MSU College of Law Kicks Off New School Year with Foundations Week

By Jake Jenkins

As classes begin to start campus wide at Michigan State University, the College of Law held its annual Foundations Week for incoming first-year students. The eventful week allowed students to not only connect with faculty but also one another through a series of classes and activities.

Linda Greene, Dean of MSU College of Law, welcomed more than 200 students on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022.

“This is a great journey that will involve personal growth, that will involve unique and special opportunities, and that will involve the creation of a legal community that will be a part of your life for many years to come,” Greene told the students in her opening remarks.

This year’s incoming class is the most diverse class to MSU Law in 23 years. These students bring a wide range of experiences and knowledge to the program, Greene said.

“Each of you brings your own history, your family’s heritage, your distinct cultural experiences to this law school,” said Greene. “You come from 30 states, five countries, and eight tribal nations. You studied 54 different undergraduate majors, from philosophy to physics. And you speak six languages.

“Law school is an opportunity to share your lived experience, the joyful moments, and the difficult ones,” she said.

Foundations Week is intended to get first-year students acclimated with their surroundings as for most, this is a very new experience and it takes time to truly get accustomed to how things should be done.

“The overall purpose of Foundations Week is to introduce students to the law school experience,” said Abijah Taylor, Assistant Dean for Student and Academic Affairs. “We attempt to get students on a similar footing since students come into law with different academic backgrounds and experiences. Success wise I feel the week went great. Our office has met with more than half the students already and it seem they are grasping the material and coming along just fine.”

“The energy of this class is different from what we experienced in the past,” said Taylor as he explains the uniqueness of the incoming students. “It could be the biases going on in my head due to not being able to really meet with a class since 2019 but there is something different about this class coming in.”

Towards the end of the opening day, students learned some interesting facts not about just law college but MSU as a whole and is encouraged to explore campus by Dean Greene.

“Michigan State University boasts one of the most beautiful campuses in the country,” said Greene. “More than five thousand (5,000) acres of beauty blended with innovation and is home to world-wide research partnerships, acclaimed sports organizations and award-winning music and the arts. And so much more.”

After a week of previewing their course work, networking with legal professionals, and socializing together, the students ended Foundations Week with volunteer work. They cleaned classrooms and performed landscaping work at elementary and middle schools in the nearby Waverly Community Schools.

Giving back to your community is an important part of being a lawyer, said student Kyra Strick, of Jenison, MI.

“There’s more than just making money, you can actually help the community with your time and effort rather than going in for yourself,” Strick said, from Grand Valley State University

Strick was also asked, why she chose to attend MSU as her law home?

“Coming here I knew the people were different from other schools I visited, it is a community working towards a goal.”

Mel Tucker, Head Football Coach for MSU, took time out of his busy schedule of preparing the Spartans for their upcoming home opening game against Western Michigan to send a special message to the incoming class for MSU law. In his message, he explained the correlations football and law share:

“In many ways, football and law are very similar, we all win by pulling together through collaboration and inclusion.”