First, LSUB members are able to talk with upperclassmen about their courses, helping them figure out which classes and professors may best suit their learning styles and pique their interests. This is a valuable opportunity because it allows underclassmen the chance to ask questions that they may not feel comfortable asking a professor, or those that cannot be answered by a professor, such as how the class feels from a student’s perspective.
Second, LSUB is particularly focused on networking with UMass and Legal Studies alumni, both in the legal and non-legal worlds. By holding workshops and events with attorneys and judges, but also non-legal professionals who have majored in Legal Studies, the students are able to gain insight to the real life application of the Legal Studies major. In this way, LSUB is a great means for people to connect in an intimate setting, which allows for very positive networking experiences. One event that gained a lot of attention this year was the presentation given by an admissions committee member at a nearby law school. This event received a great deal of positive feedback, and underclassmen found it particularly useful as it exposed them to the law school admissions process and how that fits with different career paths.
Finally, LSUB facilitates discussion between the students and the faculty in the Legal Studies Program. During our meetings, we are constantly asking for feedback on classes, including meeting times, workloads, the types of assignments, and the like. In addition, we discuss internship, networking, and research assistantship opportunities, and meet with faculty job candidates. We then provide feedback from students as a group to faculty in the Legal Studies Program, including routine meetings with the Director of Legal Studies. This feedback has resulted in several notable changes to the Legal Studies major, including offering new classes and increasing the times at which courses are offered.
As a whole, we feel that LSUB is a great organization that helps foster community within the Legal Studies major that could be replicated at other colleges and universities with law and society majors, minors, and concentrations.