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THOMAS M. COOLEY LAW SCHOOL

AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION/ LAW STUDENT DIVISION

 By-Laws

 

ARTICLE I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

1.0 Name. The name of this organization shall be the Thomas M. Cooley American Bar Association/Law Student Division (hereinafter "TMC ABA/LSD").

1.1 Mission and Purpose. The mission and purpose of this organization is to provide leadership in the legal profession, to represent the interests of law students to the Association, and to promote excellence in legal education. To accomplish its mission, TMC ABA/LSD shall further the objectives of this Chapter, the Circuit, the Division, and the Association; create a forum for the exchange and expression of law students' viewpoints, stimulate the interest and participation of law students in the activities of our Chapter, Circuit, Division, and Association; conduct programs of interests and value to law students; assist the Circuit, Division, Association and its other divisions and sections; assist in establishment, improvement, and coordination of law school organization, and promote the involvement of law students, in public service activities.

1.2 Tax Exempt Status. Other sections of these Bylaws notwithstanding, the TMC ABA/LSD shall engage in no activities that would make it ineligible for tax exempt status. To that end, the TMC ABA/LSD shall contribute to the personal benefit of, or be distributed to its members, officers, or other private persons except as reasonable compensation for services rendered or expenses incurred.

1.3 Authority. These Bylaws and any action taken under their authority shall not be inconsistent with the Association's constitution and Bylaws or action taken under their authority, shall not be inconsistent with the Division's Bylaws or action taken under their authority, shall not be inconsistent with the Sixth Circuit's Bylaws or actions taken under their authority and shall not be inconsistent with the Thomas M. Cooley Student Bar Association's constitution and Bylaws or action taken under their authority. These Bylaws, when not inconsistent, shall be the basis for the conduct of all business conducted in the Chapter. In the event of a conflict between these Bylaws and the Bylaws of the Association, the Division, or the Circuit and the compromise cannot be reached, the Association, the Division, or the Circuit Bylaws will dictate. In the event of a conflict between these Bylaws and the TMC SBA Bylaws, the President of the TMC ABA/LSD and the President of the TMC SBA shall work together to reach a reasonable compromise. Failure of a reasonable compromise will result in the Bylaws of the Association dictating the situation.

1.4 Anti-Discrimination. TMC ABA/LSD shall not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, or race; cultural or ethnic background, citizenship, economic status, gender, ideological, philosophical, or political belief or affiliation; marital or parental status, national or regional origin, physical disability, religion or religious or denominational affiliation, or sexual orientation. TMC ABA/LSD shall not encourage or condone discrimination, either implicitly or explicitly and shall actively discourage discrimination on any above stated basis.

ARTICLE II

MEMBERSHIP

 

2.1 Members. A person shall become a member of the TMC ABA/LSD by payment of national dues to the ABA/LSD for the year. A Thomas M. Cooley student who is a member of the ABA/LSD is automatically a member of the TMC ABA/LSD.

2.2 Membership. Membership shall be open to all students of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School community.

2.3 The Executive Board. The Executive Board shall consist of the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, Parliamentarian and all Officers-Elect of the TMC ABA/LSD.

2.4 The Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall consist of all Class Representatives and appointed Executive Committee members of the TMC ABA/LSD.

2.5 The General Body. Members present at any given TMC ABA/LSD meeting.

2.6 ABA/LSD Summit. The National ABA/LSD President, all ABA/LSD Presidents and up to two voting delegates who are members of the TMC ABA/LSD.

2.6 Dues. Dues shall be determined and paid to the National ABA/LSD headquarters.

ARTICLE III

MEETINGS

 

3.1 General Body Meetings. General meetings of the TMC ABA/LSD membership shall be held whenever called by the Executive Board, but in any case no less frequently than once every month. The meeting time and place shall be determined by the Executive Board and shall be announced and publicized at least three days prior to the meeting. General body meetings of the TMC ABA/LSD are open to all members of the Thomas M. Cooley community.

3.2 Executive Board Meetings. Executive Board meetings shall be held whenever called by the President or whenever requested by a majority of the existing Executive Board for special business. Notice of an Executive Board meeting must be given at least three days prior to a meeting.

3.3 Executive Committee Meetings. Executive Committee meetings shall be held whenever called by the President or a majority of Executive officers of the ABA/LSD. Notice of such meeting must be given at least five days prior to a meeting. Executive Committee meetings shall include members of the Executive Board, the Executive Committee, Class Representatives and other appointed officials.

3.4 ABA/LSD Summit Meetings. ABA/LSD Summit Meeting shall be held at least once each academic year and shall be called by the ABA/LSD National President. The purpose of this meeting will be to create and pass resolutions that will govern all TMC ABA/LSD chapters and to amend bylaws if proposed. Each summit shall be hosted by the National ABA/LSD President’s campus. The agenda and materials shall be circulated to each campus President for dissemination at least two weeks prior to the convening of the summit. The summit shall consist of each campus’s President and up to two additional voting delegates. For transparency purposes, these meeting shall be advertised and open to the General Student Body. The Parliamentarian located on the campus of the National ABA/LSD President shall serve as a non-voting member of the Summit, and shall be charged with the task of keeping order.

3.5 Minutes. The Secretary shall take and distribute a copy of the minutes from all meetings of the TMC ABA/LSD. The minutes shall be distributed or posted in a public location so that all members have access to them. The minutes of each meeting shall also be filed in the TMC ABA/LSD organizational files.

3.6 Attendance. All Executive Board and Executive Committee Officers are expected to attend each meeting. If an officer or a representative cannot make a meeting, he/she must notify the President and Secretary in wiring, within a reasonable time in advance, to explain the reason for not attending. An officer or Executive Committee member is allowed three unexcused absences per academic year; upon receiving the fourth they shall be summoned before the Board and a hearing shall be conducted to determine if they shall remain in office. Pre-excused absences are exempted from this provision and are given at the discretion of the President.

3.7 Quorum. A majority of the Executive Board and Committee must be present for quorum to be established at all General Body and Chapter Assembly meetings. If there is no quorum, the meetings shall be conducted for informational purposes, and voting measures shall be tabled. For the purpose of establishing quorum at the annual ABA/LSD Summit a simple majority of all established campuses must be present to conduct business; this may be in person or via video conferencing.

3.8 Proxy and Absentee Voting. In the event that an Executive Board or Committee member is unable to attend a meeting, they may proxy their vote to another board member by providing written notice to the President or presiding officer within 24 hours of a scheduled meeting. The proxy will be treated as if the board member was present and the secretary shall denote the proxy’s vote in the official record. In the alternative and if requested within a reasonable time, a voting member shall be allowed to vote on measures using any reasonable alternative format if available (Ex. video conferencing, phone, e-mail, etc...).  A valid excuse must be provided and accepted by a majority of the Executive Board in order to allow absentee voting.

ARTICLE IV

THE GENERAL BODY

4.1 Function. The General Body shall hear, consider, and vote upon general matters presented to it by the Executive Board and/or Committee of the TMC ABA/LSD. It shall also elect the Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and Parliamentarian by the third week of October each academic year.

4.2 Representation. Any student at Thomas M. Cooley Law School who has paid their membership into the National American Bar Association shall be deemed a member of the TMC ABA/LSD General Body.

4.3 Rules of Proceedings. The latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall govern all meetings.

ARTICLE V

EXECUTIVE BOARD

5.1 National ABA/LSD President. The National ABA/LSD President of the TMC ABA/LSD shall be elected during a campus-wide election, which shall be determined and set forth annually by the TMC ABA/LSD Summit. The election will take place each year during the Fall term and shall be organized by the manner set forth and prescribed by the Summit Board. The National ABA/LSD President shall serve as the official ABA/LSD Representative for Thomas M. Cooley Law School at all ABA/LSD meetings, conferences and events in the Circuit, the Division, and the Association and act as a liaison between the National ABA/LSD and all TMC ABA/LSD Chapters. The National ABA/LSD President shall also hold the title of President at his or her respective campus and shall also work closely with the Circuit, the Division, and the Association to assure the organization is promoting the ABA to the best of its abilities. Further the National President shall work to promote all chapters of Cooley throughout the Circuit, the Division and the Association. The National President shall have the power to call meetings of the ABA/LSD Summit Board, as he/she sees fit. The National President shall appoint and fill any vacancies for the Office of President at any of the TMC ABA/LSD campuses with inactive chapters.

