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Hearsay: Talking about BC Law

Q&A with Esther Chang ’02, JD ’07.


Few alumni have remained as involved and engaged with BC Law as Esther Chang. With a recent, generous bequest intention, the partner at Mayer Brown in Chicago has only deepened her commitment to her alma mater.

How did your BC experience shape you? One of the most impactful things in my life has been my education. It’s opened up so many opportunities for me, and BC was instrumental in absolutely all of that. My Jesuit education was key to figuring out who I wanted to be and what I wanted to pursue in a career and in life.

What do you find special about BC Law that you want to support with your bequest? I believe it’s the culture of helping one another. Like all law schools, it’s competitive, but every time I see my classmates, I’m reminded of what a great group of people I had the privilege of studying alongside. It was a deeply serious, rigorous place, but also so supportive and lighthearted. Having practiced law for fifteen years, I’ve learned there are many things I can go without in a work environment. The quality of people isn’t one of them. My BC Law experience showed me that. It’s the reason I stayed at BC from undergrad through law school: The people are great.

It’s quite unique to make a bequest at such a young age. Why did you go that route? It’s important to plan ahead for these things. From a risk allocation and management perspective, you just don’t know what’s going to happen. I decided to sort out my estate planning earlier rather than later, and in a tax-efficient manner.

What inspired you to make the gift? Education is probably the most important gift you can give. I greatly benefited from receiving financial aid to further my education; without it, BC wouldn’t have been affordable for me. If I have any legacy to leave behind for future generations, it would be the opportunity to receive a great education.

What impact do you hope to make at BC Law? The Office of Gift Planning gave me the idea of designating the bequest for an endowed professorship or chair. Something along those lines would be really wonderful, and I can’t think of a better way to honor the professors and mentors who helped us shape our minds, lives, and careers.

What would you say to alumni and recent graduates about the importance of making a gift to BC Law? I would encourage them to think about their own career trajectories and the people who’ve helped them along the way. This is simply another way to pay it forward and support a great institution that was instrumental in our development as individuals and attorneys. We can help BC Law focus on what’s important: training the next generation of excellent lawyers who will make a profound impact on the world.

Chang’s decision to make a planned gift to BC Law in her will allows us to celebrate her generosity during her lifetime through membership in the Shaw Society. To learn more, please visit or contact the Office of Gift Planning at 877-304- SHAW or