Welcome Law Student Members
In 1992 an ABA Task Force on Law Schools and the Profession, chaired by Robert MacCrate, a former ABA President and
former Chair of this Association・s Executive Committee, issued a report entitled Legal Education and Professional
Development--An Educational Continuum. The MacCrate report, as it has come to be known, emphasized that the growth of
a lawyer as a professional should be viewed, not as a disconnected sequence of stages--pre-law school education, law school
and post-law school practice--but rather as a continuum. That same principle of continuity, we have decided, should apply to the
relationship between individual law students and the legal profession as represented by this Association. And so our Executive
Committee, on the recommendation of a subcommittee chaired by Sidney Rosdeitcher, approved at its March meeting
amendments to the Association・s By-laws to create a separate membership category for law students. In doing so, we are
following examples set by the ABA and the bar associations of such cities as Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Benefits for Students
It is not as though we had previously ignored law students. To the contrary, our Committee on Law Student Perspectives, under
the energetic and inspired leadership of Daphna Mitchell and now Jennifer Mone, has for several years made a determined and
successful effort to involve law school students in the life of the Association and to involve the Association in the students・
educational experience. The Committee has recruited two student representatives from each of eleven law schools located in the
metropolitan New York area. They attend the Committee・s monthly meetings, provide topics for and feedback on Committee
programs and the newsletter published by the Committee three times a year, publicize Committee events and distribute Committee
materials at their respective law schools. This past year the Committee has expanded its newsletter distribution to students at
Seton Hall University School of Law and Rutgers University School of Law, Newark.
The Committee on Law Student Perspectives sponsors receptions for law students at the Association, at which students have an
opportunity to network with members of the profession. In each of the past six summers, the Committee has co-sponsored, with
the Committee on Women in the Profession and the New York Women・s Bar Association, a program entitled ：What It・s (Really)
Like to Practice Law in NYC as a Woman,； which attracts more than 300 women lawyers and law students; in attendance and
enthusiasm it is a highlight of the year. The Committee also sponsors an annual program on judicial clerkships and career-oriented
networking receptions with practitioners in different areas, and it co-sponsors practice skills seminars with the Committee on
Small Law Firm Management.
The Association has attracted students at metropolitan New York area law schools with other programs. A limited number of
students, recommended by their law school deans, are invited to attend committee meetings and contribute to committee projects
as interns. Still other interns are recruited by the Association・s Committee on Minorities in the Profession. Additionally, the
Association selects three minority law students each year for its Thurgood Marshall Fellowship Program; the students receive an
annual stipend and commit to work an average of ten hours a week at the Association on public service or civil rights matters.
Law Student Membership Category
We are now taking the next step of creating a separate law student membership category. On the assumption--I hope
justified--that the members of the Association will pass the necessary By-law amendments at the Annual Meeting in May, law
students will become eligible to join the Association as members. Payment of modest annual dues of $20 will entitle student
members to many membership services, including the rights to use the Association・s Library and Technology Center, to receive
44th Street Notes, The Record and The Yearbook, and to apply for appointment to Association committees.
Why have we taken this step? The reasons are quite simple. First, we hope that law students who have enjoyed their experience
at the Association will continue their membership after graduation, particularly if they remain in the metropolitan New York area,
as a majority do. Second, student members can serve as a useful bridge between the academy and the profession, enabling each
to learn from the other more extensively and productively than they now do. The relationship between legal educators and
practitioners has too often been characterized by a mutual distrust, with some educators viewing the profession as a crass trade
and some practitioners criticizing educators for not preparing students for the realities of professional life. This Association has
always valued the participation of law school deans and professors in our activities; in the past two decades, three law school
Deans--John Feerick, Robert McKay and Russell Niles--have served as President of the Association, and several standing and
special committees of the Association are chaired by law school professors. Student membership will undoubtedly strengthen the
bonds that the Deans and their faculty colleagues have helped to forge.
I look forward with great enthusiasm to welcoming our first class of law student members. They will enrich the Association・s life
and, I am confident, their own.