What is a Student Organization?

LSSOs

A Law School Student Organization (LSSO) is an officially recognized student-run organization at the University of Chicago Law School. Membership is open to all law students and LSSOs have access to various benefits including:

  • LSA funding
  • Use of Law School event spaces
  • Law School student org advising and event support
  • Meeting with an LSSO Advisor

LSSO Advisor: Candace Mui from the Office of Dean of Students is the LSSO advisor. She assists LSSOs with LSSO event planning, support, board member trainings. LSSOs can contact Candace at mui@uchicago.edu.

Becoming a Law School Student Organization (LSSO)

Students can apply to start a new LSSO or reactivate a previously inactive organization by emailing the request to the Law Students Association at LSA@law.uchicago.edu and copying Candace Mui at mui@uchicago.edu.

The following information should be included in the request email to LSA:

  • A short set of bylaws that include a mission statement (Sample bylaw template)
  • A list of board member names, their LSSO board position, and UChicago email addresses
  • A proposal for your new or reactivated LSSO

Upon receipt of the request, the LSA board will review the submission and bring it to a vote. Students will be notified of the results within two weeks of the submission.

LSSOs must also have designated at a minimum the following to be considered an active organization:

President – The President is the primary student contact, the representative and “external spokesperson” for the LSSO and regularly interacts with other student organizations and University officials. The responsibilities of this position include but are not limited to: preside at all meetings, oversee the process of student organization event planning, and maintain communication between board members, members, the Law School, etc.

Treasurer – All LSSOs are required to elect or appoint a Treasurer to manage their financial matters. The treasurer should manage the organization’s budget and keep board members informed about the student organization’s financial activities.

Events Coordinator – Oversees or assists in the process of student organization event planning. The responsibilities of this position include but are not limited to: requesting event approvals, booking space, ordering catering, marketing events, and managing the event on-site, etc.

Each position must be held by a different law student. These positions are instrumental to the efficient and effective operation of a student organization and may vary slightly from student organization to student organization; however, the duties and responsibilities associated with these positions should be represented within the Executive Board.

RSOs

A Recognized Student Organization (RSO), is a student organization that is recognized by the University’s Center for Leadership and Involvement (CLI). This recognition makes the group an official part of the University of Chicago, with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of that status. As an RSO, your membership is open to all students at the University. When your student organization is recognized by CLI, you are eligible for numerous benefits including:

  • The ability to hold events on campus
  • Access to a variety of leadership development workshops and trainings for members and leaders in your organization
  • Free or reduced cost reservations in many of the University’s facilities
  • Eligibility for Student Government funding
  • Use of Blueprint, UChicago's online involvement platform

RSO Advisors assist RSOs with RSO funding, event planning, membership management, accessing funds, and much more. They’re also happy to just have a chat about what you’re working on. Keeping in regular contact with your RSO advisor is a great way to help ensure success. LSSOs can contact an RSO adviser on the RSO staff/advisor page for any RSO related questions.

Becoming a recognized organization (RSO)

All LSSOs are welcomed and encouraged to apply for RSO status. Groups must re-register and complete mandatory annual training each year to maintain RSO status. More information on RSOs can be found on the Center for Leadership and Involvement (CLI) website.

The Committee on Recognized Student Organizations (CORSO) reviews applications and makes recommendations to the Director of CLI for final determination of RSO status. The RSO application process includes submitting the following:

  • An approval/sponsorship form listing a faculty/administration advisor
  • An Organizational Information Questionnaire
  • A short set of bylaws

An organization may be eligible to become an RSO if the following conditions are met:

  • Its activities are consistent with the goals and purposes of the University
  • It has at least four full-time student members
  • It is student-run and student-organized
  • Membership is open to all University students

Becoming a Community Service Recognized Student Organization

The University Community Service Center (UCSC) connects students to community service opportunities in Hyde Park and the larger community. RSOs also may become Community Service RSOs (CSRSOs), provided that their primary purpose is providing services to the community. Community Service RSOs have access to additional funding and resources through the University Community Service Center.  

In addition, the UCSC also funds community service activities for regular RSOs. LSSOs interested in becoming a CSRSO or planning a service event may discuss their plans with Cody Boukather, Student Leadership Programs Administrator (boukather@uchicago.edu).

Becoming a Sports Club

Sports clubs are recognized through the Physical Education Department’s Sports Club Office and are not eligible to become RSOs. The Sports Clubs program is located in the Gerald Ratner Center, Room 141.  For questions about sports clubs contact Brian Bock, Associate Athletic Director for Recreation and Fitness at bockb@uchicago.edu or 773-702-4658. Visit Athletics for more information.

Open versus Closed Events

LSSOs that do not maintain a membership list must make all events open to all law students. If an LSSO chooses to maintain a list of members in good standing, the LSSO may hold members-only events if the members of the LSSO deem it appropriate in light of the format and purpose of the event. LSSOs with membership lists must be saved on the LSSO Drive in the assigned student organization folder at the beginning of the Autumn Quarter. 

LSSOs must ensure that the number of members-only events is small relative to the number of events held by the group overall. LSSOs may use up to 25% of their LSA funding for members-only events. LSSOs are expected to track their use of funds for members-only events to submit to LSA upon request. A LSSO may also restrict voting in elections for officers or board members to members in good standing.