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First Generation Professionals
A Message from the Board
Welcome to the website of First Generation Professionals at YLS. FGP is here to support all students who come from low-income or working class backgrounds, and those who are the first in their families to attend college or first to attend professional school.
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. Additionally, we take on advocacy projects and work to make YLS's policies and procedures better for our membership. Biannually, we run a survey of the study body to gather socioeconomic data about the YLS student body. Our most important work is responding to the needs of first generation and low-income students at YLS.
We are actively working to connect with alumni of YLS who are interested in being involved with the group, so please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Erin Islo, President
Ally Arias, Academics and Professional Chair
Corey Meyer, Treasurer
Brittney Brescia, Social Chair
Hayden Rodarte, Outreach Chair
West Resendes, Advocacy Chair
Saúl Ramirez, Alumni Relations Chair
Ellen Monkmeier, Communications Chair
First Generation Professionals seeks to provide a safe and welcoming space for Yale Law School students who are the first in their families to pursue a professional degree—primarily serving those who come from low-income, working class, or non-white-collar backgrounds—to discuss and assist each other with their concerns as they navigate the environment of Yale Law School. Additionally, First Generation Professionals advocates for policies that better meet the needs of its members and seeks to foster a broader conversation about class at the Yale Law School.
1L Programming and Annual Events
Every year, FGP hosts a retreat for all members. In the past two academic years, this retreat has been hosting at Professor Guido Calabresi's farm. The half-day retreat allows FGP members to get to know each other over food, games, and the always-fun bus ride to and from the law school. In the past, members have brought their partners and children to this retreat.
FGP hosts lunches, brunches, dinners, and happy hours with professors on a regular basis. These events offer an opportunity for students to receive mentorship on specific issues - such as exam preparation, job searches, or choosing classes - and to connect with professors who are supportive of FGP students and willing to offer advice. These events are held at the law school, professors' homes, and at restaurants, and offer a more casual setting to get to know the great minds of the YLS faculty.
FGP brings in speakers to broaden and deepen the conversation about class at YLS. In the past, FGP has hosted events with Linda Tirado, author of Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America (Putnam Press, 2014), J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy (Harper Press, 2016), and dozens of YLS FGP alumni who are now partners at law firms, public interest attorneys, and academics, among other things.
FGP at YLS connects its members to FGP students at the other graduate and professional schools at Yale, and will continue to host mixers with the medical school, business school, and graduate school.
Exam Time Study Sessions:
During the exam period, FGP provides food and space for members to study with each other or alone. These sessions make sure FGP members have access to each other for questions, or just silent company while reviewing outlines. In an effort to keep everyone eating warm meals, these events provide coffee, tea, and food.
At the beginning of the year, FGP hosts a happy hour for all new and returning students to connect with each other. Throughout the year, FGP hosts 'socials,' usually hosted at a member's house or apartment, with food and drinks, to provide a laid-back, informal setting for members to discuss their lives in and outside of New Haven.
Training for the Bluebook Exam and Yale Law Journal Admissions:
FGP works to support its members, whatever their professional aspirations. To that end, we provide extensive programming to prepare members for the YLJ admissions cycle. These events include bluebooking practice, office hours with current YLJ members, and study hours.
Lifting the Veil on the Clerkship Process:
One of the hardest parts of being an FGP student at YLS is the lack of institutional knowledge. Clerkships, being a desired professional goal of many YLS students, is one of the hardest things to figure out at YLS. To aid our members, we provide several off-the-record panels with upperclass students who have obtained clerkships, and organize events with professors who sit on the clerkship committee at YLS.
Programming with Financial Aid and the Career Development Office:
FGP hosts several events every year with Financial Aid and the CDO. These events include sessions providing tips on how to develop a professional wardrobe on a budget and Q&A sessions surrounding YLS policies.
FGP matches incoming 1Ls with 2L and 3L buddies who are available to answer their questions and provides a lifeline during the tumultuous first year of law school. Buddies can get coffee or a meal on FGP.
Starting in 2017, FGP began a largescale effort to build an alumni database so that we can start connecting YLS FGP members across generations. This will take the form of mentorship relationships, professional networking opportunities, and providing other forms of support for current students. We will also be hosting events at YLS for alums to come and connect with each other and with current FGP students.
News and Current Events
Read the latest news and learn about current events from First Generation Professionals.
A Special Thanks
FGP is grateful for the support of: