As part of his efforts to give law students access to opportunities that will further their education and careers, School of Law Dean Tom Q. Keefe, J.D., has generously donated funds to enroll all Saint Louis University School of Law students into the American Bar Association's (ABA) Law Student Division for the 2012-2013 school year. The School of Law is just the fifth school in the country to claim full enrollment.
|School of Law Dean Tom Q. Keefe, right, meets with students during the beginning of the semester. Photo by Josh Booth|
For the 836 students enrolled, the benefits are substantial, from seeking funding for new events (ABA Grant Funding), student groups looking for exciting speakers (ABA Speakers Database) or individual students becoming involved with like-minded legal professionals in various ABA Committees and Sections.
"We are so grateful to Dean Keefe for this gift," said Clif Martin, ABA representative for the Student Bar Association. "There is so much value to students no matter what level of their education they're in, whether it's access to research to assist with a faculty fellowship or exploring different practice areas of the law they wouldn't otherwise have the time or ability to invest. There is so much potential."
Previously less than 20 percent of the student body were members of the ABA at their own cost of $25 per year. With the entire school enrolled, its footprint in the ABA increases by 500 percent. Students are buzzing with all the opportunities at their fingertips. Four student groups are already applying to the ABA's grant program, which provides up to $500 in seed money to fund new events for organizations on topics such as diversity or ethics.
While the School of Law and local organizations provide various networking opportunities throughout the year, because of the ABA's national reach, membership will be especially advantageous for students looking for employment outside of St. Louis.
Martin, a second-year law student, continues to urge his fellow students to take advantage of this unique opportunity given to them. His goal is to be able to show tangible results that the initiative is working and important to students in order to establish funding so future students can benefit.
"My hope is eventually this becomes part of our school's culture and becomes a real selling point to potential students," Martin said. "This gives us the ability to showcase what SLU law students are about and what we're made of on a grand scale."