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WLS Constitution

 

ARTICLE I: NAME

 

This organization shall be known as the William and Mary Women’s Law Society [hereinafter “Society” or “WMWS”].

 

ARTICLE II: PURPOSE

 

The purpose of the Society shall be to use the collective resources of the chapter to:

(a)     Further the academic, social and professional needs, concerns, and goals of the Society members;

(b)    Provide a forum within the Marshal-Wythe School of Law community to promote discussion and activism by members on issues relevant to the Society;

(d)     Create and maintain a supportive and collaborative organization that recognizes and fosters outstanding achievement;

(e)     Reach out to the community at large on issues relevant to the Society;

 

ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP

 

Section 1: Eligibility

Membership in the Society shall be open to all law students at Marshall-Wythe School of Law with a proven interest in the goals and objectives of the Society.

 

Section 2: Classification for Membership

General Membership shall be open to all law students at Marshall-Wythe School of Law and shall consist of:

i.      Active (Financial) Membership: All student members who have fulfilled the dues obligation for the current academic period.        

ii.    Chapter (Non-Financial) Membership: Any member who has not fulfilled the dues obligation for the current academic period.

 

Section 3: Rights and Privileges of Membership

(a)    Active (Financial) Members are entitled to:

i.     Participate in all activities sponsored or funded by WMWS;

ii.    Vote in accordance with Article IX;

iii.   Hold a subcommittee chair position, in accordance with Article VI; and

iv.   Run for and hold an office.

(b)    Chapter (Non-Financial) Members entitled to:

i.     Participate in all activities sponsored by WMWS;

ii.    Participate in activities funded by WMWS, unless WMWS is responsible for a per person fee, in which case the member is responsible for their own financial obligations.

 

Section 4: Duties of Membership

(a)    Member must abide by the WMWS's Constitution and bylaws.

(b)    While representing WMWS in an official capacity, members should conduct themselves in an ethical manner in accordance with the Marshal-Wythe School of Law Honor Code, so as to reflect positively on WMWS and the College.

 

Section 5: Violation of Member Duties

Failure to meet Duties of Membership stated in Article III, §4 would subject the member to disciplinary proceedings under Article X of this Constitution.

ARTICLE IV: OFFICERS

Section 1:  Composition

The officers of the Society will include the Executive Board and Committee Chairpersons, according to Article IV, §5. 

 

Section 2: Eligibility

Any general member who has obtained active status and paid all of his/her dues by the dues deadline set by WMWS for the academic period of the academic year may hold office.

 

Section 3: Election Process   

(a)    General Election Meeting:  WMWS shall hold a General Election Meeting on or before March 15 of each academic year devoted exclusively to electing officers for the subsequent academic year.  Only active members present at the General Election Meeting shall be permitted to vote in officer elections.  Thus, WMWS shall take all reasonable efforts to inform all active members of the General Election Meeting in order to ensure high member turnout and the most representative election results.  This shall include, but is not limited to, sending an e-mail to the WMWS listserv regarding the General Election Meeting and the nomination process, allowing at least one (1) full week for officer nominations, posting fliers about the General Election Meeting throughout the law school, and communicating about the meeting via word of mouth. 
At the General Election Meeting, active members shall anonymously fill out a pre-printed ballot listing the nominees for each officer position.  The ballots shall be counted at the end of the meeting by the current Executive Board and preserved in the WMWS records system.  One of the members of the current Executive Board shall inform the newly elected officers within 24 hours and shall inform all WMWS members within 48 hours of the election results.

(b)    Executive Board: The Executive Board shall be comprised of four (4) active members of WMWS.  Should it become necessary, the number of Executive Board members may be adjusted by amending this Constitution.  Candidates for the Executive Board may self-nominate, or be nominated by any active member of WMWS.  At the General Election Meeting, each active member shall vote for four (4) of the nominated candidates.  The four (4) candidates receiving the largest percentage of votes shall become the new Executive Board members.  In the case of multiple individuals receiving the same percentage of votes for the final Executive Board position, WMWS shall hold a Runoff Election Meeting within 48 hours, in which active members shall vote for one of those individuals for the final position.

(c)    Committee Chairpersons:  There shall be one (1) Committee Chairperson for each WMWS Committee.  Should it become necessary, the number of Chairpersons for each Committee may be adjusted by amending this Constitution.   Candidates for Committee Chairpersons may self-nominate, or be nominated by any active member of WMWS.  At the General Election Meeting, each active member shall vote for one (1) of the nominated candidates for each Committee.  The candidate receiving the largest percentage of votes shall become the new Chairperson of that Committee.  In the case of multiple individuals receiving the same percentage of votes for any Committee Chairperson position, WMWS shall hold a Runoff Election Meeting within 48 hours, in which active members shall vote for one of those individuals.

Section 4: Term of Office

Following the General Election Meeting, the outgoing Executive Board Members and Committee Chairpersons shall meet with the newly elected officers by April 1 of each academic year to discuss officer transition. The official term of office shall not commence until April 15th following the election and shall terminate April 15th of the following year.

  

Section 5: Duties of Officers

(a)       Executive Board: The Executive Board shall work together to lead and direct WMWS and to maintain a culture of collaboration, equality, and respect within WMWS. The Executive Board is not hierarchically organized: each Executive Board Member has equal authority in the governance of WMWS and at least three (3) of the four (4) Executive Board Members must agree to any Executive Board decision.

i.      The Executive Board’s duties shall include but are not limited to the following: 1) preside over all General Body Meetings, Officers Meetings, and Executive Board Meetings; 2) prepare a detailed order of business and/or agenda for each General Body Meeting to be archived by the Records Committee Chairperson; 3) execute such meetings in accordance with Article VII of  this Constitution; 4) give voice to the consensus of the General Body; 4) organize and oversee all of the Committees of WMWS; 5) ensure that all Committee Chairpersons are performing their respective duties; 7) represent WMWS when called upon by the public, school administration, Student Bar Association (SBA), or national women’s law organizations of which WMWS is a member; 8) function as a liaison with other law school student organizations; 9) check WMWS’s physical and electronic mail on a regular basis; 10) oversee the production and publication of a annual report that provides a detailed review of WMWS’s activities, financials statements and other important decisions made during that year.

(b)    Committee Chairpersons:

i.              Mentoring Committee: The Mentoring Committee Chairperson’s duties shall include but are not limited to 1) recruiting 2L and 3L members to act as mentors to 1Ls; 2) facilitating the mentoring program.

ii.             Speakers Committee: The Speakers Committee Chairperson’s duties shall include but are not limited to 1) recruiting prominent women in the legal field to speak at WMWS events; 2) planning WMWS speaker events.

iii.            Academic Support and Curriculum Committee: The Academic Support and Curriculum Committee Chairperson’s duties shall include but are not limited to 1) recruiting 2L and 3L members to donate their outlines and other class prep material to WMWS to distribute to members; 2) facilitating study sessions or tutoring for WMWS members as desired; 3) communicating with faculty and administrators regarding the sufficiency of course offerings addressing women’s legal issues.

iv.           Activities Committee: The Activities Committee Chairperson’s duties shall include but are not limited to 1) periodically contacting and surveying General Body members to gauge interest in various extracurricular activities; 2) planning and organizing extracurricular activities for WMWS members, such as golf lessons, etc.

v.            Records Committee: The Records Committee Chairperson’s duties shall include but are not limited to: 1) update and maintain the WMWS files; 2) maintain all relevant documents at any WMWS-sponsored or co-sponsored events; 3) provide the WMWS’s records upon request from any Executive Board member or general body member; 4) maintain a record of all WMWS general body members and alumni; 5) coordinate documentation of the chapter’s presence at the College of William & Mary with the University Archivist; 6) maintain the WMWS website.

vi.           Finance and Fundraising Committee: The Finance and Fundraising Committee Chairperson’s duties shall include but are not limited to the following: 1) prepare and submit budget to the SBA at the end of the school year; 2) keep financial books in good order; 3) submit to the Executive Board an annual Financial Report with a list of debits, credits and account balances of WMWS by April 1 of each academic year; 4) pay dues to all national women’s law associations of which WMWS is a member; 5) collect all monies due from WMWS members; 6) deposit monies received within 5-10 business days; 4) dispense money for reimbursement to members; 8) plan and organize all WMWS fundraisers.

vii.          Disciplinary Committee: The Disciplinary Committee Chairperson’s duties shall include but are not limited to the following: overseeing and enforcing all disciplinary proceeding under Article X.

