‘The sport of argument:’ Nathaniel DeMelis and a Commitment to Justice

Over the 2022 holiday break, the BC Law Impact blog is running a series of some of the most powerful and fascinating admissions essays from first-year students. These personal statements, submitted as part of their admissions applications, tell a variety of compelling stories, but the thread connecting them all is an example of the kind of person who is attracted to a BC Law education: one who is driven to work collaboratively with others, achieve great things and make a real difference in the world.

We want to thank the Office of Admissions, and all of the student essay writers, for agreeing to share their stories with us. For more Admissions tips and other content, check out BC Law’s new TikTok channel.


Be it the penchant for holiday arguments, or the lessons of my late grandfather, my family has consistently shaped my growth and founded my interest in the law. 

In an Italian family that frequently exercises their freedom of speech in the sport of argument, it can be difficult to get a word in edgewise—especially around the holiday dinner table. There exists only a brief window of opportunity to make your point, and make it well, before you will either be refuted or simply shouted down.

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‘Taking pride in one’s own culture:’ Daniel Li’s Path to Law School

Over the 2022 holiday break, the BC Law Impact blog is running a series of some of the most powerful and fascinating admissions essays from first-year students. These personal statements, submitted as part of their admissions applications, tell a variety of compelling stories, but the thread connecting them all is an example of the kind of person who is attracted to a BC Law education: one who is driven to work collaboratively with others, achieve great things and make a real difference in the world.

We want to thank the Office of Admissions, and all of the student essay writers, for agreeing to share their stories with us. For more Admissions tips and other content, check out BC Law’s new TikTok channel.


During the first thirteen years of my life, living in Hungary, I cannot count how many times I felt embarrassed for doing something that was only natural to everyone else at school: talking to my mother. The only difference was that my classmates spoke Hungarian, while I spoke Chinese. The difference is minute, but it was significant for me. As my mother picked me up from school and asked how my day was, I chose either to stay silent or occasionally, say “hao,” which means “fine” and is a short and sweet, one-syllable word, just sufficient to answer my mother’s question and to not embarrass myself in front of my Hungarian classmates. But the source of embarrassment did not stem from being different in general—it rather stemmed from being Chinese, as my classmates made countless “harmless” jokes about eating dog meat, or engaged in “well-intentioned” stereotyping about having “almond eyes.”

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‘Empowering young women to use their voice:’ Ellie Burger and Creating Change

Over the 2022 holiday break, the BC Law Impact blog is running a series of some of the most powerful and fascinating admissions essays from first-year students. These personal statements, submitted as part of their admissions applications, tell a variety of compelling stories, but the thread connecting them all is an example of the kind of person who is attracted to a BC Law education: one who is driven to work collaboratively with others, achieve great things and make a real difference in the world.

We want to thank the Office of Admissions, and all of the student essay writers, for agreeing to share their stories with us. For more Admissions tips and other content, check out BC Law’s new TikTok channel.


Halfway through our cruise on the Potomac River, myself and the other Prudential Spirit of Community Award recipients were told to elaborate further on what convened us there that day. We had all been selected for making meaningful contributions to our communities through volunteer service. While I was eager to share details on the organization I had founded and hear from the other participants about theirs, I was hesitant. I could not help but think that there was a ceiling of sorts, a limit to the impact that any one individual, especially an adolescent, could have on such serious matters.

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‘A calling by God:’ Jason O’Dwyer and the Catholic Mission

Over the 2022 holiday break, the BC Law Impact blog is running a series of some of the most powerful and fascinating admissions essays from first-year students. These personal statements, submitted as part of their admissions applications, tell a variety of compelling stories, but the thread connecting them all is an example of the kind of person who is attracted to a BC Law education: one who is driven to work collaboratively with others, achieve great things and make a real difference in the world.

We want to thank the Office of Admissions, and all of the student essay writers, for agreeing to share their stories with us. For more Admissions tips and other content, check out BC Law’s new TikTok channel.


When I was a senior in high school, I realized the truth of God’s existence, and after a long period of contemplation, I began my process of conversion to the Catholic Church. This conversion has been my greatest challenge to overcome, my greatest trial, though this has been a spiritual trial rather than a physical or mental one. Much like Soren Kierkegaard laid out in his body of work, my process of fully accepting the truth of Christianity and becoming a Christian involved the laborious process of adopting the obligations that the Christian worldview puts on a believer. Going from the ethical phase of my life to a truly religious sense required a shift in my entire perspective on the most fundamental level. To accomplish this, I needed to abdicate my selfish desires for worldly things, learn to love God with my whole being, and take up a new self-image as a child of God. This process of becoming a Christian not only led me to Boston College, but also led me to my desire to learn the legal practice in the first place, so that I could fulfill my vocation and use all my faculties to be a man for others in the truest sense.

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‘A matter of life and death:’ Avika Shana Dhillon and Advocating for Others

Over the 2022 holiday break, the BC Law Impact blog is running a series of some of the most powerful and fascinating admissions essays from first-year students. These personal statements, submitted as part of their admissions applications, tell a variety of compelling stories, but the thread connecting them all is an example of the kind of person who is attracted to a BC Law education: one who is driven to work collaboratively with others, achieve great things and make a real difference in the world.

We want to thank the Office of Admissions, and all of the student essay writers, for agreeing to share their stories with us. For more Admissions tips and other content, check out BC Law’s new TikTok channel.


Music on hold is torture. Dial-up internet mixed with semi-smooth jazz and alien static, continuing in tightening circles that constrict the listener as a boa constrictor annihilates a deer. As a chronically ill person, hours on hold with my future in peril has made me maintain perspective on what I need to accomplish before time runs out. I need to ensure quality of care from my provider, while not burning out before my cell phone battery does. Am I going to law school because waiting for a medical insurance representative to speak with me enrages me? Not exactly. I am going because the fear that accompanies the entire process of receiving healthcare represents a problem I want to alleviate, and that will best be accomplished by attending law school.

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‘For when I’m dead or gone:’ Fax Amillion Victor and Pathways to Education

Over the 2022 holiday break, the BC Law Impact blog is running a series of some of the most powerful and fascinating admissions essays from first-year students. These personal statements, submitted as part of their admissions applications, tell a variety of compelling stories, but the thread connecting them all is an example of the kind of person who is attracted to a BC Law education: one who is driven to work collaboratively with others, achieve great things and make a real difference in the world.

We want to thank the Office of Admissions, and all of the student essay writers, for agreeing to share their stories with us. For more Admissions tips and other content, check out BC Law’s new TikTok channel.


On April 8, 2015, my pops slowly pulled in front of my high school to drop me off. As if it was any other day, he pressed play on the cassette tape in his ’04 Chevy Impala and Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day” seeped through the speakers. Usually we would sing along, but not today. As soon as the song ended, we hugged.

“For when I’m dead or gone,” my pops whispered in my ear.

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‘Insurrectionists climbed the Capitol:’ Brian Rose and the Board of Elections

Over the 2022 holiday break, the BC Law Impact blog is running a series of some of the most powerful and fascinating admissions essays from first-year students. These personal statements, submitted as part of their admissions applications, tell a variety of compelling stories, but the thread connecting them all is the kind of person who is attracted to a BC Law education: one who is driven to work collaboratively with others, achieve great things and make a real difference in the world.

We want to thank the Office of Admissions, and all of the student essay writers, for agreeing to share their stories with us. For more Admissions tips and other content, check out BC Law’s new TikTok channel.


