The Multicultural Law Caucus (MLC) is a non-profit, student-run organization focused on community building.
Its primary objectives are to create:
- A sense of unity among all law students
- A forum for students to learn about different groups and the legal issues that affect them
We strive to:
- Help students with the transition into law school by providing the wisdom and guidance of alumni, students, and faculty members
- Provide a network of first-, second-, and third -year students, to help mitigate the pressures of law school
- Work to educate and prepare future lawyers to recognize inequities in our legal system and dedicate their professional lives to developing a more just society
- Create a forum to address the legal barriers facing multicultural groups and provide informational and inspirational resources for work in variety of area
We are dedicated to:
- Building awareness among students, faculty and community about the needs of the under-represented and the ways legal training can be used to affect justice in these communities and the world
- Community-based outreach programs that help disadvantaged groups enjoy greater access to resources
What You Can Expect from MLC
MLC is devoted to student activities and experiences such as:
- MLC strives to help first-year students by surveying, compiling, and sharing important information about the transition into law school.
- The website begins that transfer of knowledge by providing insight and wisdom from alumni, students, and faculty members.
- Your legal education is a step toward a new journey, and with the guidance of others that journey can be a pathway to a rewarding and enriching life.
- Goals: 1) The MLC focuses on community building within the under-represented organizations in the law school. 2) We are devoted to understanding each student’s uniqueness, while bringing the students together.
- Recent Activities: Round table discussion with Tamara Martinez. The discussion focused on the importance of multiculturalism in higher education.
Starting a New Career, Changing a Life
Many people begin law school with a mix of excitement, apprehension, hope, and curiosity. The transition into law school is completely different from any other time of your life. Many students are transitioning not only to a new school but also a new city and way of life. A mix of emotions is not only normal, but completely expected:
- The transition to a legal career and law school is one of the greatest changes in your life.
- You may have moved away from family and friends to come to Gonzaga Law.
- Soon you will discover that this is the norm and not the exception here at GU.
- Therefore, seek out the help and friendship of your classmates.
- It may not seem evident in the beginning but most, if not all, students are experiencing exactly the same feelings.
- Do not be afraid to use your fellow students as a sounding board.
- Many will give you advice on how to transition into law school.
- Some may tell you to jump right into your studies before classes even begin, while others will take a more laid back approach.
- Gonzaga offers a wealth of resources available for first-year students.
- First-year classes have Student Body Association (SBA) tutors who provide tutorials.
- You will find outlines from top students in the library, and on the Students/SBA web page.
- Never allow yourself to feel that you are in this alone.
- Others will help you if you seek out their assistance.
- Upperclass students are willing to help first-year law students.
- Gonzaga is known for these qualities.
Advice From Alumni
The following are pieces of wisdom geared towards assisting new students with law school and the next phase of life. Remember, law school is just one aspect of life. The mosaic that completes your life is made of many diverse pieces. Learn how to cultivate all of the pieces. If you find yourself having questions, seek help from any of the following resources. Remember they are here to help!
Things to DO in law school:
- ALWAYS read assignments and do your own outlines
- Law schools follow the IRAC formula (Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion).
- Develop your issue-spotting “muscle.” In other words, what is the legal issue in this case?
- Outline to know the law (rule) on that particular issue.
- Work on your analysis.
- The facts should be used in an analytical method to persuade the reader of your position. Also, argue the opposing side.
- A good lawyer does not ignore adverse facts.
- Good attorneys are not easily surprised, since they know what the opposing side will argue. Always have a conclusion.
- Professors do not care which side you conclude on.
- It only matters that you analyze the facts and reach a cohesive conclusion.
- Talk to the professor.
- Talk to the SBA tutor for that class.
- Go to your professor’s tutorial.
- Form a study group.
- Use the outlines on reserve in the library.
- Talk with other students.
- Talk to other professors and upperclass students.
- Talk to Dean Sklut.
Things to AVOID in law school:
- Do not skip or skim reading assignments.
- Do not rely overly much on commercial outlines as your main source.
- If you need help ask for it in advance.
- The school will make accommodations for students or provide extra help for those that need it.
- Do not become distracted by non-essential activities.
- Most exam points are located in the analysis and law rule. If you are simply listing facts you are not doing enough.
Advice from Students
One recommendation: If possible, take a summer class before your first year of law school. You have one less class during the year and it prepares you for law school exams and the amount of work that’s expected. The majority of students find the early-start summer program an incredibly beneficial resource in their legal education:
- Class attendance is very important in law school.
- Most students will remark on the direct correlation between students who attend class and those who do well in law school.
- If you miss a class make sure to borrow notes from your classmates, and make sure to return the favor when requested.
- Examine professors’ old exams to become familiar with their expectations and the type of answers that will be expected on future exams.
- Practice with old exams under simulated exam conditions. This teaches you how to allocate time and also gives you a familiarity with the conditions of law school tests in general.
- Look at the outlines by former students that are placed on reserve. These outlines are by students who have done well in those classes.
- The SBA office has outlines by former students in all the classes taught during the first year. These are often used as a reference for new students when they form their own outlines or study aids.
- They also give students an idea about important issues, and answer questions.
- Be nice to your classmates and work with them. If you help your classmates when they are in a bind, the kindness will be returned at some point in your law school career. In many cases, the kindness is returned two-fold.
Advice from Faculty:
- Faculty offices are always open to students.
- Gonzaga is a very student-friendly school where faculty strive to know their students on a first-name basis.
- DO NOT wait until you have problems to contact your professor or faculty advisor.
- You can always ask questions in class, after class, stop by an instructor’s office, or email them. They are always here to help.
Currently there are no membership fees.
President: Gerald Allen