As some of you already know, I'm running for one of the three individual positions that LL.M.s have in the Student Bar Association at NYU School of Law. The Student Bar Association is the main body of representation of students in the Law School, so we LL.M.s wanna make sure our voice is heard there!
My Personal Statement (aka Program) is below. However, I want it to be a starting point, that is I ask you to please make your suggestions, criticisms, etc., either here or in my Facebook account. That's why I prefer to call it an Open Program!
Dear fellow LL.M. students,
There are no magic formulas to being a good representative of a students’ body. I’ve had the chance to represent my peers both in high school and at University, where I was elected spokesperson of my class and later served as students’ rep in the Law School Council. It was during those years that I learned that you can promise many things, but in the long run the only reason justifying the confidence of your classmates is being and behaving as just what you are, a delegate. That is, someone who has been elected to convey the voice and needs of his or her peers, not to use the position as a platform to advance personal interests.
However, it goes without saying that I have some ideas on what the Law School should be and how it could be more useful for the LL.M.s. Here are some of them:
The LL.M. Program shall never be just a way of boosting the finances of the Law School. We LL.M.s have excelled in our Law studies, both in the USA and around the world, and endured a tough selection process to secure a place in NYU. Moreover, the foreign LL.M.s bring NYU the international image it is so proud of. Our voice deserves to be heard with the same strength as the voice of the JDs.
One of the main concerns of an LL.M. is job prospects. We acknowledge NYU makes an effort to propel us in the job market, but there’s much more to be done. Are three people enough staff to manage the work counseling for 450 LL.M.s? Why are there so few offers for LL.M.s in the Career Services Management system? Does OCS stress to potential employers that most LL.M.s have, as opposed to JDs, legal work experience in top law firms, national and international organizations, and academia?
In some courses there are over 70 students. Is that reasonable bearing in mind our matriculation fees? Isn’t it possible to offer more sections of the same course?
$3.45 for a coffee latte? Are you kidding? Food, which is provided in Vanderbilt Hall and Furman Hall by a well-known international company, is more expensive than in businesses in the surrounding area. What factors does NYU use to award the cafeteria service in its premises?
Constitutional Law (Sullivan), 17th ed, new: NYU Bookstore $178, Amazon $142.40, Barnes and Noble (paperback) $40.45. Geez! I actually thought NYU Bookstore was the place where books were cheaper, at least for NYU students! Shouldn’t students have at least a discount on the cover price? Why doesn’t our Bookstore have paperback editions of the recommended books, which would substantially lower our book expenses?
Ok, this is really interesting, but what about parties?! Well, those of you who know me have certainly seen me in most of the parties that have been thrown by LL.M.s since we arrived to New York! My view is that our NYU LL.M. Class of 2011 group in Facebook, greatly managed by our friends Roman and Simon, is already doing a great job in organizing social events. But there's one thing that can be done from the SBA: promoting more joint activities with the JDs.
Maybe you’ve asked yourselves these same questions, and you certainly have many other queries that can be tackled through the Student Bar Association. I encourage you to let me know about them!
After all, it is the role of a representative to pose these questions and to struggle to receive satisfying answers from the institution that we all cherish. These are the duties that I’d like to fulfill in the SBA, and I would be honored to have your support for this challenging task.
Regards from your colleague,