SBA president represents students, gets inspired at ABA Meeting

Michael Andrusak at ABA Annual Meeting
SBA President Michael Andrusak, right, and Matt Gorney, secretary/treasurer of the ABA Law Student Division, recently attended the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago on behalf of KU Law students.

On Aug. 2 I was privileged to attend the 2012 American Bar Association Annual Conference in Chicago. Since I was the first member of the KU Law Student Bar Association to attend for many years, I did not know what to expect.

Prior to arriving in Chicago, I anticipated sitting in large audiences listening to “CLE-like” events. But it was a much different experience for me, partly because of my capacity as an SBA president. During the conference, SBA presidents have roundtable discussions and meet with various deans throughout the country to discuss topics such as getting students involved, how to have good relationships with the school administration, dealing with student over-drinking, how to be active in the community, and finances. These discussions are especially helpful to new SBA presidents.

Additionally, every SBA president and student ABA representative in each ABA-accredited law school is a delegate on the Law Student Division Assembly, which is the policy making body of the Division. The Assembly convenes once per year at the annual meeting; 188 of us convened on Saturday, Aug. 4. I voted on four resolutions on behalf of KU Law students. One resolution I voted for requires all ABA law schools to post on their website a link to substantive recent student graduate employment numbers on the same page prospective students access other application materials. When a resolution passes the Law Student Division, it makes its way to the ABA House of Delegates to be voted on.

The conference also provided many opportunities for networking. There were CLEs, mixers for law students, and receptions for members of the various ABA sections. The most important reception is the general ABA reception, known as the “President’s Reception.” For those who have never been to the ABA conference, the President’s Reception is the “must-attend” event. This year’s featured keynote speaker was Sen. Lindsey Graham, who was introduced by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel.

I learned a lot about the ABA and was positively motivated. Every ABA-accredited law school’s SBA president and ABA representative has a voice and vote during the conference with the Assembly. My desire is that future KU Law SBA presidents and ABA representatives will continue to attend and represent our students. I will personally advocate and support nothing less, and I hope that KU Law faculty, staff, and alumni will continue to support doing so.

It was an honor to attend the 2012 ABA Conference and represent KU Law students. If you would like to know more about my experience, please email me at

— Michael Andrusak is a KU Law 3L and Student Bar Association president.