Name: Sagar Rathod
Position: SBA Executive President
Hometown: Mt. Pleasant, MI
Why did you choose UDM Law?
From my first visit to the campus I felt like it was a welcoming place; faculty, staff, students, everyone seemed willing to help and answer questions. I thought everyone would be wearing suits to class and that getting face time with professors and admin staff would take days or weeks. Fortunately, when I arrived, that was not the case. Professors always have their doors open and whenever I have questions for our administration I can always get an appointment or at the very least a response to an e-mail. It was the feeling that people would be there for me when I needed them that drew me to UDM Law, and I'm happy to say that that has been the case for the past 2 years.
Why did you want to run for Executive SBA?
I'm a people person. I love interacting with my law school and being able to help students. As an SBA officer I felt I could best serve my law school community. During my first year I was assigned a mentor, and he did such a great job showing me the ropes and helping me navigate my first year I knew I wanted to do the same for future students. During my second year I co-chaired the mentor program and got even more involved with the law school by chairing the social committee as well as serving as my class Vice President. After seeing the impact I could have helping students in those capacities, I could think of no better way to serve the law school than by running for Executive SBA President. I ran for Executive SBA because I want nothing more than to help every student be as successful as they can, as well as serve as a point person between the students and our faculty and administration.
What advice do you have for incoming 1L students?
Take advantage of professor's office hours. One thing professors always say is that students don't stop by enough. Don't be afraid or intimidated; professors want to interact one on one with their students, and taking that initiative will get you far; both academically, as well as helping to network and having the rapport to ask for a meaningful recommendation down the line.
Name: Jillian Berndt
Position: SBA Executive Vice President
Why law school/UDM:
I spent a lot of time deciding between law school and graduate school. When I picked out a few "dream jobs" to look at their qualifications I realized that a law degree was listed for all of them, where as each job required a different masters degree. Once I realized this, I decided that getting a J.D. would open more doors for me in the non-legal community.
When deciding between two area law schools, I realized that UDM was much more personable and the professors were much more accessible than the other school I was considering. I also have an interest in Immigration Law, and UDM offers a wider variety in courses in that area than any other school in the state.
Why did I run for SBA?
I was very involved on campus in undergrad and realized then how important it is to be involved in various activities. I became involved in the SBA my 1L year as class secretary and then 2L year as class president. I feel that serving the UDM Law community and my fellow classmates is very important, which is why I ran for Executive SBA. I hope that my fellow classmates will feel comfortable approaching the Executive SBA team to handle any issues that may come up to ensure that we have the best environment to succeed.
I look forward to what the 2013-2014 term will bring as the entire Executive SBA team has been working together in one way or another since the beginning of 1L year. I encourage all students to regularly stop by the SBA office to see how you can become more involved, or even just to say hello.
My office hours for the Fall Semester will be Tuesdays from 1-2, Thursdays from 3-4 and after 7:30 PM upon request. I will also be available via e-mail, text, of phone.
Name: Tam Tran
Position: SBA Executive Treasurer
Hometown: Garden Grove, California.
Why did you decide to attend UDM Law?
I was working full time, but I thought the result was ineffective. Law school is the best place where I can arm myself with new skills and legal knowledge. Base on multiple factors such as its service to its large alumni network, ratio of faculty to students, the clinics, the law firm programs, and its location at the heart of downtown Detroit where students will have access to hands-on experience at the local justice system, UDM Law becomes my new home.
Why did you want to run for SBA?
Being involved with several student organizations, I truly believe that students can make things happen if they put their dedication into it. I believe I could do something to change the rising cost of textbooks by using the SBA as the marketplace where students can exchange their used books. Also, having a rapport in law school is important and the SBA can be that rapport especially for students.
Advice for incoming 1L UDM students:
Network effectively as many as possible.
Name: Mike Story
Position: SBA Executive Secretary
Hometown: Macomb, Michigan
Why did you decide to attend law school?
I decided to attend law school after first considering dental school. I soon realized law school was the best choice after I had attended a school event during my undergrad at Oakland University at a local court house. I felt that a law degree would allow me the opportunity to truly help people who are in a time of need and are unable to defend themselves or take action when necessary.
Why UDM law?
The reason I chose UDM is mainly due to the fact that the staff and the student body were very welcoming and helpful when I first visited the school for an open house. Everyone I met with was extremely helpful and was genuine in their willingness to help others succeed. The entire staff was helpful and the professors all had an urge to teach students and allow students the opportunity to enjoy the law. Another reason I chose UDM is because I have a few family members who have attended UDM and I realized being an alumni of such a great school would truly benefit me in the future.
Why did you want to run for SBA?
I decided to run for SBA after experiencing how helpful the SBA board is. The first year of law school can be extremely difficult and frightening which is why it is important to have a group of people that are willing to help you. My first year of law school was filled with a lot of support from the SBA and I love to help others and come together as a team to do better for the school and community as a whole. I have a lot of goals I hope to achieve this year and I know with the teamwork of the entire SBA board along with the student body, I am sure we can truly be successful.