Student Organizations

Whether it's public interest or corporate law, Illinois offers many opportunities for students to get involved. There are groups for every type of student and in all aspects of the law.

Membership in approved student organizations is available to all students; and student organization events, activities, and programs are open to all members of the College of Law community.

American Bar Association (ABA) – Student Division

The American Bar Association—Student Division is a national organization with a membership of over 50,000 individuals. The American Bar Association—Student Division strives to provide opportunities for law students in the areas of academic enhancement, leadership, career development, and networking.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – College of Law Chapter

The purpose of this organization is to create a dialogue at the College of Law about constitutional issues. It focuses heavily on the study of the Bill of Rights and works with other organizations to provide lively and informative programs concerning constitutional interpretation.

American Constitution Society (ACS)

The American Constitution Society is a national organization of law students, law professors, practicing lawyers, and others. It seeks to revitalize and transform the legal debate and to restore the fundamental principles of human dignity, individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, and access to justice.

Asian American Law Students Association (AALSA)

AALSA serves to promote academic and professional excellence, raise awareness of issues affecting Asian Americans, and foster pan-Asian communication, friendship, and solidarity. The central mission is to provide law students with a valuable support network of friends and resources to help enrich their law school experience. AALSA also strives to build coalitions with other student organizations and to contribute to the community at large.

Bankruptcy Law Society (BLS)

The mission of the Bankruptcy Law Society is to promote the education of the Bankruptcy Code, to understand its impact on businesses and individuals, and to help connect those students interested in bankruptcy law with bankruptcy practitioners in the field. 

Black Law Students Association (BLSA)

The College of Law chapter of this national organization is active in bringing national speakers to campus, sponsoring events for minority undergraduate students, and engaging in other activities intended to promote community and understanding of issues affecting students and others of African descent. An annual BLSA congratulatory banquet caps the year’s events. The group has established a mentor system through which interested students are matched with practicing African-American attorneys. College of Law BLSA members are frequently elected to serve on the national organization’s Midwest regional board.

Chicago Bar Association (CBA) – Student Division

Membership in the Chicago Bar Association offers law students the unique opportunity to become familiar with the day-to-day operations of the legal profession before they are actually admitted to practice. The Student Division’s goal is to promote the CBA and provide leadership opportunities to students at the College of Law.

China Practice Student Association (CPSA)

The legal market in China is booming with Chinese law firms seeking partners in the United States. The China Practice Student Association (CPSA) is committed to helping law students prepare for work on behalf of clients who reside in, or do business in, mainland China or nations where Chinese is an official language. No prior background or language skills are required. CPSA meets regularly to discuss top Chinese law firms and the China Practices of major American law firms, along with significant cases and relevant news. 

Christian Law Students Association (CLSA)

This organization is part of a national, nondenominational organization of lawyers, law students, and others in law-related fields. The College of Law chapter invites speakers, holds social functions, and works with local charitable organizations, and engages in other activities intended to explore issues relating to the Christian faith and the practice of law.

Corporate and Business Law Association (CBLA)

The CBLA strives to promote and preserve student interest in business and law, especially as they relate to each other; to infuse legal concepts into club-sponsored events and activities; and to facilitate professional growth and development.

Criminal Law Society (CLS)

The Criminal Law Society is dedicated to increasing awareness of constitutional rights and improving the criminal justice system. The organization hosts discussions with eminent academic scholars and alumni and creates opportunities for students and pre-law students to provide indigent legal services in the Champaign-Urbana community.

Critical Thinkers Society (CTS)

Law school is difficult; it always has been and always will be. Students know this and still decide to take on the challenges of legal studies. The purpose of this organization is to nurture that dedication and sharpen the students’ critical thinking skills. Law students will have the opportunity to compete in a friendly environment while still keeping their minds active and expanding their knowledge of various strategies and analyses. These competitions will use board games: the best devices available for relieving stress, providing social opportunities, and critical thinking. 

Education Law and Policy Society (ELPS)

The mission of the Education Law and Policy Society is to build awareness and commitment to the legal and policy issues affecting education through: (1) forums encouraging dialogue about educational issues between leaders in the field including attorneys, professors, educators, legislators, and policy experts, (2) opportunities to learn the process of creating and influencing state and federal educational law and policy, and (3) establishing long-term collaborative networks for career and education related goals.

