Willamette University Public Interest Law Project

Willamette University Public Interest Law Project Constitution

[Download as a PDF]

Mission Statement

The Willamette University Public Interest Law Project (WUPILP) was established in 1992 to educate and prepare future lawyers to recognize the inequities that exist in our legal system and to dedicate their professional lives to the development of a more just society. WUPILP members work to create public interest legal employment and training opportunities, remove the economic barriers that confront future public interest lawyers, and provide informational and inspirational resources for public service work. WUPILP is dedicated to increasing the awareness of students, faculty, and administrators to the rewards and opportunities of public interest law through financial support, educational programs, and community outreach.

Article I. Membership

Membership in WUPILP shall be open to all interested first, second, and third year law students. No fee shall be charged and no membership requirements shall be imposed. WUPILP shall not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, political affiliation, religion, or sexual orientation.

Article II. Meetings

A. General Meetings

General meetings shall be open to all members of the College of Law community and shall be held as needed but not less than three times a semester.

B. Executive Board Meetings

Executive Board meetings shall be held once a week during the academic year to the extent possible.

C. Board of Advisor Meetings

The Executive Board shall meet with the Board of Advisors once a month or as needed.

D. Scheduling

The Vice-President shall be responsible for scheduling all meetings and taking notes at each meeting.


Article III. Board of Advisors

A. Composition

The Board of Advisors shall have the following three members: the Faculty Advisor, the Director of Development and Alumni Relations, and a Representative of Career Services.

B. Rights and Responsibilities

The Board of Advisors has final veto power and may remove officers with cause. Veto and removal powers shall be exercised prudently.


Article IV. Executive Board

A. Composition

The Executive Board shall be comprised of a President, Vice-President, and five Chairpersons.

B. Application Process

The Executive Board shall be determined through an application and interview process. The Board of Advisors and current Executive Board shall evaluate application materials and interview all applicants at a set date and time. For Fall 2007, all positions shall be applied for in the Fall. Beginning in Spring 2008 and for all subsequent academic years, all Board Member positions shall be applied for in the Spring, except for the fundraising and membership Chair positions, which shall remain open until the Fall Application Process so that first year members may apply. For the Fall Application Process, applications for all available positions shall be made available in the second week of the academic year and evaluations and decisions shall be complete by the end of the fourth week of the academic year. For Fall 2007, the Board of Advisors and current Executive Board shall evaluate application materials and interview all applicants at a set date and time. For Fall 2008 and each subsequent Fall Semester, only the Executive Board is required to evaluate Fall application materials and interview the Fall applicants. For the Spring Application Process, applications shall be made available at least five weeks prior to the first week of finals, and evaluations and decisions shall be complete at least three weeks before the first week of finals. Spring application materials must be evaluated by both the Board of Advisors and the current Executive Board. Any current Executive Board member who is participating in the application process shall not participate in the evaluation of the application materials or interviews for the particular position that he or she is applying for. If any positions remain open after the Spring Application Process, those positions may be applied for in the Fall. If any positions remain open after the Fall Application Process is complete, the President has the authority at any time to nominate an individual to fill the vacancy available, and the Executive Board may vote the person in by a majority vote without approval from the Board of Advisors.

C. President

The President shall oversee WUPILP activities, may be ultimately responsible for the conduct of the organization and its officers, and may report to the Board of Advisors once a month, or as necessary. The President may exercise veto power subject to the Board of Advisors, shall have lawstu access to send necessary emails that are not related to WUPILP publicity, and shall plan the Fall Fellowship Banquet, if possible. The President shall be responsible for all WUPILP finances, which includes updating the accounts and books each month, making deposits and reimbursements, creating budgets for each officer with the guidance of the Board of Advisors, and submitting and presenting a budget proposal to SBA. The President shall create, maintain and update binders outlining the essential duties for each Executive Board position and distribute the binders to each member of the Executive Board at the Orientation. The President shall be a third year member with prior WUPILP Executive Board experience. If no such applicant is available, a third year member with prior WUPILP volunteer experience is preferred.

D. Vice-President

The Vice-President shall be responsible for scheduling, communication, and publicity. The Vice-President shall schedule all meetings (i.e., executive board, board of advisor, general member, and informational meetings), shall coordinate with the President for budget guidelines, and shall reserve all rooms through Student Services, as necessary. The Vice-President shall communicate all necessary information by updating the WUPILP board, distributing a WUPILP monthly newsletter, and taking notes at meetings, as necessary. The Vice-President shall publicize all WUPILP activities by having lawstu access, making posters, creating a publicity campaign for the Annual Fellowship Auction, and submitting press releases, as necessary. The Vice-President shall be responsible for maintaining or assigning a technology officer to design and maintain the website on a regular basis throughout the school year. The Vice-President shall be a second or third year member with prior WUPILP board member experience. If no such applicant is available, a second or third year member with prior WUPILP volunteer experience is preferred.

