Vol. 40 No. 9
By Matt Gorney
Matt Gorney, a 2L at the University of Kansas School of Law, is student editor of Student Lawyer.
Law students have a voice within the ABA.
The ABA Annual Meeting is one of the opportunities law students have to use that voice. It is also a fantastic opportunity to meet fellow law students from different schools, learn more about the legal profession through Continuing Legal Education (CLE) sessions, attend the ABA EXPO, and network with lawyers working in the profession.
The 2012 meeting will be held in Chicago, August 2–7, on the banks of the great Lake Michigan. Chicago is also the home of the ABA headquarters, which provides a rare opportunity for attendees to see the organization they are a part of.
“The Annual Meeting is so important to law students because it provides them exposure to the Law Student Division operating as a general assembly,” says Bryan Rogers, Representative to the ABA Board of Governors-Elect. “Additionally, the endless opportunities to be exposed to influential figures within our profession allow students to cultivate relationships that are beneficial both professionally and personally.”
The cost for law students to attend the Annual Meeting is very reasonable. Prior to June 1, the registration cost is $50 for Division members. After that date—including on-site registrations—the cost increases to $75 for members. For non-Division members, the early registration cost is $75 and goes to $100 on June 1.
One of the most important events that occurs at the Annual Meeting is the election of the Vice Chair–SBA and the three Division Delegates. The Law Student Division Delegates serve as the law student voice in the ABA House of Delegates, the policy-making body of the ABA.
Under the Division bylaws, every ABA-approved law school is granted two votes in the Division Assembly, the policy making body for the Law Student Division. The ABA Representative and SBA president from each school cast those votes upon any matters that are before the Assembly, including election of the Division Delegates and resolutions.
But the Annual Meeting is not all work. There are many opportunities for attendees to learn more about the profession.
In addition to the programming put on by the Law Student Division, registered law students will be able to attend any CLE offered during the Annual Meeting for free. Attending CLEs is a way to learn more about a practice area or topic, and it is an excellent way to network with practitioners.
There will also be the ABA EXPO, which is an exhibition of what’s new and exciting in the legal profession. The EXPO showcases more than 100 legal services and products. Vendors also offer raffle prizes or other free items for attendees who stop by.
Finally, the Annual Meeting is a premier opportunity to network with professionals. One particular event is the President’s Reception. Although the ticket cost is $50, the chances to meet a large number of practicing lawyers in a relaxed, social setting justifies that expense.
Check the website for more information about Annual Meeting. Also, keep up-to-date on what will be happening at the Law Student Division portion of the Annual Meeting by visiting the Division’s website.
“Because Chicago is so centrally located, it is an easily accessible city,” Rogers says. “Students will be able to visit as many CLEs and sections as they desire. The summer atmosphere is one that makes Chicago second to none.”