La Raza Pre-Law Student Association
at UC Davis

Our Constitution

Article I – Name

Section 1. Name

La Raza Pre-Law Student Association (LRPLSA).  

Section 2. Accountability

Members must maintain and abide by the by-laws and duties outlined in this document lest they renounce the right and privilege of identifying their organization as La Raza Pre-Law Student Association.  

Article II – Purpose

Section 1. Purpose

There is a need within our community for an organization that will provide a means for understanding entry into the field of law. La Raza Pre-Law Student Association will promote academic achievement and scholarship within each student’s respective field of study and provide a pathway between students and law school.

Section 2. LRPSA Mandate

La Raza Pre-Law Student Association shall:

  • Promote a greater interest in the field of law on the University of California, Davis, campus by providing support for those interested and often underrepresented students.
  • Increase exposure to and awareness of information, resources, services, and opportunities that will assist students in their  law school application process and/or legal career.
  • Bolster the number of Latino/Latina representation in law schools throughout the country.
  • Build community and networks through collaborations with other like-minded individuals, groups, and organizations.
  • Conduct a minimum of one community outreach or service event per quarter targeting high school or community college students.
  • Ensure the continuity of the King-Hall La Raza Law Students mentor program by way of one social and or shadow day per quarter.
  • Provide mentors that are practicing attorneys, legal professors, Dean's or pre-law academic advisors.  
  • Ensure that all students in the organization successfully graduate from the University of California, Davis.
 

These goals will be attained through collaboration amongst members by nurturing social and academic networks both within and external to LRPLSA.  
 

Article III – Membership

Section 1. Membership

Any registered student at the University of California, Davis, may be a member. To be in active standing members must complete:

  • 30 hours of studying/quarter which shall be documented in the library log.
  • Take a minimum of one practice LSAT per academic quarter.
  • Turn in a minimum of one tangible document (resume, personal statement, letter of recommendation) per quarter to the Academic chair.
  • Attend 2/3 of all general meetings. This requirement may be forgiven per 2/3 general membership vote in case of class scheduling conflicts.
  • APPLY to at least one scholarship that you may be eligible for. Visit the Student Recruitment and Retention Center or Chicano Studies for scholarship leads.    
  • Participate:
    • Internaly : Help coordinate an event for the organization (including but not limited to DREAM scholarship fundraiser, Electrified, on-campus workshop, naturalization clinic, resume workshop via on campus resources, a conference, canvassing, lobby day)
    • Externaly: Engage in one outreach activity, fully participate in a publicity activity (A-board construction, tabling)
  • Give a community service report at any time in the quarter that consists of:
    • 3 hours of voluntary work per quarter, description of your public service activity and why it motivated you.
    • Participation in any one of the Cultural Weeks or Semana is strongly encouraged
  • Attend an event  or fundraiser  for any SPAC registered organization on behalf of LRPLSA.
  • Submit minimum of one old midterm examination, final examination, term paper, outline, study materials to the Academic chair to create more resources for other members to study with.
 

Section 2. General Assembly  

Members that regularly attend 2/3 LRPLSA meetings and functions for the year  will be considered part of the general assembly. Members are encouraged to become active by completing the membership requirements listed in article III section I and paying the small membership dues listed in article III section  4. General members are expected to become active members upon their second quarter with LRPLSA.  

Section 3. Voting Rights

Voting members will consist of any active members (Art. III, Sec. I) that attend two consecutive meetings prior to the date a vote is cast, including elections. No voting shall take place if a pending sanction against a board member (i.e. motion for impeachment) exists. All voting matters shall come to a hault so as to ensure and expediate the continuity of the board.  

Section 4. Membership Dues

La Raza Pre-Law Student Association membership dues:

  • Quarterly: $5.00
  • Yearly: $10.00
 

   

All officers must be paid members in order to fulfill the duties of their post.  
 

Article IV – Officers

Section 1. Officer Responsibilities

Officers of La Raza Pre-Law Student Association shall undertake the leadership and representative role of the organization through the execution of their respective duties. All officers are responsible for a minimum of at least 3 hours over the course of the current quarter in publicity and/or visibility activities, which include, but are not limited to: tabling, distributing, and posting flyers. In addition, officers are expected to attend all board as well as general assembly meetings. If an officer is heading up a project, they are responsible for the delegation of tasks to ensure the project is completed successfully. The governing board is also responsible for assisting and coordinating in the development of any LRPSA/DREAM scholarship(s).

Officers are required to inform the established membership about any relevant notice, information, event and/or opportunity that is dated beyond a twenty-four hour time span.  Any business cards and/or relevant contacts collected while being a representative of LRPSA are to be given to the Co-directors and a photo copy to the Secretary for archiving purposes. There shall be a two-term limit for the same officer position, whether served consecutively or separately.

