Vol. 39 No. 9
ByKevin R. Johnson
First and foremost, I would like to congratulate my fellow 2011 law school graduates on achieving what is still an elite accomplishment. You have worked hard to navigate your way through law school these last few years, and I do not have to tell you that your work is not yet done. In fact, this is just the beginning. For many of us, there is this challenge called the state bar exam that looms ahead. For some, the job market has still not been kind.
As I pen my last column for the 2010–11 academic year, I do so with optimism and great expectations. An amazing executive team has gone to battle for this nation’s law students. This year’s team vowed to take a step back and focus on the value that student membership provides. The opportunity for student members to interact with the top lawyer members who practice law in any substantive area of law that a student can think of remains one of the true values of student membership in the ABA.
The next ABA Annual Meeting is being held in Toronto, Canada, August 4–9. Make sure you get or renew your passport so you can attend this meeting. The lawyer members of the ABA relish the time they get to spend with law students. They welcome students as full participants in most meetings. I personally know students who are glad they attend these meetings. Many of them have received internships and even jobs because of the contacts they have made with the right people.
Also at the Annual Meeting, three Division delegates and the vice chair-SBAs are elected. If you are interested in leadership, I encourage you to apply. Applications must be postmarked by June 1, 2011. This is a strict liability deadline and no exceptions will be made. For more information, visitwww.americanbar.org/groups/law_students/about_us/leadership/leadership_opportunities.html.
I would like to tell you what an honor it has been to serve as chair of the Law Student Division this year. I am truly thankful for the support that my team has received from the ABA and Division support staff and from the hundreds of student volunteers across this great nation. I am also truly thankful for the full support given by my deans, Ken Randall and Jenelle Marsh, as well as the rest of the students, faculty, and staff at the University of Alabama School of Law. Law school support is critical if student leaders are to reach their potential as leaders of the Division. Law students need resources, and these people understand that.
As the Division presses onward, we still have much to do before we can say that we are providing optimum value to our law student members. The Division just seated a new slate of leaders for next year. These leaders are bright, talented, dedicated, and have a true passion for the Division and its law student constituents. The Division is in good hands.
Kevin R. Johnson
University of Alabama School of Law
Chair, ABA Law Student Division