At the upcoming National Council Meeting of ELSA UK in London, a new National Board will be elected to guide and govern the ELSA UK network for the 2019-2020 term. For any potential candidates who are interested in running for a position, our current National Board have written short extracts of what their roles entail and what their successors in office might expect should they be successfully elected to the next National Board.
ELSA roles are divided into two separate areas: the Supporting Areas and the Key Areas. The Key Areas consist of the Vice President for Academic Activities, the Vice President for Seminars & Conferences, the Vice President for STEP, and the Vice President for Moot Court Competitions. Each of these Officers works to create and provide the amazing opportunities of ELSA to members nationwide. The following are the submissions of our Key Area Officers about their ELSA journeys and what they have done since they took up their posts.
Nikiana Lambert, Vice President for Academic Activities of ELSA UK
This year I have had the pleasure of being Vice President for Academic Activities of ELSA UK. Through my position I have had the opportunity to work with and meet many different individuals, including the incredibly fun and talented people on the National Board, and members of ELSA from all over the UK. Being part of the National Board has also given me a platform to pursue various projects, such the organisation of the Amicus Essay Competition with ELSA Ireland and ELSA UK’s Director for Academic Activities, as well as the launch of the ELSA Negotiation Competition; both have been very rewarding experiences. Overall, I would recommend running for VP AA to anyone interested in developing their organisational and communication skills, and who wants to be part of a great team with the aim of strengthening and expanding ELSA UK’s network and projects.
Maira Fiorini Suzin, Vice President for Seminars & Conferences of ELSA UK
As Vice President for Seminars & Conferences I had the opportunity to develop multiple skills that are useful not only for my academic life but also as a young professional. S&C is a broad, interesting and important area, responsible for the execution of many of ELSA UK’s established projects and events, allowing you to take part in challenging but very rewarding activities.
You will also be able to connect with students from all over Europe, visit multiple countries and learn from each other’s experiences, culture and legal systems. You will meet like-minded students that share your passions and always bring something new to the table, be it ideas, projects, knowledge… or their strongest national drink.
I believe the exposure to such an international and inclusive environment is very unique to ELSA and it is incredibly beneficial to our growth and development as law students. Being part of ELSA UK allowed me to learn and improve alongside my colleagues, collaborating for the growth of ELSA in the United Kingdom. My understanding of diversity has certainly been broadened and this enhanced my desire to learn beyond my standard university programme.
Your creativity and leadership skills will play a big role to ensure your success as an S&C officer, so bring on your enthusiasm, ideas and interesting projects because there is no limit to what you can accomplish!
Meeri Toivanen, Vice President for STEP
The Student Trainee Exchange Programme (STEP) is one of the international flagship projects of ELSA, which since the date of the first STEP traineeship has aimed to foster exposure to different legal cultures in the spirit of mutual collaboration.
As a national STEP officer, you first mentor and assist Local Groups to overcome the unique challenges they face for example in promoting STEP to their students and prospective partners, and in verifying the outgoing STEP applications by their members twice a year.
Secondly, you are the first contact person for the incoming STEP trainees accepted for a STEP traineeship in the United Kingdom. This means helping these individuals with everything from the simplest questions to providing letters of invitation for their visa and viewing apartments in person on their behalf.
Thirdly, you manage the national efforts to find new STEP providers in the United Kingdom. You strategise with Local Groups and advise them about best practices where relevant, and you look for potential organisations to approach as well.
Lastly, the awesome new initiative, “ELSA UK Law Careers”, falls also under the responsibilities of the VP STEP.
This position requires:
- Love for project management software such as Excel, Asana, Slack, G-Suite.
- An eye for detail and insatiable hunger to keep your work and emails organised.
- Good social skills and demonstrated patience, professionalism, and persistence.
- Selling skills and an energetic drive capable of representing the awesomeness of STEP and boosting up all the Local Groups.
- Willingness to learn, and a passion to further develop STEP in the United Kingdom to new heights with your input.
- Ability to manage a national team of STEP officers, and to delegate tasks efficiently.
Sarah Ikast Kristoffersen, Vice President for Moot Court Competitions
The position of Vice President for Moot Court Competitions is the newest position on the National Board. The position was created during the 2016/2017 term and the first VP MCC served during the term of 2017/18. This means that you get a great chance to shape the MCC area in ELSA UK as VP MCC, because there is no set format for you to follow. There are, however, some specific tasks for you to complete. Firstly, the VP MCC is the national contact person for the Local MCC Officers and for the international MCCs.
Further, you would be in charge of the national MCCs. This year, we have succeeded in organising national MCCs for the first time in ELSA UK history, and the elected VP MCC is expected to carry on the work that has been done on these. This includes collaborating closely with the hosting Local Groups, maintaining contact with our partners, communicating with the International Board of ELSA, and recruiting practitioners and academics as judges of the Competition. This gives you excellent professional communication skills, project management experience, and a great opportunity to increase your professional network.
The VP MCC position is special in the National Board, as it has only existed for two years and as it is not mandatory to have in Local Groups. The VP MCC therefore shares a lot of the Local Officers with the VP AA, organises NCM workshops with the VP AA, and I have even been fortunate enough to organise the ELSA Negotiation Competition in collaboration with the VP AA. Having a such a sparring partner is a great support and means that you are never alone in your work.
My absolute favourite aspect of being a National Board Officer is the access to the international network. The National Board represents ELSA UK at the International Council Meetings held biannually and the VP MCC also has the opportunity to attend the Key Area Meeting held in the beginning of term. This gives you an outstanding opportunity to network with law students all over Europe. You may further represent ELSA UK at National Council Meetings of other National Groups, thus experience how ELSA functions in other countries.
In short, being VP MCC is an opportunity to shape a new area of ELSA UK, gain professional communication skills and project management experience, and expand your professional network among law students, academics and practitioners.
Are you ready to take on the challenge? Submit your candidacy application to firstname.lastname@example.org by 14 March 2019.