Constitution of the Business Law Society at the
American University Washington College of Law

PREAMBLE


The mission of the Business Law Society is to provide a forum for law students interested in all aspects of business law. The Society's goal is to provide law students with access to information concerning the study and practice of business law, including but not limited to, courses, programming, scholarships, publishing, and careers. The Society will provide law students with opportunities to network with alumni who are working in the various areas of business law. Finally, the Society will offer a venue for discussion of relevant and current issues as they arise in the various fields of business law.

ARTICLE I. NAME

Section 1.
The name of this student organization is the Business Law Society (BLS).

ARTICLE II. PURPOSE

Section 1.
The BLS enhances a law student’s experience by creating a forum which allows students to explore issues related to business law as practiced in a variety of settings. The BLS recognizes its role as a member of the law school community by promoting various educational and networking opportunities for students who aspire to enter into the various fields of business law.

Section 2. The BLS may pursue any activity that the BLS Executive Board deems relevant and beneficial to furthering the goals of the BLS, as long as the activity is not prohibited by any policies of American University or the Washington College of Law. In the past, among other activities, the BLS has hosted speakers on topics relevant to its mission and arranged activities which concern or address issues of interest to the business law community. Historically, BLS has offered students interested in business law an opportunity to socialize and network with members of the local business law community, both academic and professional. As a service organization, the BLS has provided information about internships and post-law school employment in the field of business law.

ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. Requirements - Any student attending the Washington College of Law is eligible for member in the Business Law Society. On approval of the BLS Executive Board, any student of American University or person in the community is eligible for membership.

Section 2. Termination of Membership -Membership in the Business Law Society is voluntary and can be terminated at any time. To obtain membership a student may register with the VP of Organization of the Business Law
Society, e-mail any member of the Executive Board, or register on the BLS website or at a BLS event.

ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS AND MANAGEMENT

Section 1. The Executive Board -The Executive Board of the Business Law Society shall consist of the following officers: President, Senior Vice-President, Vice-President of Finance, Vice-President of Operations, Vice-President of Special Events, and the Vice-President of Alumni Relations.

President
• Serve as BLS’ official faculty/staff liaison.
• Preside at all meetings of the Executive Board, Student Advisors and General Body.
• Serve as ex-officio member of all committees.
• Determine and formulate agenda items for Board meetings, taking into consideration the recommendations of the Executive Board, Student Advisors and General Body.
• Receive and acknowledge communications, petitions and requests on behalf of the Executive Board.
• Coordinate the presentation of the Board’s public statements representing the position of the Board and issue statements to the press when appropriate.
• Keep the Board focused on the mission, vision, and goals set forth in the BLS constitution.
• Delegate assignments and duties to other Board members
• With the assistance of the Vice-President of Finance, develop for the Board’s review, a budget for each semester.
• Create any ancillary positions as deemed necessary to fulfill the mandate of this constitution.
• Perform all other duties as deemed necessary.

Senior Vice-President
• Assist the President with every day matters.
• Assume the role of President for an event or meeting when the President is unable to attend.
• When the President is unable to carry out his/her duties, the Senior Vice-President is to assume the duties of the President.
• Serve as leader of the 1L Advisory Board and facilitates all meetings.
• Takes lead in increasing BLS membership.
• Maintain the BLS web page.
• Performs all other duties as deemed necessary.

Vice-President of Finance
• Call and organize at least one meeting per semester to prepare the budget for the following semester. This meeting must be scheduled at least one week prior to the SBA deadline for budget submission.
• Prepare the budget for the Spring Semester and the immediately following Fall Semester regardless of the date of election of new officers.
• Present the budget to the Student Bar Association Senate. Other BLS members may accompany the Vice-President of Finance and participate in the presentation. The President is responsible for attending SBA Finance Committee meetings as needed.
• Keep all budget/financial records. The Vice-President of Finance must produce budget/financial records and/or reports upon the written request of any officer within a week from the date of request submission. This responsibility is extended to SBA budgets and private account for college scholarship.
• Serve as principal check signer, with the President serving as secondary check signer.
• Obtain approval of the Executive Board for all financial matters, including reimbursements, scholarship awards, and payment to approved vendors.
• Perform all other duties as deemed necessary.

