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An active Student Chapter can help students realize the benefits of Law Society membership at the earliest stages of their legal career, thereby building habits of applying personal religious convictions to the study and practice of law, and integrating Student Chapter members into the broader fellowship opportunities offered by the Law Society.
- The mission of Student Chapters of the Law Society is the same as that of the Lawyer Chapters of the Law Society. A Student Chapter can help students to recognize the strength that can be brought to both the practice and study of law by the students' personal religious convictions.
- Through public service and outreach activities, Student Chapters can help to promote fairness and virtue in their legal studies and in the broader legal community around them.
- As core Law Society values are instilled in students from the beginning of their legal education, those values will become integral to the students' professional activities as they begin their legal careers.
- When students establish a network of lawyers and other law students that share their ethical values and philosophies during their years attending law school, they will be more likely to continue those associations as lawyer members of the Law Society in the areas where they practice law.
Organizations Governing Student Chapter Affairs
Student Chapters Board ("SCB")
The SCB is a group of student leaders selected annually from the Student Chapter membership to steward the needs of law students around the world. The SCB is generally responsible for holding regular meetings with, counseling, training, and otherwise supporting student leaders, communicating the problems and successes of Student Chapters, and planning regional, national, and international student events, conferences, and training for new presidents.
Student Chapters Committee ("SCC")
The SCC is a group of lawyers commissioned by the Law Society to support the SCB and the Student Chapters. The SCC is responsible for providing training, guidance, and counsel to student leaders, including the SCB, and ensuring the continuity of Student Chapters during student leadership transitions. The SCC also helps to facilitate student-lawyer interaction by working closely with "lawyer advisors" assigned by the local Lawyer Chapters to work with Student Chapters within their geographic boundaries.
SCB Responsibilities and Management
The SCB consists of a Chair, Vice-Chair(s), Regional Representatives, Committee Chairs, and other Officers as designated by the Chair. In addition, throughout the year, Student Chapter Presidents or members may be asked to participate on various SCB committees. These committees may include Public Service, Publications, and Women in the Law.
The SCB Chair is responsible for managing all activities of the SCB, and for assigning roles and functions to the other members of the SCB. There is a nomination process for the SCB Chair and SCB Members. [LINK to nomination process of SCB Chair and SCB members.] The SCB Chair serves as a temporary member of the SCC during his/her tenure, and will generally be invited to full membership of the SCC after graduation.
The SCB will meet on a regular basis by telephone conference call or in-person. Members of the SCC or other Law Society committees may participate on the call. The SCB Chair plans the agenda, sends notification of the meetings and conducts the conference calls.
The SCC leadership team will consist of a chair, vice-chair, and secretary. In addition, in order to manage the responsibilities of the SCC more effectively, the SCC Chair may designate SCC members to serve in various leadership roles, including Lawyer-Advisor Team Lead, SCB Regional Liaison Team Lead, and Sub-Committee Chairs as designated by the SCC Chair.
Student Chapters of the Law Society are and can be established at any law school where there are a sufficient number of law students who want to be members of the Law Society. Students should consider a number of factors in deciding whether or not to submit an application for the creation of an officially recognized Student Chapter within the Law Society.
Alternative Student Chapters
Membership in an "At-Large" Student Chapter is available to law students attending law schools in areas where there are insufficient numbers of students to form separate Student Chapters. Each United States region has a Regional Students At-Large Chapter. [LINK to applicaiton for membership to At-Large Chapter] The SCB Regional Representatives will be responsible for at-large students in his or her region.
International Student Chapters may be organized at specific law schools or as regional or country Chapters, depending on the circumstances. Where possible, international Student Chapters should become affiliated with a local Lawyer Chapter. One or more SCB Regional Representatives will be assigned responsibility over international Student Chapters.
Interaction with Local Lawyer Chapter
Student Chapters will be most successful if they interact with an established Lawyer Chapter of the Law Society. The Lawyer Chapter should appoint a member of its board to be a liaison with the Student Chapter (an "Lawyer Liaison"[LINK to info on how to be a good lawyer liaison]); otherwise the Lawyer Chapter chair or his or her delegate will be responsible for liaising with the Student Chapter. The Student Chapter President or his or her delegate should also be invited to serve as a member of the Lawyer Chapter's board.
