Student Organizations

At Syracuse Law, we encourage you to fully engage in campus life. Getting involved in one of our 30-plus student organizations and professional associations is a great way to connect with other students, gain valuable leadership experience, and have fun. Join your classmates in our Student Bar Association to volunteer for service activities and take an active role in shaping the Syracuse Law experience. Student involvement is valuable to both personal and scholarly success. Explore the many ways to participate and make an impact in student-lead organizations and activities.

How will you get involved? 

Don’t see a student organization that captures your interest? Consider starting a new one! If you would like to start a new student organization, here are the steps:

1. Set up an appointment with the Director of Student Affairs, Deborah S. O’Malley (315-443-1146) to discuss the organization and review the approval process.

2. Assemble at least fifteen students to support the creation of your new student organization.

3. Select and confirm a faculty advisor.

4. Fully complete the Student SBA Addendum.

5. Draft a constitution or bylaws. The constitution must contain (but is not limited to) the following information:

A. Purpose. Describe the purpose of the organization.

B. Membership. A statement of open membership to all Syracuse University College of Law Students who have paid their activity fee; and further that the organization shall not discriminate regardless of race, color, sex, handicap, age, or political and religious affiliation in any of its policies, procedures or practices.

C. List of Officer Positions. Each organization must have at least two officers, including:

i. A President or Chair who will serve as the liaison between the organization and the Office of Student Affairs. This person will be the primary contact for all things relating to the student organization.

ii. A Treasurer or financial officer who will be the primary contact for the organization’s budget. This person will be responsible for signing all reimbursements and tracking the budget progress of the organization.

D. Method for electing officers.

E. The need and function of the Faculty/Staff Advisor.

F. A statement regarding the supervising authority and an agreement to comply with SU and College of Law Policies & Procedures, along with federal, state and local laws.

G. Process for amending the constitution.

H. Sample constitution is available here.

6. Submit the completed Addendum and organization constitution to the SBA Secretary.

After you have fully completed the above steps, you will be scheduled to appear at the next meeting of the SBA. You will be asked to present the purpose, goals, objectives, and intent of your organization. The SBA may ask follow up questions based on your presentation. A guide to organization recognition is available here.

If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact the Office of Student Affairs at 315-443-1146, or lawstudentaffairs@law.syr.edu

The Alternative Dispute Resolution Society (ADRS) is a student run organization that focuses on providing its members with skills and education in the fields of negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.

The ADRS is committed to pro bono work in the Syracuse community through its volunteer mediation program at the Onondaga County Family Court. In conjunction with the Moot Court Honor Society, ADRS sends teams to compete in inter-collegiate ADR competitions around the country.

Find us on Facebook for updated activities and information!
Contact: ADR@law.syr.edu

ACS is committed to fostering a progressive vision of the law on issues across the policy spectrum, including access to the courts; anti-discrimination and affirmative action; civil liberties; consumer rights; criminal justice; disability rights; freedom of speech; gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights; international human rights; immigration; open government; labor law; the political process; privacy; protection of health, safety and the environment; and women’s rights and reproductive freedom.

The Art Law Society (ALS) is established for the purpose of promoting awareness and interest in art law. ALS seeks to engage students in a legal discussion regarding cultural property, ownership, moral rights, and restitution. Members will have the opportunity to participate in local art events and have access to prominent leaders in the field.

APALSA’s goals are:

  • to encourage communications between law students and to associate law students who share similar goals
  • to serve as a liaison between Asian Pacific American attorneys and law students
  • to influence the legal community to bring about meaningful change to meet the needs of the Asian Pacific American community
  • to encourage Asian Pacific Americans to consider law as a career.

APALSA sponsors guest speakers at the College of Law, as well as social functions.

Membership
Open to all law students.

As an organization, The Black Law Student Association (BLSA) is committed to providing support and encouragement in order to help facilitate a smooth adjustment process. The National Black Law Student Association (NBLSA) is the largest student-run organization in America and has over 200 chapters at law schools throughout the country, representing almost every ABA accredited law school, plus several non-accredited law schools. BLSA’s mission is to strive for excellence and balance within the legal community through professionalism, respect and hard work as a cohesive unit. BLSA has various resources to aid your academic success and hosts a variety of social functions for non-academic enjoyment. In the past, BLSA has participated in a variety of community service projects and the annual Thurgood Marshall Moot Court Competition.