On January 6th, 2021, insurrectionists climbed the Capitol façade, broke down its doors, and overwhelmed its security, all to overturn an election they felt had been rigged. Those insurrectionists were attempting to directly undermine my work. I have spent the past three years working for the Board of Elections in the City of New York, and I helped supervise one of the largest post-election ballot-counting canvass operations in the United States at Citi Field in Queens County, New York. I knew and could explain why the election was not rigged. I had accounted for every ballot we had to count and knew every detail of our processes. Yet, there I sat, as thousands of Americans attacked the core of our democracy. It was demoralizing. A process that has survived for over 200 years had nearly succumbed to an angry mob, instigated by a former president who had an iron grip around the minds of his supporters.

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‘Advocacy in the face of adversity’: Deja Bryant’s drive toward the law

Over the 2022 holiday break, the BC Law Impact blog is running a series of some of the most powerful and fascinating admissions essays from first-year students. These personal statements, submitted as part of their admissions applications, tell a variety of compelling stories, but the thread connecting them all is the kind of person who is attracted to a BC Law education: one who is driven to work collaboratively with others, achieve great things and make a real difference in the world.

We want to thank the Office of Admissions, and all of the student essay writers, for agreeing to share their stories with us. For more Admissions tips and other content, check out BC Law’s new TikTok channel.


I have felt immense pressure to tell a story about one particular instance in my life that sparked my calling to become a lawyer; a unique, personal, extraordinary occurrence intimately intertwined with justice that would make it clear to you, the reader, as to why I want to become an attorney. However, the truth is that there have been a multitude of occurrences in my life that contribute to my “why” for becoming an attorney. I would like to speak to three times in my life in which my desire for a profession in law and advocacy was completely lucid: as a young girl taking care of and living with my aunt battling HIV/AIDS, as the Howard University “voter registration girl,” and my time as a seventh grade teacher.

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Becoming Myself: Growing up Gay in a Straight World

In support of the well-being of lawyers across the professional spectrum—from students in the classroom to attorneys in all walks of legal life—we have launched a Mental Health Impact Blog Series, in partnership with alumnus Jim Warner ’92. Comprising deeply personal essays by community members who have struggled with mental health issues, the series provides restorative insights and resources to fellow lawyers in need. Read them all here.

The Mental Health Impact Blog Series coincides with a Law School-wide initiative, which will include lectures and workshops to support and promote mental well-being. To get involved in the activities or to write a guest post, contact jim.warner.uk@gmail.com.

The article below is adapted from alumnus David A. Mill’s full-page editorial published a decade ago on the eve of the first gay pride event in Salem, Massachusetts.


I was born in Salem, Massachusetts, on Oct. 9, 1942, but I was nearly 50 years old before I began to deal with the reality that my sexual orientation was principally gay and was the root of my so-called mental illness. That realization was torture for me, a culmination of a half-century of guilt and shame. I still shudder to recall the terrible isolation of that journey.

As a young boy learning to fish in the Danvers Mill Pond, I readily internalized strong feelings of shame into a core belief: I was unacceptably flawed. It crippled my sense of self and prevented me from following the normal, healthy stages of adolescent development. I was consumed with the task of hiding the fundamental truth of myself from others around me—first my family, then my town, then the Prep, my college, my profession … everyone and everything. I pretended all the while to be something I wasn’t. At the time, to me, it was the only way that I could survive. It was really lonely.

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Building Bridges: A Letter from the BLSA

As Co-Presidents of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), we understand the importance of balance. While Black people make up 13.4% of the American population, Black lawyers make up less than 5% of the legal industry. To mitigate this stark disparity, BLSA seeks to build community, provide academic support, and bridge generational gaps through consistent professional development. 

This year, we made a targeted effort to reconnect our community after the COVID-19 pandemic strained our social relations. When we began planning, we realized that our current members’ hardships mirrored those of BLSA alums from years past. Many of us still feel isolated, struggle with imposter syndrome, and ultimately feel unprepared. We decided with this presidency that we want to change the narrative. We recognize that an active and reliable community is paramount to combating these feelings of isolation and imposter syndrome. Our presidency is dedicated to making BLSA that space for our members.

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