A new support group is helping first-generation students navigate the bewildering – and often biased – landscape of law school.
First Generation Professionals was founded at Boston University School of Law in 2017. It provides resources, tools and a sense of community for “first generation professionals,” defined as students from low-income or working-class backgrounds, and those who are the first in their families to attend college or professional school.
“When I came to law school, I was amazed at how many people knew lawyers or came from lawyering families,” says BU law student and FPG member Patrick Rosand. “By contrast, only one of my parents graduated high school. I think it’s really essential to support those students who aren’t familiar with higher education in general and law school in particular so that we can even the playing field a bit.”
FPG offers assistance ranging from academic mentoring to etiquette workshops, where participants receive guidance on matters like: “Where does your name tag go? (The right lapel) What color suit is acceptable? (Dark) Should you place your used dinner napkin back on the table if you excuse yourself? (No).”
The group’s current president is Imran Maler, whose mother emigrated from India with little formal education.
“Disadvantaged is the key word here,” says Malek in this ABA Journal article. “It’s about people who do not have these built-in advantages, whether through their upbringing or college background, and kind of need a leg up.”
This is from the website for Yale Law School’s FGP group: “FGP works to create social and supportive spaces for students who come from backgrounds that might make somewhere like Yale alienating. We facilitate social events that are FGP-only, and mixers with other student groups, and work hard to keep our membership connected to and supported by faculty mentors.”
Want to Get Your Law Career in Top Shape?
Take the Law Career Fitness Challenge and get going!
Here’s how it works. Lawyers Mutual has compiled 20 posts on what it takes to survive – and thrive – in today’s legal environment. Each post presents a specific challenge that you’ll likely face at some point in your career, along with training tips for meeting it.
Some of the challenges will help you figure out what type of law you want to practice – or whether you even want to practice at all. Others will suggest best practices for job hunting. All will offer ways to strengthen existing law muscles and develop new ones.
The goal: a healthy career with a strong heart, sturdy legs and powerful core. At the end, there’s a self-test so you can gauge your career fitness level.
And while the Law Career Fitness Challenge was designed with law students in mind, it works just as well for recent graduates, new Bar admittees and even those considering applying to law school.
- Take Responsibility for Your Law Career
- Accept Reality
- Spend Time Each Day Doing Absolutely Nothing
- Get Started
- Know the Rules
- To Thine Own Self Be True
- When You’re Picking Grapes, Pick Grapes
- Never Misplace Your Keys, Phone or Wallet Again
- Maintain a Sense of Humor
- Go The Extra Mile
- Budget Your Time and Money
- Learn From Defeats
- Practice Teamwork
- Know When to Ask for Help
- Have Controlled Attention
- See With Creative Vision
- Avoid the Deathtrap of Denial
- Invest Your Energy in What You’re Good At
- Keep Your Mind and Body Strong
- Stay Positive
And the Law Career Fitness Challenge comes fully guaranteed! No, we can’t promise that you’ll land your dream job – or any job, for that matter – after completing it. But we do guarantee you won’t be any worse off than when you started.
And who knows, you might even end up with a healthier career.