Officially Speaking

Vol. 40 No. 5

By

Lauren Acquaviva is Vice Chair of the ABA Law Student Division.

NEW YEAR, NEW BEGINNINGS

The year 2012 has arrived and it’s time to take control over your future! Some of you have just completed your first semester of law school, while others are preparing for your final semester. No matter what type of law student you are, the ABA has the resources you need to succeed.

We are all trying to find a job, and we have all been told that we need to beef up our résumés. How exactly do you do that? Well, the ABA and the Law Student Division can help. The Division sponsors four skills competitions annually: the Arbitration Competition, the Client Counseling Competition, the National Appellate Advocacy Competition, and the Negotiation Competition. Many ABA entities also offer a variety of writing competitions geared toward law students.

In addition to competitions, there are numerous leadership opportunities—a great way to make your résumé stand out. For students looking to get started within the ABA, you might want to look into becoming the next ABA representative at your school. If you are looking to get involved on a larger scale, you should consider running for governor of your circuit. Read about the current governors and why they became involved with the Divison on pages 72–74. The nomination deadline for this position is February 1. Students who want to get involved on a national level should consider running for chair, vice chair, secretary-treasurer, vice chair-SBA, or Division delegate. The deadline to run for the first three positions is February 1, and the deadline to run for the remaining positions is June 1. If you have a background in writing or journalism, you should consider applying to be the next student editor of Student Lawyer magazine. The deadline to apply for this position is February 1. Finally, if you have an interest in a particular area of the law, you should consider applying to be an entity liaison, a national student director, or a project director. There are more than 70 of these positions available. The deadline to apply for these positions is February 15. For more information, see pages 76–77.

Finally, the ABA provides an abundance of networking opportunities. The ABA Midyear Meeting will be February 1–7 in New Orleans, Louisiana. During the months of February and March, each circuit will hold its spring circuit meeting. This is a great time to meet law students and attorneys in your region. In addition, ABA representatives and SBA presidents will have the opportunity to vote for their next circuit governor. The biggest meeting of the year is the ABA Annual Meeting. This year, the Annual Meeting will be in Chicago, Illinois, from August 2–7. Law students and attorneys from all over the country attend this meeting. Law students have access to luncheons, receptions, CLEs, résumé reviews, and so much more. Finally, the different ABA sections, divisions, and forums host meetings and CLEs throughout the year. Most section memberships are free for law students, and many sections offer a discounted rate for law students to attend meetings and CLEs. Whether you are trying to figure out which area of the law interests you or you already know what you want to practice, attending these section meetings is a great way to explore your interests and meet practicing attorneys.

So don’t let this semester pass you by. Take control of your future and get involved in the ABA.

 

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