University of Pennsylvania Law School student Bobby Ochoa L’12 has been selected to serve as lieutenant governor of regional affairs in Pennsylvania for the American Bar Association (ABA) Law Student Division, Third Circuit, for the 2010-11 academic year. He describes his new role as part outreach – letting the law school community know what the ABA Law Student Division offers – and part facilitator – helping match students with ABA resources and making sure their voices are heard by the group’s leaders.
“The ABA is a great resource, whether you’re a student looking for a job or just looking to take the first step into your professional life as a lawyer,” says Ochoa. “I hope that I can help increase awareness so students are familiar with the ABA and what it can do for them,” from providing funding for student activities, to discounts for members, to networking opportunities and insight about the range of career options for lawyers. On October 1-2, for example, the group will host a regional leadership conference with opportunities for social networking and resume review, as well as roundtable and panel discussions and keynote speakers including Justice Eakin of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
One of Ochoa’s first tasks as lieutenant governor has been to help make the Circuit’s website more accessible, informative and current. But he says it’s equally important to let students know that there is an actual person behind the website. “The Internet can get a little impersonal. We’ve been trying to break through that,” explains Ochoa. “I try to tell people, ‘I’m on your campus, if you need anything , if you’re looking for funding, if you want to connect with other people in our Circuit, I’m here to help.'”
Ochoa is also helping to implement a new town hall system so that all students in the Circuit can come together and share ideas and complaints. “We’re trying to open doors of accountability and openness,” he says.