Whether it’s public interest or corporate law, Illinois offers many opportunities for students to get involved. There are groups for every type of student in all aspects of the law.
Membership in approved student organizations is available to all students; and student organization events, activities, and programs are open to all members of the College of Law community.
American Bar Association (ABA) – Student Division
The American Bar Association—Student Division is a national organization with a membership of over 50,000 individuals. The American Bar Association—Student Division strives to provide opportunities for law students in the areas of academic enhancement, leadership, career development, and networking.
American Constitution Society (ACS)
The American Constitution Society is a national organization of law students, law professors, practicing lawyers, and others. We seek to revitalize and transform the legal debate; to counter the dominant vision of American law today, a narrow conservative vision that lacks appropriate regard for the ways in which the law affects people’s lives; and to restore the fundamental principles of human dignity, individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, and access to justice to their rightful – and traditionally central – place in American law.
Asian Law Students Association (ALSA)
ALSA serves to promote academic and professional excellence, raise awareness of issues affecting Asian Americans, and foster pan-Asian communication, friendship, and solidarity. The central mission is to provide law students with a valuable support network of friends and resources to help enrich their law school experience. ALSA also strives to build coalitions with other student organizations and to contribute to the community at large.
Bankruptcy Law Society (BLS)
The mission of the Bankruptcy Law Society is to promote the education of the Bankruptcy Code, to understand its impact on businesses and individuals, and to help connect those students interested in bankruptcy law with bankruptcy practitioners in the field.
Politics, race, class, and sex cannot be separated from the law. As law students, it is our responsibility to understand the intersectionality of the law and these issues and how they invariably affect us all. Our goal is to educate and activate law students to become socially-conscious lawyers in whichever practice area they enter, as well as to keep civil rights at the forefront of their minds. We recognize that structures such as capitalism, White supremacy, Zionism, sexism, queerphobia, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism as systems of oppression that must be dismantled. We are anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, and anti-racist and we strive to incorporate these practices into our legal careers. We will work to uplift marginalized voices of all kinds through educational workshops and events. We aspire to serve as a resource for the general law student body to learn about these issues on a local, national, and global level. We pledge to work with organizations who are committed to establishing equal rights for all.
Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
The College of Law chapter of this national organization is active in bringing national speakers to campus, sponsoring events for minority undergraduate students, and engaging in other activities intended to promote community and understanding of issues affecting students and others of African descent. An annual BLSA congratulatory banquet caps the year’s events. The group has established a mentor system through which interested students are matched with practicing African-American attorneys. College of Law BLSA members are frequently elected to serve on the national organization’s Midwest regional board.
Chicago Bar Association (CBA) – Student Division
Membership in the Chicago Bar Association offers law students the unique opportunity to become familiar with the day-to-day operations of the legal profession before they are actually admitted to practice. The Student Division’s goal is to promote the CBA and provide leadership opportunities to students at the College of Law.
Christian Law Students Association (CLSA)
This organization is part of a national, nondenominational organization of lawyers, law students, and others in law-related fields. The College of Law chapter invites speakers, holds social functions, and works with local charitable organizations, and engages in other activities intended to explore issues relating to the Christian faith and the practice of law.
Corporate and Business Law Association (CBLA)
The CBLA strives to promote and preserve student interest in business and law, especially as they relate to each other; to infuse legal concepts into club-sponsored events and activities; and to facilitate professional growth and development.
Criminal Law Society
The Criminal Law Society at the University of Illinois College of Law (“CLS”) is dedicated to facilitating informative, engaging, and accessible discussions covering the breadth of issues associated with criminal law. CLS achieves its mission by hosting a series of speakers, panel discussions, and networking events. CLS also encourages active community involvement to confront, better understand, and help alleviate some of the contributing factors that push certain individuals into the criminal justice system. These events and activities enable students to engage with prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, policy makers, members of community organizations, and individuals who have been personally affected by contemporary criminal law policy.
Members of the Criminal Law Society come from diverse backgrounds and have political ideologies that vary extensively; however, CLS members coalesce around a shared interest in criminal law and a commitment to increasing awareness of contemporary criminal law issues at the University of Illinois College of Law.
Education Law and Policy Society (ELPS)
The mission of the Education Law and Policy Society is to build awareness and commitment to the legal and policy issues affecting education through: (1) forums encouraging dialogue about educational issues between leaders in the field including attorneys, professors, educators, legislators, and policy experts, (2) opportunities to learn the process of creating and influencing state and federal educational law and policy, and (3) establishing long-term collaborative networks for career and education related goals.
Energy and Environmental Law Society (EELS)
The mission of the Energy and Environmental Law Society is to enhance the community’s awareness of energy law and environmental law issues on all levels. The group seeks to highlight these two important areas of law by facilitating open discussion about environmental issues and the energy field, promoting sustainable environmental practices, and examining current national and global industry practices & policies. The society strives to achieve these ends by sponsoring speakers on various topics and informing the law school student body about opportunities to learn about and practice in environmental or energy law.
