An Affiliated Student Chapter of the Christian Legal Society


Article I. Name

The name of this organization is the Christian Legal Society Student Chapter of Thomas M. Cooley Law School, a group consisting of law students at the named law school.  The Chapter is an affiliated student chapter of Christian Legal Society (CLS), an Illinois non-profit corporation with its principal offices in Annandale, Virginia. 


Article II. Mission, Purposes, and Statement of Faith

(1) Mission.  The mission of the Chapter is to maintain a vibrant Christian Law Fellowship on the School’s campus which enables its members, individually, and as a group, to love the Lord with their whole beings – hearts, souls, and minds – and to love their neighbors as themselves.  (Matthew 22:37-40). 


(2) Purposes. The purposes for which the chapter is organized are wholly religious and include the following:

  •        To proclaim Jesus as Lord through all that we do in the field of law and other disciplines.
  •        To provide a means of society, fellowship, and nature among Christian lawyers. 
  •        To encourage Christan lawyers to view law as a ministry.
  •        To clarify and promote the concept of the Christian lawyer and to help Christian lawyers integrate their faith with their professional lives.  
  •        To mobilize, at the national and local level, the resources needed to promote justice, religious liberty, and reconciliation.  
  •        To encourage, discipline, and aid Christian students in preparing for the legal profession.
  •        To provide a forum for discussion of problems relating to Christianity and the law.
  •         To provide a forum for discussion of problems relating to Christianity and the law.
  •        To cooperate with BAR associations and other organizations in asserting and maintaining a high standards of legal ethics. 
  •         To encourage lawyers to furnish legal services to the poor and needed and grant special consideration to the legal needs of church and other charitable organizations.

(3) Statement of Faith.

Trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior, I believe in:

  1. One God eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  2. God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
  3. The Deity of our Lord, Jesus Christ, God's only Son, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary; His vicarious death for our sins through which we receive eternal life; His bodily resurrection and personal return.
  4. The presence and power of the Holy Spirit in the work of regeneration.
  5. The Bible as the inspired Word of God.

Article III. Membership

Membership in this Chapter shall be open to all students at the School who agree with the mission and purposes set forth in Art. II.  As stipulated in Art. IV, all chapter officers must be CLS members.  Chapter officers shall encourage local members to join CLS; however, national membership is not a prerequisite for local membership.  Any chapter member who, for any reason, ceases to be a student at the School shall immediately cease to be a member of the chapter.  Member dues are on a donation basis and are not required ($20 for a full year or $10 per term). 


Article IV. Officers

General.  The officers of the Cooley Chapter shall be:

•·        President,

•·        Vice President,

•·        Secretary,

•·        Treasurer, and

•·        Historian.


These officers shall be active members in good standing with the Thomas M. Cooley Law School chapter. Furthermore all officers shall acknowledge their acceptance of, and agreement with, the Christian Legal Societies statement of faith. 

Transition of Authority. To ensure the continuing well-being of the Chapter, outgoing officers shall facilitate the orderly transition of authority by taking adequate time in the winter and spring to train new officers.  No later than April 30th, the outgoing officers shall mail the LSM Annual Reporting form, included as appendix 3 of the Student Chapter Manual, to CLS Law Student Ministries, 4208 Evergreen Lane, Suite 222, Annandale, VA 22003-3264.  A copy of this report shall also be provided to the chapter advisor. 


Terms of all officers shall begin on April 15th and continue for one year, or until their successor shall be duly elected and qualified. 


The duties of the officers shall be as follows:

•a.       The President: shall be the executive officer of the Cooley Chapter and shall preside at all Chapter meetings.  He or she shall be an ex officio member of all committees.  The President shall have the duty of furthering the objectives of the Christian Legal Society, provided these are consistent with the mission and philosophy of Thomas M. Cooley Law School.  It shall be the duty of the President to attend meetings and events whenever possible; when he or she may not attend, this duty shall pass to the Vice-President.  The president shall oversee the activities of the group. Communicate with the SBA, work with the Treasurer on an annual budget, and give devotional presentations. 

•b.      The duties of the President-Elect: shall be determined on a yearly basis by the aforementioned Cooley Chapter officers of the Board.  The past President will be expected in good faith to provide for an efficient and smooth transition of leadership between himself or herself and the incoming President. 

•c.       The Vice-President: shall perform such duties as may be assigned to him or her by the President or the Cooley Chapter officers of the Board.  He or she also will be in charge of coordinating social activities and act as the group’s social chair. 

