As the 2012–13 student liaison to the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section, I implore students who have an interest in pressing issues facing today’s criminal justice system to join the Criminal Justice Section. Membership is free for members of the Law Student Division.
The Criminal Justice Section has primary responsibility for the ABA’s work on solutions to issues involving crime, criminal law, and the administration of criminal and juvenile justice.
The section plays an active leadership role in bringing the views of the ABA to the attention of federal and state courts; Congress; and other federal and state judicial, legislative, and executive policy-making bodies. The section also serves as a resource to its members on issues in the forefront of change in the criminal justice arena. Benefits for joining the Criminal Justice Section are numerous.
“My membership to the Criminal Justice Section of the ABA has been unequivocally beneficial. Being a member of the Criminal Justice Section gives tremendous insight as to national trends in sentencing reform. Using that insight, as president of the Jesse J. McCrary chapter of the Black Law Students Association, we are able to host forums highlighting those policies in hopes of advancing the policies we agree with and eliminating those we don’t,” says Zedrick Barber II, a 3L at Florida A&M University College of Law.
The section not only provides the opportunity to network with more than 20,000 members, including prosecutors, defenders, judiciary officials, law students, and other criminal justice professionals, but it also offers the following benefits:
- internship and mentorship opportunities;
- discounts on practice-related publications;
- priority invitations and discounts to CLEs;
- monthly e-news updates;
- subscription to Criminal Justice magazine;
- an opportunity to serve as a student liaison to the section’s substantive committees; and
- summaries of Supreme Court criminal law cases.
As the liaison to this section, it is my desire to develop creative ideas, programs, and forums that will directly benefit law students in the upcoming year.