Meet Chas Cahill, the newly elected 2017-18 president of the Drake Law School Student Bar Association (SBA).
Hometown: Dewitt, Iowa
Undergraduate: University of Iowa
Why did you choose Drake Law School?
I attended the University of Iowa as an undergrad, so I wanted a change of pace from Iowa City to Des Moines, which I think has more opportunities. Drake’s agricultural law and environmental law programs were also a big draw for me.
What are some of your involvements at Drake Law School?
I’m a part of the Drake Agricultural and Environmental Law Association, Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity, Moot Court Board. I was a 1L representative and then the faculty representative for the SBA. I’m currently doing a legislative internship with State Senator Dvorsky at the capitol. And I’m on the Drake Mental Health Task Force.
Why did you decide to run for SBA president?
As a faculty rep, I represented the student body at faculty meetings this past year, and I got to see [former SBA president] Allie Quinn at work. It seemed like she had influence and was able to represent the students’ needs to the dean. I wanted to be there for my fellow students in the same way.
What is the role of the SBA president?
A lot of it is keeping student input at the forefront for the administration and faculty, as well as being an ambassador to alumni and other groups at the University. I’m part of the Board of Counselors, which is a group of alumni and others who advise in decision making for the Law School. I send out the weekly SBA newsletter. I facilitate the SBA overall and help with events like Barrister’s Ball and the Supreme Court Celebration, and next year I’ll speak at commencement.
What advice do you have for students who want to get involved?
There are a lot of benefits. Being involved is a good way to build connections with older students. Organizations have 2Ls and 3Ls that can mentor you, help with classes, and make you feel comfortable with the law school environment. Also, being part of an organization might help you find hidden passions and interests.
What do you wish students knew about the SBA?
Our meetings are completely open if students want to come. Members of the SBA are always available too, and we offer office hours. The SBA is there if you need help or want to express concerns.
You transitioned to president in the middle of the semester. What do you hope to accomplish before summer?
The biggest thing is overseeing the budget. We have to figure out how to appropriately disperse money to the student organizations. The SBA is also really involved in the Supreme Court Celebration on March 30-April 1.
And then in the fall, you’ll hit the ground running.
Yep, we’ll have a lot of events in the fall. We’re involved in 1L orientation right away. Then we do the 1L SBA elections, we’re going to sponsor the Attorneys in the Outfield softball tournament again, and then Barrister’s Ball. These events take a lot of planning that starts in the summer, so we’re going to be busy.