Top 5 Reasons Why Law Students Should Join the ABA

1. Network
Confession: I love networking. Before I got involved with the ABA, I exclusively networked with my local bar association, the magnificent Philadelphia Bar Association. However, the networking I've done through the ABA is at a whole other level. When I was in San Francisco this summer for the ABA Annual Meeting, nearly every attorney I chatted with was at the top of their field. Best of all, these attorneys, judges, and professors LOVED talked to law students!

I also highly recommend joining the ABA if you wish to practice in a region outside your law school's primary placement area or if your area of specialization is practiced more heavily in another region. For example, going to school in Philadelphia isn't the greatest for entertainment law. There is just a handful of attorneys and none of the big power players. If I wanted to network with the big guns in NYC or LA, a national association is the way to go.

2. Learn
If there is an area of the law you are interested in, there is likely a section or committee for you. As a law student, joining sections is usually free or for a nominal fee. By joining sections, you'll receive their publications and get on their listserv. This is an priceless way to learn about key players, issues, and events going on in a specific area of law. All things you'd want to know to nail a job interview, right?

3. Profession
If you believe in our profession as lawyers, you MUST join the ABA. The ABA is the only organization that speaks for lawyers at the national level. Student debt reduction for lawyers? Yep, the ABA is lobbying Congress for that. Accreditation standards for law schools? The ABA handles that. Creating standards for legal ethics? ABA makes those. (p.s. Congrats to everyone who took the MPRE last weekend!)

4. Lead
There are innumerable ways for law students to get involved with the ABA so I will just hit on a few. In the Law Student Division, you can be a representative (like me) and represent your school at national meetings. Speaking at the Law Student Division Assembly this summer was by far the highlight of law school career. Getting a standing ovation didn't hurt either ;-)

You can also represent your region as a "Circuit Governor." Governors represent a particular region and all the law school in it. Circuit Governors also plan programming in their region alongside their lieutenant governors.

Law students can also get involved with particular sections as "liaisons." Each section selects one law student to represent ALL law students regarding a particular area of the law. This is an incredible opportunity to influence a specialization you are interested in.
Shout out to the 3rd Circuit!
5. Compete
Studying law is one thing but practicing it is a whole other ball game. Get your hands dirty with ABA member-exclusive competitions including moot court, client counseling, mediation and arbitration, and trial team. Prove yourself on the national stage!

Join the ABA HERE!



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