SBA runs a number of different committees that oversee various topics relating to SBA events and activities, known as internal committees. The SBA also sends representatives to attend and participate in the external faculty committees which address specific facets of Lewis & Clark law school operations.
SBA representatives serve on internal committees. These committees focus on student body issues and events, such as planning stress relief activities, networking opportunities, social events, allocating funds to campus groups, the SBA newsletter, addressing student concerns, and choosing campus speakers.
The Communications Committee is an internal SBA committee that works on communications projects such as social media and the Newsletter. The committee also liaises between SBA and Career Services to accurately promote all ongoing activities with as few conflicts possible.
The Ethics Committee is an internal SBA committee devoted to maintaining the integrity, accountability, and transparency of SBA members and of the SBA as an organization. The committee holds SBA members accountable to expectations and mandates set forth in the SBA bylaws. It investigates allegations of wrongdoing by SBA members and, when necessary, expels members.
The Events Committee is an internal SBA committee that plans and facilitates events on and off campus to enrich and enliven law student life. The committee organizes fun community-building events like the annual Halloween Party and Barrister’s Ball, as well as many career-focused networking events exploring a wide range of legal and academic areas.
Internal Budget Committee (IBC)
The Internal Budget Committee (IBC) is an internal SBA committee responsible for insuring that money collected from student fees is used in accordance with the SBA Constitution, its Bylaws, its Budget policy, and any authorizing directives of the SBA Board of Governors. The IBC is responsible for evaluating requests for funding, auditing expenditures from student organizations, and whenever possible, coordinating the efficient and cost-effective use of student fees by student organizations, or other requesting individuals or organizations. The SBA Treasurer is chair of the Committee, and it consists of 5-12 representatives.
The Rules Committee is an internal SBA committee that sets the rules of how the SBA functions. It is an advisory committee on the operating rules and procedures of the SBA. The Rules Committee adjudicates elections disputes, and conducts a yearly review of the SBA Bylaws. The Rules committee receives, reviews, and publicizes proposed additions and changes to the SBA Bylaws. The Rules committee approves these changes using a simple majority vote on proposed amendments. The committee also handles any proposed referendums that members of the student body at large propose to the SBA to be voted on during campus wide elections. The Rules Committee is chaired by the SBA Secretary.
SBA Equity and Inclusion Committee
The SBA Equity and Inclusion committee is dedicated to moving our administration, student body, and school as a whole in a more equitable direction. Equity is the goal we are striving for: an environment that has space and support for students of all marginalized identities to succeed and thrive the same as their counterparts who carry more privileges (race, affluence, physical abilities, etc.). This calls for a structural transformation of the policies, practices, and principles that exist at Lewis & Clark Law School, and though transformation is inevitable as time passes, equity is not - it must be intentionally centered at every step of the way. Inclusion is the verb: it is the action this committee will take in all of its efforts, as well as advocate for the school to be more inclusive at every turn. This, like all other antiracism work, requires hyper-vigilance and a constant intentionality. SBA is being intentional about not branding the work this committee does as ‘diversity.’ Diversity is a noun, and it is a by-product. To paraphrase educator and activist Angela Davis: “Diversity without structural transformation simply brings those who were previously excluded into a system as racist and misogynist as it was before.” If we change our law school environment to be equitable and inclusive, diversity naturally follows, for it will be a space where people can authentically exist and belong.
Student Affairs Committee
The Student Affairs Committee assists the VP of Student Affairs with projects such as the Student Org. Fair and elections.
Academic Enhancement Committee
A subcommittee of the admissions committee, this group reviews applications for admission from applicants whose statistical indicators may not, for varying reasons, accurately reflect the applicant’s potential to succeed in law school and whose background and experiences will enrich the experience of the entire student body. Each member of the committee, including the student members, reads application files each week and reports on those applicants making admission decision recommendations to the committee. Members of the committee are asked to participate in various recruiting events such as contacting admitted students, attending a reception with alumni, and/or helping with the Law School Preview. In addition to the two elected students on the committee, a third student is appointed to the committee by the Minority Law Student Association. The committee begins meeting in January and meets weekly through the Spring semester.
