AALA at Widener Law Commonwealth provides a variety of opportunities to get involved with the vast expanse of agriculture. From animals to zoning, patent law to marketing, each portion of the agricultural experience feeds off an intimate relationship with the law. While our chapter here is just spouting, join us by contributing your background in agriculture or your willingness to learn to contribute to a bountiful future for Pennsylvania agriculture.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s mission is to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. ALDF accomplishes this mission by filing high-impact lawsuits to protect animals from harm, providing free legal assistance and training to prosecutors to assure that animal abusers are punished for their crimes, supporting tough animal protection legislation, fighting legislation harmful to animals, and providing resources and opportunities to law students and professionals to advance the emerging field of animal law. As one of over 200 student chapters, Widener ALDF shares in this mission by engaging in education and outreach, hosting events, and encouraging scholarship in this important and underrepresented field of law.
The National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) is a national organization created and designed to articulate and promote the professional needs and goals of black law students; to foster and encourage professional opportunities, and to focus upon the relationship of the black attorney in the American legal system.
The Widener Black Law Students Association (BLSA) is a chapter and a student-run organization concerned with issues affecting the black community. The purpose of our chapter is to support and advance the interests of our members and further engage with the Harrisburg community. Academic and professional development is highly encouraged and supported, and we strive to provide opportunities to build relationships between our students, alumni, judges, and lawyers. The Widener BLSA is committed to increase awareness around the professional needs and goals set forth by NBLSA. Additionally, we fully promote inclusivity of all races and backgrounds as diversity is an integral part of Widener’s student engagement.
For more information about Widener’s BLSA chapter:
The Business Law Society is a student run organization that provides law students with education and networking opportunities on various aspects of business and corporate law, including areas such as corporate transactions, corporate litigation, securities, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, and commercial transactions. Through Widener Law Commonwealth's faculty, staff, and alumni, the Business Law Society achieves this goal by sponsoring and hosting speaker events, panel discussions, and other social activities. The Business Law Society works with the faculty and deans to ensure the educational and career development needs of students pursuing a career in business law are met.
The mission of the Criminal Law Society (“CLS”) is to create a platform devoted to criminal law dialog that allows students to explore the societal interest in attaining the universal ideals of fairness and justice through the practice of law. CLS aims to provide an interactive forum between students interested in criminal law and guest speakers who have demonstrated their dedication to criminal practice and have a desire to educate others on the importance of striving for the most impartial judicial system we may hope to attain.
The Environmental Law and Policy Society's mission is to help educate students and the community about local, national, and global environmental issues. It also provides students with opportunities to become involved in issues, and to learn about career opportunities in environmental law.
Recent projects have included student-organized litter clean-ups in the local community, sponsoring a panel discussion on sprawl, and participating in a national educational program on climate change.
Mission: The mission of the FBA is to strengthen the federal legal system and administration of justice by serving the interests and the needs of law students, federal practitioners, both public and private, the federal judiciary and the public.
Summary: The FBA includes more than 16,000 federal lawyers, law students, and 1,200 federal judges, working together to promote the sound administration of justice and integrity, quality and independence of the judiciary. The FBA also provides opportunities for scholarship and for judges, lawyers and law students to interact professionally and socially.
The purposes of the Law Student Division shall be to further the objectives of the FBA, to represent the FBA to law students, to stimulate the interest of law students in the activities of the FBA, and to conduct programs of interest and value to law students.
Social Media: Follow the FBA on Facebook!
The Federalist Society is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. We seek to engage our campus in discussions initiated by events and debates featuring prominent legal minds from across the country. The Federalist Society is also focused on giving back to the community and has implemented a fund-raising component to benefit worthy causes chosen by the members of our chapter.
The Latin American Law Students Association “LALSA” aims to promote the exchange of ideas with respect to issues between Latino culture and the law. LALSA’s main goals are to facilitate the success of LALSA members and alumni both professionally and socially, to promote the Latino culture and the law through an exchange of ideas and values, and to achieve active participation of all of its members. LALSA welcomes ALL individuals who are interested or curious to learn about Latin culture and legal issues specific to our communities.
The Law and Government Student Society is the student-led arm of the Law and Government Institute at Widener University Commonwealth Law School. The Law and Government Institute focuses on an important area of legal practice that offers an array of career opportunities. The Institute helps students explore how government works and the roles lawyers play in making and implementing law. It highlights the complex intersection of legislation, regulation, policy, and the law. The goal of the Law and Government Student Society, as an arm of the institute, is to provide hands-on opportunities and real-world experiences for students who are interested in pursuing a career in public service. Through student mentorship opportunities, practitioner panels, and networking events, the Law and Government Student Society has a mission to inspire students to serve and become leaders in the legal field.
