Saturday, March 31, 2007

Candidate Statement: Laird Nelson

Position: Vice President

As a participant this year in the ACS moot court competition and member of the 1L Planning Committee, I’ve had a chance to appreciate ACS and the role it plays here at CLS. Not only do I know more about the NSA and the Espionage Act then I ever imagined I would as a 1L, but I’ve also seen an amazing selection of speakers on a range of issues from religious freedom to the gossip on the 9th Circuit. As Vice President next year, I think I can help keep this trend going.

In particular, I’d like to focus on getting the membership active and encouraging people, in addition to simply attending our events, to become members and bring their own contributions to the table. The proud winner of the chocolate prize for recruiting 3 new members while tabling, I realize this isn’t an easy task, but there are definitely some options we can pursue – in addition to drafting our friends/roommates/strangers walking past. More quizzo nights, happy hours, and social events in general would go a long way to letting people know what ACS is actually about and how they can get involved. In addition, the 1L moot court program is a great way to bring ACS to the forefront, and I’d like to focus on encouraging all the 1Ls to join and take part in our events. Also to this end, ensuring that we schedule events that are related to the 1L curriculum, like Professor Cole’s recent lecture, would be a positive development. And everyone, not just 1Ls, would be attracted by an even greater expansion of our efforts at co-sponsoring events and bringing in a wide variety of speakers from academia, government, and the legal world to demonstrate the breadth of ACS’ commitment to the intersection of law and progressive policy.

Although I haven’t done a lot of work on the logistical side of ACS, in the past I’ve held leadership roles in a number of organizations, including running an inner-city tutoring program in Baltimore as an undergraduate. In this role I managed outreach events to encourage students to volunteer, planned activities during freshmen orientation to attract incoming students, and generally assisted with the project’s organizational aspects. In sum, I think my skills are a great match for the Vice President position, and I’d love to help make sure that next year ACS is an even more dynamic organization than it has been in the past.