The admissions committee reviews applications for admission and makes admission decisions designed to produce a class of talented, motivated students from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. Each member, including the student members, reads application files each week and reports back to the committee with recommendations as to admission, denial, or holding an applicant for later review. Members of the committee are asked to participate in various recruiting events such as contacting admitted students, attending a reception with alumni, and/or helping with the Law School Preview. The committee begins meeting in January and meets weekly through the Spring semester.
Alumni Association Board
The Alumni Board of Directors mission is to strengthen the connections between Law Alumni, the Law School and Law Students through a variety of outreach activities and events and encourage Law Alumni to remain involved in the continued success of the Law School. The Alumni Board provides on-going input and support of the many programs and services administered by Lewis & Clark Law School. The board meets three times a year and conducts much of its business through the work of the Alumni Engagement, Distinguished Honors, Governance, and Scholarship Committees.
Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees meets three to four times a year. It is the body with ultimate fiduciary and executive responsibility for the entire institution. The board has many subcommittees and at each meeting of the full board, the committees meet and the full board meets. In addition to the meetings of the full board, some committees meet at other times of the year. The Board of Trustees is responsible for hiring, evaluating, and negotiating terms of employment for the president of the college.
Board of Visitors
This board is a group of advisers to the law school made up of alumni and friends of the law school. The group does not have fiduciary or executive responsibility as does the board of Trustees. The group meets twice a year, hears reports on current issues at the law school – admissions, new curriculum initiatives, and fundraising goals and plans. Members of the board assist in admissions recruiting outreach by calling admitted students and hosting and attending receptions for prospective and admitted candidates.
Budget Committee (External)
The budget committee reviews the administration’s budget proposal and submits a proposed budget to the law school faculty for its approval, after which it is submitted to the Board of Trustees. There are intensive meetings in the fall semester at which the committee determines what programs will be supported at what level, whether the number of faculty will be expanded, what should be the tuition, how much should be expended on scholarships, how much should be expended on faculty research, what size class the admissions committee is to attempt to recruit, and all other aspects of revenue and expenditure that make up the law school budget. Programs that are supported by outside grants (examples are the Small Business Legal Clinic, Animal law Clinic, Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center, and others) are reviewed to the extent that the law school makes in-kind or actual revenue contributions to the program. In normal years, the work of the committee is concluded in the fall semester but may extend into the Spring.
The curriculum committee determines the courses for the upcoming academic year, including the next summer’s classes. The committee reviews proposals for new courses and reviews enrollments to see what courses need additional sections or should be offered less often. The committee also takes up specific projects from time to time such as reviewing the first year curriculum, establishing summer externships, and providing guidance for the law school’s various Legal clinics (examples are the Animal law Clinic, Small Business Clinic, and the Lewis & Clark legal Clinic. The curriculum committee’s decisions go to the full faculty as recommendations to be voted upon by the faculty. The committee meets throughout the year, usually twice a month.
The Diversity Committee seeks to promote diversity throughout the law school among students, staff, and faculty. The committee looks at a variety of issues each year and in the past has surveyed students, held focus groups, drafted policies and procedures, organized faculty workshops, and pursued research on creating a classroom environment that is inclusive at the same time it is academically challenging. The committee advises other law school committees and administrators and can make recommendations to the full faculty for implementation by the school. The committee meets three or four times a semester, depending on the issues it is considering. It coordinates its efforts with those of the institutional wide committee on diversity, which is described on the Diversity Committee website.
