By Brandon McPherson
The NCBA Young Lawyers Division created its Law Student Representative program to empower law students to serve their schools and the NCBA through programming and networking. Law Student representatives serve as the “boots on the ground” at each North Carolina law school, providing information to their colleagues about the NCBA and creating opportunities for themselves and others to interface with the NCBA through different events. As you will read below, the YLD’s Law Student Representative program benefits the representatives in a multitude of ways, while also providing outstanding service to NCBA. Every summer we seek new reps from each school to serve in this leadership position and get connected to the profession. It’s my hope that all of our law student members will consider this opportunity at their respective schools.
All Law Student Division Members are eligible to be a rep. To apply, send a cover letter and resume to Amy Kemple by June 30, 2018.
Wake Forest University School of Law
I’ve been a student rep for the NC Bar Association at Wake Forest for about a year. I wanted to get involved with the Bar Association because I’ve loved living and working in North Carolina for the past several years. I’ve found that the legal community is full of some of the most intelligent, passionate, and helpful individuals. I wanted to be in a position to leverage my love of networking and North Carolina to help push other law students outside of their comfort zone, to really connect with other people and try new things.
One of the most rewarding opportunities as a student rep was organizing the Legal Feeding Frenzy at Wake Forest. Wake has won the competition for several years, and the bar was set quite high to keep the streak going. While I tried to do my part – sending out emails, collecting food and money donations, reminding people to give – the level of generosity I saw from faculty, students, and alumni left me feeling amazed and grateful. I had the chance to reconnect with previous professors during the collection process and heard from several of Wake’s graduates who participated in past years working in the area looking for ways to keep giving. The Legal Feeding Frenzy tapped into the giving spirit of the local legal community, and I am thankful to have been part of the experience.
Campbell University School of Law
The Young Lawyers Division of the NCBA gives a handful of law students this incredible opportunity to serve their schools, student organizations, build meaningful professional connections, and pay it all forward by serving as a liaison between the law school and our professional association. I’ve learned what it truly means to be part of a profession because of the NCBA: That although our work as lawyers is inherently adversarial, the NCBA enriches the professional development of all lawyers through fellowship, CLEs, and a robust offering of pro bono programs. During my two years of service as a Student Representative, I focused my efforts on encouraging classmates to take ownership of their development as young lawyers by attending CLEs, networking events, and reaching out to leadership in the sections and committees. As a student rep and a member of Campbell’s Student Bar Association, I was uniquely positioned to identify student organizations and Clinical Programs that would benefit from section and committee events. Although I’ve graduated, I hope that the Student Leadership Council at Campbell Law and the North Carolina Bar Association can become further integrated, but I’m proud of the progress we’ve made!
Matthew J. Meinel
University of North Carolina School of Law
Being a student representative for the NCBA at UNC was one of my most rewarding experiences of law school. I enjoyed facilitating connections between law students and the legal community by both bringing practicing attorneys to the law school and getting students out into the legal community.
Because NCBA members practice almost every conceivable area of law, it’s easy to organize events on whatever topic you like. For example, I coordinated a Careers in Privacy & Data Security Law panel to raise awareness of this niche but growing practice area. Additionally, I was uniquely positioned to help other student organizations at UNC connect with attorneys and bring in speakers for the organization’s events, such as an education law panel and a national security law panel.
Furthermore, I participated in and promoted many networking events and other engagement opportunities for law students. Whenever an NCBA section hosted an event or needed volunteers, I would promote that activity to students on campus. By attending these events and otherwise being actively engaged in the NCBA myself, I built a strong professional network during law school and helped other students do the same.