; Army and Navy Judge Advocate General Corps; and law firms such as Sedgwick, Detert, Moran, & Arnold LLP and White & Case LLP spoke with students about their organizations, employment opportunities, and areas of practice.
Evelyn McKinney, a second-year student at the University of Alabama School of Law, was pleasantly surprised at the number of opportunities to work for the U.S. government. “There were tables and tables of people ready to talk to me about the opportunity I could have with JAG, the Department of Justice, and many other organizations. It was a paradise for law students looking for a career with the government.”
Steven Goodstadt, senate president at Syracuse University College of Law, was encouraged by what he heard at the fair. “Many of the lawyers who I met had been in the same situation as me,” Goodstadt says. “As a 3L, I do not really know where I want to end up. [I have] just an idea. That many of these lawyers had an idea of what they wanted to do, but were unsure as to how they were going to do it, and in the end, seem to be very successful, leaves hope for me.”
Students also met one on one with professionals who advised students on résumé style, form, and content. “It was helpful to speak to someone from another school who was able to provide be alternative resume formatting advice and ways to highlight important aspects of my résumé,” says Robyn R. McAllen, a second-year student at Penn State University Dickinson School of Law.