Faculty Appointments Committee
In any year when the law school is hiring new faculty, the committee reviews applications, determines who will be interviewed at the annual AALS hiring conference in Washington DC (held in Oct/Nov), interviews candidates in DC, determines who will be invited back to the law school for full interviews and job talks, and recommends to the full faculty those candidates it feels should be considered for offers of employment. Students participate fully in the review of applications; one of the two travels to Washington DC for the interviews; and both are responsible for ensuring student attendance at job talks and student interview sessions. Students participate in all discussion and votes on who to interview and who to recommend to the faculty for hiring. This committee is most active in the Fall, with some work continuing into the early part of the Spring semester.
Students who are elected to serve on the Faculty Committee attend faculty meetings, typically once a month on the second Tuesday of each month, throughout the year. The faculty vote on recommendations from the other committees, such as budget and curriculum, campus policies and procedures and on issues raised by individual faculty members. Students have full voting rights in the faculty meetings except for matters of tenure and promotion of faculty. Faculty meetings are often attended by staff as well as faculty; however, only full-time faculty have voting rights in the faculty meetings.
Honor Board Committee
The Honor Board representative serves on any honor committee convened by the dean in the academic year in which the student serves. On average there are two honor committees a year, although some years there are none and some years there are as many as three or four. Each honor committee is made up of two faculty members appointed by the dean and the SBA student member. Details on the procedures of the honor committee can be found on the web in the student handbook, What’s What.
Natural Resources Committee
The committee reviews the natural resources and environmental law curriculum and recommends the courses for continuation and new courses for consideration by the curriculum committee. The committee also reviews all environmental and natural resources courses for the three-year plan, and recommends to the curriculum committee courses for continuation and how frequently the courses should be taught. The committee designs and approves conferences, distinguished environmental visitors, and other official activities to be undertaken by the law school as part of the environmental and natural resources law program. The committee works on sustainability issues for the law school. The committee determines the recipients of the Manas, O’Rourke, and Natural Resources Law Institute Leader awards, and chooses each year’s Distinguished Environmental Graduates. The committee also handles academic issues relevant to the LLM and joint degree programs, and to the JD environmental and natural resources certificate, including requirements for the certificate, requirements for LLM and joint degree program participants, and LLM and joint degree admission requirements. They meet monthly throughout the school year (except in December).
Transportation & Parking Advisory Committee
The Transportation & Parking Advisory Committee serves as an advisory group to the Vice President of Business & Finance/Treasurer in making recommendations regarding Lewis & Clark transportation and parking issues. The committee focuses on coordinating alternatives to single-occupant autos and providing access to efficient and effective transportation and parking services. The committee manages the shuttle bus service to provide easy access to downtown Portland so that students, staff, and faculty of Lewis & Clark will have a viable alternative to reliance on their automobiles. The committee also ensures that there are enough off-street parking spaces to meet the parking demand of the Lewis & Clark community, including visitors, without reasonable access to alternative transit. The committee meets once a month to review, analyze & discuss transportation and parking related issues and projects.
External Committee Representatives
- Academic Enhancement Committee - Audre Sylvester & Paige Punzalan
- Admissions Committee - Anna Hong & Juliette Liu
- Alumni Association Board - Audre Sylvester & Holly Carone
- Board of Trustees - Amitav Kamani
- Board of Visitors - Celeste Williams
- Budget Committee (External) - Axel Jurgens & Kathrine Coonjohn
- Curriculum Committee -
- Diversity Committee - Celeste Williams & Liliana Casillas
- Faculty Appointments Committee – Ricky Armendariz & Julia Sicard
- Faculty Committee – Holly Carone & Axel Jurgens
- Honor Board Committee – Jordin Lewis-Martinez
- Natural Resources Committee – Sarah Rae & Juliette Liu
- Student Health Advisory Board – Patrick Chang
- Transportation & Parking Advisory Committee - Jordin Lewis-Martinez
- Wellness Committee – Jennifer Melikian
- ABA Representative – Gagan Gill
- Evening Student Representative – Heather Castillo