From High School Dropout to Law School Success Story


Cesar Vega’s is the son of Peruvian immigrants who, lacking English-language skills, couldn’t put their law degrees to work in America.

Now their son, who as a high school dropout seemed unlikely to follow in their footsteps, is carrying on the family tradition.

Vega awarded his Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School at commencement exercises on May 17.

Setting an example

He had dropped out of high school after drifting into gang activity and early fatherhood in Worcester, where his family had settled.

But Vega decided to turn things around to set a good example for his son and the infant’s mother by earning his GED, followed by an associate’s and a bachelor’s degree.

While studying at Clark University in Worcester, he played varsity soccer, tutored students living in a housing project, and advocated for the disabled.

A promise fulfilled

Vega aspired to law school, but had a low grade point average and Law Board scores. However, he promised Suffolk Law School Dean of Admissions Gail Ellis that he would work harder than ever if she gave him a chance, and she did, admitting him to the evening program. True to his word, he succeeded in his studies and entered the full-time day program in his second year.

“This law school has not only taught me but shown me what it means to believe in someone, what it means to help another, and what it means to motivate somebody," said Vega. "I can certainly say I'm leaving Suffolk Law School a better person, and I hope to make it proud someday.”

Beginning in September, Vega will be interning for the Hon. Timothy S. Hillman at the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

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Mariellen Norris

Greg Gatlin