Kirgis Fellows Program

The Kirgis Fellow program is a mentoring program designed to assist first-year and transfer students with the adjustment to law school by providing guidance and advice about academics, the job search process, and life in Lexington. The Kirgis Fellows are upper-level law students who mentor a first-year, small-section class, with two Kirgis Fellows, one male and one female, assigned to each small section. Transfer students also have Kirgis Fellows, which include both former transfer students as well as second-year students.  

Kirgis Fellows play a large role during Orientation and share their perspective as experienced students throughout the year. Over the course of regular meetings, Kirgis Fellows meet with first-year students to discuss study strategies, summer jobs, law school exams, coping with the stress of law school, and the traditions that make W&L Law unique. In addition, Kirgis Fellows are available throughout the year to answer questions and to provide support to first-year students. Students are encouraged to keep in touch with their Kirgis Fellows and ask for help and advice as they encounter questions and challenges during their first year of law school.

Kirgis Orientation Handout (PDF File)

Program Goals

The goals for the different phases of the Kirgis Fellow program are as follows:

Orientation Goals

  • Understand the role of your Kirgis Fellows
  • Understand the basic structure of the US legal system
  • Understand the court hierarchy for the Virginia legal system
  • Understand the court hierarchy for the Federal legal system
  • Understand your learning style/preference
  • Understand the implications of your learning style/preference
  • Learn and practice how to read a case
  • Learn and practice how to brief a case
  • Understand how to prepare for a law school class
  • Understand the Socratic Method
  • Understand how to effectively engage in classroom discussion
  • Understand how to effectively manage law school-related stress
  • Get to know the other students in your small section as well as your larger class
  • Develop a class-wide statement of professionalism
  • Understand the resources (Academic, Health, Extracurricular) available to W&L students
  • Learn about Lexington and the surrounding area

First Semester Goals

  • Understand how to navigate and to succeed during the first weeks of law school
  • Understand how to approach and to interact with professors
  • Understand how to synthesize notes
  • Understand how to make an effective outline/to organize course material
  • Prepare a professional resume
  • Prepare a professional cover letter
  • Understand how to conduct a professional job search
  • Understand how to effectively manage law school-related stress
  • Learn how to utilize and to manage time effectively in law school
  • Understand how to approach, to prepare for and to take law school exams 

Second Semester Goals

  • Understand the journal write-on and moot court processes
  • Learn about the MPRE
  • Feel confident about selecting classes for your second-year of law school
  • Build a relationship with a professor/recommender