Membership
Open to all students who have an interest in the African American legacy and culture, and in furthering the success of African Americans in the legal field.

The Christian Legal Fellowship provides encouragement, fellowship, and support to students in finding a common ground between their faith and the legal profession. Through legal discussions, prayer meetings, and Bible studies, CLF members experience growth in their spiritual walk with Christ as well as a Christian perspective on law academia.

All are welcome to attend!

Please go to our Wordpress site for more up-to-date information on CLPS

Mission Statement

The Syracuse University Corporate Law Society is committed to actively preparing its members for successful careers in the area of corporate law, as well as introducing the field of corporate law to members exploring the practice. By encouraging interaction between students and professionals, the Corporate Law Society strives to introduce its membership to all aspects of the law as it pertains to the corporate world. This organization is dedicated to the continuing education of its members and the law school community at large, which it accomplishes in several ways. First, a speaker series comprised of various corporate law practitioners reveals the intricacies of corporate law to Society members. Second, alumni events encourage networking outside the law school environment. Third, interaction and collaboration among leaders, members and other student organizations supports networking within the law school setting. Fourth, the Society supports the Syracuse community and charitable organizations by organizing members to volunteer in service activities.

In March of 2004, the Corporate Law Society created the Corporate Law Society Scholarship Fund. This Fund is the first of its kind in the 109-year history of the College of Law. Beginning in 2004, the Fund awards $500 to a first-year law student for his or her exhibited interest in the area of corporate law.

Finally, the Corporate Law Society seeks to address the immediate and individual needs of its members as they arise. The Society promotes collegiality and encourages a supportive network among its members. Although active contribution by all members is not mandatory, it is strongly encouraged so students may realize the opportunities this Society offers its members. Members can fully participate in developing new ideas and opportunities for the Society.

The Corporate Law Society is dedicated to the success of our members in law school and in law practice.

The Criminal Law Society focuses on the aspects of practicing criminal law as well as criminal justice issues such as the social, political and psychological aspects behind American criminal law.

Some recent activities have included presenting forums in different areas of criminal law for guest speakers to lecture and advise students on the realities and intricacies of criminal law practice. These forums help students to analyze and discuss important and controversial criminal justice issues. The Criminal Law Society is planning to organize a mentor/student reception to assist new students search for criminal law internships.

Membership
Open to all first year students and any student interested in criminal justice.

The disAbility Law Society is a newly formed student organization in the College of Law. The purpose of the disAbility Law Society is to create and support a positive climate toward disability that values individual difference in the College of Law and greater Syracuse University community.

Some of our goals are:

  • To raise awareness about disability within the College of Law and greater Syracuse University community.
  • To support students who have disabilities; who are interested in pursuing a joint degree related to disability studies; and/or who are interested in pursuing a career in disability law or a related field.
  • To provide information and assistance to students, faculty and staff members in the College of Law and Syracuse University community regarding disability; and,
  • To provide College of Law students the opportunity to volunteer in the disability community of the local Syracuse community.

We seek to promote meaninful access to educational opportunity by facilitating access to services and advocating on behalf of students with members of the campus community.

The disAbility Law Society works in partnership with the Beyond Compliance Coordinating Committee, a graduate student group in the School of Education.

The Syracuse University College of Law Sports and Entertainment Law Society is open to all Syracuse law students who possess a sincere interest and dedication to the professions of entertainment law and sports law.

We’ve all sat through Thanksgiving dinner…it’s easy to see why Family Law is a growing dynamic, encompassing Adoption Law, Elderly Law, Poverty Law, Disability Law, Divorce Law, Wills & Estates, Child Welfare, and much, much more.

The Family Law Society collaborates with the Center for Family Law and Social Policy to familiarize and to introduce students into the field of Family Law. Through luncheons with family court judges to guest speakers, lectures, seminars, workshops and volunteer activities in the Syracuse community, we provide students with the opportunity to explore the many different facets of Family Law.

We welcome all College of Law students interested in learning more and becoming involved with family law issues. We’re saving you a seat at our table!

Membership
All Syracuse University College of Law students interested in learning more and becoming
involved with family law issues.

The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is an organization dedicated to bringing a conservative and libertarian perspective of the law to the College of Law. The Federalist Society brings speakers to campus and conducts other activities to debate and receive different perspectives about various legal ideals.

Membership
Open to all law students.

