The Class of 2020 Energized by Orientation

September 05, 2017

Along with the “look to your left, look to your right” scare tactics, Gonzaga Law faculty, staff, and students have eschewed old-school orientation drills like handing 1Ls a campus map, pointing out the restrooms and vending machines, and then saying, “Good luck” before disappearing into the library’s stacks or cavernous administrative offices.

At Gonzaga Law, staff and faculty view student orientation as an opportunity to ensure that, along with finishing paperwork and getting ID cards, new 1Ls get some context for their legal studies and future careers and begin to mesh with the vibrant Gonzaga Law community. Along with an introduction to legal study, Gonzaga Law’s newest students were also welcomed by the Executive Director of the WSBA, Paula Littlewood, and attended break-out sessions with representatives from law school and campus-wide resources including the Center for Cura Personalis, the Center for Professional Development, and the Center for Law in Public Service.

The new 1Ls also attended the first workshop in the first-year development and leadership workshop series “ZagLaw: Essential Skills and Professional Values for Today’s Legal World.” Kimberly Papillion led the workshop “How Neuroscience Impacts Decision-making.” Papillion, founder of The Better Mind, is an attorney and an expert on medical, legal, and judicial decision-making. Formerly a Senior Educator for the California Judicial Council, Papillion lectures nationally and internationally to medical, legal, and law enforcement groups and has been and regular faculty member of the National Judicial College since 2005.

The new 1Ls also met with the Smitty Leadership Fellow mentors, a group of 2Ls and 3Ls who have been assigned a group of 1L students to mentor, assist, support, and tutor through their Gonzaga Law experience. The Student Bar Association threw a Welcome Barbeque and mingled with the new students who learned about the clubs and student organizations at Gonzaga Law before volunteers left to take part in the traditional Orientation Community Service Project. This year, students volunteered at the YWCA Safe Shelter, the East Central Community Center, and the Catholic Charities Furniture Bank.