Constitution

Student Health Lawyer's Association Constitution

Preamble

The Student Health Lawyer’s Association is comprised of students interested in the field of health law and medical malpractice.  As a whole, the Association is committed to promoting awareness of and pursuing careers in these fields.  We are dedicated to heightening awareness of health law issues and opportunities within the student body. 

Article 1: The Leadership Committee

  1. The Student Health Lawyer’s Association shall be governed by a Leadership Committee composed of offices elected in accordance with the procedures outlined in Article III.
  2. Each class year shall be entitled to participate in annual elections for the Leadership Committee.
  3. Leadership Committee Officers must meet the Student Health Lawyer’s Association membership requirements outlined in Article II in order to appear on the ballot.  Leadership Committee Officers may be removed from office pursuant to Article IV.
  4. In addition to any authority granted by this Constitution, the Leadership Committee shall have the following authority and responsibilities:
    1. To express its opinion on matters of general or specific concern to the members of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association;
    2. To create committees as it deems necessary to carry out its duties and responsibilities;
    3. To collect membership dues from any person wishing to become a member of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association and to preface voting rights on the payment of dues.
    4. To conduct referenda on matters of interest to the Student Health Lawyer’s Association members if proposed by any member of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association.
    5. To impeach an officer or remove any member pursuant to article V, and to remove a member of the Leadership Committee pursuant to two-thirds vote of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association membership;
    6. To convene a General Meeting as often as the Officers see fit during the academic year, on a day and time to be determined by the Leadership Committee, or in conjunction with a Student Health Lawyer’s Association event already scheduled;
    7. To convene Special Meetings to consider any matter of particular concern to the Leadership Committee or any member of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association;
    8. To make known in advance to the student body all General and Special Meetings and conduct such meetings in public;
    9. To maintain and support Student Health Lawyer’s Association services and equipment;
    10. To keep all Student Health Lawyer’s Association members informed as to upcoming activities, as well as other opportunities for participation.
  5. The Student Health Lawyer’s Association Leadership Committee shall consist of the following Officers, to be elected pursuant to Article III each year:
    1. President
    2. Vice President
    3. Secretary
    4. Treasurer
    5. Social Chair
    6. Education Chair
    7. Public Service Chair
    8. Committee Representation  

Article II: Qualifications for Membership

  1. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, any student enrolled at least part-time at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law is eligible to be a member of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association and serve as a Leadership Committee Officer without regard to race, color, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, physical disability, or national origin.
  2. Student Health Lawyer’s Association members must agree to uphold the principles of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association, abide by the roles as set forth in this Constitution and as ordered through the legislative mechanism provided by this Constitution, and must refrain from any actions or statements that are not congruent with the character and intent of the organization.
  3. Non-compliance with this Article shall constitute sufficient grounds for refusing eligibility to any individual to run in any election or for revoking the eligibility of any individual. The Leadership Committee shall have final authority in the verification of these credentials.

Article III: Election Procedures

  1. During the first month of the fall semester, the Leadership Committee shall schedule, announce, and conduct the first general meeting of the academic year. During this meeting, and for one week thereafter, dues shall be collected. The Leadership Committee shall then schedule general meetings of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association in accordance with the provisions of Article I.
  2. Each March, the Leadership Committee shall schedule and announce the date of elections for the Leadership Committee for the following year. The election shall be conducted within twenty-eight calendar days of the announcement. A majority of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association members must be present and will elect Leadership Committee Officers. In the event of a tie, a run-off election will be held. The new Student Health Lawyer’s Association Leadership Committee shall take office at the first General Meeting of the following academic semester.
  3. Committee Representatives may be elected at the beginning of the Fall semester in order to encourage participation by the incoming first-year students or anytime during the year when a new committee is formed.
  4. Only members of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association at the time the elections are conducted may present themselves for office, and only those members who were serving as Leadership Committee Officers at least ninety calendar days before the date of the elections may present themselves for the offices of President and Vice President, respectively. 
  5. Upon notification that a Leadership Committee Officer is unable or unwilling to fulfill his or her duties, the President shall fill the vacancy in accordance with the provisions of Article IV.
  6. The Leadership Committee will be responsible for announcing and conducting any referenda considering amendments to this Constitution.
  7. Protests of election results or procedures shall be made to the Leadership Committee in writing. The Leadership Committee shall have sole responsibility for tallying votes, scheduling run-off elections, and declaring winners. Decisions of the Leadership Committee are final. The Leadership Committee shall make a written report of any protest and its disposition and shall present its report at the next General Meeting.

