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Take Time to Recognize Those Who Make Time for You


Vol. 42 No. 7
ByJoseph Cunningham
“I don’t have time for that.” It’s one of the top grievances of students once they enter law school and their days become chipped away by reading, homework, and research. When not digesting what we were assigned to read, we fret about what more we should be reading. The pressures and expectations consume us and we find free time is no longer a resource we hold in ample measure. And as the pressure builds and the stress piles on, a small, select group craves the unthinkable—they want more.

On top of strenuous academic demands, students across the country lend their time and energy to lead various school organizations with the mission of enhancing the learning atmosphere of their peers. Student bar association (SBA) presidents go from faculty meetings to committee meetings to social events to diversity fairs and back around again. They give their time when, in all actuality, they have no time to spare.
So why do student leaders do it? An honest answer to that inquiry can’t be given without sounding cliché. They do it to make a difference. To make a change. They give with the confidence that they can leave their school better than when they found it. Unconcerned by lack of compensation, these leaders toll long hours, driven by honorable intentions. At the core of their hard work and sacrifices echo the words of Winston Churchill who said “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”

Although student leaders do not ask for anything in return, this does not mean they are not entitled to it. And while they can pin this badge of leadership to their résumé, they still deserve to be thanked for their sacrifices because, in all honesty, sometimes it’s a thankless job they do. Their efforts and accomplishments should be applauded. I can say I am especially proud of my school’s SBA President Fred Rodgers and all the other student leaders at Salmon P. Chase College of Law who devote their time to make the school a better learning environment.

The ABA Law Student Division, for one, does not want such student excellence to go unnoticed. Every year, the division recognizes students, schools, and their organizations for their achievements in various categories including diversity, SBA, public interest, membership, activity, and more. Ask your school’s ABA student representative how you can put a student or group organization forward for consideration. Or simply go to the ABA website for more information:

Take a moment, fill out a brief form, and nominate these leaders and groups so their achievements may be publicly recognized. Take time for them. Because they sure have for you.

Student Lawyer Student Lawyer magazine provides guidance on educational, career, and related issues for ABA Law Student Division members and other subscribers. It is published four times a year by the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association. Student Lawyer is available online to members of the ABA Law Student Division and to print subscribers.

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