Law School Group Helps First-Gen Students
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.”
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