headshot of Tyler Lee

When Lee takes his place with the class of 2020 at New York University School of Law, he brings forward a history of success amid challenge.

From Appalachia to law school

July 5, 2017

It was in elementary school that Tyler Lee '17 first began to dream of leaving a hometown he felt limited him personally and professionally. Appalachia...where the challenges of a region filled with economic struggle meets social disparity and individual hardship.

headshot of Tyler LeeIn August when Lee takes his place with the Class of 2020 at New York University School of Law, he brings forward a history of success amid challenge.

Pushing Ahead

"Growing up in a region facing economic difficulty wasn’t easy," he explained. "I worked hard to overcome the difficulties that plagued my hometown in West Virginia."

His choice to attend Baldwin Wallace was influenced by a friend, who "gushed about how much she loved the school." Also playing a factor in his decision was the generous scholarship and grant assistance he received from BW.

Earning Top Recognition

Once on campus, he majored in economics and was active in numerous co-curricular activities and the BW Honors Program.

He set a goal of attending a top-tier law school. It was achieved when he received acceptance letters from the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown and Duke, as well as New York University. The latter offering him a full-tuition, highly competitive scholarship as one of eight students nationally who had proven himself to be a leader "in the face of challenging social and economic circumstances."

"My interview for the scholarship was held in the Supreme Court building," he recalled with pride. "I was interviewed by Justice Clarence Thomas and a number of the nation’s top lawyers. I discussed my life, my struggles and ambitions. Though I was highly doubtful I’d be selected, I was fairly satisfied by the fact that I made a notoriously stoic Supreme Court justice laugh."

Bringing BW’s footprint forward

"The essay that scored me the scholarship interview spoke a great deal about the community I found at BW and how that was what I was looking for in my law school experience," he noted.

Paying it forward is important to Lee as he looks to his future career. "I want to help others succeed by demonstrating that mediocrity is rooted in complacency, not circumstance."