Each year, the American Bar Association Law Student Division recognizes exceptional individuals on their board. Jordan Glasgow, third year law student at UMKC School of Law, was awarded the Gold Key Award for her high degree of service, dedication and leadership to the Division.
The Gold Key Award is given to an individual who has sought to achieve solutions to problems that confront today’s society, strengthened law student participation and has encouraged educational and professional development of law students.
As a 2L, Glasgow served as the Lieutenant Governor, and as a third year, she served as the Circuit Governor for the Eighth Circuit, which is comprised of fifteen Midwestern states.
In the fall of 2015, Glasgow participated in the ABA’s “Save #Loan4Giveness” social media campaign, which was created to stop the eradication of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Currently, if individuals work in the public sector for 10 years and make 120 on-time payments on their loans, they are eligible for loan forgiveness. The U.S. House of Representatives supports the repeal of this program, and President Obama proposed only allowing forgiveness of that portion of student debt that an undergraduate student could have borrowed from the federal government. Any balance over that amount would require another 10 years of payment. This would cut the program’s value for higher debt graduate borrowers, such as law students.
With a firefighter as a father, Glasgow understood the importance of this program and how often students rely on debt-forgiveness. Glasgow submitted a video via Twitter targeted at Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill of Missouri, and the ABA as part of the campaign. Glasgow’s video earned her a trip to Washington, D.C. to be honored at the ABA Grassroots Advocacy Awards Capitol Hill Reception in April 2016.
Glasgow also authored significant reforms to the Governors Elections. Often, students who wanted to run for positions were constrained by travel costs and lack of funding; Glasgow pointed out that this year, students were expected to arrange their flight, hotel, and any other expenses at the elections in Las Vegas, NV. Jordan streamlined the process by moving the elections online; the board filmed the debates and the Division members were able to ask questions and cast their ballots online. This turned into $30,000 of cost savings for the Division. With the election process now online, the division can, in turn, track the number of people who watch the debates, which tended to be the same or higher compared to previous years.
Her influence did not stop there: Glasgow organized and developed programming and produced a circuit newsletter with the help of fellow student, Tara Moreland, the Lieutenant Governor at the time. The newsletter was a monthly collaborative effort, where Glasgow and Moreland would gather opportunities, leadership tips, and features on non-traditional student paths. Glasgow also assisted with creating a webinar series that will hopefully premiere in the fall of 2016, with writers from all circuits and targeted to the various ABA sections.
When asked on her involvement in the ABA Law Student Division, Glasgow said, “I’m not good at sitting back in a position… Things fell into place, and I was glad I was able to push the division in a direction to keep doing positive things.”
Glasgow will graduate in May 2016 and hopes to continue her work in the ABA Emerging Leaders Program for young lawyers, where former ABA Law Student Division leaders are selected to participate. Glasgow’s professional and well-rounded involvement in the board made her a deserving candidate for this Gold Key Award.