Student Organizations

Article II, section 16 of the Washington College of Law Student Bar Association (SBA) Constitution authorizes the SBA Senate to recognize and regulate student organizations and programs at the Washington College of Law, and to appropriate funds for their programming and operation.

Please CLICK HERE to see a list of all WCL student organizations, as well as contact information for each organization's leadership. All student organizations have a mailbox in the SBA Lounge on the 5th floor. (A small description along with links to individual student organization web pages can be found HERE)

Additionally, each organization is required to meet the following requirements listed below under "Student Organization Requirements."

Student Organization Requirements

  1. Registering An Event Online
  2. Setting Up a WCL Webpage and WCL E-mail Address
  3. Getting A Copy Code
  4. Applying for an ABA Award

1. New Student Organizations

Groups interested in becoming an SBA-sanctioned organizations in order to recieve group funding will work with the SBA Groups and Organizations Chair to become official student organizations. Interested groups should contact sbagando@gmail.com in order to start the group formation process. New groups will come before the SBA Gando Committee, and the the full SBA Senate for a vote of approval.

New groups should be prepared to show a demonstrated student interest in the potential group, group mission and structure, group longevity from year and year, and an Executive Board made up of various student constituencies. Approved new groups will recieve a budget of $600 ($300 per semester) for their first two years of operations.

As of March 2015, the SBA passed a moratorium on non-journal publications until January 2016. As such, the SBA will not approve any non-journal new group requests until January 2016.

2. Student Group Requirements

Active student groups must comply with all SBA regulations to remain active and recieve SBA funding.

  • Group transition information MUST be submitted by the Friday prior to spring break each year, unless an organization has recieved an extension. Failure to submit the required transition information will result in a budget penalty of 5% for the following year's budget. The SBA President and Vice President will seek extension requests in the fall semester of each year.
  • Organization budget's must be submitted by the deadline determined by the SBA Finance Chair. Failure to submit a budget on time results in the SBA determining that an organization is inactive.
  • At least one executive board member from each organization must attend BOTH the fall and spring SBA leadership retreats. Ideally, the President and Treasurer from each organization would attend. Failure to have a representative at both retreats will result in a 5% budget penality (5% per retreat missed).
  • Non-journal publications are subject to specific requirements. Non-journal publication leadership should commuinicate directly with the SBA President and Finance Chair for guidance on these requirements.

3 . Planning an Event

Funding: SBA-sanctioned student organizations will recieve the majority of funding for events through their yearly budget or on a Contigency Grant basis. Student organizations will work with the SBA Finance Committee Chairperson (sbafinance@gmail.com) to coordinate event funding. Student organizations may also be able to recieve funding from the office of Special Events and Continuing Legal Education or other WCL offices, evaluated on a case-by-case basis depending on programming. If you are planning an event that may qualify for extra funding, contact the specific offices directly. Student organizations must comply with SBA guidelines and rules to qualify for event funding.

Room Reservations: Student organizations can reserve space at WCL, including tables in the lobby, through the WCL Event Management System (EMS) at www.events.wcl.american.edu. Facilities-related questions should be directed to facilities@wcl.american.edu or in room 383. Audio and visual equipment requests, as well as recording requests, can be made on EMS.

Catering: Catering through WCL services can be arranged on EMS. Please note that Aramark Catering will assigned a staff fee once food has been "ordered" on EMS and contact each organization with an updated invoice. Catering orders must be approved by the SBA Finance Chair; the Finance Chair will be sent an invoice directly for approval, and will contact an organaization if there are issues with the catering order.

4. Setting Up a Webpage and E-mail Address

Each student organization is responsible for setting up an official WCL webpage and an official WCL e-mail address. Organizational leadership must REGULARLY update their webpage and must REGULARLY check their e-mail.

In order to create a webpage or WCL email address, please email webmaster@wcl.american.edu.

5. Applying for an American Bar Association Award

Many student organizations have received recognition for their work at the Washington College of Law by applying for one of numerous ABA annual awards. The SBA highly encourages you to apply every year. Please refer to the ABA's Law School Division homepage for more information at: http://www.abanet.org/lsd/

6. Applying for an American Bar Association Grant

Student groups can get up to $500 for events at the law school. Not to cover travel or fundraising, but only for actual events. Applications should be submitted a minimum of four weeks prior to the date of the project. Applications must be submitted via email and must contain all requisite information and accompanying materials. An application will have all available background detailed in the application, specific budgetary figures and detailed information to aide the committee in its review. Appropriate information to include would be the origin of the program, the purpose it seeks to fulfill, the means by which it will be accomplished, and all alternate funding that is being sought and that has been secured.
More information is available at http://www.abanet.org/lsd/grant/home.html, including an application.