by Nina Pelc-Faszcza
Welcome to UConn Law! UConn is an extremely vibrant and involved community, with dozens of student organizations that host fun and informative events on campus all year round. There will be a Student Organization Fair on Thursday August 28th at 12:30pm, where you will get a chance to walk around and talk to the executive board members of each and every group on campus, collect in- formation about the group and how to join, and make connections with other students.
To start the year off right, here are some details of upcoming events that you can look forward to. Look out for emails throughout the semester regard- ing numerous other events that will be taking place on campus and check Pro Se online for updates.
Women Law Students’ Association 1L Mentor Meet-and-Greet
The Women Law Students’ Association (WLSA) at UConn Law is dedicated to raising awareness on campus of gender-related issues in the legal community. All students, regardless of gender, are encouraged to get involved and attend WLSA meetings and events.
One of WLSA’s biggest endeavors each year is the 1L Mentor Program, which you should have received an e-mail about this past month. Each interested 1L student is paired with an upperclassman mentor with similar interests. These mentors are available to you at any time to provide advice about and guidance through your first year of law school and to also be there for you as a friend, contact, and familiar face. Remember, you do not need to be a WLSA member to participate in the 1L Mentor Program.
The Mentor and Mentee Meet-and- Greet will take place this year on August 28th at 5pm in the Starr Reading Room in Starr Hall. At the Meet-and- Greet, 1Ls will have the chance to meet with their upperclassman mentor and discuss what to expect in the first year of law school while enjoying snacks and refreshments. For those of you who did not sign up this summer but would still like a mentor, it’s not too late! Simply attend the Meet-and Greet and unpaired students will be assigned a mentor on the spot. Please also feel free to email the WLSA executive board at WLSA@ uconn.edu to express your interest in a mentor, or with any questions at all that you may have about the group.
In addition to the 1L Mentor Program, WLSA will be having frequent brown bag lunches this semester and throughout the year to encourage discussions and dialogue on gender- related issues and to provide a forum for discussions about law school in general. WLSA’s first general body meeting for those interested in joining (women and men are welcome!) will be on Monday September 8th at 12:30pm in Chase 110.
As a UConn Law student, mock trial and moot court are excellent ways to gain experience with different areas of litigation and practice your litigation skills. The UConn Mock Trial Society organizes a voluntary mock trial com- petition each fall on campus, which lets students try their hand at direct and cross examination of witnesses and making opening or closing statements. Likewise, the Connecticut Moot Court Board will be offering a competition open to 1Ls (day division only) in the spring, which provides you with the opportunity to practice the appellate oral argument skills that you will learn during the required Moot Court course in January (evening division students will take this course in June).
In order to get a sneak peek of what it may be like to participate in Mock Trial or Moot Court competitions (as well as your Moot Court course in January), come to Litigation Night on October 1st, an annual event at UConn that is jointly produced by the Moot Court Board and Mock Trial Society. Litigation Night not only provides students with a delicious dinner, but also with a great preview of UConn’s extracurricular litigation opportunities through student demonstrations of trial advocacy and appellate oral argument that are presided over by state and federal judges.
If you have any interest in mock trial, moot court, or litigation in general, it is highly encouraged that you attend Litigation Night. Nothing will prepare you more to participate in the fall mock trial competition and to be a standout student in Moot Court in January. Additionally, although 1Ls are not able to compete in the fall moot court competition, all students are encouraged to attend the final oral arguments of the Hastie Moot Court competition on November 12th at 6pm. Additional information about mock trial and moot court competitions will be sent to you via email throughout the semester, so stay tuned! If you have any questions about Litigation Night, please feel free to contact Joe Gasser at joseph.gasser@ uconn.edu.
Public Interest Law Group Auction
The Public Interest Law Group (PILG) auction, one of UConn Law’s biggest annual events, will take place this year on Friday, November 7th in the Starr Reading Room in Starr Hall. The PILG auction is an annual event at the law school with the ultimate purpose to raise money to fund stipends for students who secure unpaid public interest internships during the summer. Students, faculty, and staff from campus and individuals from the outside community participate in the auction, donating items or services and bidding on both silent and live auction items. Last year, auction items ranged all the way from axe-throwing lessons, to gift cards and products from local businesses, to full vacation packages including discounts to Disney World, hotels, and mini golf. Other basic items included high-tech gizmos, boxes of tea, discounted BAR preparation courses, and a variety of study supplements and guides. All of these items are open for bid to any interested individual. PILG also hopes to continue the tradition of auctioning off prime donations from some of UConn’s beloved professors, who in years past have donated their time for dinner with students or even a fun day of ice-skating.
Although only upperclassmen may participate in running the auction, any student on campus can get involved through soliciting donations. Interested students will be provided with a list of businesses or individuals, who have donated in past years, to contact to initiate the donations. Students inclined towards public interest work should seriously consider getting involved by soliciting donations, since preferences for summer stipends are given to those who volunteer their time for the auction. If you have any questions about the auction or the Public Interest Law Group in general, please feel free to contact the PILG Auction Chairs any time at PILGauction@gmail.com.