Temple Law School recently hosted its 2013 Friends and Family Day. Parents, grandparents, spouses, and friends from across the area took part in the annual event by sitting in on several first year classes held throughout the day. Professor David Hoffman started incorporating Friends and Family Day into his class in 2004, and thinks it’s a fun way for first year law students to introduce their existing community and family network to their new law school network. “We rely on those who care for us to get through tough times,” said Hoffman, “and nothing is tougher than the first semester of law school.”

Joe Pangaro, a 1L student in Professor Hosea Harvey’s contracts course, hosted his family from the Jersey Shore. For Pangaro’s grandmother, Bea Bonner, the visit to Temple Law couldn’t come soon enough. “They left at 6am, but she woke up at 2am because she was so excited,” Pangaro said.  “It was so important for me that my grandparents got to come. They have given me so much and I wanted to make sure they knew the hard work paid off.”

Pangaro’s grandfather, Ted Bonner, has been encouraging his grandson to become a lawyer since he was nine years old. For Bonner, the day was an affirmation of what he has always thought of Temple Law School. “It’s a great community. It starts with [Dean] Epps and goes all the way down.”

For Dean JoAnne Epps, Friends and Family Day is an important moment each fall semester. “Friends and family are the glue that hold together the worlds of our students. It is important for our students to invite their support networks in their new and exciting world of legal education.”

The event isn’t just a hit with students and their loved ones. Professors enjoy the special day as well. “I enjoy having the opportunity to meet people who have shaped my students’ lives and to share a small part of our collective journey with them,” said Professor Hosea Harvey, who teaches contracts. “I am always pleased when I can connect a parent or loved one’s unique personality with the style and personality of my students.”

For some guests, their visit to Temple Law is a way to reminisce about their own previous time in law school. For others, like Merdis Paterson, who spent the day with her friend and first year student Shanna Miles, it’s their first encounter with a law school class, “There’s a lot of detail,” Paterson said, “but it’s very interesting.”