Jared Reynolds

Jared Reynolds
Professional Title
Founding Member, RM Law Group LLC
Year of Graduation

What does being a first-generation college student mean to you?

Being a first-generation college graduate, as well as first-generation law school graduate, has had two main meanings for me. 1) While I was in school, this dynamic pushed me/trained me to hit the ground running and do everything in my power to take advantage of various resources/networks available to me, including practical experiential opportunities, as well as mentoring relationships, both of which were invaluable in my development. 2) Now that I have been into my legal career for many years, I am able to look to my status as a first-generation college/law student as a particular source of pride, knowing that I did not necessarily have a perfect blueprint/template available to me and, instead, had to pave my own way at times.

What obstacles did you face in this context?

Being a first generation student of any kind can be intimidating at times when you feel like you may be alone on this journey. However, in my experience, in many different aspects of life, those feelings of being on a path by yourself are largely internalized feelings that can be remedied, and proven untrue, through involvement in various organizations/activities, and overall a willingness to be "comfortable with being uncomfortable." It's of course easier said than done, but there are countless resources/networks/mentorship opportunities out there, and more importantly, there are countless people (friends, professors, alumni, etc.) who genuinely want to help. Most people remember what it was like to be a student and are happy to instill any advice, knowledge, or pointers that they may have to help make someone else's life easier.

What advice do you have for other first-generation students?

Work on being confident in yourself and understanding that you're not alone. Even in the hardest moments that you may deal with, you likely are not the first person to ever go through this situation and, further, it is likely that you have been through similarly difficult, if not even more difficult, situations in the past. You got through those moments, you'll get through this too. Seek out mentorship, you can never have too many mentors. Connect with your peers, professors, staff and alumni. You never know the doors that can be opened simply by connecting with the right person. Finally, know that you belong and are a worthy addition to any group, organization, class or company. You've made it this far, be confident in your self-worth.

Resources for First-Gen Students

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