Hatchett helps students bury competition

A career in law is very strenuous. However, there is a society aimed to assist with unclear inquires, internships and provide a network of communications.

The Hatchett Pre-Law Society, named after judge Joseph W. Hatchett, is the first society on FAMU’s campus to help aspiring pre-law students achieve their goals.

It was named after the famous judge when he was an undergraduate student at Florida A&M University. However, it did not start off as a society aimed to produce and groom students to be professionals. It was said to be a club based on the campus. Students with similar majors would get together and discuss issues.

The program operates as an aide to the “Pathway to Law Program.”

For those interested in the society, it’s not biased in its selection of its members.

Under the society’s constitution, Article No. III: membership, “Regular

membership is open to anyone registered as a full or part-time student at FAMU.

Section No. 2 under membership fees, dues for associate members are $10 semi-annually and $20 annually. Dues for regular members are $5 semi-annually and $10 annually.

The Hatchett Pre-Law Society takes its members to visit law schools as well as offers scholarships. It takes its students to four Georgia Law schools and offers the Tylenol Scholarship.

According to the Pathway to Law Program Web site, FAMU is one of the top three feeders of African American law school applicants to American Bar Association approved U.S. law schools.

The program is headed by three individuals, Tyra R. Mason, assistant director, William H. Ravenell, professor/ attorney coach of mock trial teams and Dr. Gary Paul, chairman, history & political science department.

Mason was unavailable for comment due to uncontrollable circumstances. However, she has been vital in the development of the student based organization. Mason has been adviser for about six years.

People who work for the society spoke of the advantages that it offers.

Rhea Baisden, a senior political science student from Orlando, is the calling secretary and a three-year member of the Hatchett Pre-Law Society. She said the program offers: fee waives to certain law schools, discounts on LSAT prep courses, auction off prep courses and basically helps you save money.

“It’s a tool the students can utilize,” Baisden said. “It can help prepare you for law school and help inform you about the legal field.”

Andrew Fede, vice-president elect for the 2005-06 school year, said he wants to press for growth in membership and hold helpful seminars. These seminars will focus on good credit and good money management techniques. The seminars will also feature motivational speakers like Rev. Holmes, a pastor at Bethel Baptist and member of the Board of Trustees.

Fede’s objective for the upcoming school year is to start the first law journal on FAMU’s campus.

“We are willing to work with whoever to get the journal done,” said Fede, a political science student from Tallahassee, Fla. “We really want to work with The Famuan because it has the largest readership on this campus.”

2004-05 President Keyontha D. Nelson described her view of the Hatchett Pre-Law Society and what she feels its purpose is. “The society has a definite impact on sculpting the professional decisions and success of its students.”

Contact Anthony S. Ray Jr. at aj4_21@hotmail.com