By Bria Riley
My name is Bria Riley, I am a 3L and your Student Bar Association President. On behalf of the Student Bar Association, I’d like to welcome you back to JMLS (if you’re a returning student) and extend a warm welcome to those new faces that I’m sure we’ll all see around campus (for incoming 1L’s).
The Student Bar Association is thrilled about the start of the school year, new changes that have been implemented, and new programming and events. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the Student Bar Association, I thought I’d explain the role we play in serving YOU! Our executive board is comprised of ten members who work together in order to execute programming for the students, relay student concerns to the administration, and represent the student body on faculty committees and at national conferences. You can find each board members’ pictures and email addresses at sba.jmls.edu.
Additionally, we have a legislative body comprised of elected student representatives from each class who vote on student bills, review and edit the SBA Constitution as needed, and help JMLS’ students through its decision-making process. The election process for legislative members begins in early September, so gear up and get ready if you are interested in becoming more active within the SBA. Most importantly, and probably what is least known, is that every single student is already a member of the SBA even if you don’t hold an official leadership position within the organization.
As every student is already an SBA Member, the executive board and legislative body are here to serve the needs of students. Remember that you can always come to us about anything: from food options in the vending machines to class scheduling and administrative functions. Please stay connected to us because your voice matters.
Our office is on the second floor located in room S-205. We have an open-door policy so feel free to drop by at any time to say hello, get advice, relay a concern, or just to learn more about the Student Bar Association and how you can get involved. Usually, you’ll find an executive board member in the SBA office performing office hours, doing class/homework, or assisting another student. So just be aware that someone is always available to connect with you. If you can’t get ahold of one of us in person, be sure to email [email protected] and an executive board member will follow up with you. You entrusted us when you elected us into our respective SBA leadership roles and we won’t let you down; but we need your help because your voice matters.
Now that we’ve made it through introductions, the SBA would like to extend some words of wisdom to all students.
- First, to all 1L’s: READ, OUTLINE, ASK QUESTIONS, TAKE ASSESSMENT EXAMS, REPEAT. And, keep repeating, and repeat again. Moreover, find which study methods work for you, whether that is studying in a group, studying independently, or staking outside your professor’s office to attain as much outside-class knowledge as possible. Get to know your professors even if this is normally not your style because you’ll need letters of recommendation and someone to vouch for you later. Finally and most importantly, BREATHE! Just breathe through it and it’ll all be okay . . . eventually.
- Second, to all 2L’s: This is that busy time during your law school career where you’re expected to venture outside the classroom. Like Nike, JUST DO IT! Be active, be involved on campus, become part of an externship, work, become a research assistant or teacher’s assistant, and get those law review comments done. You can do this and at the moment when you feel like giving up, push further. Finally, because you’ll be so busy this year, be sure to stop by Jaime Kleppetsch’s office (if you can) and allow her to create you a personalized schedule.
- Third, to all 3L’s: The work is not done yet. FINISH STRONG! We’ve been running this race now for almost three years, but we have this last lap to go, so hang in there. Start job hunting, stay focused in class (as much as possible), start compiling the information you’ll need to apply for the bar exam, take the MPRE if you haven’t already, and APPLY APPLY APPLY as early as possible to the respective bars in which you are petitioning to take advantage of those early bird fees. This idea brings me to my next point, be thinking of which bar prep course you’d like to take if you haven’t already decided and take advantage of those early bird prices as well. Finally, take that last fun Spring Break Trip and buckle your seat belts because it’s going to be a fast ride to graduation!!
Upcoming SBA Programming:
Finally, the SBA is featuring certain programming events at the start of the fall semester.
- Student Org. Day: Happening on September 14th from 5-7 p.m. on the second-floor student commons area. Come join us in getting to know all the active student organizations and learn about their upcoming events/programming. Food, drinks, and music will be provided. If you or someone you know is a student leader of an organization and haven’t RSVP’d yet, but would like to, please be sure to email [email protected] or [email protected] in order to reserve a table on the day. Tables are first come-first serve so student leaders should arrive promptly to set up your table on September 14th.
- SBA Legislative Elections: If you or someone you know is interested in being involved in the SBA’s governance, running for a Legislative Rep. position is the way to go. In Early September, the SBA will send out a newsletter with details inside on how to run for this position, what the election process will be like, and how to get your name on the ballot. So stay tuned for more details.
- Student Alumni Exchange: This event gives current and new students an opportunity to network with some of the best and brightest JMLS alumni, ranging from: partners, judges, government officials, and associates of law firms, government organizations, and the like. Taking place on Sept. 28th from 5-8 p.m. at a brand-new location: Revival Food Hall, 6th Light h’dourves and two alcoholic beverages will be provided. Comments by Dean Dickerson will be taking place at 5:45 p.m. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to mix and mingle with gracious alumni who volunteered their time to be here on this night with you. Look for RSVP registration in the weeks to come via the SBA newsletter.