Between test preparations, personal statements and undergraduate coursework, prospective law school students are often inundated with work during the application process. Applications can be especially difficult for first-generation college students, who face additional challenges within the process, according to Logan Danker ’24. To help first-generation college students better prepare for application season, Danker and others created the First-Generation Pre-Law Society.
Danker was inspired to start the pre-law society while studying for the Law School Admission Test, which led him to question his future as a lawyer and what that would be like.
“There’s so much that I (didn’t) know … that I wish I would have known,” Danker said of his first years at Brown, adding that there were things he would’ve “done a little bit differently.”
Danker hopes the new pre-law society will “break down barriers” that he and other first-generation students face when applying to law school.
“I want to try and build a community of folks who can support each other and … understand each other’s experiences in college,” Danker said, adding that students can “help each other navigate the next chapter.”
“Any student group that is based on a set of common characteristics or concerns provides students with a natural support network to discuss issues with people who share experiences and who feel comfortable with one another,” Ari Gabinet, senior fellow in International and Public Affairs and a pre-law advisor, wrote in an email to The Herald. “This sense of belonging and connection can help to support positive academic outcomes.”
“Their commonalities also contribute to their creating opportunities, such as law school visits, relevant speakers and peer advising, that are specifically tailored to their shared interests and concerns,” he added.
Marissa Guadarrama Oropeza ’27 was excited to hear about the new society directed towards serving first-generation students. “I’ve always wanted to have a high impact career … and correct some of the injustices that I’ve seen in my community growing up,” she said.
She added that having a community that “understands where you’re coming from and provides the resources for you” is especially important as a first-generation student.
Being undocumented, first-generation and low income “is usually about not knowing what you’re doing and taking one hopeful step in front of another,” she said. “First-gen pre-law organizations like this can be the guiding hand.”
Additional reporting by Sofia Barnett.
Ryan Doherty is a senior staff writer covering faculty, higher education and science & research. He is a sophomore concentrating in chemistry and history who likes to partially complete crosswords in his free time.