Students Helping Students, Before the First Class

Even before the fall semester started, 30 entering students gave up four days to give themselves a head start on their legal education.

At the invitation of a group of seasoned law students, the newbies signed up for the Community Legal Analysis Skills Seminar (CLASS), which provided them with an introduction to law school. Judges provided tips, professors offered an overview of some first-year classes and the CLASS organizers took them on a tour of the law school, answered questions and led them through some basic legal-reasoning exercises.

"I remembered my first-year struggles and thought it would be good to have something to add to Orientation to help students before school started," says Chris Lucero, a 3L and president of MALSA. He was joined by a handful of other students who had benefited from tutoring by Professor Margaret Montoya and wanted to help the 1Ls.

They got together and came up with a seminar curriculum they know would have helped relieve some of the stress for them when they were entering law school.

"We were excited that so many first-year students were willing to come and we are hoping students behind us will put this on every year," says Lucero.

CLASS organizers are members of MALSA, BLSA and NALSA.