To educate its members about the field and practice of Heath Law, to assist Syracuse University College of Law students and graduates interested in Health Law careers to gain employment in this field, and to improve the Syracuse University College of Law curriculum and programming in the area of Health Law.

The Intellectual Property Law Society (IPLS) is designed to promote and to foster interests in the Intellectual Property field, which include patent, trademark, and copyright matters. IPLS members benefit from speakers practicing in a wide variety of IP fields, and from roundtable discussions with upper class students who have interviewed and worked in IP. IPLS sponsors trademark and patent moot court teams, and its members often work with the College’s Law and Technology Management program and Technology Transfer Center, where students work on real IP legal issues.

Membership
Open to all students (regardless of undergraduate major).

MISSION STATEMENT

The intent of the Syracuse Chapter of the International Law Students Association is to assist law students in becoming aware and educated of international law systems in an atmosphere of cultural diversity. In order to promote international law and career opportunities in the field of international law, the Syracuse Chapter participates in various conferences, conducts speaker series, and sponsors other social and educational events related to international law.

The Jewish Law Student Association (JLSA) is open to all students regardless of religious affiliation. JLSA is a cultural, social, educational, and religious organization that reflects the varied interests of the Jewish student community of the Syracuse University College of Law. JLSA members participate in various cultural, social, and religious events and have an opportunity to meet and interact with members of the larger Jewish community in the University and Syracuse Area.

The Latin American Law Student Association (LALSA) is a support organization for law students of Latin American descent. It serves as a vehicle for establishing a network of Latino law students and improving the law school environment for Latino Americans.

LALSA organizes events like the Hispanic National Bar Annual Networking Reception in New York City and moot court competitions.

Membership
LALSA is open to all students who support the organization. Interested students should attend a LALSA meeting for more information.

Syracuse University College of Law’s Moot Court Honor Society (MCHS) is comprised of approximately sixty-eight second and third-year law students. This selective group represents the best oral advocates at the College. The MCHS exists to promote development of critical written and oral advocacy skills essential in the legal profession through a variety of student competition opportunities in appellate, dispute resolution and trial settings. MCHS hosts four intra-collegiate competitions open to students at Syracuse University College of Law throughout the academic year. In addition, MCHS certifies and sponsors many inter-collegiate advocate teams that participate in several competitions across the country throughout the year..

The Syracuse University College of Law Chapter of the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) was established in order to create a community for Native students and all students interested in Indian Law, to network with attorneys in this practice area and Native lawyers locally and across Indian Country, and to inform the general student body about Indian Law and its ties to various practice areas. NALSA acknowledges that SUCOL is located on the homelands of the Onondaga Nation and strives to learn from, work with, and serve local Native communities. Membership is open to anyone interested in and supportive of learning more about Indian Law and issues in Indian Country.

Email NALSA@law.syr.edu and like our Facebook page for more information. https://www.facebook.com/SUCOL.NALSA/

The National Women’s Law Student Association (NWLSA) provides a forum for the discussion and advancement of women in legal education and the legal profession. It creates a graduate network to enable women in the legal profession and in law school to learn from and support one another, and addresses societal impacts of women on the law. NWLSA also provides opportunities to network with prominent local attorneys through co-sponsored mentoring events.

The group has addressed topics ranging from domestic violence to recent legislation impacting the lives of women. As a recently reorganized student group, NWLSA is able incorporate the interests of new members into its yearly agenda.

NWLSA has been recognized by the law school for its excellence in community service. Volunteer opportunities have included working with local girl scouts, cleaning at Syracuse Women’s Information Center, and compiling needed items for domestic violence survivors.

Membership

All Syracuse law students are invited to become NWLSA members.

OutLaw is a student group at Syracuse University College of Law that holds events focused on laws and policies affecting LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) persons in the United States. Whether gay or straight, liberal or conservative, we welcome you to add your voice to what we hope to be an honest and ongoing discussion on LGBT legal issues.

Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International (PAD) unites students, faculty, and alumni in professional service and social activities. PAD encourages members to promote the ideals of liberty and equal justice under the law, to stimulate excellence in scholarship, and to foster integrity and professional competence. With almost 200 chapters in the country, Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity has prominent members in the legal and political community illustrating its purposes of professionalism and integrity in their careers. As one of the largest organizations within the College of Law, we enable our students to develop skills of service to other students, the College of Law, the community and the profession. In addition to the contacts and bonds that our members form, the benefits of membership includes advantages such as participation in a mentoring program with second and third-year law students, personal assistance and advice about test-taking and outlining skills, and recommendations for programs and tracks not readily known to all College of Law students.