At the end of Spring Quarter, the general assembly will conduct an evaluation of the departing officer board and LRPSA in general. The evaluation will focus solely on the positions rather than the individuals holding the positions. In order to promote a cohesive and high-quality pre-law organization, each officer must produce a record of their position’s policy procedures to the succeeding officer as well as a farewell document (delineating all accomplishments) upon the successful completion of his or her term.

Section 2. Titles and Duties

All officers reserve the right to create a committee in assistance of the execution of their duties as necessary. Officer positions shall consist of the following duties:  

Co-Chairs

It is at the discretion of the two Co-Chairs to divide their duties amongst themselves. After doing so, they must present their selected duties to the officers and the general membership. In case one of the Co-Chairs is absent, the other Co-Chair shall fulfill his/her duties.

  • Responsible for the administration of all functions set forth by the organization in Article II by ensuring the actualization of the goals.
  • Shall ensure thorough communication among all officers for the execution and fulfillment of all designated responsibilities within each respective position.
  • Shall preside over all La Raza Pre-Law Student Association meetings.
  • Reserve the right to draft the agenda for all meetings and quarter calendar once all requests and suggestions have been accumulated.
  • Responsible for contacting speakers, panelists, and other relevant invites for general meetings.
  • In charge of reserving rooms for all meetings and for the acquisition of all necessary equipment.
  • Shall serve as a cross-reference that ensures that all money is administered properly by the Financial Chair for the Student Programs and Activities Center (SPAC) account and all other LRPSA financial accounts.
  • Shall be responsible for ensuring that at least one board member attends all relevant community meetings – La Raza Cultural Days, Raza Student Union (Concilio), etc. – as an organization representative.
  • Shall facilitate any La Raza Pre-Law board and any organization retreats.
  • Maintain active liaisons with the La Raza Law Student Association at King Hall
 

Secretary

  • Responsible for keeping records of and disseminating meeting minutes to the general assembly.
  • In charge of tallying votes for anything that is voted on.
  • Responsible for maintaining archives of all LRPSA activities and general correspondence.
  • Must maintain records of all established members in collaboration with the Financial Chair.
  • In case of the absence of the Secretary, he/she reserves the right to appoint a delegate at his/her discretion and in agreement with at least one Co-Chair.
  • In charge of ensuring the LRPSA listserve is updated regularly.
  • In case the Co-Chairs are not present at a meeting or at an event, it is their duty to lead the meeting or represent the organization.
  • Must keep an updated calendar of events electronically on the LRPLSA web site.

Banquet/ Social Chair

  •  
    • Organize end of the year banquet for LRPLSA and  La Raza members
    • Plan all socials within & external to LRLPSA; including Electrified the DREAM scholarship benefit dance party
    • Be responsible for member retention through phone list, phone banking
    • Keep track of active members and make sure appropriate awards and recognitions are given
    • Oversee the purchase and embroidery of LRPLSA graduating members to be awarded at the Banquet
 

Club Financial Officer

  • Must coordinate two successful fundraisers per academic quarter: One for the organization and one for the DREAM Scholarship.
  • Must oversee all necessary procedures for the success of the fundraisers (coordinating, extensive publicity, determining shifts to run the fundraiser).
  • Assume all financial tasks including the management of a current budget.
  • Report the current status of the LRPSA financial accounts the first week of the month and the last week of the month.
  • Must maintain archives of all paid members in collaboration with the Secretary.
  • Along with the Co-Chairs, shall be the signatory for the SPAC account and all other LRPSA financial accounts.
  • Before term is over, pass account over to next chair. Create a folder, shadowing immediately after elections.
  • Execute all of the organization’s purchases along with Co-Chairs.
  • Plan and implement fundraisers for the organization.

Academic Chair

  • Promote academic excellence and student retention of general assembly by coordinating Weekly Study Sessions. 
    --currently: Saturdays, 12-6p at King Hall
  • In charge of exposing and familiarizing the general assembly to the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) by organizing an LSAT diagnostic exam once a quarter.
  • Shall maintain and disseminate information regarding scholarships, internships, academic and joint/concurrent degree programs, and any other relevant opportunity information.
  • Should maintain a library of law school applications and admissions materials, to be kept at the Chicano Studies Deptartment.
  • Shall maintain an exam file available to all members—all exam materials given to the Academic Chair shall not contain students’ names or personal information.
  • In charge of contacting test preparation centers to provide students with information and options for LSAT preparation courses and possible discounts.
  • Should be knowledgeable of campus resource information for students that might have academic difficulties, in order to direct them to the right services before there academics worsen.
  • Should contact academic campus resources and ask them to give a presentation at the beginning of the academic year to share resources with the general assembly.