E. Fundraising Chairperson

The Fundraising Chairperson shall organize and execute all WUPILP fundraisers, with the exception of the Annual Fellowship Auction. The Fundraising Chairperson shall establish a task force, shall coordinate with the President for budget guidelines, and shall submit a schedule and all publicity information to the Vice-President. Traditional WUPILP fundraisers include selling used books and supplements, t-shirts, and snacks but the Fundraising Chairperson may establish new fundraisers. The Fundraising Chairperson shall be a first year member and shall be applied for in the Fall Application Process only. If no such applicant is available, any year member may apply.

F. Scholarship Chairperson

The Scholarship Chairperson shall be the WUPILP contact person with the administration on LRAP issues and shall coordinate the Summer and Educational Fellowship Programs. The Scholarship Chairperson shall coordinate with the President for budget guidelines and shall submit a schedule and all publicity information to the Vice-President. The Scholarship Chairperson shall work in conjunction with appropriate administration to communicate information about the LRAP program to current students and WUCL alumni. The Scholarship Chairperson shall be responsible for establishing all procedures related to the Summer and Educational Fellowship Programs, which include writing the application, developing the application process and criteria used to evaluate applicants, appointing a selection committee for the Summer Fellowship applications, and determining the process by which applicants shall be notified of decisions. (See Art. IV). The Scholarship Chairperson shall be a second or third year member with prior WUPILP volunteer experience. If no such person is available, a second or third year member may apply.

G. Auction Coordinators

There shall be two Auction Coordinators who shall plan the auction from start to finish. The Auction Coordinators will consist of a Senior Auction Coordinator and a Junior Auction Coordinator. The Auction Coordinators shall create a task force, shall coordinate with the President for budget guidelines, and shall submit a schedule and all publicity information to the Vice-President. The Auction Coordinators shall be responsible for logistical reservations, Auctionpay software records, donation solicitations, auction committees, event logistics, and post-event logistics. Logistical reservations include reservations of the date, venue, auctioneer, menu (i.e., food, wine, beer, soda, and coffee), shuttle service, decorations (i.e., tables, chairs, linens, flowers, lighting, floor plan, music, and sound system), and Auctionpay credit card machines. Auctionpay software records include keeping proper records in the Auctionpay software of all donors, donated items, thank you letters sent, bidder reservations, bidder numbers, and all other relevant records in the system. Donation solicitations include identifying donors (i.e., professors, alumni and businesses), writing and sending solicitation letters, and making donation arrangements. Auction committees consist of decorations, donation placement, Auctionpay terminal volunteers, runners, software volunteers, and other volunteer committees as needed. Event logistics include delivering items to the venue, making set-up and take-down arrangements, securing volunteer commitments, and establishing a guest payment process. Post-event logistics include giving auction proceeds to the President, organizing a post-event payment and item delivery system, and coordinating with the Scholarship Chairperson to arrange for the new fellows to sign thank you letters. The Senior Auction Coordinator shall be a third year member with prior WUPILP executive board member experience. If no such applicant is available, a second or third year member with prior WUPILP Auction committee experience is preferred. The Junior Auction Coordinator may be a second or third year member.

H. Membership Chairperson

The Membership Chairperson shall facilitate activities to increase awareness about public interest law and WUPILP membership among students, particularly first year students. The Membership Chairperson shall coordinate with the Office of Admissions to create a mailer for the summer packet sent to first year students and to organize WUPILP participation in orientation. The Membership Chairperson shall coordinate with professors teaching first year courses and Career Services to facilitate an increased awareness about public interest law among first year students. The Membership Chairperson shall coordinate with the President for budget guidelines and shall submit a schedule and all publicity information to the Vice-President. The Membership Chairperson shall organize at least one volunteer activity in the fall and at least one volunteer activity in the spring. The Membership Chairperson shall research volunteer opportunities in the community and shall submit these opportunities to the Vice-President. The Membership Chairperson shall arrange for a public interest speaker to speak at the WUCL at least once each academic semester. The Membership Chairperson shall be a first year member. If no such applicant is available, any year member may apply. This position may only be applied for in the Fall Application process.

