Student organizations are an integral part of the School of Law experience. Our diverse clubs, associations, societies, boards and activities provide students an opportunity to contribute time and talent in ways that are both personally and professionally gratifying.
Many students are involved in more than one organization, and even with a rigorous academic schedule, participation becomes a vital avenue of self-expression and socializing.
To participate in any of the organizations listed below, contact any of the individuals listed below or Lillie Wiley-Upshaw, vice dean for admissions and student life.
Planning an Event: The School of Law's Special Events Office helps student organizations with event planning and provides you with a single point of contact when planning your event. The "Planning an Event" guide is designed to help you and your student organization. Please contact the director of special events with questions.
The "Event Date and Notification Form" must be submitted prior to any event planning.
Alternative dispute resolution is an increasingly popular form of case resolution in the legal community. The Alternative Dispute Resolution Association concentrates mainly on mediation and provides multiple opportunities for students to become involved with and learn about the mediation process. Each year the association hosts a a Representation in Mediation Competition and Mediation Training, which allows students to enhance their skills and provides them with an opportunity to participate in mediation.
The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) promotes the vitality of the U.S. Constitution and the fundamental values it expresses: individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, access to justice, democracy, and the rule of law. ACS chapters offer platforms for debate and discussion about both enduring principles and the issues of the day, as well as provide opportunities for networking, mentoring and organizing around matters of both local and national significance. Every year ACS holds a national convention in DC and provides scholarships to members of the student chapters. Past speakers including Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, former Senator Wendy Davis, and former Attorney General Eric Holder.
The Black Law Students Association (BLSA) is a professional, nationally affiliated organization of black law students dedicated to improving opportunities and diversity in legal education. As the School of Law's BLSA chapter, our goal is to articulate and promote the educational, professional, political and social needs of our black law students while also giving back to our communities.
The Buffalo Environmental Law Society is the liaison between students and the environmental law program/concentration and its faculty and staff. BELS is also responsible for Earth Week celebrations at the School of Law. We've brought state senators and notable scholars to speak, screened environmentally focused films, organized hikes in nearby parks, and raffled solar chargers and other electronics to raise money for environmental organizations.
The Buffalo Public Interest Law Program raises money to support students who work in the public interest each summer during law school. BPILP also hosts networking events for students to meet public-interest employers from neighboring communities. The organization is affiliated with Lawyers for Learning and participates in the Student Bar Association’s Volunteer Service Days.
The Domestic Violence Task Force (DVTF) strives to raise awareness and educate students, Law School staff and community members about domestic violence through various activities such as panel nights and information dissemination at events. Our organization holds an annual "Dress for What's Next" spring event for survivors of domestic violence. It is a relaxing day for the women filled with shopping, makeup lessons, resume drafting and practice interviews. This empowering day encourage domestic violence survivors to remember their worth and improve their self-esteem.
The Family and Children's Law Society (FCLS) provides students with an opportunity to shadow experienced Family Law attorneys in Erie County Family Court proceedings, perform client intakes, and observe other relevant appointments. In addition, the FCLS will offer mentors, contacts and networking events for students interested in the fields of family law and education law. For those interested students, the FCLS will afford summer employment and year-round volunteer opportunities in the family and education law fields, specifically through Volunteer Lawyers Project.
The Federalist Society is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. The Society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities.
The Finance and Law Society is a student organization that aims to help educate students on the convergence between the financial industry and the legal fields. Additionally, the group aims to connect students who are interested in working in the financial industry after graduation with professionals who work in the field.
Administered by the National Black Law Students Association, the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition is the premier civil rights moot court competition in the nation. Each year, over 125 teams from schools from six regions compete at regional conventions for the chance to compete at the national level. The School of Law has been a top contender and has won various awards such as Best Oral Advocate, Best Petitioner/Respondent Brief, and Second Runner-Up for the entire Northeast Region.
Chief Executive Justice: Andrew Plewinski
Managing Executive Justice: Jessica Gill
Fiscal Executive Justice: Kristian Klepes
Communications Executive Justice: Allyson Kehl
Public Relations Executive Justice: Jordan Sieracki
Adviser: Patrick Long
Contact: Room 404 O'Brian Hall
Future Advocates in Training (FAIT) is a student-organized mentoring program between current/former law students and high school students. FAIT organizes law students to teach high school students how to excel in mock trial competitions. While some high schools have moot court classes or dedicated teachers, FAIT reaches out to lower-income schools that lack the resources to provide this extra help to their students. By volunteering their time, law students in FAIT have dramatically improved not only the mock trial skills of these high school students, but also their general academic success.
