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Student Organizations

The purpose of student organizations, like the mission of Saint Louis University School of Law, is to advance the understanding and development of law and prepare students to achieve professional success and personal satisfaction through leadership to others.

Our organizations are guided by the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, freedom of inquiry and respect for individual differences.

SLU LAW's student organizations work to enhance students' professional and personal development through academic, cultural and volunteer opportunities.

American Constitution Society

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) is one of the nation's leading progressive legal organizations. Founded in 2001, ACS is comprised of law students, lawyers, scholars, judges, policymakers and activists working to ensure that fundamental principles of human dignity, individual rights and liberties, genuine equality and access to justice enjoy their rightful, central place in American law.

Through our work with more than 140 law school and lawyer chapters across the country, and through the ACS' recently launched Constitution in the 21st Century project, ACS strives to:

  • Promote a progressive vision of the Constitution, public policy and the law through speaking programs; issue groups focused on discrete law and policy subjects; an annual convention; a speakers' bureau of leading scholars and practitioners; media outreach and publications — all designed to turn the tide of legal and policy discourse at both the local and national levels.
  • Educate lawyers, law students, decision-makers and the public about the legitimacy of such a vision and its importance for both our society and the lives of individuals.
  • Strengthen the intellectual underpinnings for progressive law and policy in the United States.
  • Build a diverse and dynamic national network of students, lawyers, academics, judges and policymakers to lead America today and over the long term.

Faculty adviser: Joel K. Goldstein
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Black Law Students Association

The purpose of BLSA is to utilize the collective resources available to the chapter for the creation and maintenance of a law school environment that is conducive to Black students’ effective study of the law by:

  • Articulating and addressing the academic, financial, political, social and professional needs of its membership
  • Fostering and encouraging professional competence
  • Encouraging the increase in the number of Black students and addressing problems of attrition (should they exist)
  • Instilling in members a greater awareness and commitment to the needs of the Black community
  • Encouraging the increase in the number of Black faculty in the law school
  • Promoting the interaction between the membership and other organizations within the law school and the University specifically, and the legal community and Black community generally
  • Do all things necessary and appropriate to accomplish these purposes.

Each year, BLSA hosts a Casino Night to raise scholarship funds to support its members.

Faculty adviser: Patricia H. Lee

Business Law Association

The objectives of this organization are to inform students about different areas of business law, provide opportunities to network and increase communication with attorneys in different areas of business law, and to expose students of all undergraduate backgrounds and experiences to the facets and opportunities in business and tax law.

Faculty advisers: Dana M. Malkus; Constance Z. Wagner

Criminal Law Society

 The Criminal Law Society believes that knowledge of the American criminal justice system is necessary to become a well-rounded student of the law and recognizes that, no matter one's ultimate field of practice, such knowledge makes one a well-rounded citizen. As such, the Society seeks to promote knowledge of the law of crimes and its influence on politics and society among its members, as well as to provide networking opportunities for those members who seek a career in criminal law.

Faculty adviser: Anders Walker
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Employment Law Association

As part of the Wefel Center for Employment Law, the Association's goal is to achieve awareness and career opportunities in employment law for the members of the organization.

Faculty adviser: Marcia McCormick
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Environmental Law Society & Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
Environmental Law

Environmental legal issues involve an interesting combination of science and legal theory and are often tied up with other legal practice areas such as land use and toxic torts. Job opportunities in the field of environmental law can be found in private practice, as in-house counsel, in government, at nonprofit organizations and at scientific institutions.

Overview
The Environmental Law Society (ELS) is dedicated to addressing regional, national and international issues related to environmental law. ELS periodically sponsors speakers on a wide range of topics pertaining to environmental law, natural resources law, environmental science and the environmental movement. Past speakers have included a career panel of environmental lawyers in various sectors, an expert on the engineering of levee systems, and a panel discussing lead poisoning from Doe Run Company lead smelter plants. ELS also sponsors outings, such as tours of green buildings EarthWays Home and LEED platinum certified Alberici Enterprises, and a tour of the Wild Canid Survival and Research Center (the Wolf Sanctuary).

Mission
The Environmental Law Society seeks to increase the awareness of current legal environmental issues within both the law school community and the greater community. It strives to promote legislation, litigation, business practices and lifestyles that ensure a healthy balance between successful business operations and the protection of the planet’s natural resources and ecosystems.

Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
The Student Animal Legal Defense Fund is affiliated with the Animal Legal Defense Fund and shares its mission to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. For more information, visit www.aldf.org.

Looking for a Pet?
Petfinder.com - Enter your criteria, you'll find some great "Best Friends"
Saint Louis Senior Dog Project - With the busy life of a law student, having the companionship of a pet without having to train it saves many hours. Considering a dog that is a couple years old is a great idea.

