Friend of the Court – and Community

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Gathered in a tiny classroom, a handful of pre-law students decided to change the Saint Louis Community for the better. The group they formed, Amicus Curiae, is SLU’s new pre-law society on campus. Founded on a mission to educate and prepare members for a career of serving others, Amicus Curiae hopes to teach members in a way that a classroom can’t.

Their first president, Shreya Walia, stated, “This means that we help them learn what it means to give back to the community and try to foster an intrinsic desire to care.” Amicus Curiae wants justice within the St. Louis community and beyond. Their commitment to care will hopefully create a community where passions are shared and conversations produced.

A double major in English Literature and Legal Studies, Walia said that most literary works aim to reflect, re-examine, or reinvent society. By using the social ideas she discovers within literature, Walia hopes to incorporate these ideas into written law. In doing so, Walia plans to change the things she does not like about the world she lives in.

When asked about the group’s biggest struggle Walia replied, “We all have a lot of ideas, but our greatest struggle has been taking action to turn these ideas into reality.” Despite busy schedules and the difficulty of starting a new group, Amicus Curiae is determined to create a passionate pre-law community. Their commitment to social justice and change has led the group to perform service, host speakers from Law Schools, provide workshops, and hold an upcoming trivia night.

To develop a spirited community, the society will work with its members to fully understand what they hope to gain from Amicus Curiae. Walia commented on how lost she felt when she first became a pre-law student. The goal of the organization is to ensure that no student ever feels this way. Walia stated, “At the end of the day, this society was created for the students, by the students.”

To guide students on their pre-law journey, Amicus Curiae provides speakers, resume/interview workshops, mentoring, and community service opportunities. Currently the new society has 40 members along with six executive board members.  Members of the society have a desire to better their community. For example, with the crisis in Ferguson, Mo., Amicus Curiae decided to host a legal discussion to shed some light on the situation.

The society is open to anyone with one exception: members must be truly dedicated to learning, bettering themselves, and actively taking part in the community. However, the society is not all seriousness. They host movie nights, and are planning an upcoming formal with a “Top Ten Legal Movies,” theme. In addition to improving the community, Amicus Curiae aims to bring its members closer together by forming strong bonds.

Walia is involved with SLU’s Mock Trial team in addition to being the president of Amicus Curiae. She said, “Being in charge of two pre-law oriented clubs gives me the unique ability to connect the groups and help with the formation of a true pre-law community at SLU.”