5.2 National SBA President. The National SBA President for the TMC ABA/LSD shall be the SBA President at the campus in which the National ABA/LSD President is elected.  The National SBA President shall serve as the official ABA/SBA President for all TMC ABA/LSD chapters; He/She shall also be the designated SBA President to attend all conferences and events in the Circuit, Division and the Association.

5.3 President. Each Presidents at every TMC ABA/LSD chapter shall be elected during the Fall campus-wide elections set forth annually by the ABA/LSD Summit Board. The President who receives the most votes camps-wide shall also assume the duties of National ABA/LSD President. Each President shall serve as a voting member on the Executive Board of the Student Bar Association (SBA) and shall work closely with their campus’s SBA to assure a good working relationship between each respective campus and the National ABA/LSD President. Each President shall preside over all meetings of the TMC ABA/LSD and shall designate a replacement, preferably the Vice-President in their absence. Each President shall have the power to call meetings of the Executive Board and/or Committee on their campus, as they see fit. Each President may create and appoint any necessary office or committee with the majority approval of the Executive Board. The President shall also have the power to remove any officer or committee appointed or created by him/her.

5.4 Vice-President. Each Vice-President of the TMC ABA/LSD shall be elected no later than the last week of October. The election shall be decided by the General Student Body of Thomas M. Cooley Law School in the local Fall Elections. Each Vice President shall be responsible for overseeing and assisting all standing, special and ad-hoc communities of the TMC ABA/LSD.

5.5 Treasurer. Each Treasurer of the TMC ABA/LSD shall be elected no later than the last week in October. The election shall be decided by the General Student Body of Thomas M. Cooley Law School in the local Fall Elections. The Treasurer, along with the President, shall be responsible for keeping the books of the TMC ABA/LSD. The Treasurer shall assure that funds are disbursed correctly and may be answerable to the SBA if questioned on the disbursement of funds. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the formulation of a TMC ABA/LSD budget at the beginning of each term and be responsible for any dealings with the Budget and Finance Committee. The Treasurer shall present to each officer if requested a cash flow sheet to explain all incoming and outgoing transactions conducted within a given term. The Treasurer will be expected to allow inspection of the Chapter's books upon request by any officer.

5.6 Secretary. The Secretary of the TMC ABA/LSD shall be elected no later than the last week in October. The election shall be decided by the General Student Body of Thomas M. Cooley Law School in the local Fall Elections. The Secretary shall record the minutes of each meeting and give a copy of those minutes to each officer, representative, and general member if requested, by the following meeting. The Secretary shall be responsible for all records of TMC ABA/LSD and shall supervise the file cabinet drawer and binder located in the SBA office. The Secretary shall take roll at each meeting and keep the attendance records of the organization. The Secretary shall inform officers and representatives of the attendance record and promptly inform them after one unexcused absence. The Secretary shall inform the President and Vice-President after an officer or a representative accumulates three unexcused absences within the academic year.

5.7 Parliamentarian. The Parliamentarian of the TMC ABA/LSD shall be elected no later than the last week in October. The election shall be decided by the General Student Body of Thomas M. Cooley Law School in the local Fall Elections. The Parliamentarian will ensure that Chapter, SBA, and ABA/LSD rules and Bylaws are followed by all committees, and shall be a voting member on the Executive Board. The Parliamentarian shall be charged with keeping order at all meetings.

5.8 SBA President. Each SBA President shall be a voting member on their campus’s ABA/LSD Executive Board and shall be elected in accordance to the SBA Bylaws and Procedures set forth at their respective campuses.

5.9 Vacancy. The Executive Board shall appoint someone to fill a vacancy in the office of the Vice-President, Treasurer, or Secretary. If an officer is unable to complete his/her term, the vacancy shall be filled according to the following procedures: 1) Notice of position will be posted for a week 2) the applicant will submit his/her resume to the TMC ABA/LSD Secretary; and 3) the election, by secret ballot, shall be decided by a majority of the remaining officers currently in office. The appointee must be approved by 2/3rd of the existing Executive officers and Class representatives. The President may appoint any Class representative to fill any vacancy of a Committee Chairperson. If the President is unable to complete his/her term, the vacancy shall be filled according to the SBA bylaws or as agreed by the SBA President and the ABA Chapter.

