FAQ for Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs

The Office of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs is committed catering to the educational, professional, and networking needs of our students while in law school. The department offers services and support to students to enhance growth and development, both professionally and personally. Students who have any questions pertaining to the Office of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs are welcome to speak with Dean Sheryl Harrison-Mercer at studentservices@johnmarshall.edu or print a downloadable copy of the Office of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs Frequently Asked Questions.

If you have questions regarding registration under the Student Practice Rule, please visit that topic’s FAQ page here.

What is the Office of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs?

The Office of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs provides support for students and student organizations to maximize the quality of their experience at the law school. Our office is committed to empowering students to develop leadership, organizational, academic, and professional skills that will enhance their transition from the academic arena to the professional world. In keeping that pledge, we provide counseling to help students reach their academic goal.

Additionally, our office addresses student concerns and suggestions for improvements. The Office of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs is staffed by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs and the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs. The Associate Dean also oversees all student groups and strongly encourage collaboration and coalitions among student groups, especially when planning events. The department also provides advisement to students, assists with program planning and implementation, mediates disputes among and within student groups, and represents the student groups’ perspectives to the faculty and administration.

If I need help choosing my courses, who should I contact?

The Associate Dean of Academics and the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs are available to offer you academic counseling and to assist you with mapping your course selections during your law school career. You can view a sample course load for full-time and part-time students on the AJMLS website.

What is the Peer Mentor Program?

The Peer Mentoring Program was created specifically for incoming students to help them navigate the first-year experience and engage with the AJMLS community by providing social and personal support. The goal of the program is to increase student retention, improve overall academic performance, provide an on-going orientation to all aspects of law school, and foster academic and social integration. Each first-year student is assigned a mentor. Mentors undergo extensive training, and are responsible for helping their mentees navigate through the everyday challenges of school, society, and the community by drawing upon knowledge and experience.

What kind of assistance and support does a peer mentor provide?

Peer Mentors provide guidance and support to their mentees to facilitate their transition to the law school environment academically and socially. Since they are upperclassmen, they have already completed the first-year experience. They are a wealth of knowledge, are very resourceful, and can answer new students’ questions about wide-ranging issues, from housing and the challenges of law school, to extracurricular activities and preparing for classes. Peer mentors are required to communicate regularly with their mentees, whether it is face-to-face or by other means of communication, such as email.

If I am having concerns about my peer mentor, what can I do?

If you encounter a problem, please address this concern to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs.

What is OrgSync?

OrgSync is an online student organization management system that allows students to create personal profiles and get involved in the AJMLS student community. On OrgSync, students are able to become members of student organizations, keep up with organization events, news, important information and keep in contact with other organization members. All students are automatically registered on OrgSync.

How do I activate my OrgSync account?

To activate your OrgSync account, go to www.orgsync.com, create a new account using your AJMLS email address and create a password. Click “Create New Account” and join a student organization.

If I need to access services and resources that are available locally, what do I do?

AJMLS has a resource list on OrgSync that provides information on local healthcare clinics, counseling services, eldercare services, and disability services. The list also provides students with local services for food, clothing, housing and legal aid.

What is the SBA and what do they do?

SBA is the acronym for Student Bar Association. The SBA is the student government organization for the school. Each year, an executive board is elected by the student body. The purpose of the SBA is to bring the student perspective to AJMLS. This includes representing the student body and its diverse issues and concerns in three categories – academic, service and social. The SBA sponsors speakers and forums to enhance the learning experience, coordinates community service projects, and social events for the student body.

How do I become a member of the SBA?

All enrolled students at AJMLS are automatically members of the SBA. Please contact your SBA representatives to find out how you can get more involved.

How do I get involved in other student organizations?

The name and mission of each student organization can be found on the AJMLS website. To access this information, once on the AJMLS website, go to the “AJMLS Students” tab and select “Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs”. From there, click “Student Organizations”. Information on student organizations and student organization events can be accessed on OrgSync.

How many student organizations are there on campus?

There are currently 30 student organizations on campus. These organizations represent various professional, academic, cultural, and recreational interests of the student body. The number of student organizations can fluctuate each year based on student interest.

How do I start a student organization?

New student groups may apply to the SBA and the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs for recognition by AJMLS. Student organizations that are officially recognized by the law school are given access to an array of campus services, facilities, and systems. There is a process to seek initial recognition. To apply for recognition, your group or organization must complete a “Student Group/Organization Initial Recognition Request Form.” This form is available on OrgSync on the Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs page. For a request for recognition to be approved, membership must be open to all AJMLS students. More information on this process can be found in the Student Organizations Manual. The Manual can be accessed on the Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs and SBA OrgSync pages.

How do I join a student organization?

You can join an organization through OrgSync. Click on “Organizations” on the community page, and select the organizations you are interested in becoming a member, click on “Join Now.”

How do I find out more information about each student organization?

At the beginning of each academic year, the Office of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs coordinates a Student Organization Expo. The purpose of the Expo is to provide students with an opportunity to find out more about the school’s student organizations. For more information, you can contact the Office of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs.

What is the process for becoming a member of the AJMLS Law Journal?

Full-time and part-time students must complete Torts, Contracts, Property, Civil Procedure, and Legal Writing, and have a minimum GPA of 2.5 to apply to the Journal. Once a member of the John Marshall Law Journal, a student must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5. Prospective members are invited to join the Journal through a semi-annual write-on competition. Students will be asked to submit a memorandum based upon a topic of the Editorial Board’s choosing. Students will also be asked to complete Bluebook Citation and Cite-checking exercises. Each submission is graded anonymously by members of the Journal. Those submissions that meet the criteria previously determined by the Editorial Board will be invited to join the Journal.

What is the process for becoming a member of a moot court or mock trial competition team?

First-year students are not eligible to compete on moot court or mock trial competition teams; however, students who are interested in learning more about try-outs and the eligibility requirements should contact the Office of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs.

If I have witnessed or have knowledge of a violation of the Code of Student Responsibility, do I have to report it?

The Code of Student Responsibility states that any student who has knowledge of a code violation should report it to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs or the Associate Dean of Academics.

If I have a personal or professional problem and need advice or a referral, who should I speak to?

Please contact the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs or the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs.

If I have a complaint, suggestion, or concern that I would like to discuss, who should I speak to about it?

The Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs and Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs have open door policies and welcome your feedback.

If I have complaints or suggestions about how to improve the school who should I bring them to?

The Office of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs is available for students to communicate their concerns and/or suggestions. The Office of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs has an open-door policy, but you may also call to schedule an appointment to speak with the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs.

If I am having a conflict with another student what should I do?

Please contact the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs who can mediate student disputes.

How do I reserve a room for my organization?

To reserve a room for an event, you must complete the Event Approval Form. There is a section on this form entitled, “Organization Meeting Room Request”, where you will be required to provide a first and second room choice for your event. The Event Approval Form should be submitted through ORGSYNC at least two weeks in advance of your scheduled event. If the room reservation request is not for an event, simply complete an “Organization Meeting Room Request” Form on OrgSync.

Where do I go to obtain information about scholarship opportunities?

The Office of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs has compiled a list of external scholarship opportunities. The list is available on the school’s website. You must be enrolled at the school to access the scholarship list.

How do I access the AJMLS Classified Ads?

The Office of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs maintains the School’s Classified Ads page. To access it, you must first log into your AJMLS email account. Then, proceed to AJMLS homepage. Go to the “AJMLS Students” tab, click on “Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs” on the dropdown menu. Once you are in the Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs page, click on “Classified Ads” on the left column.

Does AJMLS provide health insurance to students?

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School does not require proof of insurance but encourages our students to maintain a health insurance policy. The Affordable Health Care Act allows each of you to go to the health insurance marketplace and shop for an insurance plan that suits your individual needs. Issues related to students in school can be found here. The Affordable Care Act allows you to remain on your parents’ health plan until the age of 26.