Hi everyone! I have the pleasure of hosting a guest blog from our two fearless Law Student Association leaders from this past year, President Nirav Bhatt and Vice President Andrea Clavijo.
Nirav was also a civil procedure teaching assistant for Professor Mark Brodin, the former president of the South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA), and a former 2L and 1L representative of the LSA. Andrea (or Dre, as her friends know her) was the founder of the BC Law Ambassadors program, a member of the Criminal Procedure Moot Court Team, and executive board member of the Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA), and a former secretary and 1L representative of the LSA. Both are amazing Eagles, friends, and people, and, on a personal note, my law school experience would not have been the same without them.
Dear BC Law,
Thank you. As your outgoing elected leaders, we want to first and foremost send a huge thank you to all of you for your votes in confidence, your support and attendance at events, and, ultimately, your insightful and thoughtful suggestions to improve the student experience at BC Law. It has been an honor to represent the interests and needs of each and every one of you.
The BC Law community rightfully expects the Law Students Association (LSA), the student government on campus, to voice student concerns to the administration, preserve traditional programming that students have grown accustomed to, and use our resources and access to administrative leadership to continually improve student life at BC Law on all fronts – socially, academically, and professionally.
Coming into the 2015-2016 academic year, LSA’s mission was to not only meet but exceed these expectations. Over the summer, we openly and candidly asked ourselves the following questions: How can we improve upon traditional programming that students have grown accustomed to? In what ways can we productively and creatively work with the administration to improve the student experience on campus? What initiatives can we practically pursue that will last long past our time here for the benefit of the students? How do we keep our classmates happy? Whose help are we going to need?
LSA is proud to share some highlights that we believe reflect the efforts we exerted to answer the questions above. By the way, who are “we”? The 2015-2016 LSA consisted of the Elected Board (President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, 3L Reps, 2L Reps, 1L Reps, LLM Rep., Transfer Rep.) and 17 committees – totaling 106 students! Each member has been vital to the successful year that LSA had. We are truly proud of the team effort in accomplishing our goals throughout the year. None of the below would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our LSA members. The list below notes in parentheses the group of students primarily responsible for making each initiative happen. Thank you!
New Programming and Initiatives
The following list is a direct result of creative brainstorming, thoughtful advocacy and teamwork. A few of the items listed were suggestions the Elected Board received during Q&A with LSA in the Yellow Room. Thank you for sharing your ideas and time with us!
- LSA Textbook Rental program – Free “honor system” rental program that has saved students thousands of dollars each semester (Elected Board)
- State of the LSA: The purpose of the State of the LSA was to give the student body an insight into how the LSA operates, what we’ve done, and what we plan to do for the remainder of the semester. Given the positive feedback we received from the event, and in an effort to continue promoting transparency, we have mandated in the Bylaws that future LSA Presidents & VPs host a State of the LSA each year. (Elected Board)
- Student Satisfaction Survey – LSA had been working closely with the administration to develop a Student Satisfaction Survey. Through this survey, we hope to identify what the student body believes BC Law is doing well and where the school can improve. By pinpointing our strengths and weaknesses, the LSA will be able to work with the administration to improve the BC Law experience, changes that will positively impact our school’s reputation both regionally and nationally. (Rankings Committee)
- BC Law Ambassadors program – Launched a prestigious program for selected students to serve as the official student ambassadors of BC Law. 30 students applied, interviewed and were chosen to support the Admission Office’s recruitment efforts. Ambassadors provided campus tours on a daily basis, answered both prospective and admitted students’ questions via email and phone, and further helped staff the Admitted Students Days in February and April. Student ambassadors led 454 prospective and admitted students on tours of the law school from September 2015 through April 22, 2016! (Admissions Committee)
- LSA Outline Database – Designed a portal on OrgSync for students to submit and search for outlines by class and/or professor. To incentivize submissions, the committee organized a dinner-prize raffle for students. To date, we have 138 outlines in the database! (Online Students Resources Committee)
- Diversity Month – Organized a month-long series of events from March 14 – April 14. Events included: Taste of Diversity, Culture Shock, Breaking Stereotypes, Conversation with Lt. Lisa Butner re: Police Procedures and Protocol, Critical Race Theory (APALSA, BLSA, JLSA, LALSA, LAMBDA, LSA Diversity Committee, MELSA, SALSA)
- Partnerships with the BC Graduate Student Association – In conjunction with the GSA, we helped fund and execute two events: (1) An Evening with Tina Tchen – the Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama & Assistant to President Obama; (2) Women Faculty of Color Panel – thanks to the Women’s Initiative Committee for their help on this one.
