Paul L. Caron

Sunday, December 24, 2023

First-Gen Law Students Have 'No Safety Net'

Following up on my previous post, LSSSE Report On First-Gen Law Students: Lower Grades, More Debt:  Law360, 1st-Gen Law Students Have 'No Safety Net':

First-generation law students are more likely to be minorities, are saddled with significant school debt and often work for pay while studying more than their peers, according to a recently released report.

The Oct. 25 report, which draws from the Law School Survey of Student Engagement, defines first-gen status as having no parent with any college degree.

LSSSE director Meera Deo told Law360 Pulse in a recent interview that first-gen status correlates highly with roots in a lower-income, working-class family. The report highlights first-gen students as a group that brings needed experience, skills and viewpoints to the legal profession.

"There's no safety net for them," Deo said. "They're required to do well. They're going to push themselves because there's really no alternative."

Here are three takeaways from the report: ...First-gen students comprised about 26% of the LSSSE respondents, according to the report, which found that students of color are more likely than white students to be first-generation. ...

Law360 1

First-generation students rely more heavily on student loans, with 24% of non-first-gen students anticipating graduating with no law school debt, compared to just 12% of first-gen students. ...

First-gen students are also more likely to study on a part-time basis while they work or handle other responsibilities, such as taking care of dependents and other familial obligations, according to the report. The report found that 44% of first-gen students spend time caring for dependents, compared to 33% of non-first-gen students.

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