Article IV. The Leadership Committee Officers

  1. The Student Health Lawyer’s Association President shall preside over a Leadership Committee, which shall consist of the following officials:
    1. President
    2. Vice President
    3. Secretary/Treasurer
    4. Social Chair
    5. Education and Public Service Chair
    6. Committee Representation
  2. The Student Health Lawyer’s Association President will oversee the entire organization, including but not limited to:
    1. Serving as the liaison between the Student Health Lawyer’s Association and both the School of Law and the surrounding communities;
    2. Selecting a faculty sponsor for the entire academic year before fall semester of that year, or otherwise maintaining the established faculty sponsor from the previous year;
    3. Scheduling all appropriate meetings, including the Leadership Committee elections, with the approval of the Leadership Committee;
    4. Overseeing the election of new Leadership Committee Officers;
    5. Timely submitting any budget proposals necessary to promote the activities of the office of Student Health Lawyer’s Association President to the Student Health Lawyer’s Association Secretary/Treasurer; and
    6. Submitting a tentative agenda and mission statement to the Leadership Committee before the first general meeting of the fall semester.
  3. The Student Health Lawyer’s Association Vice President shall:
    1. Serve as the representative of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association in seeking and maintaining partnerships with community organizations dedicated to providing health care and health law services;
    2. Maintain the Student Health Lawyer’s Association Constitution;
    3. Assist the Student Health Lawyer’s Association President all duties related to that position as outlined in Article IV;
    4. Timely submit any budget proposals necessary to promote the activities of the office of Student Health Lawyer’s Association Vice President to the Student Health Lawyer’s Association Secretary/Treasurer; and
    5. Assume the duties related to the position of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association President, or any other Leadership Committee Officer in cases of emergency or absence as outline in Article IV.
  4. The Student Health Lawyer’s Association Secretary/Treasurer shall:
    1. Act as the record-keeper for the Health Lawyer’s Association;
    2. Maintain the Student Health Lawyer’s Association website;
    3. Be responsible for the allocation of all funds relating to Health Lawyer’s Association events;
    4. Timely submit the Health Lawyer’s Association budget to the Student Bar Association;
    5. Act as the liaison between Health Lawyer’s Association and the Student Bar Association in all matters pertaining to the financial affairs of the organization; and
    6. Maintain an accurate account of all Health Lawyer’s Association proceedings and accurate membership records.
  5. The Student Health Lawyer’s Association Social Chair shall:
    1. Design, organize, and implement events related to the field of health law, but specifically involving local, state, or national speakers, and career preparatory advice and activities;
    2. Prepare three such events per semester with the assistance of the Leadership Committee Officers, or other members of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association;
    3. Design, organize, and implement at least one field excursion per academic year to any destination intimately related to the field of health law; 
    4. Assist the Student Health Lawyer’s Association President in all duties related to that position as outlined in Article IV; 
    5. Timely submit any budget proposals necessary to promote the activities of the office of Student Health Lawyer’s Association Social Chair to the Student Health Lawyer’s Secretary/Treasurer; and
    6. Assume the duties related to the position of Student Health Lawyer’s President, or any other Leadership Committee Officer, in cases of emergency or absence, as outlined in Article IV.
  6. The Student Health Lawyers Education and Public Service Chair shall:
    1. Establish a partnership with at least one community service organization, or maintain a preexisting partnership throughout the academic year;
    2. Contribute to providing for the participation of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association membership in a community service activity at least once a semester during the academic year;
    3. Provide at least one educational program in the area of Health Law per academic semester;
    4. Timely submit any budget proposals necessary to promote the activities of the office of Student Health Lawyer’s Association Social Chair to the Student Health Lawyer’s Secretary/Treasurer; and
    5. Assume the duties related to the position of Student Health Lawyer’s President, or any other Leadership Committee Officer, in cases of emergency or absence, as outlined in Article IV.
  7. The Student Health Lawyer’s Association Committee Representatives shall:
    1. Assist all other members of the Leadership Committee in any capacity requested and required; and
    2. Assume the duties related to the position of any other Leadership Committee Officer, in cases of emergency or absence, as outlined in Article IV.
  8. With the consent of a majority of the Leadership Committee Officers, the President may appoint such other members of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association as deemed necessary to serve on the Leadership Committee for that academic year. Leadership Committee appointees may be relieved from the Council at any time by the President, with a majority of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association body voting in support.
  9. The Officers of the Leadership Committee shall meet monthly, either in person or by e-mail with all Officers responding to an original message sent by the President, during the academic year, except when such meetings are prevented due to School of Law recess. The monthly meeting may be waived if a three-fourths majority of the Leadership Committee votes to do so, for reasons thereafter reported at the next General Meeting. The Leadership Committee may periodically choose to invite other Student Health Lawyer’s Association members or the general public to attend their meetings, but only those Leadership Committee Officers listed in §1 above shall have the power to vote on any Executive Order or other issue.
  10. Leadership Committee members may delegate unto Student Health Lawyer’s Association members such tasks as may be deemed necessary, proper, and expedient in pursuance of the power and responsibilities listed herein, and the Leadership Committee may organize ad hoc committees to conduct specified tasks in pursuance of the powers and responsibilities listed herein or as approved by the Leadership Committee.
  11. If at any time a vacancy shall occur on the Leadership Committee, the Student Health Lawyer’s Association President may, with the advice of the Leadership Committee, appoint another member to fill the vacant office until the next General Meeting. A retainer vote shall be taken at such time, and the appointed member shall be retained as a member of the Leadership Committee for the term of the original holder’s office, unless a majority of those members eligible to vote elect not to retain said member.

Article V. Impeachment and Expulsion

  1. Upon introduction of a Resolution for Impeachment or for Expulsion, the Student Health Lawyer’s Association Leadership Committee shall convene an impeachment or expulsion hearing no sooner than five but no later than ten school days after the resolution is introduced if a two-thirds majority of those present votes to hold a hearing. The accused Student Health Lawyer’s Association Officer or member and each member of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association Leadership Committee shall be given a written statement of the charges and specifications before the impeachment or expulsion hearing is convened.
  2. The Student Health Lawyer’s Association President or the Leadership Committee may appoint an independent commission to investigate the charges and specifications and that commission’s findings shall be made available to the Student Health Lawyer’s Association membership at the impeachment hearing. In any event, the Student Health Lawyer’s Association President and the Leadership Committee shall review all charges and specifications and each member of the Leadership Committee shall make a recommendation to the Student Health Lawyer’s Association membership to approve or not approve the resolution. In the event a member or members of the Leadership Committee is (are) the subject(s) of charge(s) and specification(s) for impeachment, a simple majority of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association membership may appoint an independent commission in accordance with this section.
  3. The Leadership Committee shall determine the format for each hearing, but in every case the accused shall be consulted as to the format of the hearing; shall enjoy the right to be represented by counsel; shall have the right to address the Student Health Lawyer’s Association membership and present evidence at the hearing; shall have the right to confront the sponsors of the impeachment or expulsion resolution; and shall enjoy the right to vote on the resolution.
  4. No hearing shall consider charges against more than one person at a time, and with the exception of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association President, Officers facing both impeachment and expulsion charges must be given an opportunity to separately address each resolution. For the Student Health Lawyer’s Association President, an impeachment resolution shall be treated as an expulsion resolution.
  5. At the conclusion of the impeachment or expulsion hearing, the Student Health Lawyer’s Association membership shall vote, and if three-fourths of the entire Student Health Lawyer’s Association membership votes in the affirmative, the resolution shall pass.

Article VI. Amendments

  1. Any member of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association may propose an amendment to this Constitution, and discussion of such amendment shall be placed on the agenda for the General Meeting immediately following the meeting at which the amendment is first proposed.
  2. Upon the written petition of thirty-five percent or more of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association membership, the Leadership Committee shall call a Convention for considering amendments to this Constitution.
  3. The Student Health Lawyer’s Association President and Leadership Committee shall review all proposed amendments and shall make a recommendation to the Student Health Lawyer’s Association membership to approve or not to approve any amendment.
  4. Any amendments to this Constitution proposed in accordance with §1 or §2 of this Article shall become effective only with a majority of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association membership in attendance at a Special Election, and ratification by a three-fourths majority of those members voting occurs.

Article VII. Ratification

This Constitution shall be ratified upon the affirmative vote of all of the founding Officers of the Student Health Lawyer’s Association Leadership Committee voting at an election called