Articles of Organization of the LSU Law Center Public Interest Law Society

 

Article I. Name

The name of this organization shall be the Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center Public Interest Law Society, also known as the Public Interest Law Society (PILS).

Article II. Purpose

To foster a culture of service within the LSU Law community, create opportunities for students to participate in pro-bono and community service activities, facilitate public interest job opportunities for interested students, and expand the involvement of LSU Law in charitable and pro-bono endeavors.

Article III. Organization

The Public Interest Law Society is a student-run organization overseen by the Law Center administration, through the Faculty Committee for Pro-Bono and Student Activities.

Article IV. Membership

Membership is open to all enrolled students of the LSU Law Center. Members are those students who participate in a PILS activity. There are no dues. Eligibility to vote on issues open to the general membership is governed by Article VII. Elections.

Article V. Meetings

General membership meetings should be held, at a minimum, on a monthly basis. Executive Board meetings shall be scheduled by the President and will be held at least monthly. General meetings are open to the public. Executive Board meetings are normally closed but may be open members of the law center community or to the public at the President’s discretion.

Article VI. Officers
A. The elected officers composing the Executive Board shall be:
1. President

2. Fellowships & Career Opportunities Chair

3. Pro-Bono Chair

a. Pro-Bono Vice Chair

4. Community Service Chair

a. Community Service Vice Chair

5. Education & Youth Outreach Chair

6. IT & Publicity Chair

7. Secretary/Treasurer

8. Philanthropy/Funding Chair

B. Officers must be currently enrolled students of the LSU Law Center. The
officers shall be elected to a term of one academic year and may be re-elected in subsequent years.

C. Officers are expected to attend all general and executive board meetings.

 

D. Officer Duties

  1. President – responsible for the general leadership and management of the organization, scheduling and organizing executive board and general membership meetings, delegation of responsibilities to the members of the executive board and organizing major end of year events.
  2. Fellowships & Career Opportunities Chair – coordinate the Equal Justice Works Conference reimbursement process, the Spring Career Fair and the Summer Fellowship process.
  3. Pro-Bono Chair – identify and organize opportunities for students to assist in provision of pro-bono legal services.
    1. Pro-Bono Vice Chair – to assist the Pro-Bono Chair in the aforementioned duties.
  4. Community Service Chair – responsible for facilitating community service events, including coordinating a school wide day of service at least once a semester.
    1. Community Service Vice Chair – to assist the Pro-Bono Chair in the aforementioned duties.
  5. Education & Youth Outreach Chair – responsible for managing the Education & Youth Outreach initiatives.
  6. Philanthropy/Funding Chair – responsible for fundraising, including determining PILS’s annual designated philanthropy. The designated philanthropies shall be selected by general membership vote to be conducted at the first meeting of the fall semester. Fundraising may be done for the purposes of philanthropy and funding for the organization.
  7. IT & Publicity Chair – maintain the PILS website, publicize PILS events, maintain the advertising space allocated to PILS and maintain an accurate record of pro-bono and community service hours.
  8. Secretary/Treasurer – responsible for maintaining the PILS budget, the PILS bank account, maintaining records for the organization, and alumni relations.

 

E. Removal – Officers are removed from office upon the occurrence of any of the following:

  1. The officer ceases to be a currently enrolled student in good standing of the LSU Law Center.
  2. The officer submits his or her resignation to the President and the Faculty Advisor.
  3. The officer is sanctioned for a violation of the student code of conduct related to his or her duties as a PILS officer.
  4. An officer who consistently fails to uphold his or her responsibilities may be removed by the unanimous vote of the remaining members of the executive board.
  5. Vacancies shall be filled by a majority vote of the board.

    Article VII. Elections

     

    1. Elections shall occur every year at the last General Meeting scheduled in the Spring Semester.
    1. The President shall oversee elections in all respects, with the assistance of all graduating 3Ls on the executive board. However, if the president is running for re-election or election to any other position, then the Faculty Advisor shall appoint a responsible 3L to administer the election. All references to the President in the remainder of this Article refer equally to a 3L appointed pursuant to the provisions of this article.
    2. The President shall solicit applications for all executive board positions from the general membership of PILS prior to the election. Applicants may run for multiple positions and shall rank their preference for each position in their applications. Applicants will be asked to provide a statement of interest regarding their candidacy.
    3. The Executive Board, prior to any election, may choose to allow for the electronic casting of ballots. If the board does not elect to allow for electronic voting, then the vote shall take place at the election meeting.
    4. Students wishing to vote in the election must have participated in a PILS activity. The president, in his or her discretion, may adopt such measures as are reasonable to ensure compliance with this provision.
    5. Winning candidates will be determined by simple majority. In the event of a tie, the winning candidate will be decided based on the preference listed in their application.  In the event this does not cure the tie, a run-off election will be held through electronic ballot in the week following general elections.

    Article VIII. Committees

     

    1. There shall be at least three committees overseen by the appropriate

    member of the executive board. The committees are:

    1. The Pro-Bono Committee
    2. The Community Service Committee
    3. The Education & Youth Outreach Committee
    4. The Fellowships & Career Opportunities Committee
    5. The Philanthropy/Funding Committee
    1. The Board, in their discretion, may choose to establish additional committees for any purpose.

    Article IX. Pro-Bono and Community Service Hours

     

    1. PILS shall maintain a complete and accurate log of all pro-bono and

    community service hours performed by the students of the Law Center for

    each academic year.

    1. It is the responsibility of the IT/Publicity Chair to ensure that there is a

    reliable and accurate system for the reporting of hours.

    1. Pro-Bono
      1. Pro-Bono work is defined as:
        1. a)  Providing, under appropriate supervision, or assisting in the provision of legal services without compensation, academic credit, or the expectation of compensation or academic credit to:
          1. (1)  Persons of limited means; or
          2. (2)  Groups or organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights, or charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes.
        2. b)  Participation in activities for improving the law, legal system or the legal profession.
      2. The Pro-Bono chair and committee shall take appropriate steps to ensure that trainings are made available to interested students. These trainings should help students understand how to properly avoid the unauthorized practice of law.
    2. Externships and Clinics: Students participating in externships or law clinics may count as pro bono service hours work done with either program after the final exam period of the semester that the student was enrolled in the externship or law clinic, unless:
      1. a)  the work is counted towards the completion of the hours-worked requirement for

    the externship or law clinic; or

    1. b)  the work is a continuation of an assignment or project that the student began prior

    to complete the hours-worked requirement for the externship or law clinic.

    1. Honors: The Law Center has maintained a policy of honoring, at graduation, of students who have earned a designated number of pro bono hours.
    2. Community Service: volunteer service with a project generally focused on improving community at large, which does not otherwise qualify as pro- bono work.

    Article X. Appendices to these Articles

     

    1. Each officer may maintain an appendix to these articles that contains information relevant to their office.
    1. These appendices shall be non-binding
    2. Appendices may be established or amended by:
      1. Submission to the Secretary of proposed changes; and
      2. Approval by a simple majority of the Executive Board present at a meeting.

    Article XI. Amendments

     

    1. Any proposed change to these articles of organization must be approved by a majority vote of the executive board.
    2. After approval by the executive board, the proposed change will be distributed to general members via e-mail at least one week prior to a regularly scheduled general meeting.
    3. The General Membership must approve any proposed change by a majority vote of eligible voting members present.




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