New Zealand Law Students’ Association President Rebecca Goldsmith, a law graduate at Pukekohe firm Franklin Law, takes a look at what the organisation offers to law students around the country
The New Zealand Law Students’ Association (NZLSA) is the national organisation that looks after the interests of law students at all six law schools in the country. Upon enrolling as a law student, a student automatically becomes a member of the NZLSA. The NZLSA is made up of six executive members, two ex-officio members, two Council of Legal Education (CLE) members, and then the presidents of each of the six law students’ societies. As President, I have the privilege of leading this association for the 2012 term, and I have a fantastic executive on board who are really dedicated to their portfolios and to the effective and progressive running of the NZLSA this year.
The entire NZLSA meets up to four times a year, with various universities taking turns to host each council meeting and then the annual conference. The meetings are a great time for the executive to touch base with the various presidents on what is going on at each individual law school and the issues that may be affecting them. It is usually a time for problem solving or voting on proposed solutions, as the executive are all in communication through email and social media outlets constantly throughout the year.
These regular meetings are also a chance for the six executive members, the two ex-officio members, and the two CLE representatives to update everyone on their individual portfolios. To see who this year’s executive members are, I would recommend you visit our website (www.nzlsa.co.nz).
The universities are now back in full swing and the law students’ societies have been straight into hosting events for their law students. If you want to keep up to date with what the societies are doing and see the events that the NZLSA are now sponsoring at each university, please visit our Facebook page or look out for event reviews and photos in the law students’ magazine, LEX.
Facilitating the smooth running of the various legal competitions – Mooting, Witness Examination, Negotiation, and Client Interviewing – that take place throughout each of the New Zealand law schools and on an international and national level is probably the main function of the NZLSA at this point in time. All of these competitions are designed to teach students valuable legal skills. Winners of the regional competitions are invited to compete at the Australian Law Students’ Association (ALSA) Conference, and our own NZLSA Conference. This year, these events are being held in Melbourne and Auckland, respectively. They are fully sponsored, so it provides some great motivation for students to take the time to compete.
This year, NZLSA Education VP Sam Welsh is devoting his time to the issue of law student mental health and well-being. Sam has met with each law school’s education representative to discuss the goals for the year in terms of researching and reporting on this issue. There will be a presentation on the year’s work at the NZLSA conference in Auckland this year, which will be open for anyone who wishes to attend.
It has been apparent for a while that some law students aren’t aware that there is a national law students’ association, or what the NZLSA is doing and can do for them as law students throughout their time at university. Therefore, this year is shaping up to be one of the busiest for the NZLSA; there is a focus on exposing more students to the association through our sponsorship of certain events and through social media outlets.
I look forward to a very successful year, not only for the NZLSA but for all law students throughout the country. I urge all students to contact their local law students’ society to find out the various ways to get involved – they are instrumental in making sure that you have a great time at law school.
For more information on the New Zealand Law Students’ Association, please visit www.nzlsa.co.nz, or ‘like’ the NZLSA’s Facebook page.
You can contact Rebecca Goldsmith directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NZLawyer2B. issue 04, March 2012