Being a FirstGen Student at W&L Law

Twleve percent of Washington and Lee Law's current study body identify as first generation college graduates. This year, a new student organization was formed, The First-Generation Student Union, to partner with first generation students during their law school journey.  This organization has a mentorship program, alumni networking events, and an Instagram presence (@fgsu.wlulaw). Below, co-presidents Brandi Seppala '24L and Taylor Roberson '24L answer questions about this new effort.

What is the mission of your organization?

The First-Generation Student Union (FGSU) empowers first-generation law students to excel and feel confident navigating law school and entering the workforce. As first-generation students ourselves, we understand the value of creating and maintaining a support system for students in this demographic to overcome barriers in the legal community. Our organization accomplishes this through mentorship programs, including one-on-one student mentors, alumni networking events, and social events for mentors and mentees.

Do you have any events coming up for the fall and spring?

We are planning to host an alumni panel, a panel for finding and applying to jobs, and a couple of networking mixers for our law school mentors and mentees!

Can alumni get involved?

Yes! We have a dedicated alumni committee of second and third-year law students that are reaching out to identify first-generation law school graduates! We are hoping to have alumni speak on a panel this year and to ultimately establish an alumni mentorship program.

Will there be mentorship opportunities within the law school or with undergraduates?

We have started the process of having incoming 1Ls that are first-generation sign up to be mentees and 2Ls and 3Ls to be mentors. The goal is to have on-going mentorship pairings within the law school.

What prompted you both to want to start this organization?

As first-generation college graduates and law students, we both have a deep appreciation for the first-gen mentors we have had and the opportunities provided to bridge the gap in our understanding of how to succeed in law school, what various jobs look like post-law school, and how to get there. We think having this student organization will facilitate an empathetic and empowering community!

Are there already law students involved? If so, what is everyone looking forward to in this new organization?

We sent a message out last spring to current law students and received an enthusiastic response! Our 16-person leadership board has been hard at work making plans and discussing ideas to create a successful launch this semester. We have big goals for this year, and everyone is really excited to start this community and support fellow first-gen students in any way we can!

Is there anything else you both would like to share about the organization?

We are always open to ideas, collaboration, and questions! Feel free to reach out to us via email with any questions, comments or concerns. Our email address is