I. Executive Board Orientation

The Outgoing President shall schedule and implement an orientation for new Executive Board members within two weeks of the results of the application process. All outgoing and new Executive Board Members' attendance is compulsory. The outgoing Executive Board will transfer their duties to the new Executive Board at the end of Orientation, at which time the outgoing Executive Board members' duties will cease.

Article V. Summer Fellowship Program

A. General

The Summer Fellowship Program shall be developed by the Scholarship Chairperson. Summer Fellowships shall be awarded by a selection committee that is anonymous to the student body and the WUPILP Executive Board.

B. Selection Committee Composition

The selection committee shall be comprised of six members: a law student to represent the first, the second, and the third year classes, two faculty members, and a member of the WUPILP Executive Board. The Scholarship Chairperson shall be the contact person for the Fellowship Program but shall not be a voting member of the Selection Committee.

C. Fellowship Application Criteria

In addition to the requirements set forth by the Scholarship Chairperson, each Fellowship Application shall require applicants to state prior public interest involvement, prior WUPILP involvement and future plans for involvement in WUPILP.

D. Selection Committee Responsibilities

A selection committee shall evaluate application materials and award fellowships according to procedures established by the Scholarship Chairperson. The selection committee shall also consider the areas of public interest served by the all of the applicants and shall attempt to diversify the fellowship awards across these areas. Both the selection committee and selection procedures shall be developed by the Scholarship Chairperson in compliance with Article III, Section B of this Constitution.

E. Review of Final Decisions

Selection decisions shall be final except when a decision is challenged on the grounds of misrepresentation by an applicant or if a fellow ceases to remain an enrolled student at the Willamette College of Law. A challenged decision shall be reviewed by the Board of Advisors.

F. Revocation of Application or Fellowship

A finding of misrepresentation by an applicant may result in the revocation of an application, if such a finding is made before fellowships are awarded or revocation of a Fellowship. An application or Fellowship shall be revoked if the applicant or Fellow is not in good academic standing or is no longer enrolled as a full-time student at the Willamette University College of Law.

G. Replacement of Fellow

In the event that a fellow is unable to fulfill his or her duties (due to award revocation or other reasons disclosed by the fellow), the Fellowship may be awarded to alternate candidates.

H. Expected Summer Fellow Involvement in the WUPILP Auction

Each Summer Fellow shall volunteer for the WUPILP auction in the following academic year by heading an auction committee as to be determined by the auction coordinators.

Article VI. Education Fellowship Program

A. General

The Education Fellowship Program shall be developed by the Scholarship Chairperson. Education Fellowships shall be awarded by the WUPILP Executive Board.

B. Executive Board Responsibilities

The Executive Board shall evaluate application materials and award education fellowships according to established procedures as outlined in the application packet. Both the selection committee and selection procedures shall be developed by the Scholarship Chairperson in compliance with Article III, Section B of this Constitution.

C. Review of Final Decisions

Selection decisions shall be final except when a decision is challenged on the grounds of misrepresentation by an applicant or if a fellow ceases to remain an enrolled student at the Willamette College of Law. A challenged decision shall be reviewed by the Board of Advisors.

D. Revocation of Application or Fellowship

A finding of misrepresentation by an applicant may result in the revocation of an application, if such a finding is made before fellowships are awarded or revocation of a Fellowship. An application or Fellowship shall be revoked if the applicant or Fellow is not in good academic standing or is no longer enrolled as a full-time student at the Willamette University College of Law.

E. Replacement of Fellow

In the event that a fellow is unable to fulfill his/her duties (due to award revocation or other reasons disclosed by the fellow), the award may be awarded to alternate candidates, if possible.

Article VII. Auction

Certain portions of auction proceeds may be withheld for operation costs in an effort to make WUPILP independently funded. The remaining auction proceeds shall be prioritized so that as many $3,000 summer fellowships may be awarded as possible. If, and only if, proceeds remain after the funding of summer fellowships, then an amount may be allocated into the educational fellowship fund as follows: either 10% of the total remaining funds after operation costs, the entirety of the remainder of the funds after fellowships are awarded, or $1,000, whichever amount is less. For example, if $15,500 remains after operation costs, $15,000 shall be allocated to summer fellowships, and $500 shall be allocated to educational fellowships ($500 (remainder) < $1,000 < $1,550 (10%)).

Article VIII. Amendments

The WUPILP constitution may be amended by a majority vote of the Executive Board, subject to veto by the President or the Board of Advisors. In the event of a Presidential-veto, the WUPILP constitution may be amended by a unanimous vote of the Executive Board, excepting the President's vote. In the event of a Board of Advisors veto, the WUPILP constitution may be amended by a unanimous vote of the Executive Board.