First Generation Professionals

1stgen Logo

The purpose of the First Generation Professional Students Organization (FGP) shall be to provide the necessary support, resources and mentorship for first generation college and professional students needed for success in the legal field. FGP will work toward its goals primarily by 1) providing programming to promote the academic and professional success of and among first generation students and professionals and 2) by providing mentorship opportunities for first generation students and professionals with first generation faculty and alumni.First Generation Professional Students includes all those students who are the first in their families to graduate from college and/ or the first to pursue a professional law degree. However, FGP's programs are open to any and all students at Notre Dame Law School that may have the need for it.

Leadership, 2022-23

Executive Committee

  • President: Arlinda Shehu
  • Vice President: Morgan Gafford
  • Secretary: Zachary Damir
  • Mentorship Coordinator: Dylan Van Sky
  • Treasurer: Matt Staugaard
  • President Emeritus: Phenia Hovsepyan 
  • Faculty Advisor: Julian Velasco 

First Generation Professional Students Representation at Notre Dame, 2022-23

  • 1L: 77 students 
    *Note, numbers pulled from student-reported data.

In this section:

Past Events 

Fgp Board 09

Free Barristers' Ball Tickets (February 2023): Given the goal of FGP to support our students and ensure that they are able to fully immerse themselves in the law school experience, FGP purchased a number of tickets to give out to students who otherwise would not have been able to attend the event due to the cost.

Evening with Dean Cole (October 5, 2021 co-sponsored with BLSA): Dean G. Marcus Cole, the first person in his family to become a lawyer, shared his story with Notre Dame Law School students. See a video of the event below:

Navigating 1L Panel (Sept. 15, 2022): First-generation 2Ls and 3Ls led a panel discussion on how to navigate cold calls, case briefs and more with the 1L class.

First Generation Professionals Judges Panel (Sept. 20, 2022, co-sponsored with BLSA & APALSA): Appellate, district and state court judges who are first-generation professionals led a discussion panel on how to navigate law school and the legal career as a first-generation professional.

A Conversation with Chancellor McCormick (Nov. 4, 2022): Chancellor McCormick, of the Delaware Court of Chancery, joined FGP to discuss her experiences as a first generation professional

News and Publications 

ND Law's First Generation Professionals group creates alumni mentor program (Notre Dame Law School News, April 21, 2022)

Resources for Alumni 

 James (Jim) Carr is the Notre Dame Law Association Board’s affinity representative for First Generation Professionals alumni.

Be a First-Generation Mentor

Notre Dame Lawyers who identify as first-generation graduates and who would like to serve as a mentor to a first-generation Notre Dame Law student can sign up by filling out this form.More information will be shared with mentors after they sign up. The frequency and format of the mentor-mentee relationship is up to the discretion of each mentor pair. Alumni mentors can serve as coach, advocate, and role model for their mentee. The overall goal of the mentor program is to provide guidance for students’ personal and professional development and goals. The hope is that mentors will share their personal stories and experiences, as well as challenge students to think more critically and boost their self-esteem.

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