5.10 Removal. An Executive Board officer may be removed for lack of attendance, malfeasance, misfeasance, or non-feasance. To remove an Executive Board member, a request must be made in writing by at least (2) Executive Board or Committee Members. The writing must then be presented to the President and a vote of removal called in front of a joint meeting of the Executive Board and Executive Committee. The measure must pass by a 2/3rd vote of all Executive Board and Committee Members to stand. The removal of an ABA/LSD President must follow the procedures set forth by each campuses SBA Bylaws. A fair open hearing means that the person is notified of the allegations and has an opportunity to respond before a joint assembly of the Executive Board and Executive Committee.

ARTICLE VI

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE / CLASS REPRESENTATIVES

6.1 Executive Committee/Class Representative

The Executive Committee shall consist of Class Representatives and all appointed officials on the ABA/LSD Board. There shall be three representatives for each class on the Executive Committee. Each Class representative shall be elected during the local Fall Elections in the same term when their class is up for re-election during the SBA Elections. Class Representatives shall be elected no later than the last week in October. The election shall be decided by the General Student Body of Thomas M. Cooley Law School in the local Fall Elections. Class Representatives shall serve as chairpersons for standing, special or ad-hoc committees when requested to do so. The representatives shall promote ABA/LSD activities to their fellow students. He/she shall be expected to attend ABA/LSD conventions whenever possible and represent Thomas M. Cooley Law School in a professional and friendly manner.

6.2 Vacancy. If a Class Representative is unable to complete his/her term, the vacancy shall be filled according to the following procedures: 1) the notice of the position must be posted for one week; 2) the applicant must submit a copy of his/her resume to the TMC ABA/LSD Secretary; and 3) the person chosen by the Executive Board shall fill the vacancy. If there is only one applicant, that person must be approved by the majority of the Board. If the person is not approved, steps 1-3 shall be repeated. If needed, the President may appoint any member of the TMC ABA/LSD General Body to head a committee under Article 5.3, but they may not be considered a “Class Representatives” if there are already 3 representatives from their class. All Presidential appointments expire at the end of that President’s term.

6.3 Removal. A Class Representative may be removed for lack of attendance, malfeasance, misfeasance, or non-feasance. Recommendation for removal of an Executive Committee member shall occur by the President and become final upon confirmation by a majority vote of the Executive Board.

ARTICLE VII

COMMITTEES

7.1 Standing Committees. The following Committees shall be standing Committees of the TMC ABA/LSD: Communications, Fund-raising, Tutorials, Membership, Elections and VITA.

7.2 Special/Ad-Hoc Committees. The President may, at his/her discretion, create any necessary, special or ad-hoc committee (i.e., Rules and Bylaws, Philanthropic Activities, Conventions, Michigan Liaison, etc.). The President may also, at his/her discretion, remove any special committee which has been formed.

7.3 Committee Chairpersons. The President shall appoint class representatives to the positions of Chairperson of specific standing, special or ad-hoc committees. The President alone has the power to appoint and remove any committee chairperson.

ARTICLE VIII

ABA/LSD REPRESENTATION AT CONVENTIONS

8.1 Thomas M. Cooley Law School ABA/LSD Representative. The National President of the TMC ABA/LSD shall serve as the official ABA/LSD Representative for Thomas M. Cooley Law School at all official ABA/LSD meetings, conferences, and events in the Circuit, Division, and the Association, were applicable, Thomas M. Cooley Law School will receive two votes: one being the ABA/LSD Representative and the other being the National President of the SBA.

8.2 Proxy. If one or both of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School Representatives cannot attend a specified meeting, conference or event, a written proxy may be taken in order to retain one or both of the votes where applicable.

