“The legal community has an impact on the entire nation, and law students make up the future legal community, so I do not take what we do within the ABA lightly,” Kerbis said. “Even the slightest changes can have a far-reaching impact, and I hope to bring the vision that will allow us to better perceive that impact.”
His goals include increasing graduates’ legal skills and helping them positively influence their community. To that end, and a legal community hot topic, Kerbis plans to participate in the discussion over possibly requiring all law students to graduate with pro bono hours.
“Such a standard would increase the legal skills of students entering the workforce and benefit the communities in which law schools reside.”
Vice Chair Cometa had previously served as the Ninth Circuit Governor, representing Southern California law students on the Division BOG, and in other student leadership positions, while gaining experience at top corporations.
“My time at Walt Disney reinforced my commitment to providing the best service possible to whoever I am serving,” said the 3L from Chapman University School of Law. “I believe that providing top-notch service to every member of [the] Division and working closely with the ABA [school] Representatives utilizes my skill set best.”
For Secretary-Treasurer Meyerhoff, a 2L from the University of California Davis School of Law, transparency emerged as his specific objective. Meyerhoff says one of his priorities is to focus on the grant program.
“I want to continue a tradition of fiscal transparency and increase visibility of the Division’s amazing Grant Program for law school student organizations,” said Meyerhoff.
Among other aims, serving as the line of communication between the Division and ABA BOG motivated Manning to serve as the Division Representative to the ABA BOG. He previously served as a Division Delegate in the ABA House of Delegates, while serving as a Liaison Coordinator working with the Division’s section and committee liaisons. Manning is a 3L at University of Virginia School of Law.
“The position will allow me to leverage the institutional understanding and the relationships that I have developed while serving in the House in order to continue representing law students to the ABA,” Manning said. “The opportunity to interact with attorneys and with law students provides a fantastic opportunity to ensure that information is flowing in both directions.”
The new leaders say that equally important are the Division BOG members’ goals and achieving success for all ABA members.
“Everyone on the board will have goals that they want to accomplish, and part of my duty as Chair is to facilitate which goals should be fulfilled,” Kerbis said. His priorities are “the goals that will best help the most amount of law students.”
Meyerhoff said he has always been inclined to serve in a student government role to ensure the objectives are met as well.
“I’ve always been a student government wonk and was already serving as secretary of my SBA,” said Meyerhoff. “I love working with the internal management of student organizations and governments. That way my fellow leaders can focus on making the organization the best it can be for everyone else.”
For Manning, ABA membership is a top priority.
“It’s important that we show law students the value of ABA membership and ensure that students have a good experience so that they stay involved,” Manning said. “It is important that we continue offering students meaningful networking and education opportunities in order to help our members compete for jobs in the current job market.”
For each new leader, it is their desire to represent ABA members and their commitment to the law that ties the common thread. Most of this year’s new leaders claim the legal bug got them at a young age, and as Cometa reveals, it can happen even at eight-years-old.
“[My] teacher, Mark Hubbs, cast the entire class to act in the production of The Case of the Kidnapped Nephew. I was billed as Mr. Blueberry, a witty defense lawyer. It may have been fiction, but in reality, I had won my first case and I vowed that it wouldn’t be my last.”
The Division’s leadership is eager to serve. They encourage active member involvement and hope that the Division’s opportunities are utilized.