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The student body of the law school is organized as a Student Bar Association, the membership of which includes all students in the school. The officers of the association are president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. There are also elected class representatives and representatives of the Texas State Bar, the ABA, and the Cabinet of College Councils. The Board of Governors consists of the officers and the representatives.
The Student Bar Association coordinates the intellectual, cultural, social, and community service activities of the student body. Its goals are to unify the students and direct them toward worthy ends; to enhance cooperation and understanding among students, the faculty, and practitioners; and to foster respect for the legal profession and pride in the School of Law.
The Asian Law Students Association (ALSA) is dedicated to addressing the interests and concerns of the Asian American community at the law school. Open to all members of the law school community, ALSA sponsors a variety of activities to meet students' social and academic needs. In addition to social activities, the organization has sponsored workshops on a variety of topics, including tips for studying and outlining for final exams and registration advice. ALSA participates in the National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (NAPALSA).
Assault and Flattery (A&F) is one of the largest student organizations at the law school. Each spring A&F presents the school's annual musical comedy revue as part of Law Week. Usually based on a popular film or Broadway musical, the show embraces and satirizes all aspects of the legal profession--students, faculty members, and the law itself. The production is written, directed, designed, and choreographed by law students and features live performances by student and faculty actors, singers, dancers, and musicians.
The Board of Advocates (BOA) promotes development of practical skills in oral and written legal advocacy and sponsors a wide range of activities designed to give participants realistic experience in trial and appellate advocacy, negotiation, and client contact. The Niemann Cup, established by Stanley P. and Claudie P. Wilson in 1984, is awarded to the top advocate in each graduating class.
Teams compete in a wide range of interscholastic moot court, mock trial, client counseling, alternative dispute resolution, and negotiation contests. Students annually enter the Association of the Bar of the City of New York National Moot Court Competition (the nation's oldest) and several other moot court competitions. In 1995, BOA teams won national championships in the Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition and the Robert F. Wagner Sr. Labor Law Moot Court Competition. The interscholastic mock trial teams are active with National Trial Lawyers, American Trial Lawyers Association, and Tournament of Champions. The Board of Advocates hosted the initial Texas Invitational Mock Trial Competition in 1992 and the initial Whittier National Juvenile Law Moot Court Competition in 1996.
In preparation for interscholastic competition, the board sponsors five mock trial and two moot court intramural competitions. Client counseling, alternative dispute resolution, negotiation, and voir dire competitions are offered. These competitions, with the critiques and coaching provided by the legal community, promote the development of advocacy skills and provide important experience for prospective practitioners.
The Chicano/Hispanic Law Students Association (CHLSA) is dedicated to addressing the needs of Hispanic law students. The organization is open to all members of the law school community. CHLSA provides various social and academic services, including an extensive outline library, academic sessions to discuss test-taking and studying strategies, résumé and career planning sessions, bar review scholarships, and a mentoring program with second- and third-year law students and the Hispanic Bar Association of Austin. CHLSA is committed to providing a support network that will help each student have an intellectually challenging and successful law school experience.
The Christian Legal Society (CLS) is a nondenominational association of law students seeking friendship and encouragement and a refuge from the challenges of law school. Activities include weekly meetings followed by informal fellowships, Bible study groups, retreats, and special service projects. Meetings involve presentations by area attorneys, religious leaders, and CLS members, as well as other programs designed to meet the needs of members.
The Environmental Law Society provides career counseling, networking opportunities, and internships to students with an interest in environmental law. It also works on improving the environmental curricula at the law school and promoting speakers, symposia, and scholarships. Projects include recycling, attending the National Association of Environmental Law Societies conferences, and hosting the Environmental Moot Court Competition, which chooses the team to represent the law school at the Pace National Environmental Moot Court Competition.
For thirty years, University law students have participated in a spring break exchange program with law students at the University of Guanajuato in Mexico. For one week, students visit the city of Guanajuato to learn about the culture and legal system there. In turn, the law school hosts students from Guanajuato on their spring vacation and introduces them to US law and Texas tradition.
