The present Constitution shall govern the administrative and programmatic undertakings of the Disability Law Society. A living document, it should adapt and grow along with the organization and be interpreted and applied so as best to ensure, firstly, the realization of its purpose, secondly, its longevity, and thirdly, the wellbeing of its members.
ARTICLE I. NAME
Disability Law Society, hereinafter “DLS.”
ARTICLE II. PURPOSE
Section One. The DLS works to create an open, sustainable and accessible environment for students to raise awareness of and advocate for disability rights in the Washington College of Law (“WCL”) community, the neighboring community, the legal profession, and society at large. In realizing its purpose, the DLS will organize and coordinate disability-related and outreach activities.
Section Two. The DLS, in realizing its purpose, will conduct its activities in accordance with and abide by established WCL policies as generally required of student groups and organizations.
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP
Section One. The DLS is open to current and former WCL students and interested faculty and staff.
Section Two. Membership shall be established by signing up for the DLS mailing list and will remain until the member requests to withdraw membership or if DLS leadership by unanimous vote deems that a member seriously compromises the organization’s realization of its purpose.
Section Three. The DLS promotes diversity and inclusion in all of its endeavors.
ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS
Section One. The DLS will be led by two Co-directors who will be primarily responsible for faithfully implementing DLS programs, activities, and tasks in furtherance of the organization’s purpose and in accordance with the mission and vision of the organization.
Section Two. Co-director duties generally include recruiting, organizing activities, managing membership, finances and administrative matters, including ensuring compliance with Student Bar Association, Washington College of Law, and American University guidelines as may apply. Specifically, the Co-directors, without prejudice to duties delegated to other officers, will carry out the following duties:
- Determine the time and place of all DLS organizational meetings and preside over them.
- Assume and delegate powers and functions to officers as necessary for the completion of tasks relating to DLS programs and activities.
- Create and determine the functions of new officer positions and make appointments thereto.
- Determine and publish DLS’ policies, positions, and views.
- Recruit new members and raise awareness about DLS.
- Develop, review, and modify as necessary annual organizational goals, plans, and activities.
- Manage membership, including the addition and removal or suspension thereof.
- Manage DLS finances, spending, and accounting.
- Manage administrative matters, including the interpretation and application of the DLS constitution, bylaws, and policies.
- Maintain records of all organizational meetings and activities.
- Develop procedures and guidelines related to the smooth operation of DLS in accordance with the DLS constitution.
- Ensure compliance with Student Bar Association, Washington College of Law, and American University requirements and adopt measures to this end, including amendments to the DLS constitution.
- Represent the DLS in meetings with outside groups and individuals and enter into agreements with them on behalf of the DLS.
- Engage community members in discourse surrounding issues affecting persons with disabilities.
Section Three. Officers may resign at any time upon delivery of written notice (either physical or electronic) to both the current Co-directors, or in the case of a Co-director’s resignation, to the non-resigning Co-director(s). Upon receipt of said notice, the officers will develop a plan for transition with the cooperation of the resigning officer. Once the transition plan has been approved by the remaining officers, the remaining officers will duly recognize the effectiveness of the resignation, at which time the officers may elect to appoint a current WCL student member to carry out the remainder of the resigning officer’s term. Appointment in such a manner will not preclude a current member from becoming elected to the same or other officer positions in subsequent elections.
Section Four. With a view towards ensuring the smooth and effective operation of the DLS, especially where it grows in size and scope, the Co-directors may create additional officer positions, which will be reflected in amendments to the present Constitution.
ARTICLE V. OPERATIONS
Section One. Current WCL student members will elect two Co-directors annually by secret ballot for year-long terms. Only current WCL student members will be permitted to cast a ballot. The specific election procedures will be determined from time to time in the bylaws.
Section Two. Elections will take place before spring break each year. Current WCL student members may become candidates and eligible for election by receiving at least two nominations from current DLS members. The nomination procedures will be determined from time to time in the bylaws.
Section Three. In the event that no person receives at least two nominations by the final day of classes before spring break, the incumbent Co-directors may elect either to continue to serve in the same capacity for another full term or to appoint unanimously a current WCL student member to fill the vacancy. In the event that only one person receives at least two nominations by the final day of classes before spring break, the nominee will automatically become a Co-director elect and the incumbent Co-directors may then be considered eligible for re-election, the procedures of which will be determined from time to time in the bylaws.
Section Four. Successor Co-directors shall assume their full responsibilities beginning midnight the day after the end of the spring examination period.
ARTICLE VI. FINANCES
DLS will seek funding from the Student Bar Association, Washington College of Law, American University, and from other university and outside sources. DLS will also, as necessary, organize fundraisers to support DLS programs, activities, and other initiatives consistent with the DLS’ organizational purpose and the present Constitution.
ARTICLE VII. AMENDMENTS
Section One. For as long as the only officers are the two Co-directors, amendments may be proposed in writing by either Co-director in writing and passed, subject to appropriate modifications, upon the Co-directors’ unanimous agreement, whereby they will become effective.
Section Two. This section must be amended upon the establishment of additional officer positions.
ARTICLE VIII. REGISTRATION RENEWAL
Within one month of the annual officer elections, the incumbent Co-directors shall re-register the DLS with the Student Bar Association with the support of the officers-elect.
ARTICLE IX. NON-DISCRIMINATION
The DLS shall not discriminate on the basis of: ancestry, color, race, cultural or ethnic background, economic status, ideological, philosophical, or political beliefs or affiliations, marital or parental status, national or regional origin, disability, religion, or religious or denominational affiliation, gender or sexual orientation.
ARTICLE X. BYLAWS
Section One. The Co-directors, as necessary, shall establish bylaws to govern organization policies and procedures by mutual consensus, which shall be appended to the present Constitution.
Section Two. As the need arises, the Co-directors shall establish bylaws to address the following inclusive list of issues:
- Standing committees of the organization.
- Ad Hoc Committees of the organization, which are established for a single purpose, or 1-year commitment.
- Policies pertaining to the time, location of organizational meetings.
- Election procedures, dates, terms of offices.
- Structures/purposes of committees.
ARTICLE XI. FACULTY ADVISOR
Professor Robert Dinerstein will serve as the DLS faculty advisor.