Grand Rapids‎ > ‎

Consitution and Bylaws

The Constitution and Bylaws
of the 
Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Federalist Society - Grand Rapids Chapter

            The Thomas M. Cooley Law School Federalist Society - Grand Rapids ("GR Fed-Soc") is a conservative and libertarian student organization in accordance with the regulations of the Thomas M. Cooley LawSchool. The GR Fed-Soc honors, respects, and supports the Constitution of the United States of America.



SECTION I – Purpose

            The purpose of the GR Fed-Soc is to foster critical thought and debate about the application of conservative principles to the law. The GR Fed-Soc embraces the principle that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to the integrity of the Constitution of the United States of America, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is – not what is should be. The GR Fed-Soc seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities. This entails reordering priorities within the legal system so as to place a premium on individual liberty, traditional values, and the rule of law. It also entails restoring recognition of these norms among lawyers, judges, law students, and professors.

SECTION II – Membership

            Membership in the GR Fed-Soc is open to any student at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School as well as any interested faculty or administration member.  “Active members are those that are current on their dues.”

SECTION III – Membership Dues

            Potential members will become an active member of the GR Fed-Soc upon the completion of the following:

1.       Payment of $10.00 USD, or

2.        Payment of $25.00 USD

A payment of $10.00 USD grants the payor full active membership rights in the GR Fed-Soc for the duration of the term in which it was paid. It does not grant National Chapter rights.  A payment of $25.00 USD grants the payor full active membership rights in GR Fed-Soc for a period of three (3) consecutive terms beginning the term in which it was paid.  $5.00 USD of the payment must be sent to the National Chapter of the Federalist Society as payment for the student rate of National membership dues.  If the payor is a current National Chapter member it will be at the payor’s discretion whether the $5.00 USD will be submitted to the National Chapter for future dues or whether the $5.00 USD will be given to the GR Fed-Soc as a donation.

SECTION IV – Faculty Advisor

            The Faculty Advisor of the TMCLS FS will be a faculty member of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. In the absence or unavailability of a suitable Faculty Advisor, the Society may turn to one of its members, or to a suitable member of the legal profession outside of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School.


SECTION I – Executive Board

            The members of the Executive Board shall be the five elected officers.  The Executive Board shall administer all routine business of the GR Fed-Soc.

SECTION II – Elected Officers

            The GR Fed-Soc shall have the following officers: President, Vice-President, Director of Public Relations, Secretary, and Treasurer.


            The GR Fed-Soc Officers shall have duties described below and any other duties that the President shall from time to time decide is expedient for the GR Fed-Soc.

A.      President – The President shall be the Chief Executive of the GR Fed-Soc. The President shall call and preside over all GR Fed-Soc meetings and Executive Board meetings, and shall supervise all club activities. The President shall have veto power concerning GR Fed-Soc expenditures that can be overturned by two-thirds of all active GR Fed-Soc members present at the meeting. The President shall serve as liaison to any such other organizations as the Executive Board deems necessary. The President will select, contact, and arrange for speakers. The President will introduce each speaker to the congregation.  The President will send a thank you letter to all speakers within one week of the speaking engagement.The President shall have the power to appoint any such assistants as are deemed necessary to assist in fulfilling the duties of the office.

B.      Vice President – The Executive Vice President (“VP”) shall assist the President and shall preside in case of the absence or disability of the President. The VP shall reserve rooms for all GR Fed-Socmeetings. The VP shall conduct all the transmission of all information and Society news to the Thomas M. Cooley Law School and the public at large.  The VP shall serve as the vehicle for all information disseminated to the community at large and all information will be filtered through this officer so that all information made public will be consistent with Federalist Society dicta.

C.      Director of Public Relations – The Director of Public Relations (“DPR”) may create and maintain a newsletter for the Chapter and shall appoint assistants as necessary to support that project. Appointment of assistants shall be made as necessary, including the delegation of a Newsletter Editor. The DPR will be responsible for the creation of all advertisements or events including, but not limited to, the creation and posting of fliers, Thomas M. Cooley Law School pre-class Powerpoint slide ads, and calendar postings. 

