BA in Law 2020 Grad Lauren Easter Finds Passion for Law While Advocating for Survivors of Domestic Violence

May 15, 2020
Lauren Olivia Easter
Name: Lauren Olivia Easter 
Degree: BA in Law and Philosophy with Honors  
Student groups, clinics, awards, etc 
  • University of Arizona's 2020 Provost Award 
  • University of Arizona's 2019 Centennial Achievement Award 
  • 2019 Dr. Richard Kissling Spirit of Inquiry Scholarship Recipient 
  • 2019 SGPP Rombach Institute Outstanding Student 
  • Magellan Circle Scholarship Recipient, 2018-2019 and 2019 - 2020  
  • Phi Theta Kappa 2018 Guistwhite Scholarship Recipient 
  • Gold Scholar on Coca-Cola's 2018 Academic Team 
  • All-Arizona 2018 Academic Team (1st Team) 
  • Dean's List with Distinction for Spring 2019 and Fall 2019
Student Groups/ Clinics: 
  • Student participant for James E. Rogers' Civil Rights Restoration Clinic 
  • University of Arizona Endorsed Leader  
  • The American Enterprise Institute Executive Council 
  • Former Student Officer for the Arizona Prison Project  
  • Phi Kappa Phi National Honors Society  
  • Tau Sigma National Honors Society  
  • Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership and