Law Society is a new club on campus this semester, founded by Ashley Leon (sophomore), Maria Salter (first year),* Hemy Yue (first year) and Felix Holmes (first year). The club includes mock trial, a speaker series and moot court — a two-on-two debate modeled after U.S. Supreme Court cases. While mock trial does not compete until February and the speaker series will not be fully established until next semester, moot court is already fully underway.
Faculty Advisor Professor Edward Kammerer of the politics department coaches club members, who meet every Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in Johnson 105.
When Leon was a first year, she attempted to join a new club called Law Review. She emailed the club to confirm her interest but received no response. Now, as a sophomore, Leon said Kammerer’s Law and Society class sparked her interest in moot court. Although the club was officially started by Salter, Yue and Holmes, Leon saw an opportunity to combine both moot court and mock trial into a more comprehensive pre-law program.
“Occidental has a great pre-med program, a great pre-engineering program, but we don’t really have a great pre-law program,” Leon said.
Salter echoed Leon’s sentiment that Occidental’s pre-law program is lacking resources. The pre-law advisor suddenly quit over Winter Break. Her departure has made it difficult for Law Society’s founders to establish their club, according to Salter. However, the club hopes to continue to support pre-law students.
“Law Society is a way for students interested in pursuing a career in law to become involved and have more resources on campus that otherwise wouldn’t have been available to them,” Salter said.
Law Society aims to have a larger presence on campus by releasing mock trial fact patterns as well as inviting alumni to campus to speak about law. In collaboration with the Hameetman Career Center, Law Society has already lined up two Occidental alumni speakers and has reached out to other alumni about returning to campus next semester.
Law Society also hopes to implement a Law Review program next semester. Although joining a team such as mock trial and moot court is a big commitment, according to Leon, the club encourages all students interested in law to participate.
*Maria Salter is a Weekly staff member.