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If you don't know much about Brown's Pre-Law Society, chances are you are not alone.
Over the past few years, the society has had a relatively weak presence on campus, but that may change soon.

The Society has two roles, said Billy O'Neil '10, co-president of the society's executive board. First, it works with the Office of the Dean of the College to host activities and provide information about the application process, LSATs and other parts of the law school admissions process. Secondly, because Brown has no law school, the society tries to "fill that void" by building awareness of and fostering an interest for law and legal issues on campus, O'Neil said.

Pre-law advising received mixed reviews after adviser Perry Ashley was replaced by Andrew Simmons, associate dean of the College for health careers and pre-law, and Linda Dunleavy, associate dean of the College for fellowships and pre-law, neither of whom had experience with pre-law upon taking the position. But O'Neil says the problem has never been with the quality of advising but rather with the group's publicity — or lack thereof.

The Society just has not been "a force on campus," said O'Neil. A bit unorganized, the group had to discover what was effective and go through a "trial and error"  process, he added.

When asked about the society's past presence on campus, its other co-president, Ben Bastomski '10, said, "There was sort of a void there." 

Brown has enough students interested in pre-law that there needs to be a service provided, he added.

Although the Society is still in a "rebuilding process," it is definitely "gaining steam,"  Bastomski said.

O'Neil, who learned of the society as a sophomore when he saw it advertised on a table slip, said the group is trying to become more accessible. For example, this year was the first time the society had a booth at the Activities Fair. 

Society executive board member Christie Louie '12 said participation has increased from last semester. 

Aside from a monthly newsletter, the society also holds various events, such as question-and-answer panels with deans and lecture series to "foster legal discussion" on campus, O'Neil said. Last semester, the society hosted a forum on gay rights and the Constitution.
Louie said the society is trying to get a better sense of the needs of the students with pre-law interests by asking for more student feedback on the advising process.

The society is trying to expand its membership to include people who aren't necessarily interested in law school but merely have a passion for law or a particular legal cause, Louie said.

The Pre-Law Society will be holding its first general body meeting on Oct. 19.


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