Faculty advisers: Douglas R. Williams; Lynn K. Hartke
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Family Law Association

The Family Law Association promotes an interest in and awareness of various sub-disciplines and related fields existing under the larger category of family law. FLA seeks to serve as a bridge between those students interested in the study of family law and the legal community, as well as provide access to various state and federal agencies, private firms and nonprofit organizations relating to family law.

Faculty adviser: Christine E. Rollins

Federalist Society

The Federalist Society is dedicated to the principles that: The State exists to preserve the natural law of human freedom, the separation of government powers (both between the three branches and between the various levels: federal, state, country, municipals) is central to the healthy functioning of the U.S. Constitution; that the duty of the federal and state judiciaries is to say what the law is, not what it should be; that any and all threats to these principles must be resisted through the means of active citizenship, intelligent discourse, integrity of leadership and cheerful and generosity of tone and spirit.

Faculty adviser: Ann M. Scarlett
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First Chair Society

The First Chair Society is dedicated to providing a forum for first-generation law students by creating a system of support via networking, mentoring and scholarship opportunities. The mission of the FCS is to serve the interests of the students, faculty and administration, as well as to promote the creation of a broad foundation of support for first-generation law students. The FCS pledges to serve as a bridge between first-generation law students and the state of Missouri legal community, and to promote the long-term success of members in their careers.

The activities of FCS shall include, but not be limited to: hosting speakers and conferences on issues relevant to first-generation law students; providing opportunities for mentoring for new members who are first-generation law students; promote networking opportunities for members with alumni and other professionals; networking with students at other law schools, colleges, universities, and high schools; seeking out opportunities for scholarship funding for future first-generation law students; and conducting educational events such as information tables and video screenings on pertinent issues.  

Faculty adviser: Sidney D. Watson
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Health Law Association

The Saint Louis University Health Law Association (HLA) has been in existence since 1979 and is one of the largest student groups at the School of Law. Our membership roster is impressive, but the dedication our members show by supporting philanthropic causes and getting involved in the school and the community helps fulfill our organization’s goals.

Our monthly meetings are designed to give members a chance to participate in discussions with esteemed professionals in the health law community and gain new insight into potential career fields. We recognize that while many health law students plan to pursue more conventional careers, others are interested in alternative options. Our goal is to provide members with alternative and conventional job examples through speakers and panels. We also encourage members to become more knowledgeable about health care and the law, so we periodically invite professors to discuss and debate the latest hot topics in health law. Occasionally, HLA hosts events with other campus organizations to increase student access and awareness. These meetings are a great way to meet others who share similar career interests and network. Also, HLA hosts social events outside of the law school so health law students can meet and network with other allied-health and medical students.

Because public welfare and service in the community are so important, each year HLA supports a health-oriented philanthropy by raising funds, supplies and awareness. HLA is proud to partner with the local organization Places for People, which helps provide therapy, food, housing and more for St. Louis’ mentally ill and homeless. HLA and its members also contribute to other charitable organizations when opportunities arise.

We encourage you to come to our meetings to meet fellow students and professionals in health law. Between the social and philanthropic events, HLA provides many opportunities to learn about and experience health law as a career. Feel free to email any of the officers or HLA@slu.edu with questions.

Faculty adviser: Amy N. Sanders
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Hispanic and Latinx Law Students Association

The principal objective of the Hispanic Law Student Association is to create and foster an environment in which people of Hispanic origin can discover and develop a deeper understanding of their cultural heritage while interacting with people of other heritages in the law school community. We extend a special invitation to incoming students to get involved in our activities.

Jaime Ramirez Student of the Year Award: Jaime Ramirez was president of HLSA for 2001-2002. He died suddenly in October 2001. Because he was a person of great kindness and a lover of life, Jaime made a significant impact on many lives. To honor his memory, members of the law school community have established the Student of the Year Award. Jaime lives on in our hearts (in memoriam).

HLSA plans several events each year, inviting speakers from various sectors to share their experiences with law students.

Faculty adviser: Yvette Joy Liebesman

If When How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice

 This student organization was created to encompass and further the principles of: empowerment, equality, diversity, dignity and autonomy.

The goal of If When How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice is to integrate reproductive rights law and justice (RRLJ) into legal education, to further scholarly discourse and to increase learning opportunities. If When How trains and mobilizes law students and new lawyers across the country to foster legal expertise and support for the realization of reproductive justice.

If When How believes that reproductive justice will exist when all people can exercise the rights and access the resources they need to thrive and to decide if, when, and how to create and sustain their families with dignity, free from discrimination, coercion or violence.

Faculty adviser: Sidney D. Watson

International Law Students' Association

 The International Law Students' Association (ILSA) is a student organization at Saint Louis University School of Law dedicated to fostering the development of international law through educational and social events that bring students, faculty and practicing attorneys together. To achieve this goal, ILSA sponsors numerous events throughout the year to encourage the exchange of ideas about international law and international issues. The organization also provides information about employment opportunities and study abroad options for students interested in international law.

