Welcome to your first year of law school at Chicago-Kent!
My name is Sofia Valdivia and I am so honored to be serving as your current Student Bar Association (SBA) President. I am a 3L here at Chicago-Kent and it seems like only yesterday I was entering my 1L year riddled with uncertainty on how law school was going to be. Would it be challenging? Would my weekends be spent reading casebooks? Would I make any life long friendships? And then as a first generation law student I wondered the age old questions of would I even fit in? Can I even do this?
Well, for me the answers to all of these questions have been yes. Yes, it has been challenging, but also extremely rewarding. Yes, I spend more time than I would like reading casebooks (but I also secretly nerd out about it). Yes, I have made friendships that I know I will have for the rest of my life. And yes, I do belong and I can do this thanks to the friends I have made that act as my cheerleaders, the classmates I am surrounded by that push me to bring my very best to the table, the staff that encourages me every step of the way, and the professors that challenge and guide me into one day becoming a successful attorney.
All of these factors have been driving me in the right direction, and I wholeheartedly believe that every single one of you will have those same experiences because Chicago-Kent is a family and we all want you to succeed!
The Chicago-Kent Student Bar Association (SBA) is the student governance organization for our law school. We represent student concerns, hopes, fears and interests in the academic and legal community within Chicago. As law students, we all love lists so here are the primary purposes of SBA:
- To provide a liaison among students, faculty and alumni;
- To assume responsibility for student social affairs within the Chicago-Kent;
- To serve as a forum for the discussion of professional problems; and
- To enhance the professional reputation of Chicago-Kent as well as its students and
Chicago-Kent has a wide array of diverse organizations ranging from Black Law Student Association, Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, National Lawyers Guild, Kent Justice Foundation, Sports and Entertainment Law Society, Intellectual Property Law Society, and much more!
We have an annual student organization fair held every year in the Fall where you will have the opportunity to learn about all the student groups on campus and find what interests you. We also have organizations that are student, advisor and professor run including the Chicago-Kent Trial Team, Moot Court Honor Society, and Law Review.
Overall, this year is going to look different. The world has changed and is adjusting, and in true Chicago-Kent fashion we have been changing and adjusting too. Student organizations are already discussing and implementing virtual events. The staff has been working tirelessly to make sure programs and resources will still be available to all students. Professors have been planning and adjusting teaching styles to better serve their students.
We have also been acting more as a community than ever before by hosting open dialogues for students, staff, and faculty to share their concerns surrounding COVID-19 and the protests happening in our city and the country. Students have been standing in solidarity with each other as we fight to combat systemic racism and ICE’s proposed regulations that impact our international classmates. The faculty and staff have committed to an audit to be completed this next academic year to see how Chicago-Kent can better commit to diversity and inclusion.
So while we may be remote at the moment, I have never felt closer to my Chicago-Kent community as we work to overcome the challenges that we keep facing this year. That being said, I am so excited to welcome you to our family and to hear from you, to learn from you, and to grow with you.
As you enter your first year, please remember that the Student Bar Association is here for you. Whether it’s learning how to be more involved in a student organization, or how to tackle your first law school classes, or just simply wanting to express your thoughts, concerns, or fears, the members of SBA are an ear to listen and a hand to help!
On behalf of the SBA, welcome to the C-K family! We are all so happy you’re here!
All my best,
President | Student Bar Association