By Dorcas Adekunkle
Dorcas Adekunle, a 3L at Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law, is a Law Student Division Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates.
Do you know what type of law you would like to practice? Do you get fired up about social causes and issues? Are you interested in collaborating with attorneys on projects? Do you hope to find a mentor who practices the type of law you are interested in? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should keep the Law Student Division’s Liaison Program in mind.
The American Bar Association offers numerous benefits and opportunities for law students to get involved through its substantive sections and forums; Law Student Division liaison appointments are one of the best opportunities to realize these benefits. Entity liaisons serve as the Division’s main connection to more than 60 ABA sections, committees, commissions, and forums.
The primary responsibilities of liaisons are to be a positive representative of the Law Student Division, organize law student participation in entity events, and keep the Division informed of any policy positions or activities of their assigned entity that may be related to the interests of law students. Many liaisons sit on the governing councils of their assigned entities, and some liaisons even get to vote on substantive policies being considered by their entities. Liaisons are often included on entity conference calls and are encouraged to share the perspective of law students so their entity can see different matters from our point of view. Liaisons are often asked to sit on planning committees for entity events and have been invited to take on projects with practicing attorneys. These projects may include acting as moderators for panel discussions, submitting publications for entity newsletters, organizing internship opportunities, and finding ways to encourage other students to get involved in their entity.
For example, Muthuramanan Rameswaran, Law Student Division liaison to the Health Law Section, attended the conference “Emerging Issues in Healthcare Conference,” the section’s largest annual event. There, he met 15 law students from across the country. After learning that these students did not receive financial support from their schools or the section to attend the conference, Rameswaran approached the section’s leadership with some ideas about how to alleviate the financial burden on law students who wish to attend their programs. He was then asked to submit a proposal to their council so that the section can create a scholarship program for interested law students.
Much of our liaisons’ efforts benefit the Law Student Division as a whole, but when asked about the biggest personal benefit he received as a liaison, Rameswaran states, “the most amazing part has been the mentoring I’ve received from so many accomplished attorneys––the candidness and information are invaluable.”
Mark your calendar. Liaison applications are due in February each year and liaisons are appointed by the chair of the Law Student Division to begin one-year terms in August. For more information about liaisons, visit http://www.ambar.org/lsdliaisons.
Vol. 41 No. 9