Membership in ILSA is open to all law students. Currently, membership dues are $15 a year. To address questions, concerns or suggestions, email any of the ILSA officers.

Faculty adviser: Ira H. Trako
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Law Students for Life

SLU Law Students for Life is a non-partisan, non-religious organization that strives to provide a community in which students can develop pro-life approaches to moral and legal questions. We advocate for many pro-life perspectives in the broader law school community, including anti-death penalty advocacy and euthanasia prevention, in addition to traditional pro-life advocacy.

SLU Law Students for Life believes that every human being possesses an inherent and inalienable right to life; that life begins at the moment of conception; and that justice demands protecting the dignity of the human person at every stage of development. We are dedicated to peacefully promoting these beliefs through education, discussion, community engagement, advocacy and scholarship, as well as fostering a community of individuals who adhere to this mission statement.

Faculty adviser: John J. Ammann

Law Students for Veteran's Advocacy

The mission of the LSVA is to foster a community, within the larger Saint Louis University School of Law community, supportive of former, current, and future military members, and their dependents, family, and friends. Further, LSVA encourages and assists SLU Law students to gain education about the Veterans Administration (VA) system and the manner in which VA governance applies to and affects military members and veterans.

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OUTLAWS

The purpose of OUTLAWS is to provide a community that promotes acceptance and raises awareness among the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning and allied students and faculty of SLU LAW.

Faculty adviser: S. Paige Canfield
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Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity

The purpose of this chapter shall be to provide an effective, cohesive forum, smaller than that of the entire law school student body; to provide for the professional advancement of its members; to promote the principles of liberty and equal justice under law for all citizens; to stimulate excellence in scholarship; to provide a forum for the interchange between members of this chapter and members of the practicing bar, the bench and law professors; to develop lasting professional friendships among its members; and to promote the ideals, principles, and purposes of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International as defined in the Constitution of the Fraternity.

Faculty adviser: Ann Scarlett
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Phi Delta Phi
Phi Delta Phi, The International Legal Honor Society, Est. 1869

-Promoting a Higher Standard of Professional Ethics-

Welcome to Murphy Inn, founded at Saint Louis University School of Law in 1949.

Phi Delta Phi International, established in the year 1869 to promote a higher standard of professional ethics, is among the oldest of legal organizations in North America. Phi Delta Phi was established only six months after the Columbus, Ohio Bar Association and nine years before the American Bar Association. It holds a unique position in the history of the North American bench, bar and the law schools. During the past three decades, Phi Delta Phi's reputation as an organization devoted to legal excellence has begun to spread into México and Europe.

Phi Delta Phi has 131 active chapters — called Inns — in the Western Hemisphere and the number increases yearly. Phi Delta Phi has initiated in excess of 200,000 members.

The total initiated membership of Phi Delta Phi exceeds 200,000 persons. More judges, American presidents, governors, senators, representatives, cabinet members, ambassadors, American Bar Association presidents, Association of American Law School presidents and law school deans have come from the ranks of Phi Delta Phi than from any other legal society.

Phi Delta Phi’s dedication to ethics, professionalism, community service and leadership is driven neither by religious nor political ideology, but by the will of its individuals to foster an appreciation for ethical behavior and to create a good impression of our oft-maligned profession.

Prominent members of Phi Delta Phi include:

  • Antonin Scalia
  • Benjamin N. Cardozo
  • William J. Brennan
  • William H. Rehnquist
  • Thurgood Marshall
  • Gerald R. Ford
  • Sandra Day O'Connor
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Teddy Roosevelt
  • Robert F. Kennedy
  • John Paul Stevens
  • Adlai Stevenson

Membership is limited to students of good moral character who meet our standards of scholarship and service.

For more information, visit www.phideltaphi.org and email phideltaphi@slu.edu, or contact one of SLU LAW’s Phi Delta Phi officers.

Every year Phi Delta Phi awards twelve $3,000 Balfour Scholarship Awards to law students thanks to a grant from the Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation. In addition there is a Balfour Minority Scholarship and an International Exchange Award.

Public Interest Law Group

The mission of the Public Interest Law Group (PILG) is to educate, inform and sensitize the Saint Louis University School of Law student body to public interest law issues and provide a forum for the discussion of such issues. We are dedicated to providing volunteer opportunities for students to get involved with public interest law. Furthermore, we are committed to promoting and encouraging career opportunities in public interest law.

All of our events are a group effort and cannot be successful without the help and input of our members, so involvement by all those in PILG is crucial. We especially encourage 1Ls to get involved in our activities and become active members of our organization. Please contact any of the officers if you have any questions or would like to get involved.