The Student Chapter and the Lawyer Chapter should actively communicate with each other and work together when appropriate. When possible, personal attendance is encouraged. Student and lawyer leaders are also encouraged to conduct conference calls and use other available technology to ensure broad participation in their leadership meetings and other activities.
Student members should be included in Lawyer Chapter events to the full extent possible. It is recommended, at a minimum, that Student Chapter members be included in the Lawyer Chapter's annual dinner.
In cases where a change in student demographics results in a lack of students to serve in a leadership capacity over a Student Chapter, the Lawyer Liaison should take a more direct role in supporting and sustaining Student Chapter activities until the necessary leadership roles can be filled. If there are no student members at a particular law school, the Lawyer Liaison should continue to act as the president of the dormant Student Chapter, and keep informed as to any entering or transferring students who may be interested in becoming members of the Law Society, at which time the Student Chapter would be reactivated.
Student Chapter Activities
Student Chapter activities [LINK to list of suggested activities or success stories] should take into account the interests, family obligations, economic situations, and educational time demands of the members of the Student Chapters. Student Chapter Presidents should inform SCB Regional Representatives and local Lawyer Chapters of their planned events, in order to encourage participation by both students and lawyers. In addition, planning joint events with nearby Student Chapters is encouraged where possible.
Each Student Chapter should plan at least one public service activity each year to take place on an annual Public Service Day [LINK to ideas and examples of service projects] sponsored by the SCB. Student Chapter Presidents should work closely with the SCB Public Service Committee Chair(s) in planning this event.
Student Chapter Members
The officers of the Student Chapter, the lawyer advisor, and members of the Student and Lawyer Chapters should actively seek out potential members of the Student Chapter through personal invitations, publicity, open-house events, speaker presentations, social events, and information at law student events. [LINK to Fourteen Ways to Find Potential Members for Your JRCLS Student Chapter or other suggestions] In addition to looking for potential members among LDS law students and BYU graduates, those involved in recruiting should consider any law student who supports the philosophy of the Law Society and its mission statement. Students and lawyers are not required to be members of the LDS Church to be members or officers of the Law Society.
In order to ensure that Student Chapter members are able to receive communications from the Student Chapter, from the local Lawyer Chapter, and from the SCB, all students wishing to join the Student Chapter must register on the Student Chapters website (http://students.jrcls.org) in order to become a member of the Student Chapter.
Student Chapter Checklists and Related Resources
The Law Society maintains a number of checklists and other resources to facilitate the role of Student Chapter Presidents in developing and managing the affairs of the Student Chapter. These checklists and resources are available at http://www.jrcls.org/?folder=resources&page=handbook, and should be reviewed on at least an annual basis by Student Chapter Leaders and Lawyer Liaisons.
In addition, Student Chapter Presidents and Lawyer Liaisons should maintain a Student Chapter Management and Continuity Plan that is specific to their Chapter/region. Specific guidelines for what should be included in this Plan is also included at [SITE]. A copy of all documents related to this Plan should be provided to the Lawyer Liaison at the end of each school year by the Student Chapter President.
Student Chapter Membership after Graduation
Law school graduates should no longer be members of a Student Chapter, but should instead transition into membership in the Lawyer Chapter closest to their place of employment.
Upon graduation from law school, a Student Chapter member will be contacted by the Law Society asking them to confirm their contact information and their desire to participate as a professional member. Accordingly, it is imperative that law students update their contact information to provide a permanent email address before the end of the school year. SCB members and Chapter Presidents should contact each graduating member in their assigned areas before finals and invite them to update their contact information on the Student Chapters website (http://www.jrcls.org/chapters/chapter.php?id=0).
Pre-Law Student Membership
The Law Society allows visitors considering law school to register on the Student Chapters website and gain access to the Law Society's pre-law resources. However, pre-law registrants are not members of the Law Society, and the profiles of pre-law registrants are deleted annually in the fall. If a visitor desires continued access to the Law Society's pre-law resources after the visitor's profile has been deleted, the visitor should re-register. Once a pre-law registrant is formally admitted to law school, the registrant should update their profile or re-register as a law student.