Student Spotlight

Sharing Impact: 1Ls Share Personal Stories Nationally

 Renee Liporace ‘23, Morgan Welling ‘23, and Lexie Paddon ’23

By Lauren Mineau
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Morgan Welling '22
Morgan Welling '22

 Renee Liporace ‘23, Morgan Welling ‘23, and Lexie Paddon ’23 all shared personal stories and how they interact with the law as part of BYU LawStories on the Mainstage – a national storytelling event hosted by Brigham Young Law School in Provo, Utah – in March. The annual event is a unique opportunity for law students to sharpen storytelling skills.

Each shared deeply personal stories during the virtual conference and supported their peers as they shared their most vulnerable moments too.

“It was the first time I did any creative writing in law school,” Welling said. “You always meet people and engage in small talk and get to know them on the surface. With this, a lot of people shared some of their most personal stories.”

Welling shared how he turned his life around after his own run in with the law and is now pursuing a career as a legal professional in, “Check This Box If.” With a background in finance, business, and math, he will be an intern for a business law firm this summer even though he is interested in criminal law.

“It’s completely different than what I want to do, but that’s why I like the idea of it,” he said about the internship. “I felt like I had a jump on that. I think in terms like that. Everything is like a math problem. With law, there are steps to meet and a problem to solve.”

Renee Liporace '23
Renee Liporace '23

Liporace detailed her experience getting treatment for stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in, “A Reason to Fight.” The diagnosis came just before she completed her undergraduate degree at the University at Albany. Her dream of being a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marines was put on hold then and she said that was actually more difficult than her cancer diagnosis.

“Life wanted to put me in a different direction,” she said.

She said that the future is what kept her going through the brutal chemotherapy and she still wants to find a way to make the military a part of her life, but the rules and structure of the law are a good fit. She has to wait five years to be medically cleared, so she’s focusing on education for now.

“No matter what I end up doing, there’s a reason I ended up coming to law school. I always want to be able to remind myself of that through being empathetic and always remembering that everyone has a story,” she said. “Everyone started somewhere.”

So far, she’s interested in constitutional law and criminal law. 

“I like to be able connect what I’m learning with what’s going on in the present world,” she said. “I like making that connection and it makes me want to get more in depth knowing it applies to what’s going on outside of the classroom.”

Paddon shared a story of her childhood struggles with abuse and dating violence in, “The Outlier: 1 out of 4.”

“Education is the only way you can break this cycle,” her grandfather told her.

She hopes to teach young women and children that there are attorneys looking to help them. She hopes to be one on of those attorneys.

“After a lifetime of being a living and breathing statistic, I am now an outlier,” she said. “If I did not go through these things, I would not be able to tell other young women how to not become a living, breathing statistic.”

Hear the stories: