When Max M. Miller ’09 became treasurer of the Columbia Law School Student Senate last year, he knew the position would present challenges. His first order of business: digging the organization out of $30,000 in debt.
To do that, the Iowa native needed to make drastic cuts while learning to say no to the slew of student groups requesting cash. At the end of last year, “I got us out of debt,” he says with a smile. “Actually, I left us with a $6,000 surplus.”
Miller later ran for Student Senate president—and won.
Among his achievements as president was the circulation of a comprehensive student survey asking for suggestions on how to improve the Law School. It was the first time the Student Senate had attempted such a collection of student opinion, and 830 of the roughly 1,500 students at the Law School responded. Miller says he hopes the information can be used to benefit future classes.
“I’ve been working with some of the most intelligent and capable future leaders of America,” he says. “Of course, one of the hardest things is finding consensus among future lawyers.”
Miller’s leadership experiences at the Law School have taught him how to forge compromise amid strong personalities and conflicting opinions. After graduation, he hopes to put those skills to good use in the litigation department of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Chicago.