 

Section 6: General Officer Duties

Officers of the Association must 1) fulfill their dues obligations by the dues deadline set by WMWS for the academic period; 2) attend at least 75% of the Executive Board meetings (for Executive Board members) and attend at least 75% of the Officers’ Meetings (for Committee Chairpersons and Executive Board members); and 3) fulfill their enumerated duties outlined in Article IV, §5.  Failure to meet outlined obligations and enumerated duties outlined in Article IV, §5 will subject the officer to disciplinary proceedings under Article X of this Constitution.

ARTICLE V: EXECUTIVE BOARD

Section 1: Composition

The Executive Board (the Board) shall be composed of four (4) co-equal the members. 

 

Section 2: Powers

 The Board shall have the general power to administer any and all programs, business, projects, and matters pertaining to or concerning the Society.

(a)    The Board shall have the power to create such committees as it deems necessary to carry out the business of the Society.  Committee Chairpersons shall be appointed by the Board from the active membership.

(b)    Any decision by the Board shall be made at a duly called meeting of the Executive Board at which a quorum (51%) of the Board is present.

(c)    Pursuant to Article X, the Disciplinary Committee is empowered to discipline any officer who is negligent in the discharge of his/her duties to the Society.  Any such accused person shall be afforded, if desired, an opportunity to address the general membership within two (2) meetings after a decision has been rendered. 

(d)   The Board shall have exclusive power to make decisions on behalf of the body in between academic sessions.  

ARTICLE VI: COMMITTEES

Section 1: Standing Committees

The standing committees of the Society shall be:

(a)    Mentoring Committee   

(b)       Speakers (Didactic????) Committee

(c)       Academic Support and Curriculum Committee

(d)       Activities Committee

(e)       Records Committee

(f)       Finance and Fundraising Committee

(g)       Disciplinary Committee

 

Section 2: Duties of Standing Committees .

(a)       Mentoring Committee: The mentor program committee is responsible for arranging mentor relationships between second year (1L) and third year (2L) Society members with first year (1L) members.

(b)       Speakers Committee: The didactic programs committee is responsible for identifying issues of interest within the Society and coordinating didactic sessions surrounding those issues.

(c)       Academic Support and Curriculum Committee: The committee is also responsible for creating and maintaining a student outline bank. This bank shall be updated every semester.  The committee is also responsible for facilitating study sessions or tutoring WMWS members, and communicating with the faculty and administrators regarding the sufficiency of course offering surrounding women's issues.

(d)       Activities Committee: The activities committee is responsible for contacting and surveying the General Body members to gauge interesting in various extracurricular activities and planning and organizing extracurricular activities or WMWS members.

(e)       Records Committee: The records committee is responsible for updating and maintaining WMWS files, maintain all relevant documents at any WMWS-sponsored or                 co-sponsored events, provide the WMWS’s records upon request from any Executive Board member or general body member, maintain a record of all WMWS general body members and alumni, coordinate documentation of the chapter’s presence at the College of William & Mary with the University Archivist, maintain the WMWS website.

(f)       Finance and Fundraising Committee: is responsible for preparing and submitting budget to the SBA at the end of the school year, keeping financial books in good order, submitting to the Executive Board an annual Financial Report with a list of debits, credits and account balances of WMWS by April 1 of each academic year, pay dues to all national women’s law associations of which WMWS is a member, collect all monies due from WMWS members, deposit monies received within 5-10 business days, dispense money for reimbursement to members, plan and organize all WMWS fundraisers.

(g)       Disciplinary Committee: The Disciplinary committee is responsible for duties outlined in Article X of this Constitution.

 

Section 3: Ad Hoc Committees

Other such committees shall be appointed by the Board of the Society from time to time deem necessary to carry out the work of the Society.

 

Section 4: Committee Chair Appointments

Committee chairs shall be chosen at the Board’s discretion.  

 

Section 5: Chairperson Obligations

Committee Chairs and Co-Chairs of the Society shall 1) fulfill their dues obligation by the dues deadline set by the Society for the academic period, 2) prepare for the Board a monthly report containing the committee’s proposals and status on current and future projects for presentation at the Executive Board meetings and 3) deliver to the Board a transition report by  April 1st detailing completed activities, budget and suggestions to be passed on to the chair for the succeeding year. Failure to meet outlines obligations and enumerated duties outlined in Article VI, §3 would subject the officer to disciplinary proceedings under Article X of this Constitution. 

