The purpose of the T.C. Williams Student Bar Association shall be:
- to further the interests of its members in all areas of student life within the Law School and the University;
- to promote an atmosphere of mutual fellowship and cooperation between its members;
- to teach consideration of individual honor and integrity as essentials of the legal profession;
- to advance the interests of the T.C. Williams School of Law.
Article I Membership
- All students enrolled in the T.C. Williams School of Law shall be members of the Student Bar Association.
- August and December graduates shall be members of the Student Bar Association until their official graduation in the Spring.
- T.C. Williams students studying at other institutions shall be members of the Student Bar Association during that period.
Article II Executive Committee
There shall be an Executive Committee of the Student Bar Association comprised of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and two Representatives from each class.
- The term for the office of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Representatives for the second and third year class shall run from the date of induction until the date of the following induction.
- The term for the office of Representative for the first year class shall run from the date of induction until the date of the following Executive Committee induction.
The Executive Committee shall:
- adopt, amend, or repeal directives for the regulation and administration of affairs of the Student Bar Association;
- allocate funds;
- regularly report all business of the Executive Committee to the membership of the Student Bar Association during the Fall and Spring terms;
- hold at least one general meeting per month, open to all students.
All directives shall be made by a majority of a quorum of the Executive Committee, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution.
- A quorum consists of two-thirds of the Executive Committee members.
- A member must be present to vote.
Motions shall only be made and seconded by a member of the Executive Committee.
The President shall vote only in the event of a tie.
Article III Officers
The President of the Student Bar Association shall:
- preside over Executive Committee meetings;
- appoint members of the Student Bar Association to represent the interests of the Association to the University and Law School;
- delegate duties to Executive Committee members;
- set the agenda for Executive Committee meetings;
- supervise the execution of Executive Committee directives;
- act as the Student Bar Association’s official liaison to the Law School Dean’s office.
The Vice-President of the Student Bar Association shall:
- preside over Executive Committee meetings in the absence of the President;
- perform the duties of the President until a special election is held if the office of President becomes vacant. If the vacancy occurs after the close of the fall semester, the Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President until the next general election;
- oversee all Student Bar Association Committees;
- oversee the Emergency Student Loan Fund.
The Secretary of the Student Bar Association shall:
- take minutes of all Executive Committee meetings and publish these minutes within forty-eight hours of the meeting;
- reserve meeting space for all Executive Committee meetings;
- publicize Executive Committee meetings at least one week prior to the meeting;
- be responsible for all records of the Student Bar Association, including the Constitution.
The Treasurer of the Student Bar Association shall:
- compile an annual budget report, outlining the allocation of Student Bar Association funds and place such report on reserve in the library, no later than October 15;
- keep accurate record of the treasury of the Student Bar Association and of all organizations and committees;
- prepare a written report of the state of te treasury for the Executive Committee at least once a month;
- disburse monies as directed by the Executive Committee.
The Class Representatives of the Student Bar Association shall:
- represent the interests of their class;
- report monthly all Student Bar Association activities to their class.
Article IV Committees
Standing Committees of the Student Bar Association shall be:
- Academic Support:
1. to assist students in developing study skills and in preparing their schedules;
- Alumni Affairs:
1. to assist the Director of Alumni Affairs;
1. to coordinate and promote intra- and inter- mural athletic activities;
- Juris Publici:
1. to publish the official Law School newspaper;
- Legal Forum:
1. to organize and promote speakers on interest to the legal community;
1. to assist the Associate Dean in the summer and fall orientations for new students;
1. to assist the Placement Director;
1. to organize and promote social events;
- University Relations:
1. to work with the University in coordinating and publicizing University wide events relating to the Law School.
The Executive Committee shall have the power to create and dissolve Ad Hoc Committees as needed.
All Student Bar Association members are eligible to apply for any committee chairperson position.
The Executive Committee shall have the power to appoint and remove committee chairpersons. Grounds for removal shall include, but not be limited to:
- a violation of this Constitution;
- a felony conviction;
- failing to faithfully uphold the duties of their position.
The Executive Committee shall appoint committee chairpersons each spring to serve until the end of the following school year.
- insure the duties of the committee are fulfilled;
- attend at least one executive committee meeting each month;
- select and coordinate committee members;
- remove a committee member only with approval of two-thirds of the committee.
Article V Elections
Members of the Executive Committee of the Student Bar Association shall be elected annually by the members of the Student Bar Association.
- Elections for President, Vice-President, Secretary, and
Treasurer shall be held between the 15th and 28th of February.
- Elections for the Class Representatives from the rising second and third year classes shall be held within seven days after the elections for President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
- Elections for the first year Class Representatives shall be held
within forty calendar days of the commencement of classes. If the
entering class is divided into sections, one representative shall be
elected from each section.
- The exact date of the elections shall be set by the Executive
Committee at least twenty-one calendar days prior to the election.
- For purposes of this article:
1. Elections shall only be held on a day classes are in
during the fall and spring semesters.
2. Polls shall remain open for at least six hours on the
date of the election.
