Working as a team can only improve relationships. As for the Law Student Division, everyone has to work together to accomplish goals. The three Division Delegates are definitely on board with the team. At the ABA Annual Meeting in August in Chicago, ABA representatives and SBA presidents elected three individuals to become the bridge between the Law Student Division and the ABA House of Delegates.
Dorcas Adekunle, Danielle Baron, and Jim Manning have been elected as the 2012–13 Division Delegates. The Delegates will attend and represent the Division in the ABA House of Delegates sessions and vote as well. They serve as communicators to give law students across the country a voice in the ABA.
The delegates are focused on the coming year, and each has set goals they plan to accomplish. Baron, a 3L at Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law, hopes to research an institution’s accountability. She would like to hold schools accountable for data they produce such as LSAT scores and passage as well as scholarship data. She says that the delegates are already getting focused.
“We have a great team,” she says. “We all kind of have the same ideas. Working together makes such a big difference.” She says her plan is to reach out to more students, such as liaisons, ABA representatives, and SBA presidents. “Communication is key, but preparation is important as well.”
Adekunle, a 3L at Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University, agrees. She is focused on programs to help students across the country. She has ideas to establish programs that will expose students to the resources and abilities necessary to be a solo practitioner earlier in the law school curriculum. “The reality of the economy is going to push students in this direction,” she says. “I would also like to see more done to understand the high cost of legal education and bring it down where necessary.”
She says it all starts with the Law Student Division and thinks it is important to partner with other ABA entities, most closely with the Young Lawyers Division. Adekunle has the qualities to be an effective advocate. “I am so passionate about what it means to be a lawyer in this country today,” she says.
Manning, a 2L at the University of Virginia School of Law, shares that passion as well. His goals are similar to his other delegates and would also like to shine a light on helping students find jobs, which he considers a top priority. He says students need to be prepared to go into the market as a solo or nonprofit practioner if they want or need to.
“At the end of the day, information is key,” he says. “Knowledge is power. We need to give them access to the information they need as law students. Ultimately people are in law school because they have an idea of what they want to do to make the world a better place; our job is to make that easier.”