The Intellectual Property Law Society Constitution


The Intellectual Property Law Society Constitution

“This provision is made in a constitution, intended to endure for ages to come, and, consequently, to be adapted to the various crises of human affairs. To have prescribed the means by which government should, in all future time, execute its powers, would have been . . . an unwise attempt to provide . . . for exigencies which, if foreseen at all, must have been seen dimly, and which can be best provided for as they occur….” McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. 316 (1819).

The Constitution of the Intellectual Property Law Society

Article I. NAME
The name of this club shall be the “Intellectual Property Law Society” (IPLS).


The purpose of IPLS shall be to foster leadership in, promote intellectual curiosity about, and encourage dialogue on IP law by providing a forum for intellectual inquiry. IPLS will work toward its goals by:

A. hosting professionals in academia, government, and the private sector of the Law School,
B. coordinating IPLS members to participate in national Intellectual Property moot court programs, and
C. creating a mentorship program between first year law students and graduating third year law students entering the intellectual property field.


Section 1. Membership in IPLS shall be open to any interested law students at the University of Notre Dame.
Section 2. Notre Dame faculty/administrators may join the club as “Associate Members.” Associate members may not run for office and do not have voting rights.


Section 1. There is no annual membership fee.


Section 1. The officers of IPLS shall be the President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary and a maximum of three 1L Representatives. The creation of additional officer positions (e.g. Co-President, Web Master, etc.) must be approved by a majority vote of the active membership.
Section 2. Only Notre Dame Law students may serve as officers.
Section 3. The duties of the President shall include:

A. Coordinating meetings of the club.
B. Chairing all meetings of the club.
C. Calling emergency meetings, pursuant to Article IX. Section 4.
D. Providing leadership to the club.
E. Working directly with the Advisor to ensure the club is operating within the expectations of the University.
F. Acting as the chief spokesperson of the club.
G. Establishing an effective relationship with the Student Bar Association, Student Activities Office, and other University administrative departments.

Section 4. The duties of the Vice President shall include:

A. Assisting the President with the fulfillment of his/her duties.
B. Acting as chief spokesperson for IP moot court participation.
C. Providing support for the development of club activities planned by the committees.
D. Working with the Treasurer to establish budgets for committees which are created.

Section 5. The duties of the Treasurer shall include:

A. Keeping a record of all financial transactions.
B. Meeting with the Advisor on a regular basis to review account balances and financial transactions.
C. Preparing any and all budgets, financial budget requests/appeals, etc.
D. Working with the Vice President to establish budgets for committees which are created.

Section 6. The duties of the Secretary shall include:

A. Keeping detailed minutes of all meetings.
B. Coordinating the press relations of the club, including, but not limited to: relations with The Observer, Scholastic Magazine, flyer/poster approval, and maintaining the Club’s web page.
C. Ensuring that all changes of officers are reported to the appropriate University officials.
D. Working with the Vice President to establish budgets for committees which are created.


Section 1. All Club Officers shall be elected before May 1 and will serve a term of May 1 – April 30. The time between elections and April 30 shall serve as a transition period for new officers. 1L Representatives must be elected by October 1 and serve a term of October 1 – April 30.
Section 2. Officer elections will consist of the following three step process: 1. nominations, 2. elections, 3. run-off elections (if needed)

A. Nominations – Nominations will be held during the election meeting. Any active club member may nominate a fellow club member to any of the club officer positions. Candidates can be nominated for more than one position and they may nominate themselves for a position if they are not nominated by another member.
B. Elections – Elections will consist of each candidate speaking for up to five minutes, followed by up to three minutes of questions and answers from the club membership. Only active members present at the meeting shall cast a vote, and only these votes shall count toward the computation of the 50% plus 1 required margin for election to office. The order of elections shall be as follows: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary. 1L representatives will be elected in the Fall semester from among those choosing to run.
C. Run-Off Elections – In the event that no candidate receives at least 50% plus 1 of the vote of the currently active club members, a run-off election shall be held between the two candidates receiving the most votes.

Section 3. In the event that an officer is judged to be deficient in his/her duties (as decided by a unanimous agreement of the three other club officers and advisor), he/she may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the club’s membership. The Advisor shall oversee the impeachment process to ensure a fair and democratic process.


Section 1. The Club Officers shall decide on an annual basis which committees need to be established in order to advance the club’s position on campus.
Section 2. All committee chairs will be appointed no later than April 15 by the Vice President. All appointments must be approved by a majority of the Club Officers.
Section 3. Only students may serve as committee chairs.
Section 4. The duties of all Committee Chairs shall include:

A. Selecting members to serve on their respective committee.
B. Coordinating and chairing committee meetings, as needed.
C. Keeping the Club Officers and Advisor abreast of the plans and intentions of the committee.
D. Becoming familiar with pertinent University policies and procedures.


Section 1. The Club Officers shall unanimously agree upon and appoint an advisor no later than April 1 to serve a term from May 1 – April 30.
Section 2. The Advisor must be a full-time Notre Dame faculty member or administrator.
Section 3. The Advisor’s duties shall include:

A. Meeting with the club officers on a regular basis.
B. Attending club meetings and club activities.
C. Keeping abreast of club issues and intentions.
D. Meeting with the Treasurer on a monthly basis to review account balances and financial transactions.
E. Assisting with the implementation of an officer transition program.

Section 4. The Advisor shall be an ex-officio member of the club, and as such, shall not have voting rights.
Section 5. The Advisor shall have veto power over any decision made by the club which is in direct violation of University policy. This authority shall be used only in circumstances where the club officers knowingly intend to violate University policy.


Section 1. The club shall meet when necessary.
Section 2. Only active student members may vote at meetings. A quorum, necessary to conduct club business, shall consist of not less than two members, and must include the president. In the event of a tie, the president shall resolve the matter by casting an additional vote.
Section 3. In the event that an emergency meeting of the club needs to be held, the President of the club shall have the authority to call such meetings. All officers must agree in advance to the emergency meeting and at least 24 hours notice must be provided to all active members by sending out both a voicemail and e-mail. Communication of emergency meetings will be the responsibility of the Secretary.


Section 1. All disbursements of funds must be approved by the Officers.
Section 2. Reimbursement for expenditures will only be accepted for members who have retained an original, itemized receipt and a description of the expense incurred.
Section 3. Any expenditure in excess of $200 must be approved by a majority of the Club Officers.
Section 4. All financial transactions of the Club will be managed through the University of Notre Dame’s accounting system, as stipulated by the Student Union Treasurer’s Office.
Section 5. Only the Club Officers and the Advisor shall have the ability to charge expenses to the Club via the University’s account charge system.


Section 1. Amendments may be made to this constitution at any time by a two-thirds vote of the active club membership.
Section 2. Members interested in proposing amendments to the constitution must submit the proposed amendment to the President no later than ten days before the Club’s next meeting.
Section 3. The proposed amendment shall be presented via e-mail to the active club membership no later than five days before the meeting where the amendment will be debated.
Section 4. Upon receiving a two-thirds affirmative vote in favor on a constitutional amendment/revision, the President shall submit the amendment/revision in writing to the Student Activities Office for review/approval.