ARTICLE VII: MEETINGS

Section 1: General Meetings

Meetings of the active membership shall be called by a simple majority of the Board.  All members of the Society are to be notified of such meeting one week in advance; unless the need for such an emergency meeting arises, notice requirements are to be determined at the Board's discretion.

 

Section 2: Agenda

The Executive Board shall set the agenda for each meeting.   Any item of business to be placed on the agenda must be delivered to a Board member at least 24 hours before the general meeting at which the item is to be discussed.

 

Section 3: Executive Board Meetings

The Board shall meet at least 24 hours before the general meeting.

 

Section 4: Committee Meetings

The various standing and ad hoc committees listed in Article VI shall meet at least once between each meeting of the general body.  The committee chair shall set the agenda for each committee meeting.  Committee chair shall also prepare an oral and/or written report of planned activities at each meeting of the general body.

ARTICLE VIII: FINANCIAL AFFAIRS

Section 1: Dues

All active members shall pay dues by the dues deadline set by the Society for the academic period.  The amount shall be determined by the Executive Board, subject to Article V, §2.

 

Section 2: Exception

In the event that a member is unable to meet the dues requirement by the October deadline due to extenuating circumstances, such member must submit a written explanation and an alternative proposal to the Finance and Fundraising Committee Chair, who will present a report at the next Board meeting.  If a member fails to follow these guidelines, a penalty of 10% will be imposed for the late payment of dues.  In the interim between the filing of the report and the evaluation by the Board, the member shall have active status.  Additionally, the acceptance of an alternative proposal or modification of the dues requirement by the Board, and compliance therewith, will satisfy the dues payment for the academic year.

 

Section 3: Miscellaneous

(a)    Fundraising monies shall be allocated in accordance with the wishes of the Board for the 2008-2009 academic school year. Thereafter fundraising monies shall be allocated in accordance with the wishes of the general membership body.

(b)    If a check paid to W&M Women is returned due to insufficient funds, the W&M Women member will be responsible for reimbursing W&M Women for the penalty assessed by the Bank for the returned check. The Treasurer shall inform the member of the invalid check within forty-eight (48) hours of being notified by the bank.  The member must reimburse W&M Women within twenty-one (21) calendar days of notification by the Treasurer. If member fails to pay within the prescribed period, the Treasurer shall report the member to the disciplinary committee.

 

ARTICLE IX: Voting

 

Section 1: Appointment

Each active member shall have voting power on all issues presented to the body.

 

Section 2: Proxy

Proxy is defined as a ballot or other action of a member by representation. Each active member assigning his/her proxy must deliver a written proxy to be certified by the Records Committee Chair.

 

ARTICLE X: Disciplinary Proceedings

 

Section 1: Power

All disciplinary action shall be presented before the disciplinary committee.  Any member with cause shall have the power to recommend censorship and/or impeachment of any member to the disciplinary committee.

 

Section 2: Disciplinary Committee

(a)   The Disciplinary Committee shall consist of the Board members, as well as three (3) active members of the body to be appointed by the Board at the beginning of the term.  The active committee members designated by the Board must be in their second or third year of law school and must have been an active member in the prior academic year.

(b)      In the event that a Board member is the subject of the disciplinary proceeding, the other Board members in charge shall appoint an active member from the body to sit in their stead.

 

Section 3: Procedure

(a)   Any general body member may bring a written complaint alleging a violation of any member’s duties outlined in this Constitution to the attention of any member of the Board.

(b)   A quorum (3) of the disciplinary committee members shall be convened within three to five business days to review the complaint and conduct an investigation.

(c)      The committee shall decide, upon evidence presented by the complainant and the accused, whether the issue should be presented to the body for vote on the disciplinary action recommended by the committee, or whether the issue is moot.

(d)   If the issue is presented to the body, a vote by a quorum of the members (51%) shall create a binding decision.

 

Section 4: Sanctions

Violation of any of the duties as a Member, Officer or Committee Chair shall include but is not limited to written verbal warning to comply with obligations; expulsion, suspension, or removal from office, committee position, or membership.


ARTICLE XI: PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

Section 1: Parliamentary Procedure