Environmental Law Society (ELS)

The mission of the Environmental Law Society is to enhance the community’s awareness of environmental issues on all levels, to facilitate open discussion about environmental issues, and to promote sustainable environmental practices. The society strives to achieve these ends by sponsoring speakers on various environmental topics and informing the law school student body about opportunities to learn about and practice environmental law.

External Competition Team (ECT)

The External Competition Team fosters outstanding competition in external experiential events by College of Law students. The team encourages participation in extracurricular external competitions and helps prepare students to excel in them.

Federalist Society (Federalists)

Founded in 1982, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is committed to the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to the Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. The Society seeks to promote awareness of these principles and to further their application by providing a forum for legal experts of opposing views to interact with members of the legal profession, the judiciary, law students, academics, and the architects of public policy. The Society seeks to foster a greater appreciation for the role of separation of powers, federalism, limited constitutional government, and the rule of law in protecting individual freedom and traditional values.

Government Interest Law Association (GILA)

The mission of the Government Interest Law Association (GILA) is to develop relationships with University of Illinois College of Law alumni, as well as others, who currently serve in our nation’s administrative agencies—ranging from regulatory, defense, welfare, and others. GILA hosts alumni and special speakers to promote awareness of current issues revolving around government agencies, and the legal considerations of those issues. The goal of GILA is to serve as a resource for students interested in obtaining federal government employment: aiding them in building experience and relationships in order to obtain a federal government career.

Illinois Energy Law Association (ELA)

The Illinois Energy Law Association was created to foster student interest in energy law and facilitate discussions of modern energy policy. ELA seeks to increase the number of relevant courses at the College of Law and provide resources to students interested in energy. In striving to spark discourse on energy law practice and energy policy, ELA hosts speakers and holds events on a wide range of issues and opportunities in this area of law to students. ELA also partners with other student organizations at the College of Law and across the wider University of Illinois network. In addition to educational and academic events, the ELA offers social and volunteer opportunities for involvement.

Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) – Student Division

The Illinois State Bar Association Student Division is the professional organization of Illinois attorneys and law students. The student division at the University of Illinois sponsors career planning sessions, guest lectures on areas of civil and criminal law, and social events. Student members receive a free subscription to the monthly ISBA Journal.

Immigration Law Society (IMLS)

Its mission is to create awareness of immigration issues and to provide services throughout the community to further immigration rights, laws, and processes.

Intellectual Property Legal Society (IPLS)

The society aims to promote awareness of intellectual property issues on a local and national level, to increase resource development in the area of intellectual property, and to create a profound expertise in intellectual property matters. It also provides practical legal training through lectures and seminars.

International Commercial Arbitration Team (VICAT)

VICAT’s mission is to promote awareness, participation and scholarship in the areas of international business law. The organization strives to meet this goal by fostering students’ awareness of international business transactions, alternative dispute resolutions, and other international commercial law issues. VICAT will promote students’ learning of these areas of law by supporting their participation in internal and external competitions and activities that will improve their professional skills. 

International Law Society (ILS)

This society promotes international legal studies through faculty lectures and student presentations on international law and business, trips to international career fairs, and social gatherings with graduate law students from around the world.

Internet and Technology Law Association (ITLA)

ITLA is committed to educating students about internet and technology law and seeks to expose students to the creation, enforcement, and interpretation of laws and regulations as they relate to technology and the Internet. ITLA focuses on discussing current legal issues, such as digital rights management and content regulation; cybercrime; privacy; tracking and location technology; internet neutrality; shrink-wrap agreements; and more. ITLA additionally promotes opportunities to practice in this increasingly important field of law. Technology is constantly changing, and ITLA seeks to highlight how the law is changing with it.

Italian-American Law Students Association (ITALSA)

The Italian-American Law Students Association (ITALSA) is a professionally oriented organization that aims to serve its membership and community by building relationships with practicing attorneys and Italian-American cultural organizations across the country. ITALSA strives to contribute to the vibrant community of Italian-American professionals and to enrich the College of Law at the University of Illinois by strengthening its professional relationships by hosting events, speaking engagements, and other activities. Additionally, ITALSA aims to celebrate Italian-American heritage by providing a place for students of all backgrounds to experience and enjoy an extraordinarily rich cultural tradition.

J. Reuben Clark Law Society (Reuben Clark Society)

J. Reuben Clark Law Society emphasizes three basic values and attitudes toward the practice of law and the place of law in modern society: public service; loyalty to the rule of the law and to the Constitution of the United States; and appreciation for the religious dimension in both American society and in a lawyer’s personal life.