•d.      The Treasurer: shall receive from the Secretary all funds paid to the Cooley Chapter and shall deposit the same in a depository, per the instructions of the President.  The Treasurer shall disperse these funds in a manner authorized by the Cooley Chapter officers.  The Treasurer’s books shall at all times be open to inspection by the officers of the Cooley Chapter.  The Treasurer shall make periodic reports to the officers of the Board at meetings or as required. 

•e.       The Secretary: shall keep all records and minutes of the meetings of the Cooley Chapter.  The Secretary shall collect all of the funds due the Cooley Chapter and promptly turn these over to the Treasurer.  The Secretary shall submit periodic reports as the President and the Chapter may require.  The Secretary shall cooperate with the President in forwarding all official notices and reports to the members of the Christian Legal Society.  The Secretary shall relay communications to the group members.  The Secretary shall perform such other duties as may be assigned by the President of the Cooley Chapter as determined by the officers of the Board. 

•f.        The Chapter Historian: will be charged with the responsibility of making records of the Cooley Chapter’s involvement in public service, special events, and community participation at-large, for the purpose of passing this information on to future generations of Chapter students. 


General requirements of all officers:

•1)      Encouragement of all members

•2)      Recruitment of new members

•3)      Leadership

•4)      Initiating and overseeing committees as necessary

•5)      Leading devotions and prayer as necessary

•6)      Faithful attendance of both member meetings and officer meetings.    


Article V:  Conduct of Meetings

Section 1.  The President shall set the agenda and lead the meetings with the assistance of the Vice President. 


Section 2.  Members are encouraged to contact the President in advance to request discussion of a particular matter; however, all members are invited to meetings and welcome to participate. 


Article VI.  Establishment of Committees

Section 1.  The President shall have the option of naming committees on the major emphasis programs, subject to approval from the Board of Chapter Officers.  In the absence of an action by the President, the Board shall direct the committee leadership and monitor governance and progress.  All committees shall fall within the scope of the Cooley Chapter, and is subject to Chapter approval.


Section 2.  The President may establish a committee on laws and regulations, which shall examine the District Bylaws and the Chartered Society Bylaws and shall submit any recommendations concerning revisions thereof to the Board of Chapter Officers.  The Board of Chapter Officers may make a report on all properly proposed amendments at the annual convention. 


Section 3.  The President, or duly appointed committees on membership, growth, and education, shall coordinate with all the Charted Societies and Chapters within this District in order to assist them in maintaining an adequate and active membership and encourage these members to promote the principles and concepts of the Christian Legal Society.    


Section 4.  The President and the Cooley Law Chapter Officers will be prepared to act as an ambassador and representative of CLS at any time. 


Section 5.  Special Committees may be appointed by the President, or duly elected officers of the Board.  These Special Committees shall consist of at least three members, and shall be accountable to the President and to the Board.  Special Committee persons shall be subject to removal by the President or by a majority of the Board of Chapter Officers. 


Article VII.  Elections

Section 1.  The Cooley Chapter of CLS shall hold elections for all positions in one of the final meetings of the year to elect new persons to the Board of Officers not before the last weekend in March and not later than the third weekend in April, unless special elections need to be held due to the resignation of an officer.  There shall be no term limits for executive board positions. 


Section 2.  Elections will be held at the final meeting, presence of members is required to vote, unless voting by proxy.  The vote will be taken by ballot.  If a member would like a recount, it will be conducted by a roll call vote.  If the vote is by proxy, it must be in writing and signed by the member who is unable to attend.  All votes will be counted and results will be given at the end of the meeting. 


Section 3.  The President and Secretary shall certify the results of the election of the officers elected to serve in the ensuing year. 


Article VIII.  Impeachment

Section 1.  In the event of a vacancy of any officer on the Chapter Board, the Board shall elect a new person to fill such a vacancy.  If the vacancy is in the President’s office, the Vice-President shall become President, subject to the vote of a simple majority of the Chapter Board of Officers.  If the Board fails to confirm the Vice-President, the Board may elect, by a simple majority, another member of the Board to fill the vacancy.  


Section 2.  Whenever it shall appear to the President that any officer is failing to perform the duties of his or her office, the President shall give immediate notice to that officer.  If this conduct continues, a majority of the Chapter Board of Officers may declare the office vacant and hold a special election to fill this office. 


Section 3.  Any Board member who does not fulfill the responsibilities of his/her position or otherwise fails to comply with the CLS objectives is subject to the impeachment process. 


Section 4.  The President shall first address a Board member, either personally or in writing, to notify them of the violation. 


Section 5.  By a majority vote the Board may impeach an officer.  Impeachment will require notice to the member of the violation, an opportunity to present to the Board any information or explanation related to his or her failure to comply, and the Board must reach a majority decision to impeach the officer.