The National Lawyers Guild is an association dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system. We seek to unite the lawyers, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers of America in an organization which shall function as an effective political and social force in the service of the people, to the end that human rights shall be regarded as more sacred than property interests. Our aim is to bring together all those who regard adjustments to new conditions as more important than the veneration of precedent; who recognize the importance of safeguarding and extending the rights of workers, women, farmers, and minority groups upon whom the welfare of the entire nation depends; who seek actively to eliminate racism; who work to maintain and protect our civil rights and liberties in the face of persistent attacks upon them; and who look upon the law as an instrument for the protection of the people, rather than for their repression.
Social Media: Follow NLG on Facebook and Instagram @nlgwidenercommonwealth!
OUTLaw is a student organization dedicated to creating a safe space and encouraging an open dialogue for issues of importance to LGBTQ+ students. As a voice for LGBTQ+ students and allies in the law school community, we direct our efforts toward combating homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism, and any discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and increasing awareness and discussion of such issues. We host fun social events each semester and also provide networking events for professional and social interactions between LGBTQ+ students, allies, and legal professionals. All are welcome here!
Social Media: Add us on TWEN for emails and give us a follow on Instagram! IG: @outlaw_wlc
Phi Alpha Delta is the active legal fraternity on campus open to all students. The goal of the fraternity is to encourage service to the school, profession and the community and, at the same time, promote the ideals of liberty and justice. Membership creates lifelong bonds in the profession.
Social Media: Follow PAD on Facebook and Instagram!
The club’s primary objective is to raise awareness for the importance of mental and physical health and facilitate a reduction in mental health distress and improve law student well-being. The American Bar Association launched an innovative campaign targeting substance-use disorders and mental health issues among lawyers. Being a part of this club is a great way to demonstrate your devotion to your own personal well-being as well as the well-being of your peers. Some of the nation’s largest law firms have already pledged to support the ABA initiative and adopt its framework for improved well-being. When applying to these law firms, you will have the opportunity to present yourself as not only a potential asset in the firm, but also as a passionate advocate for mental and physical heath.
Mission: The Public Interest Law Society seeks to further the interests shared by the public and to promote the public good through use of the legal system.
Summary: PILS is a student group that aims to bridge the gap between law students and those seeking legal advice or advocacy in our community. The commitment to public interest fosters professional responsibility and personal connections through service to persons unable to pay for legal services or unsure of where to obtain such services. PILS is involved with events like Pro Bono week, Wills for Heroes, and other volunteer opportunities in our local community.
Social Media: Follow PILS on Twitter @WidenerLawPILS!
Student Ambassadors volunteer a brief amount of time with a great amount of energy and insight greeting prospective students and conducting tours. Student Ambassadors make a profound contribution to the enrollment efforts of the law school, as well as the decisions of prospective students.
Mission: The mission of the Veterans Association is to support, mentor, and honor the men and women who are America's Veterans through fostering community connections, leadership, diversity, service and excellence and integrity in all that we do.
Summary: The Veteran's Association is not just for the Veterans of Widener Law Commonwealth but also the families of Veterans and communities. We aim to include all students who wish to join to support their fellow students and Veterans. The goal of the Veterans Association is not only to create a welcoming and supportive environment for Veterans in law school but also foster connections with fellow alumni Veterans for mentorship and guidance not only now but throughout their career. We want to also continue out life of service by volunteering in the community and helping our fellow Veterans and their families. We want to ensure Veterans know about and have the ability to use all the resources available to both them and their families.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) volunteers provide free income tax preparation assistance to low-income, elderly, and disabled taxpayers as well as to taxpayers for whom English is a second language. VITA assistance covers Federal, State and Local Tax returns.
In addition to tax preparation, we offer free eFile services for both Federal and Pennsylvania tax returns, including direct deposit of refunds. We offer our services by appointment, generally on Saturdays throughout the tax season, as well as other mutually agreeable times.
What Students Do
Student volunteers get FREE classroom training and certification by the IRS after satisfactorily completing an open book exam. Depending on their level of certification, volunteers are taught to correctly identify filing status, and to prepare returns with wages, tips, interest, dividends, unearned income, social security and retirement income, and self-employed income for Schedule C-EZ. While VITA volunteers are not required to train to fill out Schedules C, D, and E, certain sites may be able to help with such returns. Students start by talking to the client and finding out what his or her particular situation is. This helps the student develop interview skills while providing the taxpayer with the appropriate services for his or her needs.
The purpose of the Women’s Law Caucus (“WLC”) is to promote full and equal participation of women in the law school environment, legal community, and justice system, and to promote an understanding of the wide spectrum of legal issues that affect women in the legal community and law school environment.
Alumni & Student Engagement Coordinator
Email: [email protected]