Arizona Law Students Contribute to Creation of Community through Study Sessions with 1Ls

Sept. 23, 2012

One of the distinctive characteristics of Arizona Law, cited by students and graduates alike, is the elusive concept of “community.” Faculty regularly work on projects and publications with students. Alumni and area attorneys who serve as mentors to students also contribute to the network of collaboration and support at the school.

But Arizona Law students themselves also play a key role in fostering a supportive atmosphere.

“It’s more of a community rather than an individual approach to law school. People want to help you,” said Jonay Foster, a third-year student. “Everybody wants to see the next person succeed. I’m not sure you get that at every law school. But I know you get it here,”

“This is a very collegial place,” said third-year student Matt Walker. “ I think many people try to pay it forward.”

One of the ways students help one another succeed is through law school study sessions. For several years, third-year students have shared with incoming students what they’ve learned about studying, test taking, and finding summer legal positions.

Walker and several of his friends are leading the sessions this year. Walker said he wanted to give first-year students some of the same advice that his mentors and third-year students shared with him in his first year. He appreciated knowing more about grades, goals, tips on how to find the most important points out of a 40-page case, and how to most effectively marshal his time.

Because first-year grades and class rankings are often considered when receiving summer internships and positions, Walker hopes to help first-year students hit the ground running.

“There are no silver bullets,” he said. “It’s just about them understanding what they are getting into. What’s going to be necessary for them to do what they want to do.”

Walker said many students at Arizona Law form small study groups to work together to master cases and content, adding that “No person is an island,”

Working together through study groups, as well as in student clubs, clinics, and on law journals are all ways students build relationships and connections with people who will be their colleagues for a lifetime.

“You really do form lasting friendships,” Walker said. “We are going to know each other for the next 40 years.”