For the third time in five years, the Florida State University College of Law Student Bar Association has been named “SBA of the Year” by the ABA Law Student Division.
The honor, announced at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago, recognizes the efforts of an SBA organization to create a better environment for law students and a more positive image of the legal profession.
Florida State’s SBA also won the ABA Law Student Division’s 2012 Henry J. Ramsey, Jr., Diversity Award, which recognizes “excellence in activities that have contributed toward the achievement and advancement of women, minorities, persons with disabilities in the profession, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons.”
Florida State won two of the six national awards presented by the ABA Law Student Division at the annual meeting. Eighteen schools from around the nation competed for SBA of the Year and 17 schools competed for the diversity award.
During the 2011-2012 academic year, FSU’s SBA added new events to its year-long community service campaign, including the first Habitat for Humanity home built with a local law firm. FSU SBA expanded its annual legislative preview event into a distinguished lecture series, bringing several figures from both sides of the political aisle to the law school. FSU also expanded its diversity week initiative, partnering with more student organizations than in the past and adding events, such as a study abroad panel. Florida State’s SBA also was instrumental in helping the law school reach an all-time high student giving rate — 88 percent of students made cash gifts to the college during the 2012 Student Annual Fund Drive.
“We are thrilled that the excellence of our student bar association is again being lauded at the national level,” said Dean Don Weidner. “Congratulations and thanks go to the entire SBA board and especially to its immediate-past president, Alexandra Haddad, for Florida State’s award-winning submission.”
Florida State’s incoming SBA President Mike Koulianos and Senior ABA Representative Alex Pendolino accepted the awards at the ABA meeting.
Florida State’s SBA has a tradition of winning national awards from the ABA Law Student Division. In 2008 and 2009, the division named Florida State the “SBA of the Year.” In 2010, the group presented Florida State’s SBA with the Public Interest National Achievement Award for its community service efforts.