In addition to her other commitments, law student Kelsie Kirkham takes on additional duties as the Vice President of the Student Bar Association.
“Student Bar Association is important to me because I think it’s important for students to have a go-to that’s not necessarily reaching out to administration all of the time,” Kirkham said.
Kirkham is in the midst of her third year at the University of Idaho College of Law. She earned her undergraduate degree in political science from Idaho State University.
Kirkham and SBA President Ivar Gunderson campaigned together and were elected during April of last year.
“Kelsie is really outgoing as far as academics and being involved in school,” Gunderson said. “She’s on the law review, SBA and Trial Team and she works in the Legal Aid Clinic, all in addition to studies. She’s also a teaching assistant to the Legal Research and Writing class and I think the students look up to her as a role model.”
As SBA vice president, Kirkham is responsible for being the liaison between law school students and staff. Student concerns are reported to her to carry over to the administration. She also plans monthly SBA meetings. At each meeting, concerns are addressed and council members vote on changes proposed by students.
“I set aside time for students to voice any concerns that they have. I’m also responsible for the social aspect of law school,” Kirkham said.
The vice president’s role includes appointing a social committee to meet weekly and plan upcoming events for law school students. Such events include a Welcome Back party, a Halloween Party and the annual Barrister’s Ball which takes place second semester.
Kirkham said the most difficult task of her role as vice president is the appearance of new issues and helping clubs fund events or guest speakers
“There’s a lot to learn and I continue to learn more everyday,” Kirkham said. “The resources are here, it’s just a matter of becoming familiar with it all.”
Kirkham said communication is her daily priority. She and Gunderson meet each Monday to review concerns of the week prior.
“We have a policy to be transparent, anything that we do, we are very open about,” Kirkham said.
There are perks to the job, SBA members are personally invited to attend special events whether on UI campus or within the Law School.
Kirkham attended breakfast last Tuesday with the Sherman J. Bellwood Memorial Lecture Keynote speaker Morris Dees. She also attended a banquet dinner on his behalf later that evening.
“SBA gives us the opportunity to network and provides us with leadership opportunity,” Kirkham said.
Following graduation, Kirkham has a job waiting with the Idaho Court of Appeals as a law clerk.
“She takes a lot of pride in her work, she’s very curious and committed to the job,” Gunderson said. “She encourages all of us to perform well.”
Elections for a new SBA president and vice president will take place in April.
Arianna Anchustegui can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org