Chris McEachern

Major: Political Science-Legal Studies
Hometown: Livermore, CA
Class: Senior
Program Position: Director, Student Legal Services, CLIC

How did you first get connected with the Community Legal Information Center (CLIC)?
I wanted to pursue a career in law and CLIC offered a learning experience that was unique to CSU, Chico. From the very beginning, CLIC was my reason for coming to school here. My junior year I worked as an intern for the Student Legal Services and Juvenile Rights (SLS) program because it complemented my concurrent position as VP of Conduct for the school’s Interfraternity Council (IFC). I was an intern for two semesters and was able to make significant contributions by writing and publishing the school’s first-ever “Risk Management Handbook” for Greek Life at CSU, Chico.

How would you describe your current position with CLIC?
I am the Program Director of SLS, so my role has transitioned from that of an intern to that of a mentor. I am responsible for supervising and mentoring six student paralegal interns. I interview, hire, and train interns on relevant law, policy enforcement; conduct weekly department meetings and training sessions, as well as basic client-related duties. SLS assists the campus community with student-related legal issues and provides information about student rights/responsibilities, student grievances, and the student conduct process. An SLS representative can accompany a student to a Student Judicial Affairs hearing to act as an advocate (not to represent or speak for the student, but to take notes and provide them with relevant information). The SLS program also assists with many legal issues pertaining to minors (i.e. guardianship, emancipation, juvenile rights, etc.).

What does working at CLIC do for you personally, professionally, or academically?
I study law because I want to help people and CLIC provides me with the appropriate means to extend a helping-hand to the community. CLIC serves over 10,000 clients each year and I am thankful to be a part of that. Professionally, I’m developing skills that I will need to succeed in the legal field: legal research/writing, legal analysis, critical thinking, issue-spotting, working with clients, legal ethics, and office professionalism. I’m also gaining valuable leadership and organizational experience through managing my interns.

These skills also help to increase my academic performance. CLIC provides the practical application of knowledge that is gained in the classroom and enables an additional “hands-on” learning experience. CLIC’s supervising attorneys are all great people and serve as exceptional mentors for all of their students.

What do YOU bring to the table in your position as a CLIC director?
My general theory of success is that “you’ll get out of it what you put into it.” Working for CLIC can be a great investment if you are truly passionate about your work. I strive to achieve goals that will leave a lasting impact on our campus and community. It is my objective to help CLIC grow into a better organization than it was when I first entered as an intern. I bring leadership, optimism, enthusiasm, and professionalism to the office and I try my very best to lead by example. I also hold many concurrent positions that complement my work at CLIC and help me to be a better director. I am currently the President of the Pre-Law Society; I volunteer at SHARP (a program of the Superior Court of California that assists self-represented litigants), and I work as a Student Assistant for the Political Science Department. Managing all these positions makes me a well-rounded director with an acute sense of professional responsibility. Each of these opportunities has become available to me because of my work at CLIC and I couldn’t be more thankful.

What are your career plans and how does your job with CLIC better prepare you for that path?
I plan on going to law school once I have finished my work here at CSU, Chico. I haven’t decided which area of law that I’d like to practice, but business/corporate law is very appealing. I’m minoring in Management and plan to declare a second minor in Philosophy. Before applying to law school, I plan to take time-off so that I can study for the LSAT while working as a paralegal for a large law firm.