Each summer, PILG at SLU LAW sends dozens of law students to organizations that serve the underrepresented or increase access to justice and legal services. Students work in unpaid, volunteer positions for offices such as the Missouri State Public Defender System, the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, American Civil Liberties Union, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. We invite you to support these efforts by attending the Public Interest Fellowship Auction. With the support of local businesses and the legal community, this event has raised thousands of dollars each year to fund public interest work.

The Irvin and Maggie Dagen Public Interest Fellowships are awarded to law students who are committed to working in public interest law.

Faculty advisers: Susan McGraugh; Brendan Roediger
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Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy

The Center for Health Law Studies and a student editorial board publishes the Journal of Health Law & Policy bi-annually. The Journal of Health Law & Policy features articles that provide in-depth analysis of topical and developing issues in health law and policy.

Find out more, including how to join the editorial staff, submit articles, subscribe or search the archives, on the Journal's webpage.

Faculty adviser: Robert Gatter

Saint Louis University Law Journal

Eminent scholars, judges, professors, practitioners and high-achieving law students author the articles for the Law Journal's four annual issues on a variety of legal topics. The Law Journal is edited and produced by students.

Find out more, including how to join the editorial staff, submit articles, subscribe or search the archives, on the Journal's webpage.

Faculty adviser: Ann M. Scarlett

Sports and Entertainment Law Association

The Sports and Entertainment Law Association seeks to connect students with distinguished professionals, opportunities and current events within the sports and entertainment law industry. SELA holds monthly meetings that consist of speakers from the industry or events that seek to further member knowledge of sport and entertainment law. SELA is committed to building a network for its members and providing opportunities to those who are interested in gaining experience in the industry.

Faculty adviser: Patricia H. Lee

Street Law

The purpose of Street Law is 1) to provide teens in St. Louis with a background of the law and of the way in which lawyers think, 2) to provide SLU LAW students with the chance to interact with young people in the area and 3) to teach local students a basic knowledge of their rights in their interactions with police.

Faculty adviser: Susan McGraugh

Student Bar Association

The Student Bar Association (SBA) is the governmental body for all law students. Every School of Law student is a member of the SBA. The purpose of SBA, as set forth by its constitution, is to provide the students of the law school with a forum for the expression of ideas concerning the social, moral and intellectual aspects of the legal profession, and also to provide an opportunity for the students of the law school to participate in the formulation and administration of the educational policies of the law school.

The SBA serves as an umbrella organization for all of the student groups within the law school. The SBA provides funding for student organizations, coordinates activities among students, works in conjunction with the Deans’ Office in addressing student concerns, and represents the law school in the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) of Saint Louis University.

The SBA is committed to creating the best learning environment for all students, and we encourage everyone to actively participate in SBA activities. The SBA is here to help make your law school career a success. The goal is for all students to use the SBA as a resource for any questions, concerns or needs. Please feel free to contact the president or any of the officers, and they will be happy to help.

Faculty adviser: Shannon Morse
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Student Intellectual Property Law Association

The objectives of SIPLA shall be to expose the members to intellectual property (IP)-related legal issues and to increase awareness of career opportunities in the area of IP law. Membership is free and open to students and alumni of the School of Law.

Faculty adviser: Yvette Joy Liebesman

Tax Club

The purpose of the Saint Louis University School of Law Tax Club is to promote students’ interests in tax law and increase their awareness of tax implications on the practice of law. The mission of the Tax Club is to be an accessible source of information on tax law topics, highlight the importance for all lawyers to have a general understanding of basic tax concepts, provide students with tax-related information and service, and provide tax-related information and service to the community.

Faculty adviser: Kelly Mulholland

 

Women Law Students' Association

The Women Law Students' Association (WLSA), has been a part of the Saint Louis University School of Law community for more than a decade. This organization, comprised of more than 100 members, is dedicated to providing a forum for addressing issues that are of concern to women in the legal profession.

Membership:
Membership is open to all Saint Louis University School of Law students, faculty and staff. WLSA has general meetings monthly. Members are asked to attend one of these meetings each month.

Dues:
Yearly dues of $20 are used to fund the cost of monthly lunch meetings and special events including the Biennial Judicial Reception, fall and spring networking events, and the Bar Buddies Mentoring Program. Members are encouraged to help plan and attend these important networking events, and to make contacts with attorneys and judges in the St. Louis area.

Programs and Events:

  • Monthly Speakers from the Bi-State Legal Community
  • Bar Buddies Mentoring Program
  • Fall Networking Event
  • Spring Networking Event
  • Angel Tree Charity Drive
  • April Showers Charity Drive
  • Service Projects
  • Pre-Exam Bagel Breakfast
  • Biennial Judicial Reception

Any questions regarding or for WLSA should be directed to WLSA@slu.edu. You may also contact any of the officers listed in the handbook or on the TWEN page via Westlaw.