Constitution of the Duke University School of Law
Women Law Students Association
Adopted November 17, 1999. Amended October 1, 2019.
Article I. Name and Organizational Purpose
1.1 The name of this organization shall be the Women Law Students Association (WLSA).
1.2 The mission of the Women Law Students Association is to help women thrive in our law school and to ease the transition between the academic and the work environments. WLSA strives to create a community that will raise awareness of women’s issues and move toward the betterment of women in the legal profession. We also seek to provide a forum for students to enhance their Duke University School of Law experience.
1.3 The rules and regulations contained in this Constitution shall govern WLSA.
Article II. Membership
2.1 All law students at the Duke University School of Law are eligible to join and serve as WLSA officers.
2.2 All members of the Duke University School of Law community are invited and encouraged to attend WLSA meetings, programs, and events.
Article III. Organizational Structure
3.1 WLSA shall have the following officers:
- Executive Vice President
- Vice President of Finance
- Vice President of Mentorship Programs
- Vice President of Career Development
- Vice President of Communications
- Vice President of Special Events
- Vice President of Allyship
- 3L Representative(s)
- 2L Event Chair(s)
- 2L Representative(s)
- 1L Representative(s)
- LLM Representative(s)
- CDI Delegate
3.2 The board shall be composed of all officers. Officer positions may be shared with board approval.
3.3 The officers of the board shall be elected each March or April for a term of one calendar year. Members may nominate themselves or other members of the organization for officer positions. The President shall determine the dates for nominations and elections.
3.4 The 1L and LLM Representatives shall be chosen by a majority of the board members after having submitted brief statements of interest following the initial meeting in the Fall Semester each year.
Transition Between the Outgoing and Incoming Boards
3.5 The incoming officers shall effectively hold their respective offices at the commencement of the first joint board meeting after elections. The incoming President shall call the first joint board meeting. In order to provide for an effective transition, outgoing and incoming officers shall be required to attend one or two joint board meeting(s) following elections.
3.6 Outgoing officers shall be responsible for conducting organization events planned prior to elections.
3.7 If 4 or more candidates run for a position, the candidate who receives a majority of votes will win the election. If no candidate receives a majority, a second election will be held between the two candidates who received the most votes. In all elections with 3 or fewer candidates, the person who receives the greatest number of votes wins.
3.8 Meetings shall be informal and not run in strict accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order. When parliamentary order is necessary, the rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern the organization.
Article IV. WLSA Officers’ Responsibilities
4.1 The President shall be the official spokesperson of the organization. The President shall have the authority to fill vacant officer positions by appointment, provided the Vice President does not object. The president shall be responsible for calling and publicizing meetings of the organization and the board, may prepare agendas for all meetings, shall delegate event-planning responsibilities to other board members, shall determine what events WLSA will sponsor each year, with the approval of the Vice President, and shall assist the other board members in their work whenever necessary. The President shall be responsible for ensuring the general health and productivity of the organization and shall serve as a liaison between the board and the greater Duke University Community.
4.2 The Executive Vice President shall assist the President in the general running of the organization. The Executive Vice Present shall take the meeting minutes and maintain the WLSA event calendar. The Executive Vice President shall be the organization’s spokesperson when the President is not able to attend a WLSA event or meeting. The Executive Vice President shall also be responsible for planning one alumni event.
4.3 The Vice President of Finance shall coordinate all funding requests and reimbursements.
4.4 The Vice President of Mentorship Programs shall foster a spirit of service and dedication among the members of WLSA through organizing, encouraging and participating in programs that will improve and aid the law school, alumni, and Durham community. The Vice President of Mentorship Programs shall coordinate any mentorship programs. The Vice President of Mentorship Programs shall maintain the alumni network and be responsible for any alumni programming. The Vice President of Mentorship Programs shall also coordinate the Coffee & Conversation and Dinner & Discussion series.
4.5 The Vice President of Career Development shall plan events that will help members of the organization to further their career development. The Vice President of Career Development shall be the contact person in planning the Baker-Botts Mock Interview/Resume Review event each Fall.
4.6 The Vice President of Communications shall maintain the public image of the organization. The Vice President of Communications shall maintain the mailing list, the website and the online outline database, and any social media sites. The Vice President of Communications shall also develop an advertising scheme for all WLSA events to ensure prompt and thorough dissemination of important event and organization information.
4.7 The Vice President of Special Events shall be in charge of the Spring Series and shall head the planning committee for the Spring Series. The Vice President of Special Events shall delegate tasks to 1L and LLM Representatives, manage timelines, oversee invitations, and perform other duties as needed to ensure the Spring Series is a success.
4.8 The Vice President of Allyship shall coordinate all of WLSA’s allyship efforts and shall be responsible for planning one allyship-centered event.
4.9 The 3L Representative(s) shall serve as a delegate(s) to the board on behalf of WLSA’s 3L members. There shall be no more than two 3L Representatives. The 3L Representative(s) shall participate in all board meetings and shall serve a support role by assisting the other board members as needed. The 3L Representative(s) must have completed one full term on the WLSA Executive Board to be eligible.
4.10 The 2L Event Chair(s) shall serve as a delegate to the board on behalf of WLSA’s 2L members. There shall be no more than two 2L Event Chairs. In addition to planning one major event per year, they will participate in all board meetings and serve a support role by assisting the other board members as needed.
4.11 The 2L Representative(s) shall serve as a delegate to the board on behalf of WLSA’s 2L members. There shall be no more than four 2L Representatives. The 2L Representative(s) shall participate in all board meetings and serve a support role by assisting the other board members as needed. The 2L Representative(s) shall also help the board plan events.
4.12 The 1L and LLM Representative(s) shall serve as a liaison to the 1L and LLM classes. The 1L and LLM Representative(s) shall assist the board in planning events and shall learn how to access the funding and event-planning resources available to student groups.
4.13 The CDI Delegate will be the WLSA representative for the Congress for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) and will be responsible for attending all WLSA and CDI Board Meetings. The CDI Delegate will focus on intersectional issues and diversity across the law school and will function as the liaison between WLSA and CDI. This position may be held by a current member of the WLSA Executive Board. The President shall serve this role in the event that it is vacant.
4.14 All members of the board shall together:
- Organize events, including events co-sponsored by other organizations and groups.
- Work with the Office of Career Services to provide career-related programs and guidance for law students.
- Work with the Admissions office to plan for the recruitment and successful transition of women into their first year of law school at Duke.
Article V. Meeting Schedule
5.1 The organization shall hold general meetings when needed. It shall hold an introductory meeting, during which the 1L and LLM Representative is elected, in the Fall Semester. During March or April, it shall hold an end-of-the-year meeting to elect the new board.
5.2 The executive board shall communicate by e-mail and in person meetings when necessary.
Article VI. Adoption and Amendment
6.1 This Constitution shall be adopted with the approval of 2/3 of the board members at a meeting conducted either in person or through e-mail.
6.2 To amend this Constitution, board members must be notified of the proposed change(s) at least one week prior to the meeting (which may be conducted in person or through e- mail) at which the proposed amendment(s) will be subject to a vote. Feedback shall be submitted in e-mail format to the President at least one calendar day before the meeting.
6.3 All proposals to amend this Constitution must be adopted with the approval of 2/3 of the board members at the meeting.