ARTICLE IX

CONVENTIONS

9.1 Who May Attend. Any Student at Thomas M. Cooley Law School may attend any ABA/LSD convention. If not enough money is allocated during a term, a list shall be developed; the list shall give priority in funding to the Thomas M. Cooley Law School ABA/LSD and SBA Representatives, followed by the ABA/LSD and SBA Presidents at each campuses, followed lastly by any member from all campuses in the order received by the National ABA/LSD President

9.2 Attendance Policy. Any TMC persons attending any ABA/LSD convention through supplemental funding from any school or ABA sources must attend ALL non-social convention meetings.

9.3 Reimbursement for Convention Expenses. All TMC persons attending ABA/LSD conventions may be reimbursed for part or whole of their expenses as approved prior to the convention. The stated attendance policy and all SBA travel rules, when applicable, must be followed in order to qualify for reimbursement.

ARTICLE X

OVERRIDE PROVISION

 10.1 Suspension of Bylaws. A motion to suspend these Bylaws may be brought by any member. The motion must be seconded and then passed by a 2/3rd vote of the quorum.

 

ARTICLE XI

ELECTIONS

 11.1 ABA/LSD President’s Election Procedures

A.      Election Procedure

a.       To be eligible to be placed on the election ballot, all candidates running for the office of President must complete a signed petition and submit it by the deadline to be determined by the ABA/LSD Summit Board.

b.       Petitions to run for the Office of President will be posted on the TMC ABA/LSD website, under an Elections tab that will appear on the website at the beginning of the Michaelmas term.

                                                               i.      The petition will be due by the deadline set forth by the ABA/LSD Summit Board.

                                                              ii.      Each petitions will need to be signed by 10 (ten) students currently enrolled at Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

                                                            iii.      Each signed petition form should be submitted with the following:

1.       A one-page typed brief candidate statement

2.       A resume

3.       A campaign poster in JPEG or PDF format. (optional).

a.       All Materials will be made available for the viewing pleasure of the General Student Body.

b.       Please note that any materials submitted will be published publically without further permission or consent.

c.        Petitions must be electronically submitted to the designated Elections Committee Chair that is listed on the bottom of the petition.

                                                               i.      A confirmation receipt will be sent back to each candidate confirming receipt of their completed application.

                                                              ii.      It is the candidate’s sole responsibility to ensure that their materials are received by the committee before the deadline.

B.      Results

a.       The candidate for President who receives the highest number of votes per campus will be elected the President-Elect of their respective campus.

b.       Out each of the newly-elected presidents, the candidate who receives the highest number of votes will also be elected the National ABA/LSD President.

                                                               i.      Succession to the Office of the National ABA/LSD Presidency will be ranked accordingly to the number of votes each candidate received during the election.

c.        The election results will be posted on the TMC ABA/LSD Website and once the results are certified by the designated Elections Committee Chair, the results will be final.

C.      Prohibited Acts

a.       Students are prohibited from using their school emails to engage in political campaigning.

b.       Students are bound by the Student Code of Conduct and shall not engage in unethical practices.

c.        Students are barred from campaigning in the SBA Offices. 

d.       Students are prohibited from campaigning in classrooms unless that professor has given you explicit permission to make an announcement during their class.

                                                               i.      Complaint procedures will be listed in the petition packets, and all complaints will be investigated and sanctioned by the designated Elections Committee Chair.

D.      Ties

a.       In the event of a tie, the President of Thomas M. Cooley Law School or his/her designee will be presented with each of the candidate statements, blocking all identifying information.

b.       He/she will read and cast an additional vote for the best candidate based on the statements so that the tie can be broken.

 

E.       Local Election Procedures

a.       The Elections Committee at each campus will be in charge of developing election guidelines and procedures to elect their Executive Board and Class Representatives whose term is up for election/re-election. 

ARTICLE XII

AMENDMENTS

 

12.1 Proposals. Any proposed changes to these Bylaws and/or amendments to these Bylaws must be submitted in writing to the National ABA/LSD President to be introduced at the ABA/LSD Annual Summit. There must be reasonable notice before a vote on the changes and/or amendments can take place.

12.2 Approval. All changes and/or amendments must be approved by a 2/3rd majority of all campuses during the ABA/LSD Annual Summit.

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Adner Marcelin,
Nov 21, 2012, 12:13 PM
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