Federalist Society (Federalists)
Founded in 1982, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is committed to the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to the 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 to promote awareness of these principles and to further their application by providing a forum for legal experts of opposing views to interact with members of the legal profession, the judiciary, law students, academics, and the architects of public policy. The Society seeks to foster a greater appreciation for the role of separation of powers, federalism, limited constitutional government, and the rule of law in protecting individual freedom and traditional values.
Health and Elder Law Society (H&ELS)
The mission of H&ELS is to create a forum for law students interested in careers in health law and elder law by furthering the general knowledge of the field, assisting students interested in pursuing a career in the field, and establishing connections with those who currently practice and specialize in health law and/or elder law.
If/When/How is a national non-profit network of law students, professors, and legal professionals committed to fostering the next wave of legal experts for the reproductive justice movement. Mobilizing and mentoring new lawyers and scholars is a long-term strategy that will build capacity, vision, and leadership for a more successful reproductive justice movement. Law functions as both a catalyst to prompt the expansion of rights and a tool with which to hold governments and communities accountable for the delivery of liberty, equality, dignity, and fairness promised by those rights.
Immigration Law Society
The Immigration Law Society (ILS) strives to promote discussion of immigration law and policy issues that are currently impacting the United States and support any student who is interested in a career in immigration law. By hosting career panels, inviting speakers, and reaching out to local organizations that help immigrants in the Champaign-Urbana area, we hope to give students a resource to turn to and experience in this changing area of law.
Intellectual Property Legal Society (IPLS)
The society aims to promote awareness of intellectual property issues on a local and national level, to increase resource development in the area of intellectual property, and to create a profound expertise in intellectual property matters. It also provides practical legal training through lectures and seminars.
International Student Association (ISA)
This organization is a platform for interaction of all international students as well as American students interested in intercultural communication. The goal of the organization is to foster students' experience notwithstanding their country of origin.
Jewish Law Students Association (JLSA)
The Jewish Law Students Association seeks to provide cultural and religious support to students, regardless of background or belief, to educate the student body about the cultural and religious beliefs of the Jewish people, and to better the greater community through Tzedakah, and acts of goodwill.
Latino/Latina Law Students Association (LLSA)
LLSA’s main objective is to help incoming students make a smooth transition into the College of Law by providing a tutor/mentor program. The group invites to campus outstanding Latino/Latina lawyers to speak with students. It assists the College of Law in recruiting students, sponsors social events, volunteers in the community, and co-sponsors the Minority Pre-Law Conference.
Muslim Law Students Association (MLSA)
The Muslim Law Students Association (MLSA) seeks to provide a cultural and religious backdrop for the issues faced by Muslim law students and highlight the legal issues faced by Muslims as a whole by hosting educational and informational events for students and the community.
Myra Bradwell Association for Women Law Students (WLS)
WLS focuses on the concerns of women, both in the College of Law and in the profession. The organization raises awareness of women’s issues through speakers, seminars, and informal discussions; and raises money for education and philanthropy. The group also sponsors luncheons with faculty members and other social and educational events.
National Lawyer's Guild
The National Lawyers Guild is an association dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system. Our aim is to bring together all those who recognize the importance of safeguarding and extending the rights of workers, women, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and people of color. We seek to use the law to eliminate racism and protect civil liberties for all.
OUTLAW (Sexual Orientation and Legal Issues Society)
OUTLAW is a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students and their allies. OUTLAW promotes awareness of LGBT legal issues and provides social support through speakers and educational activities.
Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Law Society
The mission of the Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Law Society (PIMMLS) is to bring students knowledge, connections, and resources in relation to the field of tort law; specifically, personal injury, products liability, medical malpractice, and any topics relating to these practices.
Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity (PAD)
This active fraternity sponsors luncheon programs and social events for students and faculty. The fraternity also sponsors philanthropic activities to benefit the community.
Privacy & Security Law Society
The Privacy & Security Law Society promotes awareness of current legal issues concerning privacy, information security and new technology through speaking engagements, student presentations, and study groups.
Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF)
PILF is dedicated to bringing public interest law careers to the attention of law students and raises money for a grant program that allows students to undertake public interest work over the summer. The Foundation has funded students to work in diverse organizations, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Legal Clinic for the Disabled, Inc.
Space Law Society
The SLS serves as the University of Illinois College of Law student organization dedicated to educating students within the College of Law on the developing field of Space Law. SLS serves to connect students with other Space Law organizations, and further the careers of students in Space Law.
Sports and Entertainment Law Society (SELS)
The Sports and Entertainment Law Society strives to educate students about the many legal issues that affect the world of sports and entertainment, as well as to provide opportunities within the sports and entertainment industries.
Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF)
The mission of SALDF is to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. This student chapter of the Animal Legal Defense Fund aims to increase awareness of animal law as a discipline and legal issues involving animal welfare.
Student Bar Association (SBA)
Representatives form the student government, which works on behalf of students to improve the quality of the educational experience at the College of Law. The SBA acts as a liaison between students and the administration and recommends budget appropriations for all student organizations. A group of students appointed by the Student Bar Association serves on faculty committees that help govern the College of Law.
Student Legal Relief (SLR)
The mission of this group is to send students on volunteer legal aid trips and raise awareness of the social and legal issues impacting impoverished or marginalized persons and communities.