Intellectual property law, the law of patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets, is currently the area with the greatest market demand. The Intellectual Property Law Society exists to inform and assist students interested in the practice of intellectual property law. The society offers regular guest speakers, opportunities to visit with local intellectual property lawyers, and broad ranging information about the area, including the Patent and Trademark Office examination and career options. The first Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal was published in 1992.
The International Law Society (ILS) has remained one of the largest and most active student organizations since its establishment in 1963. Its main purpose is to host speakers from the academic and legal community to discuss public and private international law themes. In addition, ILS organizes social events, including language practice groups in Spanish, French, German, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, and other languages. ILS provides interested students with career and summer employment resources, information on study abroad, and internship exchanges. Finally, ILS plays a key role in the Texas International Law Journal's spring symposium.
The Jewish Law Students Association strives to give members an opportunity to learn about topics of interest to the Jewish legal community, primarily through lectures, seminars, and informal discussions. Social activities include happy hours, parties with other Jewish graduate students on campus, a Passover Seder, and a break fast after Yom Kippur.
The Legal Research Board, composed of invited second- and third-year law students, offers a unique opportunity for interaction between students of the law school and practicing attorneys.
Operating under a charter from the State Bar of Texas, the board offers legal research and memorandum preparation services to members of the bar across the country. Invitations to membership are extended to interested law students who have demonstrated their ability to do superior legal research and writing through their performance in the first-year legal research and writing program. Members receive modest compensation for the memorandums they produce.
The Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Law Students Association (LGBLSA) seeks to promote the interests of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered students at the School of Law. Membership is open to all law school students, faculty members, and staff members, regardless of sexual orientation. LGBLSA organizes social activities, usually off-campus, and works to raise awareness of lesbian and gay issues by hosting panel discussions and guest lectures on campus. Informally, LGBLSA acts as an academic and professional support network for law students who are interested in matters that affect the gay community.
The National Lawyers Guild is a national network of more than five thousand lawyers, legal workers, law students, and jailhouse lawyers that has provided legal support to virtually every campaign for economic, social, and political justice in this country since 1937. The programs of the University chapter of the guild reflect the diverse interests of progressive students at the law school and provide a forum for action on a variety of issues. Activities include guest speakers, meetings with alumni, symposia, workshops, and volunteer legal aid projects. Students may take part in guild activities beginning in their first semester.
Project Info is made up of three to five second- and third-year minority students, selected by the assistant dean for admissions and the director of admissions, who assist the law school to recruit outstanding minority students. Project Info students travel throughout Texas and the United States to talk to students about the study of law at the University. They also attempt to contact all minority students who have been admitted to answer their questions and encourage them to enroll in the law school.
The Roundtable creates a forum for learning and interaction between a select group of female law students and alumnae of Leadership Texas. The purpose of the program, like that of Leadership Texas, is to help develop the potential of future female leaders and to contribute to their empowerment. The casual dinner format of the roundtable meetings is an opportunity for students to meet and talk with judges, lawyers, and community leaders from both the public and the private sectors.
The Student Recruitment and Orientation Committee (SROC) is open to students interested in meeting new and potential law students. SROC introduces potential students and entering freshlaw students to the law school through a number of projects; these include freshlaw orientation, fall open house, UT Undergraduate Day, spring phonathon, Prospective Students Day, law school tours, and new student contact buddies.
The Thurgood Marshall Legal Society (TMLS) is the law school affiliate of the Black Law Students Association. The purpose of TMLS is to foster legal, cultural, and social awareness among black law students. To achieve this goal, TMLS maintains a variety of subcommittees that address such areas as academics, public relations, community service, placement, alumni relations, and fundraising. TMLS actively recruits African Americans into the law school community and promotes an atmosphere at the law school that is conducive to their success.