Academic advising officials are debuting an ambassador program designed to boost outreach efforts to students interested in pursuing a law degree.
The academic advising office in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences is in the process of selecting three to five upperclassmen to serve as pre-law student ambassadors next academic year, officials said. Officials and students said the ambassadors will help promote pre-law events, grow the pre-law community and recruit prospective pre-law students through personalized outreach to their peers.
Gilda Mossadegh, the director of undergraduate academic advising in CCAS, said the student ambassadors will help the office promote workshops, events and advising services for potential pre-law students.
“This new program will allow us to ‘scale up’ our programming and increase our ability to offer programming that’s tailored to the needs of the pre-law population,” Mossadegh said in an email.
The pre-law program has ramped up its outreach efforts in recent years, boosting its social media presence and expanding office hours to increase student interest.
Mossadegh said the program hopes to increase the number of pre-law students who use advising services by requiring ambassadors to reach out directly to interested students. Ambassadors will commit at least an average of two hours per week, the program’s website states.
“We’ve had tremendous success with our program and workshop participation over the years, and we thought inviting student ambassadors to support our efforts – in order to reach more students – is a good next step to provide consistent support for our pre-law students and alumni,” she said.
The pre-law ambassador program is one of several ambassador programs the University has launched in recent years to increase personal outreach to students. GW’s marketing department started the “GW Ambassadors” program in the fall to encourage students and alumni to push GW’s brand on social media, and GW Dining hired six students last fall to raise awareness about GW’s dining options for different specialty diets.
None of GW’s 12 peer institutions have a pre-law ambassador program.
Pre-law students said that because GW does not offer a pre-law major, students interested in attending law school find it difficult to build a community. They said pre-law advisers send email newsletters, but student ambassadors will help promote pre-law events and provide information about topics like law school admissions directly to their peers.
Junior Aubrianna Mierow, a pre-law student and the president of the undergraduate GW Moot Court Team – an organization in which students simulate court proceedings – said student ambassadors can provide pre-law students with firsthand accounts of their experiences at GW and advice about the Law School Admissions Test, which most students are required to take to attend law school.
“I just took the LSAT in January, so it’s definitely something that I would have loved, to have an ambassador before that who had been older and taken the LSAT,” she said. “I could have sat down and talked to them about the best way to study.”
Freshman Catherine Morris, a political communication major and a pre-law student, said the ambassadors could offer the student perspective on the law school admissions process in addition to that of adult advisers.
“It would definitely be helpful to be able to reach out to somebody when you’re in the process of applying or when you’re taking the LSAT to get their experience, to help you and just be a mentor along the way,” Morris said.
Freshman Emma Garrison, a political science major and a pre-law student, said pre-law advisers currently rely on email for communication. She said the student ambassador program could expand the program’s outreach and publicize events through Instagram and other social media pages.
“I think a hard thing is just making sure people know that there is an info session, making sure people know that there are people you can reach out to,” Garrison said.