King Hall Launches First Generation Advocates Program
UC Davis School of Law has launched a new First Generation Advocates program to support law students who are the first in their families to attend college or professional school. The program was inaugurated with a special First Generation, First Week Welcome Reception on August 24 in the King Hall Courtyard.
As part of the School of Law’s commitment to diversity and the ideals of social justice espoused by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., King Hall is dedicated to maintaining a welcoming environment for students of all backgrounds. The First Generation Advocates program was created to promote diversity and maximize the academic, professional, and personal success of students who are the first from their families to earn a college or professional degree as well as students from low-income backgrounds.
At the heart of the program is its mentorship component, in which first generation students are paired with a faculty or staff mentor, who will provide insight and guidance regarding the special challenges faced by first generation law students. Participating mentors include Kevin R. Johnson, Dean of the School of Law, Cruz Reynoso, Professor Emeritus and former California Supreme Court justice, and other distinguished faculty members from a wide range of backgrounds.
The program also includes the First Generation Advocate Seminar Series, which features King Hall faculty and alumni and distinguished guest speakers leading discussions focused on the issues and challenges typically encountered by first generation students, such as the financial challenges of legal education, pressures associated with law school assimilation, and related subjects. In addition, the School of Law will provide networking opportunities for incoming first generation students to meet faculty, alumni, and returning students with similar backgrounds in informal settings that encourage the sharing of experiences and promote community and collegiality.
“As the new school year begins, we are pleased to be welcoming one of our most diverse classes ever,” said Senior Associate Dean Madhavi Sunder. “We are committed to celebrating and supporting in every way our diverse student body, and the First Generation Advocates program is part of that commitment.”