2021-2022 SBA leaders offer perspectives on roles, future, goals

The Student Bar Association leaders for the 2021-2022 academic year are uniquely poised to serve a new generation of law students. The members of the Class of 2022 have experienced law school life both pre-Covid and during the ongoing pandemic. They have seen life, the legal field and law school change before their eyes. The lessons they have learned these past few years will serve them well in today’s shifting legal landscape. Here, we catch up with a few SBA leaders to hear their perspectives.

Ha Nguyen

What are some major challenges faced by today’s law students?
The concern for the present and the future such as COVID, the transition into a hybrid model of legal learning and the ever-growing uncertainty of the legal field. How this affects students and professionals mentally is a taboo concern that, really, should have been normalized and addressed yesterday. 

What would you like Brandeis alumni to know about the Class of 2022?
The Class of 2022 comprises strong, kind professionals. We are more than capable of surpassing the standards set before us. 

Colby Birkes

What do you hope to achieve via SBA this year?
In one phrase, I hope that SBA makes Brandeis and environment that is conducive to the success of all individuals. Practically, that is a hard thing to achieve, as everyone has different needs and interests. But it is possible if we approach each situation with multiple lenses and take the necessary time to think through each response we make.  

Why did you enroll in law school?
When I was 15 and getting my first job, my twin brother, who suffers from epilepsy, was doing the same. He was offered a job with a large corporation and was ecstatic. But when they found out he had epilepsy they revoked the job offer, and at the time, the ADA did not recognize epilepsy as a protected class so there was no legal recourse available. For the first time, I saw my brother think he could not accomplish anything he set his mind to, and his hope and confidence quickly drained from his personality. I told myself from that moment on that I would make it my life’s mission to ensure no other individual and family felt that way.  

Will Jones

What do you hope to achieve via SBA this year?
I hope to work with my peers to create a new “normal” that brings in some of the old traditions but modernizes the law school experience, while mending the relational gaps created among the classes due to the pandemic. Most of all, I hope to help all law students have fun and remember why they came to law school. We are all in this together.

What would you like Brandeis alumni to know about the Class of 2022?
The Class of 2022 is a resilient group; we determined to obtain justice, overcome injustices and to do what is necessary regardless of person sacrifice and nay-sayers. As the legal industry evolves to become more technologically appropriate and inclusive, we are well on our way to carry the torch as challenges have refined us, not overcome us. We are motivated and enlightened for our journeys as advocates, leaders, and agents of change.