D.     Secretary – The Secretary will maintain all official records of the GR Fed-Soc, including a mailing list of all members and any historical records, including the Thomas M. Cooley Law School Federalist Society Constitution and the Chapter Bylaws. The Secretary will take minutes at all meetings, including Executive Board meetings. The Secretary shall maintain all correspondence for the club and will utilize the appropriate GR Fed-Soc stationary for official correspondence.

E.      Treasurer – The Treasurer is responsible for the finances of the GR Fed-Soc and will present and supervise the budget. The Treasurer is responsible for the collection of club dues. The Treasurer is responsible for updating the 501(c)(3) status with all governmental agencies and offices in accordance with the law. The Treasurer is responsible for assembling the annual budget request for the Student Bar Association.  The Treasurer will present an accounting to the GR Fed-Soc at each meeting, including the Executive Board meeting.

SECTION IV – Appointed Officers

      The appointment of officers will be by the President and approved by the Executive Board members. These appointed officers will be members of the Executive Board but will not be voting members of the Board.

SECTION V  Vacancies in Office

      A vacancy is defined as prolonged non-academic absence. In the event any officer is unable to fulfill his term for any reason, the Executive Board will appoint a replacement until the next annual election.

SECTION VI – Attendance

      This section pertains to Executive Board members only. Executive Board members are required to attend all general and Executive Board meetings. Board members, both elected and appointed, are required to miss no more than one Executive Board meeting and two general meetings per term. Sanctions range from public verbal reprimand to removal from ones’ Executive Board position.


SECTION I – Committees

      Committees will be organized to administer various phases of the GR Fed-Soc. The Executive Board will, as the need arises, establish committees consisting of Society members. The President will appoint Committee Chairmen and the Vice-President will coordinate, oversee and be immediately responsible for the Committee Chairmen. The approval of the Executive Board is required for all appointments. The Treasurer will Chair any committees formed concerning finances of the GR Fed-Soc.

SECTION II – Elections

      The procedure of all elections of the GR Fed-Soc shall be as follows:

A.      Elections will be held during a special meeting within week ten of the Michaelmas Term.  The newly elected Executive Board will assume their newly elected position the first day following the Hillary Term.  The newly elected Executive Board will serve for three consecutive terms (1. Hillary, 2. Trinity, and 3. Michaelmas.)

B.      Two weeks prior to the election, the Secretary will post notices announcing the upcoming election and application deadline on appropriate bulletin boards around the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Any active member interested in elective office must notify the current President by the stated deadline. Any active member may run for the Executive offices detailed herein. The Candidate must have been an active member for at least 2/3 of the prior term. 

C.      The President will prepare ballots with candidates’ names, organized by the office they seek. Nomination from the floor will be only for candidates on the ballot.

D.     Each announced candidate on the ballot, the day of the election will have three minutes to make a campaign speech. The speeches will be timed by the Sergeant at Arms/Parliamentarian.

E.      Each person desiring a ballot must be verified by the Treasurer as an active member, whose dues are current, before receiving a ballot. No proxies will be issued and any member arriving after the closing of the vote by the President may not vote.

F.       The President and two active members, selected by those present, shall tabulate the ballots. No write-in candidates will be allowed. For any office for which there are two or fewer candidates, the race is decided by a plurality. If there are more than two candidates for an office, a simple majority must be achieved. Absent a majority, a runoff election shall be conducted between the top two vote recipients. In the event of a tie, the President will cast the deciding vote.

G.     No candidate for elected office will preside over an election meeting.


Amendments and Bylaws

            Any active member of the GR Fed-Soc may propose amendments or bylaws to this Constitution in writing, two weeks prior to a proposed vote. Amendments will take effect upon ratification by two-thirds of the active members present. Bylaws will take effect upon approval of a majority of the active members present. The person proposing the amendment(s) must provide photocopies. 


Ratification and Effective Date

            This Constitution will take effect immediately upon ratification by two-thirds of the active members present at a meeting called for this purpose.  Each active member of GR Fed-Soc may receive a copy of the Constitution, as well as any amendment or bylaws subsequently adopted in accordance with Article V.