Vice-President of Operations
• Maintain adequate communication between the Executive Board, other members of the BLS, and the public. This includes, but is not limited to: meeting announcements, announcements regarding special events and functions, and communications between the school administration and the BLS.
• Handle all incoming and outgoing mail.
• Take minutes at Executive Board meetings, send to all Board members and/or post the minutes on a centralized forum to which all Board members have access.
• Maintain BLS’ page on TWEN, MyWCL or whichever medium is used by the entire WCL community.
• Compile announcements and send to the BLS membership a newsletter containing pertinent information. This newsletter should be sent no less than frequent than every two weeks (bi-weekly).
• Serve as the organizer and facilitator of the BLS election process.
• Perform all other duties as deemed necessary.

Vice-President of Special Events
• Coordinate all special events with the appropriate American University and Washington College of Law officials.
• Create a vibrant social atmosphere for the members of the BLS by planning no less than two socials events for the BLS membership per academic year.
• Schedule at least two community service events/projects per academic year and encourage students to satisfy the pro bono honors pledge.
• Register all social events involving alcohol with the appropriate University officials (i.e. the Dean of the Washington College of Law and the President of American University).
• Take and maintain pictures of BLS events and functions.
• Perform all other duties as necessary.

Vice-President of Alumni Relations
• Work closely with the Office of Alumni Relations to foster and maintain relationships between the BLS, its members and WCL alumni.
• Work closely with the Office of Alumni Relations to secure alumni for events.
• Create a newsletter reviewing the semester’s events to be sent to alumni in the various areas of business law and coordinate with the Office of Alumni to send the newsletter at the end of each semester.
• Work closely with the Senior Vice-President to maintain BLS’ website.
• Serve as Guardian of the BLS Constitution.
• Perform all other duties as deemed necessary.

Section 2. 1L Advisory Board -The Executive Board shall appoint no more than two first-year students to the 1L Advisory Board from each section of the first-year class, including the evening section(s). 1L Advisory Board members shall not have voting rights.

Section 3. Student Advisory Board - At the discretion of the Executive Board, current students and former Executive Board members may be retained in an advisory role. Student Advisors shall not have voting rights.

Section 4. Faculty Advisor - The Business Law Society shall have a Faculty Advisor selected from the business law faculty at the Washington College of Law.

Section 5. Alumni Advisory Board -The Business Law Society shall have at least one alumni advisor practicing in business law or a related field.

ARTICLE V. ELECTION AND SELECTION PROCESS

Section 1. Candidates -Each candidate for office must submit a letter of interest and a resume for consideration by the Executive Board. Interviews of candidates may be held at the discretion of the Board.

Section 2. Voting Procedure - Candidates shall be elected by a majority of the Executive Board, with all Board members present for voting.

Section 3. Date of Election - Election of the Executive Board shall be no earlier than March 15 and no later than April 15 of each academic year.

Section 4. Term of Office - The term of office shall be one academic year or in the case of mid-year replacement, from the time of the replacement until the new officers are elected at the Spring election.

Section 5. Impeachment - Impeachment proceedings shall be at the discretion of the Executive Board. A four fifths vote shall be required to replace an Executive Board member.

ARTICLE VI. FINANCES

Section 1. The Business Law Society may solicit funds in any manner consistent with Washington College of Law policies and procedures.

Section 2. The financial management of the Business Law Society is the responsibility of the Vice-President of Finance.

ARTICLE VII. CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS

Section 1. Constitution - All proposed amendments to the BLS Constitution shall be made in written or electronic form and submitted to the Executive Board by any member, officer or advisor of the BLS.

Section 2. Authority of Elected and Appointed Officers - Elected and appointed officers have full authority to implement and interpret the mandate of this constitution. That implementation and interpretation shall be binding to the extent of its constitutionality. However, any questions of the constitutionality of the actions of the elected or appointed official shall be settled at a general meeting of the membership with a simple majority vote.

Section 3. Bylaws - The operation of the Business Law Society shall be in accordance with the bylaws.

Section 4. Amendments - Any amendment to the constitution must be approved by a majority of the Executive Board when all members of the Executive Board are present.

ARTICLE VIII. NON-DISCRIMINATION


The Business Law Society 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, physical disability, religion, or religious or denominational affiliation, gender or sexual orientation.

 

Updated: April 2010