Section 6.  If an officer is impeached, he or she shall be removed from office and will not be eligible for a Board position in the future. 



Article IX. Chapter Advisor

The Chapter officers shall assist the LSM staff to identify a CLS faculty member or local attorney to serve as an advisor to the Chapter.  The Chapter advisor must exemplify the same high standards of biblical morality as set forth in Article II above.  The officers shall meet with the advisor on a regular basis and shall keep him or her informed of chapter meetings, special events, financial matters, problems within the Chapter or the School, and other relevant matters. 


Article X. Meetings

Chapter meetings shall be held with enough frequency to accomplish the mission and purposes enumerated in Article II; at a minimum at least four (4) general meetings shall be held during each school year.  One of the principal goals of meetings shall be to carry out and to plan events and activities designed to carry out LSM’s Threefold Ministry Model (see Article II).  The officers, in consultation with the chapter members and advisor, shall determine the frequency, time and place, and agenda of each meeting and shall insure that adequate notice is given of each meeting. 


Article XI. Revenue

The Chapter may raise revenues through dues, contributions, and fundraising activities.  If the Chapter chooses to raise revenues, it shall insure that the highest standards of Christian morality and financial integrity are met.  At a minimum, the Chapter shall maintain its funds in a segregated checking or savings account, require the signatures of two officers to write a check or withdraw funds, incur financial obligations only when there is sufficient funding to honor the obligations, pay all debts in a prompt manner, and maintain accurate financial records showing all receipts and expenditures and all assets and liabilities of the Chapter.  Upon request, the Chapter’s financial records shall be made available to LSM. 


Article XII. Restrictions on Activities

In the conduct of all aspects of its activities, the Chapter shall not discriminate on the basis of age, disability, color, national origin, race, sex, or veteran status. 


The Chapter shall not carry on any activities prohibited by CLS under its bylaws or by Sections 501(c)(3) and 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Without the prior written consent of the CLS Executive Director, the Chapter shall not be a voluntary party in any litigation, lobby (including the publishing or distribution of statements) or otherwise attempt to influence legislation, or participate or intervene in any political or judicial campaign on behalf of any candidate for office.  No part of the net income of the Chapter shall inure to the benefit of its officers or other private persons, except that the Chapter shall be authorized to pay reasonable compensation for services actually rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of its purposes. 


Article XIII. Affiliation Process

To become an affiliated student chapter of CLS, at least three officers who are members in good standing of CLS must sign these bylaws, complete the attached Application for Recognition as a Student Chapter of the Christian Legal Society, and submit the originals of the bylaws and Affiliation Agreement to CLS Law Student Ministries, 4208 Evergreen Lane, Suite 222, Annandale, VA 22003-3264

The LSM Director shall forward copies of the bylaws and Affiliation Agreement to the CLS Executive Director.  If the Executive Director accepts the application, he or she shall send a signed acceptance document to the LSM Director, who shall place the original Acceptance in the Chapter file and promptly forward a copy to the Chapter. 


Once the affiliation process is successfully completed, the Chapter shall comply with all of the terms and provisions of the Affiliation Agreement, which is hereby incorporated into these bylaws.  The affiliated status of the Chapter shall continue in perpetuity, subject ot the condition your chapter membership at all times must include at least three student members of CLS.  Either party may terminate this status at any time by written notice to the other party. 


Article XIV. Amendments and Interpretation

Amendments.  The Chapter may amend these bylaws, provided, however, that no amendment shall have any force or effect unless it had been approved in writing by the CLS Executive Director.  Such request for approval must be submitted in writing through CLS Law Student Ministries, 4208 Evergreen Lane, Suite 222, Annandale, VA 22003-3264. 


Interpretation.  Any conflict or disagreement among chapter officers or members as to the meaning or interpretation of these bylaws shall be submitted in writing to the CLS Executive Director, through the LSM Director.  The decision of the CLS Executive Director resolving the conflict or disagreement shall be final.  In the event of any conflict or inconsistency between these bylaws and the CLS bylaws, the terms and provisions of the latter shall control. 


Article XV. Force and Effect of Bylaws

These bylaws shall take effect when the CLS Executive Director executes the Acceptance referred to in Art. XIII of the CLS bylaws set forth in appendix 1 of this manual.  If these Chapter bylaws are terminated, the CLS affiliated student chapter ceases to exist.  In such a case, the assets of the organization shall be distributed exclusively for charitable or educations purposes or to CLS or other organizations exempt from federal taxes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.