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Getting Involved with Professional Organizations: My Experience on Community Excellence

2011 College of Law Enrollment
Caption: Third-year FAMU College of Law student Shannon Allen encourages College of Law students to engage in professional activity through various organizations.

The purpose of this article is to highlight the potential of every person within the FAMU College of Law community. By sharing a little about my involvement in a national extra-curricular activity, I hope to inspire you to be actively involved in reaching your own potential.

The American Bar Association (ABA) is the largest voluntary professional membership association in the world. The ABA’s mission is to be the national representative of the legal profession, serving the public and the profession by promoting justice, professional excellence and respect for the law.

My name is Shannon Allen and in addition to being a 3L in good academic standing at one of the most diverse law schools in the country, I am also a Student Editor for the ABA’s Intellectual Property (IP) Law Division’s Annual Review of IP Developments; the Founder/President of FAMU’s newly formed Electronic Discovery Law Student Association (EDLSA); the Recruitment Chair for FAMU’s Advocacy Board; and a Charter Member of FAMU’s newly formed Toastmasters Club; I am also the 2011-2012 National Student Director (NSD) for the ABA Law Student Division’s National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC).

NAAC emphasizes the development of oral advocacy skills through a realistic appellate advocacy experience. Competitors take part in a hypothetical appeal to the United States Supreme Court.The competition requires writing a brief and arguing the case in front of a mock court. The five NSD positions are: 1) Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), 2) Arbitration Competition (AC),3) Client Counseling Competition (CC), 4) Negotiation Competition (NC), and 5) National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC).

As National Student Director, I have the opportunity to participate in activities that improve the quality of the competition including: 1) participating in Competition Committee meetings and conference calls; 2) helping to plan and execute competition goals; 3) submitting information to the Student Lawyer; 4) traveling to support the Competitions Committee during regional and final rounds; and 5) encouraging qualified individuals to apply for NSD positions.

This article is not intended to be, nor should it be considered a challenge to see who can be involved in the most activities. To the contrary, it is intended to challenge you to push yourself beyond what you think you can do. Everyone has diverse experiences and each of us understands the concept of our own potential differently. I just wanted to share a little bit about my involvement in hopes that it will inspire you to embrace the knowledge that your destiny is in your own hands.

In closing, I am honored to represent FAMU College of Law in this national capacity. At FAMU College of Law, I have had the pleasure of working with and getting to know pleasant, sincere,and competent professionals. I look forward to practicing law with continued support and encouragement from FAMU College of Law’s community of excellence.