In honor of First-Generation College Student Celebration Month, UA Little Rock is profiling some of its outstanding first-generation students.
Rikki Cobb is a first generation law student pursuing a Juris Doctor degree from the William H. Bowen School of Law. She is in her second year.
Where is your hometown?
I’m from Wheatland, Wyoming. I moved to Arkansas right after I turned 13 and have been here ever since.
What does it mean to you to be a first-generation student?
It means that I can overcome obstacles and push myself to succeed. I have always been a person who says “I am going to,” not “I am going to try.” Once I am certain of my goals, it is no longer a question of if I will do it. The only question becomes how.
How did your family react when you told them you wanted to earn a college degree?
They congratulated me. My grandmother particularly bragged for a long time after I graduated with my bachelor’s degree. She and my mother both boast about my being a law student often.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of college so far?
Law School has been the most fulfilling thing I have done (outside of having three beautiful children). I genuinely enjoy the study of law, and even when it is exhausting, I know that it will all be worth the effort when I am able to help equalize access to justice in Arkansas.
What made you choose the Bowen School of Law?
At first, it was because it was close by. That changed when I went to an event called “Night at the Law School” and was able to sit in and observe two classes. The first was Professor Cummings’ Contracts I class. He was one of the most welcoming people I had ever met, and I immediately felt like I belonged there. After I was accepted to two other law schools, I held out until I got my acceptance from Bowen because it was my top choice.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
I plan to open a small practice with one of my best friends that would be primarily located in one of Arkansas’s underserved counties.
Do you have any advice for future first-generation students?
If you have questions, ask. Not everything is obvious, and you can always reach out to your professors. Professors are going to be your biggest resource, and it is important to keep in touch with them and build a solid and appropriate relationship with them.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
If you struggle at first, keep trying. Don’t be too hard on yourself and take your time. It is a marathon, not a sprint.