The Class of 2021 Day-Division Valedictorian, Sofia Nuño Unanue, gave an inspiring speech at Commencement that left the entire room in tears and cheers. Her story of determination, loss, and perseverance, is truly inspiring. Shortly after graduation, she shared her thoughts:
The first person to call me a lawyer was my dad. He used to call me mi licenciada. He passed away when I was still undocumented and did not get to see me attend college or go to law school. The first time I applied to law school, I was not accepted. The second time, I applied to approximately 20 law schools. I had a 3.4 college GPA, a Master’s in Legal Studies, and a 152 LSAT score.
My college GPA failed to show that I was learning English during my Freshman year and working full time while studying full time. My GPA could not tell my story of being undocumented, or of losing my dad to cancer because he could not receive medical care, or that I volunteered for a year with an indigenous community in Mexico, or of the work I did with immigrants in Arizona.
None of these things mattered for the 19 law schools that rejected me. For those schools, my potential could only be measured by my GPA and LSAT score. Fortunately, New England Law | Boston saw my potential and accepted me. I will always be grateful for the opportunity that changed my life. Many negative stereotypes are associated with Latinos, but I stand proud to be Mexican, to be a Latina, and to be an immigrant. This country is filled with immigrants who are kind, hard-working, and who are just looking for an opportunity. Celebrating graduation with her brother and mom, 2021
Sofia is a first-year associate at Mintz law firm in Boston. You can watch her interview with 7 News Boston at bit.ly/whdhnel. Video of her commencement speech is available at bit.ly/Sofia-Speech.