Student Bar Association receives top honor

Mike Koulianos, immediate-past president of Florida State's Student Bar Association.

For the fourth time in six years, the Florida State University College of Law Student Bar Association (SBA) received the Student Bar Association Award, previously known as the SBA of the Year Award, from the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Law Student Division. The honor was announced Saturday, Aug. 10, at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

The award recognizes the efforts of an SBA organization to create a better environment for law students and a more positive image of the legal profession. Fourteen law schools from around the nation — including Georgetown, George Washington, Washington & Lee and William & Mary — competed for the award.

Florida State’s SBA was honored following a year of many accomplishments. During the 2012-2013 academic year, SBA continued its successful distinguished lecture series — bringing notable attorneys and lawmakers to the law school — and community service campaign.

Through a wide variety of service events, SBA raised money for the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association, and groups dedicated to finding cures for Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and fanconi anemia. SBA also partnered with a law firm for a 9/11 memorial event to prepare care packages for troops overseas. The group also hosted events to help start a scholarship fund in memory of a fellow law student. In addition, SBA was instrumental in helping the law school reach an impressive student-giving rate — 81 percent of students made cash gifts to the college during the 2013 Student Annual Fund Drive.

“We are thrilled that the work of our Student Bar Association is again being lauded at the national level,” said Dean Don Weidner. “Congratulations and thanks go to the entire SBA board and especially to its immediate-past president, Mike Koulianos, for Florida State’s award-winning submission.”

Florida State’s incoming SBA President Lindsay Kushner, incoming ABA Senior Representative Lee Lovett and outgoing Vice President Brittany Fox accepted the award at the meeting.

Florida State’s SBA has recently won other national awards from the ABA Law Student Division. In 2008, 2009 and 2012, the division awarded Florida State the Student Bar Association Award. The division presented Florida State’s SBA with the Public Interest National Achievement Award in 2010 and the Henry J. Ramsey Jr. Diversity Award in 2012.