President: Marina Barci
Advocacy Chair: Peter Sahasrabudhe
Outreach Chair: Matt Simeone
Education Chair: Laura Gardiner
Mentor Chair: Donell Gibson
Finance Chair: Alex Rowen
Volunteer Coordinator: Dan Schaus
Advisers: Michael Adler (Erie County ADA) & Cathleen Roemer (Erie County ADA)
Contact Us: Facebook
Formed in 2017, the student group, Intersectional Activism Alliance (IAA), is committed to social justice and activism, with a focus on inclusion and intersectionality.
The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is the world's largest moot court competition, with participants from over 550 law schools in more than 80 countries. The Competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations.
Executive Director: Chad Davenport
Team Members: Tyler Fallon (alt), Margaret Mckenzie, and Lindsey Johnson
Financial Director: Joshua Mertzlufft
Coaches: Angie Delgato and Jon Dominik
Adviser: Patrick Long
Contact: Room 404 O’Brian
The Jewish Law Students Association provides events, programs and other activities of Jewish interest. Activities include catered Shabbat dinners, holiday-related events and celebrations, bar nights, ethnic Jewish food sales and guest speakers.
The Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA) supports its wide variety of members and is committed to the advancement of minorities in the legal profession. LALSA welcomes students of all backgrounds and seeks to create a local network for students of color, Latino students in particular, as well as a partnership between the legal community and the Latin community. Above all, LALSA is dedicated to the academic success of its members.
The National Lawyers Guild seeks to unite the lawyers, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers of the U.S. in an organization which shall function as an effective political and social force in the service of the people, to the end that human rights shall be regarded as more sacred than property interests. The School of Law’s Student Chapter aims to reach the goals of the National Chapter by working closely with the attorneys of the NLG's Buffalo Chapter and assisting within our capacities as law students and future warriors for justice. In addition, we look to bridge the gap between community activist organizations and legal professionals with the goal of collaborating and complementing each other's method towards achieving the same mission.
OUTLaw promotes a positive atmosphere at the School of Law for LGBT students and their allies. Our primary objective is to educate our colleagues about the legal issues surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity. OUTLaw sponsors activities, panels, social events and service projects that build a network for members and supporters of the LGBT legal community.
Phi Alpha Delta (PAD), the largest professional coed law fraternity in the nation, is open to all students. PAD hosts academic, community service, professional and social events each semester, including its own national mock trial competition. Additional benefits include lifetime membership and a nationwide alumni networking system.
The Philosophy and Law Society exists to deepen and promote understanding of the questions at the intersection of philosophy and law. The Society will provide a forum for students to attend lectures, read, discuss, debate, and learn about issues generated by the study of law.
President: Ian Adelstein
Vice President: Christian Cassara
Secretary: Benjamin Macaluso
Spokesman: Sam Dolce
Treasurer: Peter Sahasrabudhe
President: Breanna Reilly
Vice President: Ankita Vaid
Treasurer: Stephen Papia
Secretary: Michael Schwartz
The Student Bar Association is the elected body that represents student interests at the School of Law. SBA provides information for current students, organizations, alumni and general audiences seeking a glimpse into life at the law school.
President: Annabelle Gao
Vice President: Jordan Sieracki
Treasurer: Kevin Southern
Parliamentarian: Breanna Reilly
Events/Fundraising: Kevin Brown
Contact: Room 207 O'Brian Hall, 716-645-2748, Facebook
President: Benjamin Macaluso
Vice President: Nicholas Winkley
Secretary: Lindsey Johnson
Treasurer: Olenka Masny
Clerk of Court #1: Pete Sahasrabudhe
Clerk of Court #2: Charlotte Werner-Kohler
WBL was created for the educational and professional advancement of the women of the University at Buffalo School of Law, and it welcomes all students (male or female) to participate in achieving that goal. It was founded upon the fundamental belief that female law students are an invaluable part of the Buffalo School of Law community, and this organization intends to provide a supportive network of women to further its aims and objectives.