Constitution and Bylaws of
The John Marshall Pre-Law Society
In order that academic excellence among pre-law students at The University of Texas at Dallas, hereinafter called "UTD", may be promoted; that opportunity may be provided for leadership training at UTD; that an intellectual climate may be promoted for an interchange of ideas and ideals; and that pre-law students may be imbued with a desire for lifelong learning and growth, we dedicate ourselves as fellows of The John Marshall Pre-Law Society. Among us, membership is a privilege; our duties to our school and our community an honor. In the conduct of our affairs, truth shall be our quest, diligence our staff, and honesty our guide.
Article I: Name of the society
The name of this society shall be The John Marshall Pre-Law Society, hereinafter called the "Society".
Article II: Purpose of the society
The purpose of the society shall be to promote the understanding of the legal profession, the law, and government operation; to assist its members in the processes of entertaining the legal profession; and to recognize and encourage scholarship and leadership among UTD pre-law students.
Article III: Membership in the society
Section 1. Types of Membership. The Society shall consist of active and honorary members.
A. Active Members. An Active member of the Society shall be a currently registered student at UTD, who has met the eligibility requirements; has been duly elected to the Society; and who maintains the standards of scholarship and character.
B. Honorary Members. An honorary member shall be a person who, in the opinion of the Society, has rendered distinguished service. Honorary membership shall be conferred at the discretion of the Executive Committee. Nominations for honorary membership may be made by any active member in good standing.
Section 2. Eligibility for Membership. To be eligible for active membership in the Society, a candidate must have applied for membership to the Secretary of the Society.
Section 3. Active Membership. To maintain active membership an individual must meet all following requirements.
A. Good Standing. An individual must remain in good standing with the University.
B. Grade Point Average. An individual must maintain at least a 2.50 grade point average to become a member or maintain a current membership. If at any time an Active Member's grade point average should drop below a 2.50, that student will be disallowed all rights and privileges of an Active Member. Dues will not be refunded to those who lose their Active Member status, whether that loss is temporary or permanent.
C. Dues. An individual must pay all dues owed the Society, in accordance with Article III, Section 4.
Section 4. Dues. Dues for membership in the Society will be payable in an amount to be determined by the membership.
Article IV: Organization
Section 1. Officers. The officers of the Society shall consist of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
A. Terms of Office. Each of the officers will serve a one-year term, beginning on the first day of May immediately following elections and ending on the last day of the following April.
B. Election to Office. Elections for officers of the Society shall be held in April of each year. A simple majority vote of the active membership shall be necessary to elect each officer.
C. Qualifications to Hold Office. Any active member of the Society shall be eligible to hold office.
D. Removal from Office. An officer may be removed from office if he or she is no longer an active member of the Society, or if three-fourths (3/4) of the active members recommend a petition that any such officer be removed.
E. Duties of Officers. The duties of the officers of the Society shall be as follows:
1. The President of the Society shall:
a. preside over all meetings of the general membership;
b. preside over all meetings of the Executive Committee;
c. appoint Committee Chairmen;
d. install officers for the new term;
e. act as spokesman for the Chapter; and
f. confer regularly with the Society's faculty sponsor(s) and the UTD Administration.
2. If the President is unable to perform his or her assigned duties, the Vice-President shall act in the capacity of President until such time as the President is able to resume his or her duties.
3. The Vice-President of the Society will:
a. assist in any and all of the duties of the President;
b. preside over all meetings of the Education Committee; and
c. in the event the President is incapacitated, act in the President's place.
4. If the Vice-President is unable to perform his or her assigned duties, the Executive Committee shall appoint a replacement until such time as the Vice-President is able to resume his duties.
5. The Secretary of the Society shall:
a. be responsible for recording the minutes of all meetings of the Society;
b. preside over all meetings of the Communications Committee;
c. be responsible for all communications with the Executive Committee;
d. maintain and update the membership roster;
e. take roll call at all meetings of the Society;
f. provide the general membership with notification of all meetings; and
g. hold the constitution of the Society for referral.
6. The Treasurer of the Society shall:
a. be responsible for all funds of the Society;
b. preside over all meetings of the Finance Committee;
c. collect membership dues;
d. deposit promptly in the Office of Student Programs and Activities all monies collected;
e. keep records of all transactions; and
f. prepare and distribute financial reports upon request.
Section 2. Executive Committee. The Executive Committee of the Society shall consist of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
A. Term of Executive Members. Each member of the Executive Committee shall serve on the Committee for the full term of his elected office.
B. Duties of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for the conduct of the Society's business, for approval of the budget and activities, and for the appointment of special committees.
Section 3. Education Committee. The Education Committee of the Society shall consist of the Vice-President, plus a number of appointed members as necessary to carry out the duties of the committee.
A. Term of Education Committee Members. Each member of the Education Committee shall serve on the committee for the length of his or her active membership in the Society.
B. Duties of the Education committee. The Education Committee shall plan, organize, and implement all Society activities, including seminars, practice LSATs, and review sessions.
Section 4. Communications Committee. The Communications Committee of the Society shall consist of the Secretary, plus a number of appointed members as necessary to carry out the duties of the Committee.
A. Term Communications Committee Members. Each member of the Communications Committee shall serve on the Committee for the length of his or her active membership in the Society.
B. Duties of the Communications Committee. The Communications Committee shall plan, organize, and implement all internal and external communications of the society. Included shall be the newsletter, mailings to members, advertising and promotion, and any special Communications activities.
Section 5. Finance Committee. The Finance Committee of the Society shall consist of the Treasurer, plus a number of appointed members as necessary to carry out the duties of the Committee.
A. Term of Finance Committee Members. Each member of the Finance Committee shall serve on the Committee for the length of his or her active membership in the Society.
B. Duties of the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee shall plan, organize, and implement all fund raising activities, including solicitation of donations and work done by members for the purposes of raising funds.
Section 6. Succession. If for any reason an office is vacated, the subsequent procedures will be followed.
A. If for any reason the Office of President should become vacant, the Vice-President shall become President.
B. If the office of Vice President should become vacant, it shall be filled from among the current membership of the Society. The process of electing a new Vice-President shall span two general membership meetings.
1. At the first general membership meeting, nominations will be made to fill the vacancy.
2. At the second meeting elections to fill the office should take place.
3. A candidate must receive a simple majority vote to take office.
4. In the event that a candidate does not receive a simple majority, there shall be a runoff election between the top two candidates.
C. If the office of Secretary should become vacant, the executive committee will nominate an individual from the communications committee as an interim Secretary. The process of electing a new Secretary shall span two general membership meetings. The procedure of filling the office should follow that of Section 6, Subsection B, as prescribed to fill the office of Vice-President.
D. If the office of Treasurer should become vacant, the executive committee will nominate an individual from the finance committee as an interim Treasurer. The process of electing a new Treasurer shall span two general membership meetings. The procedure of filling the office should follow that of Section 6, Subsection B, as prescribed to fill the office of Vice-President.
Article V: Meetings and procedures
Section 1. Meetings. There shall be meetings of the Society as deemed necessary to conduct the business and insure the continued operation of the Society.
A. Annual Convention. There shall be an annual convention of the Society to be held in April of each year. The purpose of the annual convention is to elect and install new officers, to conduct a planning session to set objectives for the following year, and to bring all members together for training and fellowship.
B. Meetings of Officers. The officers of the Society shall meet at least once each month to conduct business, review plans, and address any other matters of importance to the Society.
C. Meetings of the General Membership. The general membership of the Society, including officers, shall meet at least once each month to conduct Society business.
D. Special Meetings. The Executive Committee may convene any special meetings of the Society, or of any committee or subgroup thereof, as may be deemed necessary and proper for the conduct of the business of the Society, or for any other purpose not contrary to the Constitution.
Section 2. Procedure. The procedural rules governing the meetings of the Association shall be ROBERTS RULES OF ORDER, except as specified and set forth herein.
A. Voting. Persons permitted to vote at meetings of the Society shall be as follows:
1. Convention. Each Active Member shall be entitled to one vote at the annual convention. This vote shall be cast by those individuals who are present and recognized at the annual convention.
2. Special Meetings. Each Active Member shall be entitled to one vote at any special meetings of the Society, to be cast by those individuals recognized by that meeting.
3. General Membership Meetings. Voting procedures of the general membership shall be the same as for special meetings.
B. Quorum. Officers and Active Members present at any meeting shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Article VI: Finance
Section 1. Tax Status. The Society shall be operated exclusively for educational purposes.
Section 2. Financial Needs. Financial needs for the Society shall be met by active members. Dues shall be set by the Executive Committee and required of each active member.
Section 3. Expenditure of Funds. All fees, donations, grants, and other types of financial income shall be expended for the purposes of the Society.
Section 4. Financial Report. Annually, the Treasurer shall make available to the active members a statement of the financial condition of the Society. Additional financial information will be provided upon request.
Section 5. Financial Obligations. No financial obligations shall be incurred by any officer or committee except as authorized with annual budgets or except under authority of special interim action, which has been approved by the Executive Committee.
Section 6. Fiscal Year. The fiscal year shall span the time October 1 through September 30, coinciding with the fiscal year of the University.
Section 7. Provisions and Dissolution. If the Society should ever cease to operate as provided for in its Constitution, the accumulated assets shall be distributed in accordance with the laws of the State of Texas and the laws of the United States of America.
Article VII: Amendments
Section 1. Constitution. The Constitution of the Society may be amended at any time in the following manner:
A. A written amendment shall be submitted to the Executive Committee at least ten (10) days prior to the next general membership meeting.
B. The amendment shall then be presented at the following general membership meeting for discussion and possible approval. Approval shall require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present at the general membership meeting.
C. After approval, the amendment shall be added to the Constitution.
Section 2. Bylaws. The Bylaws of the Society may be amended at any time in the following manner:
A. any proposed change in the Bylaws shall be submitted to the Executive Committee by any active member or officer at least ten (10) days prior to the next general membership meeting.
B. any proposed change in the Bylaws shall require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the active members present at that general membership meeting.
Section 3. Prohibition of Amendments. Amendments shall not prevent the Society from operating exclusively for nonprofit educational purposes and in a manner, which makes the Society tax-exempt nor prevents the deduction of donations from taxable income to the extent allowed by the Internal Revenue Code.