The Syracuse University Chapter of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity accepts applications throughout the year and recruits and initiates students in the fall and spring semesters. Students are required to pay national dues and maintain good academic standing in order to participate.

The Syracuse University College of Law SALDF is dedicated to providing a forum for education, advocacy, and scholarship aimed at protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system, and raising the profile of the field of animal law.

The activities of Syracuse University College of Law SALDF shall include, but not be limited to: hosting speakers, debates, and conferences on current issues in animal rights and animal welfare law; carrying out research projects for lawyers and organizations promoting animal welfare and animal rights litigation; networking with students at other law schools, colleges, universities, and high schools; conducting educational events such as information tables and video screenings on pertinent issues; engaging in fundraising activities to benefit our community; and advocating on behalf of vegetarian/vegan students within our law school.

For more information on SALDF, please contact Alicia M Slate.

The Tax Society explores issues of tax and provides tax return assistance to students and the community.

The Tax Society has participated in the Albert Mugel Tax Trial Competition and VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) in the past.

Membership
Open to all law students; attend the first fall meeting

The Syracuse Public Interest Network, (“SPIN”), is a student-run organization at the Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL) committed to fostering the careers of students who intend to advocate for the public interest. Through a variety of programming, SPIN seeks to instill a sense of passion for pro bono efforts and community service in the students at the Syracuse University College of Law, as well as create a public interest network for students to connect with alumni, practitioners and the community.

SPIN raises money to provide grants for SU College of Law students with SPIN Fellowships, who are employed during the summer in the public interest legal field. Broadly defined, public interest employment includes public service, government work, judicial clerkships, and Fellowships. Public interest organizations tend to represent people and issues that might otherwise lack meaningful representation in the legal system. The necessity of such representation cannot be emphasized enough; because without public interest organizations, the nation’s legal system would serve only those who can afford counsel.

Public interest practice is often considered work done in pursuit of individual or group concepts of justice, equity and advancing the public good, rather than for purposes of commercial or personal gain. Public interest practioners strive to remedy social and legal injustices, consistent with their values and political perspective. By supporting students who would otherwise be financially unable to take positions in the public interest sector, SPIN increases legal services to those who can least afford them, and often who are most in need of them. There is much work to be done in the public sector!

The Veterans’ Issues and Support Initiative and Outreach Network (VISION) was created by a group of students who wanted to better serve our veteran population in Syracuse and Central New York. With tens of thousands of veterans returning to Central New York in the coming years, VISION’s founders saw a great opportunity to serve those returning service men and women who had served us all.

The Syracuse College of Law is located on the doorstep of one of the most important veterans’ hospitals in New York State. Additionally, one of the largest Army bases in the country, Ft. Drum, is just one hour north, making Syracuse a hub for veterans’ services. VISION strives to better connect the Syracuse College of Law and our veteran population and to provide vital resources to benefit those in need.

Currently, VISION works to serve veterans through three key initiatives. First, students are able to provide pro bono work by staffing a local veterans’ legal clinic that meets once monthly in Syracuse. Student volunteers work on a wide range of legal issues facing our veterans and gain a familiarity with a niche area of the law that will soon be in high demand as our warriors return from overseas.

Second, students can contribute to the research and drafting of a “white paper” aimed at influencing legislation that will allow veterans to upgrade a less than honorable discharge if their discharge is found to be related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”) or Traumatic Brain Injury (“TBI”). This change in the authorizing statute will ensure that veterans have access to the treatment and benefits that they need and deserve from Veterans Affairs.

Finally, students can work on the creation of a comprehensive resource guide detailing all of the services available to veterans in the Syracuse area in one easy to access place. No such guide currently exists, and it will be of tremendous benefit to all veterans in the community. We see these projects as just the beginning for VISION, and the organization aims to take on additional initiatives as it grows.

Returning veterans often face numerous challenges after coming home from service, and many struggle to successfully acclimate to civilian life. VISION hopes to provide Syracuse University College of Law students an opportunity to help those in our society who deserve our service the most. President Lincoln once said that “[a] nation that does not honor its heroes, will not long endure.”