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Video: Tiffany Southerland L’11 on the Importance of Student Organizations at Penn Law

July 18, 2011

Tiffany Southerland L’11, former president of the Penn Law Black Law Students Association, speaks about the professional and practical benefits of participating in Penn Law student groups.

Interview Transcript
My name is Tiffany Southerland. I graduated Penn Law 2011. When I was at Penn, I was the president of the Black Law Students Association during the 2010-2011 school year. I was the senior editor for the Journal of Law and Social Change and I participated in the Civil Practice Clinic as well.
I think being involved in different types of student organizations allows you to network with different types of people; you learn how to conduct yourself in different situations, be it social or in the professional setting; you learn how to interact with clients; and it was a nice way to balance out having academic responsibilities as well as student organizations and sort of semi-professional responsibilities while you are in school.
Student Affairs:
The Student Affairs Office was really a support. Whenever we had a question about how to schedule an event, how to invite certain speakers here, if we needed a certain kind of funding, it was very easy to go into the office to either set up a meeting or just to pop in and have a conversation with either Dean Clinton or Kathleen Overly. They never made you feel like it was a burden and whatever questions you had they had the answers to, or there was a packet that they could direct you to, or some sort of information they could give you.
Outside of the Classroom:
I think that being in law school you, as a first year student, think that you can’t balance academics and social or student groups. But I think that it is extremely important to develop your skills outside of the classroom and I think Penn is very good about encouraging students to do that because there are so many different types of organizations that you can participate in. Even if there’s one that hasn’t been created yet, there’s a way for you to develop those skills. I think it’s important and encouraged here at Penn to participate in academics as well as activities outside of the classroom.

This transcript was edited for length.