‘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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‘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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Dear Fellow Law Students: The Curve is a Lie

The forty-something having fun at law school in this meme is supposed to be me, I imagine. But the cigar-smoking golfer is John Daly. Hard-driving, hard-drinking, ‘Long John’ Daly. He’s played golf most of his life. He still plays golf. Through alcoholism, failed marriages, and personal turmoil, John Daly keeps playing golf. And he’s 56.

Funny thing, golf. Even the best player in the world is going to lose. A lot. And they’re going to lose for one very simple, very human reason. They just weren’t good enough. Maybe the greens were faster than they like, or their short game was off. I don’t know; I don’t play golf. But whatever the multitude of reasons, there’s only one that matters. On that day, in those conditions, someone else did it better. For whatever reason. 

I’ve thought about this quite a bit as we’ve plummeted towards final exams, and as I’ve watched the sick realization of competition take hold and threaten to distort friendship into rivalry. I’ve thought about losing, and law school, and what I can learn from John Daly. And what I’ve decided is…

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Law School Essentials: What You Need… and What You Don’t

When you’re starting law school, it can be hard to figure out what exactly you should be spending your money on. And as law students, we definitely don’t have money to waste. Here are a few products that my peers and I believe are “must-haves”–and a few you can skip.

Best things we bought for law school:

  1. Desktop monitor

Being able to plug in your laptop to a desktop monitor (or better yet – a dual monitor, check this thing out) is extremely helpful. If you’re taking any finals from home or working on a research project, eliminating the constant minimizing between programs is a huge time saver.

  1. Quimbee

Quimbee is an online subscription that provides access to case briefs, study-aids, practice questions, and more. I’m not suggesting that you should rely on Quimbee in place of reading cases, but it is a great supplement. I find the videos the most helpful. 

  1. OneNote

I’ve mentioned this before, but I truly can’t say enough good things about Microsoft OneNote. You can easily organize your class notes over the semesters and even embed professor’s powerpoints. Plus, your notes will always be safely in the cloud, accessible from any computer or on the mobile app.

  1. Noise canceling headphones

Sometimes I like to throw on some Lofi study music, and other days I just put them on silent to cancel out distractions. They are a great investment, especially if you plan on working in common areas like the library. 

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