Take a Break from Studying, Join a Student Organization

By Liz O’Donnell

By now many 1Ls have probably heard horror stories about countless hours in the library, nights without sleep, and insatiable coffee addictions. While claiming to have lived in the library may be an exaggeration, it is true that the first year of law school will be one of the most demanding years of one’s life. However, to break up the hours of reading and case briefing, many students choose to become involved with one of UConn law’s student organizations. Here’s a snapshot of some of the different clubs and ways in which 1Ls can get involved.

Student Bar Association (SBA)
SBA is the student government body of UConn Law. Each class year elects representatives to be members of the association. According to SBA President Jess Signor, the Student Bar Association is responsible for the management of a budget created from student activity fees, which is used to fund other student organizations, community activities, and promote the quality of student life on campus. SBA meetings are held every other Tuesday evening at 9:30. In addition to running for 1L representative when elections are held in the fall, 1Ls can also become involved with SBA by joining the Social Committee. The Social Committee helps plan social events for the entire school community, including the Fall Ball and Spring Fling.

Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International (PAD)
PAD is a professional law fraternity advancing integrity, compassion and courage through service to the student, the school, the profession and the community. According to Nicole Gehen, Justice of UConn Law’s Starr Chapter, one aspect of the Starr Chapter that demonstrates the sense of community and support between our members is the comprehensive outline bank. “Members are encouraged to donate their outlines they have created for any and all classes at UConn Law,” she said. 1Ls are encouraged to join PAD by participating in either its Fall or Spring initiation. Once a member, 1Ls can then join committees that help plan PAD’s events, such as St. PADdy’s Day, which is the fraternity’s annual Saint Patrick’s Day party.

Public Interest Law Group (PILG)
PILG provides students with Pro Bono opportunities to get involved off-campus, such as Homeless Experience Legal Protection (HELP), Domestic Assistance Clinic, and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). In addition, PILG also hosts the annual PILG Auction l, which will be held this year on November 8th. President Allie Roisman said the auction raises grant funds that are distributed as fellowships among selected students who are employed in public interest positions over the summer. In addition to participating in some of the pro bono opportunities offered by the group, 1Ls can also help raise prizes and funds for the auction.

American Civil Liberties Union, UConn Law Chapter (ACLU)
UConn Law’s ACLU chapter is planning to partner with the Connecticut ACLU chapter this year to take on legislative research assignments and cases. While this opportunity will be primarily for upperclassmen, 1Ls with prior legal experience may be considered. In addition, President Lydia Ansari said 1Ls can also get involved by volunteering their time as pro bono translators.

These four clubs provide a small glimpse into the many student organizations UConn Law has to offer. To learn more about these clubs and others, 1Ls should attend the campus activities fair, which will be held Thursday, August 29 at 12:30.