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Hearsay: Talking about BC Law

Q&A with John Isaza ’89


Growing up, he often felt like an outsider—until he landed at BC Law. Today, John Isaza ’89 is a privacy lawyer who specializes in data governance and artificial intelligence. By including the Law School in his estate plans, he is giving back to the place that embraced him.

What drew you to Boston College Law School? I earned my undergraduate degree in speech and communication from the University of Florida in only three years. Finishing early seemed like a good idea at the time, but I didn’t have a solid post-grad plan. I knew I wasn’t “finished” learning yet, and I suspected a law degree would give me more career options. After researching lots of law programs, it was clear that BC Law was a great fit for my personality and my ambitions. 

Who were your favorite professors? Thanks to the mentorship and teaching style of professors Zygmunt Plater and Peter Donovan, I learned so much. Sanford Katz, who taught contracts, always brought his wicked sense of humor into the classroom.

What does your BC Law experience mean to you? When I began as a 1L, I was embraced by my classmates and the entire community. I felt like I had arrived exactly where I was supposed to be; I finally fit in. But that doesn’t mean we were a homogeneous group. We came from extremely varied backgrounds and experiences. There were wealthy students and those who, like me, came from modest backgrounds. One of our classmates was blind. One was sixty-five years old. It was just so impressive to me that there was room for everyone. And then on top of that, there was always a person to talk to or a place to go if you needed help or guidance. 

How did your law degree impact your career choices? Right after I graduated from BC Law, I began my law career  as a construction lawyer and spent about ten years doing complex litigation. But thanks to the real estate law I also learned as a student, I invested in real estate on the side. I also have my real estate license. Now I am a privacy lawyer specializing in data governance and artificial intelligence.

Why is it important to support the Law School? I like to give back to the institutions that helped shape who I am today. I was the first in my family to finish elementary school, let alone law school. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my education. This is why I included BC Law in my estate plans. The BC Law community does so much for students like me who come from underprivileged communities. It gives them wings to fly. I do hope that my contribution helps build those wings for generations to come.

John Isaza’s decision to establish a bequest allows us to celebrate his generosity during his lifetime through membership in the Shaw Society. To learn more, please visit or contact the Office of Gift Planning at 877-304-SHAW or