Though I knew I wanted to go to law school since I was relatively young, by the time I graduated college I had let my doubts get to me. I became anxious about the competitiveness, the time commitment, and the amount of debt law school would bring, and convinced myself that I couldn’t handle it. Even after getting into my top choice school, I considered trying out a different career path instead. Thankfully my parents convinced me to give it a shot. They tirelessly encouraged me that I could handle the challenge, that I was meant to do this, and that I shouldn’t give up on my dream. They knew that I would thrive here and they never let me forget it. I just want to take this chance to thank them, because I’m so incredibly glad I made the decision to attend.
Above photo is the BC Veteran’s Memorial “dedicated to the memory of Boston College alumni who died in service to their country.”
Two days into a trip from Boston to the Panama Canal, my Coast Guard cutter tucked into a harbor off Long Island to anchor while we waited out a winter storm. Like most of the crew, I took advantage of what might be my last hours of American cell phone service for three months to text family members and obsessively refresh my email. I stood on the flight deck and felt a momentary reprieve from the wind and snow whipping my face as I read the subject line, “Congratulations from BC Law.”
My first reaction was an embarrassing combination of shock and fist pumps directed in no particular direction. My second reaction was a sobering, “Now what?” After ten years in the military I’d grown accustomed to having a checklist and pre-planned response card for everything I did, now I was temporarily severing my connection to the outside world without any idea how I’d prepare or pay for law school. I didn’t know what kind of help to ask for, much less who to ask for it.
I have been grappling with the sometimes-tenuous relationship between my expectations and reality since I was a six-year-old girl, kissing my perfectly healthy mother goodbye before school. When I got off the school bus that afternoon, I expected my mother to be waiting for me at the bus stop, a snack to be on the table, and my father to be at work. Instead, it was my father waiting for me, no snack, and the news that my mother had taken a nap that morning and had never woken up.
Several years after my mother’s death, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, but I think emptiness is a much more complete way to describe what was happening inside my head. When people think of depression they think of sadness and tears, but depression is more like a parasite that sucks away all human emotions; happiness, anger, even sadness cannot exist as long as depression is present. Being depressed is like being locked behind a one-way mirror; isolated, invisible to your loved ones, and forced to watch them live their happy lives without you.
Sometimes, life has a funny way of telling you where you’re supposed to be.
In February, I had decided on a law school. Spoiler alert: It wasn’t BC Law. The school I chose was a highly-ranked choice close to home. I was beyond excited to send in my seat deposit, but for some reason I felt obligated to justify my decision to my friends and family. I remember pining over the ABA 509 Reports for some kind—any kind—of justification to back my decision. Now, of course, I know that the only person I needed to convince was myself.
The BC Law Student Ambassadors program launched last year. It is designed to enhance the on-campus experience for every prospective student who visits BC Law. The Ambassadors lead campus tours, help out at Admitted Students Day, and serve as a resource for applicants and admitted students who are considering enrolling at BC Law.
I’ll be profiling the dozen or so new Ambassadors during the next few months. Here are the first two! You can read through our archives to see previous profiles. If you are a prospective student and notice something about any of our Ambassadors that you’d like to discuss with him or her – whether it’s a shared alma mater, an interesting extracurricular, or an appealing summer job – do not hesitate to reach out. After all, that’s what we’re here for!
Name: Hanna Lipman
Undergraduate institution: Tulane
Experiences between college and law school: Worked in luxury fashion marketing in Dallas, CSR marketing in NYC, at Equinox in NYC, and helped open an Orangetheory in Brooklyn.
She was only seventeen when she realized she was pregnant. Having grown up in a predominantly white town in Ohio, she knew better than to bear a black man’s child, especially at that age. An adopted child herself, she decided someone else could provide her son a better life than a struggling high school student could. But my mother suddenly changed her mind seconds after holding me; by and large, my life’s greatest blessing. The struggles that would confront her may not have been clear at the moment, but she was willing to sacrifice plenty: forgoing college dreams, working multiple low wage jobs to put food on the table, being shunned by family for the color of her child’s skin, and most of all, being forced to do so alone. It was the nights that I awoke to her muffled sobs, seeing her still dressed in dirty waitressing clothes, that impacted me the most. I learned early on in life that the cards may not always be in your favor and that some people have to work harder to succeed. Yet by witnessing her struggle, I ultimately learned the value of resiliency and hard work. My mother’s perseverance instilled an insatiable hunger and an unrelenting drive, which ultimately would guide me through life. Continue reading
Hi everyone! It’s been a while since my last post because I and the admissions committee have been hard at work on a few projects (one soon to come – stay tuned!) including this one.
We know that getting to campus for a visit may be cost-prohibitive or otherwise impossible for some of our students outside of the Northeast, and in conjunction with the Office of Admissions, we’ve made it so that you can take a tour from the comfort of your own home! Watch the replay on You Tube:
A common question law school applicants ask is “which college major should you choose if you want to go to law school?” In reality, it does not matter which major you choose; all majors are welcome in law school.
When I was an undergraduate, I studied applied math. After taking a few Constitutional Law classes, I grew to love legal analysis. This substantially influenced my decision to go to law school. I remember telling friends about my decision to apply to law school. Some were very supportive, but others would ask: “Why did you bother studying math, then?” or “I guess your math degree is now kind of a waste, huh?” or “why don’t you use your math degree and do something like banking or consulting.” It was honestly hard to come up with a response. I truly felt more passionate about the law than math. But I was also certain that the logic and problem solving skills I had spent four years developing would be helpful.
…is to not prepare at all.
Dear Class of 2018, you have struggled through the undergraduate battleground, you finished a post-bachelor degree, or maybe you’ve summoned the courage to work AND apply to law school, and you’re positively ravenous for any advice on how to best prepare yourself for what lies ahead of you.
I have only three words for you: Treat. Yo. Self.
For those of you unfamiliar with NBC’s Parks and Recreation, no worries – you have the entire summer with which to make yourself familiar. But for old fans of Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford, Treat Yo’ Self 2015 (aka, now until right around August 20th) should be spent on you.
It was about three years ago now that I was making my decision as to where to attend law school. It was a tough decision for me, as I am sure it is for most people. Even though I knew which school was the best fit for me, I was stressed out about turning down bigger scholarships elsewhere. Every time I went to send in my deposit, I started to second guess my decision.
It is a very personal decision to choose where you’ll spend the next few years of your life. Looking back now, I feel so grateful that I chose Boston College, and I feel lucky to have a mother like mine, who encouraged me to go with my gut in choosing BC. Last week I finished up my academic career here, and I am already starting to feel nostalgic for the community of friends and mentors I have found at Boston College Law School. Here, more than anywhere else, I have found a school where professors keep in touch with their former students, where administrators go out of their way to share opportunities with students, and where the group of classmates you find end up feeling like family after three years of going through life’s ups and downs together.
The first, and most important group, that deserves thanks is the BC Law student body. I made my first, and closest friends in Section 3, but as the years progressed I have gotten to know an amazingly diverse, passionate, friendly group of my classmates. These people have studied with me during exams, passed along their carefully formatted outlines, and accompanied me on all sorts of misadventures over the past three years. Especially when I compare my experience to those of my friends at other schools, I feel so fortunate to have found such a stellar group of people to spend the past three years with. On a broader scale, our student government, the Public Interest Law Foundation, and the myriad affinity groups here at BC have truly excelled at making Boston College a welcoming, fun, and engaging place to be a student.