OFF THE RECORD - Seton Hall Law

How Joining the Student Bar Association Changed My Law School Experience

Posted by Darran St. Ange on 9/13/18 2:05 PM

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Every great law school fosters an environment where students are allowed to pick a side and argue their position. However, one thing that remains constant in the minds of every law student is that the rigor of law school can be a lot to balance. Whether it be juggling class readings, moot court, work, family, or other commitments, the load can often times feel insurmountable. 

So why would I suggest adding the SBA to the mix? The answer is simple. Getting involved in the Student Bar Association allows law students to develop skills that translate directly to the legal profession while also impacting the student experience in a beneficial way. Although academic success in law school should be your primary focus, you would be wise to take advantage of what the SBA has to offer. For those who are still on the fence, here are a few ways the Student Bar Association changed my law school experience.

  • The SBA forced me to realize the importance of knowing the rules. While many people follow the mantra that rules are meant to be broken, you will be ill served to take this approach in the legal profession. I will never forget my first SBA meeting, I was fascinated by how the body of students operated within the Roberts Rules of Order. Perhaps equally interesting, was my hesitancy to participate in the meeting because I did not know the rules. Although somewhat embarrassed at the time, in hindsight I was glad to have learned this lesson in the meeting rather than inside a court room.
  • You will learn more about yourself and refine your leadership skills. In the SBA, students have the ability to create drastic changes within the law school. With that being said, student senators often times have to advocate on behalf of their representatives using a variety of skills to persuade their colleagues. While you may not be a professional at the outset, it is not uncommon for class senators to adopt techniques which have been successful and take note of those which did not lead to the preferred result. Additionally, holding a position in the SBA requires one to work with a team to achieve goals, interact with faculty and staff, and problem solve. As you progress through law school, these experiences help create bonds and expand one’s network.
  • No one gets where they are in life on their own. While putting myself at risk of sounding cliché, I believe the saying stands behind a principle that has allowed me to obtain great success throughout law school. The principle being that, “to whom much is given much is required.” During my first year at the law school, I was fortunate to have many student leaders create an environment which made this experience as enjoyable as possible. Now that I am in my final year there is something fulfilling about providing that experience for someone else.

While this is by no means an exhaustive list, I look forward to seeing new leaders emerge and work towards making Seton Hall Law the best it can be. I invite you to email me if you have any questions about getting involved.

Topics: Advice and Tips, Student Life


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OFF THE RECORD

Seton Hall Law professors, students, administrators and alumni share advice and experiences about law school and life beyond the bar exam.

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