Paul L. Caron

Thursday, May 16, 2024

The Family Plan: Parents Attend Law School With Their Children

Mother and Son Navigate the Law School Experience:

Miami Photo (May 2024)For graduating third-year Josh Benzadon, everything crystalized his sophomore year at the University of Texas at Austin. He took a couple of business law classes, and "it was the first time I read a textbook cover to cover."

For his mother, Jessica Knopf, law school was a long-held goal, and with her youngest leaving to begin college, "it just felt like the right time for me."

When Knopf arrived at Miami Law, Benzadon already had his first year in his rearview mirror.

"It was definitely a bit strange at first to see my mom on campus with her rolling backpack, walking around the bricks and such," said Benzadon. "However, as time passed, it became a part of my daily joy. I grew to love having her there, sharing classes, giving her advice, and discussing what we learned over dinner most nights."

For Knopf, it's been "like having my own personal advisor.

"It was incredibly beneficial that Josh had already 'forged a path' because observing his experiences during the first year helped me really understand the reality of the demands on a law student. Additionally, he has been an invaluable resource, offering advice on managing the workload, strategies for studying and taking exams, recommendations for courses, and most importantly, giving me emotional support throughout."

They are pursuing different paths post-law school.

Father-Son Classmates Graduate From Texas A&M School Of Law:

Texas A&MDavid Lawson and his son Shannon naturally share many of the same qualities, like a witty sense of humor, natural curiosity and an ability to not take themselves too seriously. They recently added to the list of things they share in common – graduates of Texas A&M University’s School of Law.

The Lawsons, who earned their degrees this May, say it all began with a text message.

Shannon, 49,  was scrolling on his phone while waiting for a flight one day in 2022 when he came across an ad for the law school’s Master of Legal Studies (MLS) program with an emphasis in Cybersecurity Law and Policy. Shannon, who serves as chief information security officer for the City of Phoenix, was intrigued by the idea. Designed for non-lawyer professionals who don’t intend to practice law, the degree would give him legal expertise that would build on his background in cybersecurity.

Shannon had done cybersecurity work for the U.S. Navy, the state of Alaska and regional areas in Southern California. He and David had a combined 70 years of experience in the cybersecurity and information technology fields, and both father and son shared dreams of one day attending law school. So, Shannon texted his father.

“I always wanted to go to law school, but nothing ever aligned for me to do it,” Shannon said. “This program allowed me to tie (my degree) to cyber in a field that is high demand, low density.”

David, 75, was also attracted to the idea. He had been retired for nine years after a 45-year career in information technology. As chief information officer for West Jersey Health System and vice president of professional service at AllScript, he oversaw some of the nation’s most cutting-edge information and security systems. In retirement, David found himself dissatisfied with the slow pace of living, and still had an interest in expanding his skillset.

ABA Journal, 'If You Want to Activate Your Brain, Try Going to Law School,' Says Retiree Who Graduated With Son

Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink