The votes have been counted, and the law schools have spoken. Now, we’d like to introduce you to the next Chair and the next Law Student At-Large on the ABA Board of Governors for the ABA Law Student Division.
The chair, beginning in August for the 2018-2019, will be Negeen Sadeghi-Movahed. Negeen is a rising 3L at American University’s Washington College of Law, where she is a member of WCL’s Mock Trial Honor Society and Equal Justice Foundation. She serves on two ABA Law Student Division committees: the Programming Committee and the Resolutions and Advocacy Committee.
Prior to law school, Negeen was the associate director of Iranian-American Women Foundation and served the Iranian-American community across the nation. She was also UCLA’s Transfer Student Representative, where she represented 28,000 undergraduate students.
She is a passionate social justice advocate, human rights activist, and community organizer who has been active in her communities since she was 15 years old. Her analysis on feminism, education policy, race relations, and international affairs have been featured on ABC’s Nightline, BBC World Service’s Newsday, and Al Jazeera America.
This summer, Negeen will return to California to work as an intern at the Orange County Public Defender’s Office.
The incoming Law Student At-Large on the ABA Board of Governors is Matthew Wallace. Matthew is a rising 3L at Syracuse University College of Law where he is the Executive Vice-President-Elect of the Syracuse Student Bar Association and maintains an active involvement within the American Bar Association’s Air & Space Forum. He is a merit scholar who has held numerous leadership positions throughout his collegiate career.
Additionally, he is a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army on an Educational Delay to the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
Matthew is passionate about criminal law, national security law, and aviation and space law. He will spend the summer on active duty in the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Q: What are your goals for the year as you take office?
Negeen: My overarching goal is to advocate on behalf of all students by prioritizing issues of affordability of law school, accessibility and diversity, and law student wellness. I will build upon the work of my predecessors by continuing to push for the implementation of the Uniform Bar Exam, amplify student support of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, and empower students to lobby their faculty to institute credit for paid externships. I want to make our collective voices heard and to take action. I want us to be champions for change together.
Matthew: My goal this year is to continue to strengthen the connection between law students and the ABA Board of Governors. The outgoing Law Student Division leadership has done an outstanding job in laying this groundwork. I hope to build off this foundation in order to advocate for issues that concern law students such as additional mental health resources, updating Standard 509 Reports, and the preservation of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Many law schools have reported an uptick in applications this year. As we prepare for an influx of new law students, it is critical that we ensure they are walking into environments that are capable of meeting their academic, financial, and personal needs.
Q: What are you looking forward to the most as you take office?
Negeen: I am most excited about getting students engaged in the impactful work that the Law Student Division does. There are so many incredible benefits to getting involved with the division, and I look forward to exploring ways to empower student leaders to take charge of their campuses’ progress toward student-centered, student-driven policies. Additionally, I am excited to work with Matthew and the rest of our incoming team to serve, empower, and inspire law students around the nation.
Matthew: As I take office, I am looking forward to engaging with the Board of Governors from day one. We have more than 120,000 law students in this country right now who each face different difficulties in their legal education. I am ready to be your advocate on each and every one of these issues. I believe that the right leadership now will set the precedent for several decades of new attorneys. My ideal goal would be to leave the Board of Governors with a strong impression as to what law students require to ensure both their success and the success of our profession as a whole.
Q: What can your peers expect from you in this position?
Negeen: I will work tirelessly to serve and fight for students. I promise to be accessible and transparent for students to hold me accountable to the work that the division does and has planned to do. I will be fiercely dedicated to amplifying your voice, advocating for your needs, and equipping you with resources to use law school as a tool for your success.
Matthew: I live my life by two values: communicate early and often and, above all, take care of your people. You can be sure that as your Law Student At-Large on the ABA Board of Governors, I will make access and accountability hallmarks of all that I do in this position. I promise to learn your concerns, formulate them into issues with proposed solutions, and find paths to meaningful change. Moreover, I pledge to never forget that I speak for every single one of you on the Board of Governors. I will bring enthusiasm, passion, and dedication to these conversations. With your support and that of the division, I have no doubt that we can achieve these goals. It is an honor to serve as your Law Student At-Large on the ABA Board of Governors.