When I tell people that I am studying law, they often follow up and ask whether my parents are in the legal field. The fact that, no, neither of my parents studied law often seems to come as a surprise to those asking. Law seems to be understood as a career path that tends to be rooted in family tradition. While this is the case for some law students, I have found that there is no real disadvantage to being the first in the family to study law.
The main “disadvantage” to not having attorneys in the family is networking. Having a network through a parent or sibling could certainly be an advantage. However, BU helps to connect all law students with networking resources. In my opinion, this largely makes up for the difference. During 1L, BU matches all students with an alumni mentor. Alumni mentors are great resources and can help with anything from discussing classes to providing reassurance when it comes time to start the summer job search. Additionally, alumni mentors can help you navigate the area of law that you are interested in practicing. Networking can be a challenge to dive into, and there certainly have been times when I wished that a family member could lend me a base-network of attorneys to meet. However, there are a variety of networking events throughout the course of the school year where students have the opportunity to meet attorneys in their field of interest.
The only other “disadvantage” to not having any attorneys in your family is that you might feel like a bit of an outsider regarding what law school is like and how the whole process works. To get up to speed, consider joining a pre-law organization at your undergraduate school, talk to law students you may know personally or through the grapevine, and keep on reading blogs like this – you’ll be up to speed in no time! Whether or not law runs in your family, law school is a personal experience and there are no shortcuts. Everyone has to put in the work in order to figure law school out – from improving at cold calls to figuring out the perfect study strategy. Even though people might assume being a first generation law student adds to the challenge, law school is law school – and BU has plenty of resources to level out any uncertainties.