DREAM Scholarship Chairs

  • Two members in good academic standing must be elected for this position.
  • Members must have completed the requirements listed under article III section I.
  • Work with Secretary in drafting letters of donation.
  • Maintain connection with Publicity Chair, ensure that facebook, web sites, list serves are used to promote the scholarship.
  • Coordnate along with the CFO one fundraiser for the scholarship per quarter.
  • Coordinate independently a fundraiser/informational workshop or program per quarter.
  • Coordinate with the organization a small fundraiser activity such as a bake sale. 
    OR once a year have one large event to raise revenue and awareness
  • Be in charge of organizing scholarship dispersal, and oversee scholarship review committee for dispersal/
  • Lobbying at the state capital/ for DREAM related events
 

Political Chair

  • Keep General Membership informed with campus politics and current events.
  • Write letters expressing the organization’s platform on current campus politics and current events.
  • Have 2 presentations a month, or in pressing situations informing the organization about current events.
 

   

Section 3. Officer’s Retreat/meeting

An Officer’s meeting is to be held after the new board is elected in the Spring. The purpose of the Officer’s Retreat is to have the current board communicate to the newly elected board any information they deem relevant pertaining to officer positions and LRPSA in general. At this time, policy procedures shall be handed down to the newly elected board.  

A secondary retreat will be led by the Co-directors of the new board, to set a positive working environment and clarity of goals for the next year.  
 

Article V – Elections

Section 1. Nominations

Members of LRPSA’s general assembly shall be eligible to hold office if they have been active in the organization for at least one quarter. Nominations of officer positions for a new board shall be held during the third meeting of Spring Quarter of each academic year.

In the case no member accepts a nomination for an officer position and it remains unfilled at the termination of nominations and elections, the position shall be filled through a majority vote in the Fall Quarter by the newly elected board. The candidates for Co-Chairs must have served on a previous LRPSA board position.  

Section 2. Elections

Elections shall be held during the fourth meeting of Spring Quarter, following the nominations meeting. The election process should follow the order by which chairs are listed in the constitution. Candidate speeches will be limited to two minutes. A five-minute question and answer session shall follow the conclusion of all speeches for all prospective positions.

An official ballot keeper shall be appointed by the officers. The ballot keeper shall not be permitted to vote. He/she will distribute ballots to the general assembly before speeches for each individual officer position. The ballot keeper will also collect ballots from the general assembly after speeches have been concluded. If a member leaves before the completion process, the ballot keeper will collect and dispose of their ballot. He/she will disclose results after the election of each position.

Officers will be elected by a majority vote of established members. If a tie occurs, there will be a re-vote.

In the result of a tie in the re-vote, the current board shall decide the position in question by a majority of votes. If any of the current board members are candidates in the race in question, they shall excuse themselves from the current board’s deciding vote.  

Section 3. Impeachment

A 3/4 vote of all officers shall determine the impeachment of an elected officer who fails to fulfill his/her designated duties as delineated in Article IV, Sections 2 and 3. The officer in question shall have the right to defend themselves before the entire board of officers but shall not have the right to vote.  

Section 4. Resignation

In the case of a resignation by any officer of the current board, the remaining board shall make accommodations at their discretion. The officer shall submit a letter of farewell documenting any and all accomplishments while in office and the reason for the resignation. The replacement officer will hold the position in an interim basis.  
 

Article VI – Meetings

Section 1. Officer Meetings

Officer meetings shall be conducted in the manner the current board deems appropriate. A 3/4 vote of all officers shall determine the manner, purpose, date, time, and location of an officer meeting as deemed necessary. The Co-Chairs reserve the right to summon an emergency meeting within a twenty-four hour notice. Full quorum must be met at officer meetings in order to ensure fairness of final decisions. Any decision that is to be voted on by the officer board shall pass with a majority vote. In the case of a tie in an officer vote, the board shall deliberate until a decisive vote can be reached. 

Section 2. General Meetings

A 3/4 vote of all officers shall determine the purpose, date, time and location of all general meetings. A minimum of five general meetings must be held per quarter.  
 

Article VII – Constitutional Amendments

Section 1. Amendment Process

All changes to the La Raza Pre-Law Student Association Constitution will be made through the amendment process. After ten substantive amendments have been passed, the LRPSA Constitution is to be redrafted. The general assembly and board of LRPSA may propose amendments to the LRPSA Constitution at anytime. Proposals will be made to the officer board and a 2/3 vote is necessary for the board to draft a new amendment based on the proposal. The officer board will then present the proposed amendment to the general assembly at the next general meeting the board deems appropriate. A 3/4 vote of the general assembly is necessary to ratify a new amendment.  
 

Article VIII – Dissolution

Section 1. Dissolution Process

The dissolution of La Raza Pre-Law Student Association shall be decided by a unanimous vote of all officers elected in that term and a 3/4 vote of the general assembly. In the event of such termination, the LRPSA board shall donate all remaining funds to a non-profit Latino organization to be determined by the officers of that term.