Jewish Law Students Association (JLSA)

The Jewish Law Students Association seeks to provide cultural and religious support to students, regardless of background or belief, to educate the student body about the cultural and religious beliefs of the Jewish people, and to better the greater community through Tzedakah, and acts of goodwill.

Latino/Latina Law Students Association (LLSA)

LLSA’s main objective is to help incoming students make a smooth transition into the College of Law by providing a tutor/mentor program. The group invites to campus outstanding Latino/Latina lawyers to speak with students. It assists the College of Law in recruiting students, sponsors social events, volunteers in the community, and co-sponsors the Minority Pre-Law


Law and Entrepreneurship Association (LEA)

The Law and Entrepreneurship Association aims to create a forum for students to develop an understanding and appreciation of the connection between law and entrepreneurship. The association will coordinate events/lectures and will provide inter-school networking opportunities for law students.

Law School Basketball (LSB)

Law School Basketball aims to foster community at the College of Law with a competitive, co-ed, weekly basketball league.

Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ)

Law Students for Reproductive Justice trains and mobilizes law students and new lawyers across the country to foster legal expertise and support for the realization of reproductive justice. Reproductive justice will exist when all people can exercise the rights and access the resources they need to thrive and to decide whether, when, and how to have and parent children with dignity, free from discrimination, coercion, or violence. 

Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ)

Law Students for Reproductive Justice trains and mobilizes law students and new lawyers across the country to foster legal expertise and support for the realization of reproductive justice. Reproductive justice will exist when all people can exercise the rights and access the resources they need to thrive and to decide whether, when, and how to have and parent children with dignity, free from discrimination, coercion, or violence. 

Middle Eastern Law Students Association (MELSA)

The Middle Eastern Law Students Association (MELSA) is committed to encouraging a better understanding of the legal, economic, and cultural issues affecting the Middle East. MELSA seeks to provide a variety of forums, including panels and social gatherings, to engage the College of Law in discussing issues affecting the region.

Myra Bradwell Association for Women Law Students (WLS)

WLS focuses on the concerns of women, both in the College of Law and in the profession. The organization raises awareness of women’s issues through speakers, seminars, and informal discussions; and raises money for education and philanthropy. The group also sponsors luncheons with faculty members and other social and educational events.

OUTLAW (Sexual Orientation and Legal Issues Society)

OUTLAW is a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students and their allies. OUTLAW promotes awareness of LGBT legal issues and provides social support through speakers and educational activities.

Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity (PAD)

This active fraternity sponsors luncheon programs and social events for students and faculty. The fraternity also sponsors philanthropic activities to benefit the community.

Prisoners’ Rights Research Project (PRRP)

Indigent prisoners incarcerated across the country write to the Project requesting answers to specific legal problems. Working under the co-presidents and attorney-faculty advisor, volunteers hone their research skills and gain significant insight into our corrections system.

Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF)

PILF is dedicated to bringing public interest law careers to the attention of law students and raises money for a grant program that allows students to undertake public interest work over the summer. The Foundation has funded students to work in diverse organizations, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Legal Clinic for the Disabled, Inc.

Real Estate Law Society (RELS)

The Real Estate Law Society seeks to advance the study and practice of real estate law and investment through educational initiatives, speaking engagements, networking events, and inter-departmental cooperation.

Sports and Entertainment Law Society (SELS)

The Sports and Entertainment Law Society strives to educate students about the many legal issues that affect the world of sports and entertainment, as well as to provide opportunities within the sports and entertainment industries.

Street Law (SL)

Street Law fosters confident and active future leaders by encouraging area youth to participate in law and government. Through providing a practical and useful understanding of legal rights and responsibilities, this initiative both enriches and empowers adolescents to do more to better their community. This program accomplishes its goals by establishing committees within local schools, leveraging community support, and tailoring programs to effectively inform Champaign-Urbana children and teenagers of their rights and how to handle certain situations in which these rights would be applicable to them.

Student Bar Association (SBA)

Representatives form the student government, which works on behalf of students to improve the quality of the educational experience at the College of Law. The SBA acts as a liaison between students and the administration and recommends budget appropriations for all student organizations. A group of students appointed by the Student Bar Association serves on faculty committees that help govern the College of Law.

Student Legal Relief (SLR)

The mission of this group is to send students on volunteer legal aid trips and raise awareness of the social and legal issues impacting impoverished or marginalized persons and communities.