- New 3:10 Express Shuttle (Elected Board)
- Red Sox Mentor-Mentee outing (New Students Committee)
- Football Tailgate with BC School of Management in September – about 100+ BC Law students in attendance (Elected Board)
- Keurig machine added in the Student Lounge (Elected Board)
- New microwave added outside the Mini-Market (Elected Board – idea from Q&A with LSA)
- 2nd Refrigerator in the Student Lounge (Elected Board – idea from Q&A with LSA)
- Keeping the Yellow Room open 24 hours during Exam period (Elected Board – idea from Q&A with LSA)
Faculty & Administration
- Course Evaluation due date moved until after finals, to allow students to include their reviews about the final exam itself.
- Audio-Recorded classrooms in the event of Inclement Weather
- Formalized Snow and Weather Cancellation policies to provide students with adequate notice via email and Syllabus
Internal LSA Affairs
- Added a Transfer Representative to the Elected Board
- Revised the Bylaws (first revision in 8 years!)
LSA operated with $15,300 in Ad-Hoc funding. Below are the non-LSA events that we have supported. Thank you to all the student organizations that have approached us.
- LavLaw Conference Dinner
- Beantown Shootout social at Tavern in the Square
- LALSA Hispanic Heritage Month Dinner
- National Lawyers Guild Food Security Event
- BC Law & Sorbonne Solidarity Event w/ Crepes
- APALSA Lunar New Year
- BC Law Alumni Golf Tournament Sponsorship
- An Evening with Tina Tchen
- Women Faculty of Color Panel
- Business Law Society Banquet
- 2 Christian Legal Society Lunches
Traditional Programming and Events
Our traditional line of programming and events focused on four distinct areas: Student Life, Community Building, Faculty & Administration and Professional Development.
- White Horse Tavern Bar Social Post-Orientation (New Students Committee)
- Welcome Back BBQ at the Mone Courtyard (Special Events Committee)
- Boat Cruise along the Boston Harbor (Special Events Committee – they incorporated their own flair by adding karaoke on board!)
- 1L Karaoke Night @ Union St. (New Students Committee)
- Halloween Party at Wild Rover (Special Events Committee)
- Ski Trip to Killington, VT (Sports Committee)
- Law Prom at the Westin Copley (Special Events Committee)
- UVA Softball Trip (Sports Committee – with a record 80 students!)
- 3L Week Festivities (3L Representatives)
- Bar Reviews in August (The Brahmin), October (Hurricane O’Reilly’s), November (The Draft), January (Baseball Tavern), February (Patron’s), April (The Greatest Bar) (Bar Review Committee)
- Weekly Q & A with LSA in the Yellow Room (Elected Board – instituting free K-cups to those who offered a concern or suggestion)
- Inter-Law School Mixer with other Boston Law Schools at the Back Bay Social Club (Elected Board)
- Race Ipsa Loquitor (Community Service Committee – with 40 participants raising $700 for the BC Innocence Clinic!)
Faculty & Administration
- Hiring & Promotions (Appointments & Promotions Committee)
- Faculty Tenure Evaluations (Appointments & Promotions Committee)
- Dean’s Luncheons (Community Outreach & Institutional Development Committee)
- 1L Boot Camp (Career Mentoring Committee)
- Round-Robin Networking Events (Career Mentoring Committee)
- Bar Association Events (Bar Association Committee)
We have ensured to leave behind initiatives that next year’s LSA Elected Board can enhance, expand upon, and implement as a staple in the BC Law community. Thank you, and we look forward to seeing what next year’s LSA will do!
Nirav Bhatt – LSA President
Andrea Clavijo – LSA Vice President