100% of first-generation college graduates receive support

The School of Law has continued its focus on transforming the legal education experience and, for the third straight year, 100% of its incoming first-generation college graduates received aid.

first gen student gathering

First Start Coordinator Amanda Fox (J.D.’14) (left) talks with students at a weekly Coffee Talk event for students who are the first in their families to graduate from college.

With roughly 10% of each entering class at the law school representing the first person in his or her family to attend college, these scholarships provide not only financial assistance but, in many cases, additional support that can help students as they navigate their studies, financial planning, network development and professional/bar preparation needs.

First-generation students are supported by more than 15 scholarship funds including the First-Start Scholars Program, which was established by 1982 alumna Kathelen V. Amos and the Daniel P. Amos Family Foundation.

Recent donations to support this cohort of students include a gift from 2001 alumnus Gardiner Thompson, who created an endowed scholarship supporting first-generation college graduates.

Also, Susan S. (J.D.’88) and Gregory A. (M.Ed.’87) Lanigan made a pledge to create the Lanigan Family Scholarship for First-Generation Law Students.

More than 100 classmates and friends made a gift to the Judge Steve Goss Scholarship Fund, which memorializes the late Georgia Court of Appeals jurist and 1986 alumnus. The fund will support first-generation college graduates from South Georgia.

In addition, the law school supports these students through programming led by Associate Director of Student Services and First Start Coordinator Amanda J. Fox (J.D.’14). The First-Start Scholars Program offers targeted academic and professional success workshops and groups and added two new initiatives to the portfolio this year: a book club and a recurring social event dubbed “Coffee Talk.”

The book club, in which students read Kathryne Young’s How to Be Sort of Happy in Law School, focused on navigating the myriad pressures of obtaining a legal degree.

During both the fall and spring semesters a weekly coffee hour offered students a chance to meet and socialize with other first-generation college graduates and law faculty, staff and students, including members of the First Generation Student Association.