A candidate for the Executive Committee must be a member of the Student Bar Association and:
- have completed at least two semesters at the T.C. Williams Law School in order to run for the office of President;
- have completed at least one semester at the T.C. Williams Law School in order to run for the offices of Vice-President, Secretary or Treasurer;
- be a member of the class in order to run for the office of Class Representative. For purposes of this section, accelerated students are members of the class with which they entered law school and decelerated students are members of the class in which they will graduate.
- expect to remain an enrolled student for the duration of the term for which they are running.
To be placed on the ballot for the Executive Committee, candidates must complete a petition of candidacy which:
- must be signed by at least fifty members of the Student Bar Association if the candidate is running for President; Vice-President, Secretary, or Treasurer;
- must be signed by at least twenty-five members of the class to be represented if the candidate is running for Class Representative. If the entering class is divided into sections, signatures must be obtained from members of the section to be represented;
- must be filed with the Student Bar Association Secretary at least ten days prior to the election.
- Each candidate shall be allowed to post a statement of intent and goals on the Student Bar Association bulletin board no more than ten days prior to the election.
- Each candidate shall have the opportunity to address the Student Bar Association at a candidate’s forum. The Executive Committee shall schedule this forum.
- The Honor Council shall set and publicize campaign procedures and spending limits for each election.
- The Executive Committee can, by majority vote, remove an candidate from the ballot for a significant violation of these procedures.
- All members of the Student Bar Association shall be entitled to vote for the offices of President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
- All members of the Student Bar Association shall be entitled to vote for Class Representatives for their respective class. For purposes of this section, accelerated students are members of the class with which they entered law school and decelerated students are members of the class in which they will graduate.
- The Honor Council shall conduct all Student Bar Association balloting. This includes passing out ballots, checking off names as votes are cast, counting ballots, and publicizing election results. Honor Court members who are candidates shall not participate in election duties.
- The Chief Justice and one other member of the Honor Court must be present at the ballot counting.
All members of the Student Bar Association shall have the right to vote by Absentee Ballot.
- Ballots must be secured from the Chief Justice of the Honor Court;
- ballots must be returned to the Chief Justice who shall sign and date the back of the ballot;
- ballots can only be secured and returned within the seven calendar days preceding the election.
- The candidate receiving the most votes for each of he offices of President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be elected.
- The two candidates receiving the most votes for Class Representative of each class shall be elected.
In the event of a tie, a run off election shall be held within seven calendar days.
- All newly elected Executive Committee members shall be inducted within one month of election. Representatives for the first year class shall be inducted within seven days of election.
- Outgoing Executive Committee members shall assist incoming members to insure an efficient change of administration.
- Upon induction, each Executive Committee member shall take an oath of office pledging to abide by this Constitution.
- All vacancies arising in the Executive Committee shall be filled by an election within thirty calendar days if more than half of the original term remains.
- Uncontested elections for any vacancy do not need to follow procedures mandated by Article V, sections 7 & 8.
- The President may appoint members to fill vacancies if less than half of the original term remains.
The Executive Committee shall adopt and publicize policies for electing student and faculty graduation speakers.
Article VI Impeachment
Grounds for impeachment of a member of the Executive Committee shall include, but are not limited to:
- a violation of this Constitution;
- a felony conviction;
- failing to faithfully uphold the duties of their office.
To begin impeachment proceedings a petition must be presented to the Chief Justice of the Honor Court. The petition must state with specificity the grounds for impeachment and must be signed by:
- one half of all Student Bar Association members to begin proceedings against the President, Vice-President, Secretary, or Treasurer;
- two-thirds of a class to begin impeachment proceedings against a class representative.
- The Honor Court shall schedule an impeachment hearing to be held within two weeks of the receipt of the petition.
- The impeachment hearing shall follow normal Honor Court procedure.
- The Honor Court shall adopt the petition if the alleged grounds for impeachment are valid.
Article VII Amendments
Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed by:
- a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee; or
- a petition of one-third of the membership of the Student Bar Association.
Proposed amendments shall:
- be in writing;
- be delivered to the President;
- be placed on reserve and posted on the Student Bar Association bulletin board by the President.
The Executive Committee may offer a written comment to the proposed amendment. This comment shall be placed on reserve and posted with the proposed amendment.
- Proposed amendments shall be voted on by members of the Student Bar Association within four weeks of proposal.
- The vote shall be administered by the Honor Court and shall take place on two consecutive days classes are in session.
- The polls shall remain open for at least six hours each day.
- Absentee ballots shall be available in the manner outlined in Article V, Section 8.
A proposed amendment shall be adopted if:
- one-half of the membership vote; and
- two-thirds of those members vote in favor of the amendment.
Article VIII Honor Code
There shall be a Student Bar Association Honor Code incorporated into this Constitution. The Honor Code shall be maintained in a separate document by the Chief Justice of the Honor Court.
Until otherwise amended, the Student Bar Association Honor Code shall consist of the following provisions of the Student Bar Association Constitution that went into effect January 1, 1988:
- Article IV, Sections 14 through 21, Elections;
- Article V, Section 2, Impeachment;
- Articles VI through XII;
- Article XIII, Section 1(B) Amendments.
Article IX Inclusion
This Constitution shall take effect one week following ratification and shall supersede all previous Student Bar Association constitutions.