New Group Assists First-Gen Students

First Hand from FirstGen Photograph courtesy of Laruen Bertino

Lauren Bertino, Class of 2022, a first-generation law student, said imposter syndrome set in on her first day of classes last fall.

“I realized I had no idea what was going on,” she says. And she wasn’t alone. “There are plenty of students around me, especially at Suffolk … who don’t have an uncle or a family friend to tell them what to expect [when attending law school].”

This experience led Bertino, along with her 2L classmates Melanie Stallone, Cassandra Munoz, and James Lockett, to create the First Generation Law Student Association and its podcast “Firsthand from FirstGen” to support other first-generation law students in understanding the nuances of law school.

The podcast delivers insights from other students, faculty, and alumni. “Firsthand from FirstGen” is working on more episodes now and seeking out alumni for interviews.

“Suffolk is well-known for its strong alumni network,” Bertino says. “That is why I came to Suffolk in the first place and why it is such an especially good place for first-gen students. When I was looking to see whether I wanted to even go to law school, I spoke to Suffolk alumni who were so willing to just say, ‘Yeah, here’s the deal.’”

Episodes 1 and 2 of “Firsthand from FirstGen” can be found on Spotify. Alumni interested in participating can email the organization at [email protected].

Suffolk University Boston Law School 

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