Student Animal Legal Defense Fund

Constitution & By-Laws

Article I: Name

The name of this organization shall be the University of New Mexico School of Law Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (hereinafter referred to as UNM SALDF).

Article II: Purpose

The purposes of this organization are to provide a forum for education, advocacy and scholarship aimed at protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system, to raise the profile of the field of animal law, to inform the law school community about current legal issues in animal rights and animal welfare law, to carry out research projects for lawyers and organizations involved in animal welfare/rights litigation, to increase additional focus on emerging areas of law including administrative and regulatory law with respect to animals, to host educational events for the greater community, and to build relationships with members of the animal legal community. The primary focus of this organization is not to focus on external organizations, but to foster scholarship within the field of animal law.

Article III: Criteria For Membership

Members shall have the option of either (1) a $10 membership fee to support UNM SALDF, or (2) a mandatory attendance of at least 2 fundraisers to help with UNM SALDF's efforts. If a member elects to attend the fundraisers but does not do so, the member will be retroactively responsible for the $10 membership fee. Any member may elect, at any time during the school year, to change their obligation from Option 2 to Option 1 but not from Option 1 to Option 2. Members may elect to perform both options without penalty. This membership fee and fundraiser requirement is annually recurrent with the new school year. The school year shall be controlled by the general calendar and not by an individual member's school year in credits or standing. Membership dues shall be paid to the Treasurer no later than December 31st to continue general membership benefits. All membership dues or contributions to fundraising efforts under Option 1 and/or Option 2 must be paid or completed in order to be eligible to run or be elected for any position other than general member.

Article IV: Officers

  1. The Officers of UNM Law SALDF shall be the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
  2. Qualifications for those serving as officers are:
    1. enrolled as a student at UNM Law School
    2. membership in UNM Law SALDF
    3. an agreement to uphold the goals and purposes of the ALDF, and compliance with all by-laws, rules, regulations and duly adopted policies of the ALDF.
  3. The President shall exercise general supervision over the programs of UNM Law SALDF, and shall serve as the liaison with the Dean and Administration of the Law School.
  4. The Vice President shall assist the President in the duties listed above and assume those responsibilities if the President is not able to fulfill them. The Vice President shall also be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the UNM Saldf web page by working with and relaying updates to the UNM web coordinator.
  5. The Secretary shall keep the correspondence of the organization and record minutes of each meeting and email them out to all members.
  6. The Treasurer shall be responsible for keeping all financial records, submitting financial reports, and handling other financial matters as they occur.
  7. 1L Representative - Position to be filled by an incoming 1L law student. The 1L Representative shall act as a liaison between the 1L class and the organization and shall assist the other officers in the performance of their duties.
  8. Community Outreach Chair - Position to be filled by a 2L or 3L law student. The Community Outreach Chair has duties to include reaching out to community organizations to increase community presence of UNM SALDF. Should this position fall vacant, the duties of this position revert to the Vice President of UNM SALDF.
  9. Membership Outreach Chair - Position to be filled by any member of UNM SALDF. The Membership Outreach Chair has duties to include reaching out to the law school community to increase membership and law school presence of UNM SALDF. Should this position fall vacant, the duties of this position revert to the Secretary of UNM SALDF.
  10. Fundraising Chair - Position to be filled by any member of UNM SALDF. The Fundraising Chair has duties to include creating and effecting fundraisers to help with UNM SALDF's purposes. Should this fall vacant, the duties of this position revert to the Treasurer of UNM SALDF.
  11. No officer shall hold more than one office except as outlined for 5b, 5c, and 5d unless elected as secretary and treasurer or 1L representative and either secretary or treasurer (but not both concurrently)

Article V: Elections

  1. Officers shall be elected annually by the membership of UNM Law SALDF, and shall serve a term of office beginning one week after the date of the election.
  2. Students interested in serving as officers shall so inform the President prior to the day of the elections. In electing officers, each member shall have one vote. Candidates must obtain a majority of all votes in order to be elected to office. In the event that no candidate attracts the requisite number of votes for election, a run-off shall be held between the two candidates with the highest number of votes.
  3. Members must be paid and in good standing in order to run for office.
  4. Members must be paid and in good standing in order to vote in all elections and vote in all decisions.

Article VI: Meetings

  1. Regular meetings of UNM Law SALDF shall be held at least once a semester.
  2. Decisions at meetings shall be made by consensus, with every present party agreeing to, assenting to, or abstaining from every action there decided. A necessary quorum for all decisions shall be three members, which must include at least one officer.
  3. Special meetings of UNM Law SALDF may be called by any number of members, who shall inform the President or the entire membership at least two days prior to the date of the proposed meeting.

Article VII: Association with the ALDF

  1. Activities of UNM Law SALDF shall at all times be consistent with the purposes of the ALDF. No legal action will be initiated in the name of UNM Law SALDF, or endorsed or supported by UNM Law SALDF, without prior approval of ALDF. UNM Law SALDF shall keep the President of ALDF informed of all public policy positions taken in the name of UNM Law SALDF. UNM Law SALDF will not purport to speak for ALDF or commit it to any position on any matter of public policy or law without ALDF’s prior written consent.
  2. The ALDF by-laws are hereby incorporated into this Constitution and by-laws, by this reference thereto. In all matters not specified in this Constitution, the ALDF by-laws then in effect shall govern.

Article VIII: Amendments

Any two current members shall be entitled to propose amendments. These amendments shall be communicated to the President, who shall schedule a meeting for the purpose of deciding on these amendments. If the date of submission of these amendments is near the date of a regular or special business meeting, then no additional meeting need be scheduled. A simple majority of all votes shall be required for any changes to this constitution, with a necessary quorum of four members and the inclusion of at least one officer.
April, 2014

Article IX

At the discretion of the general membership and by simple majority vote, the membership may elect to spend discretionary funding for a single ALDF membership to support our parent organization and keep the general membership apprised of current events in Animal Law. Additional funding to ALDF may be appropriated to ALDF from fundraising efforts upon a simple majority vote before any fundraiser but may be altered by a simple majority vote following the same fundraiser.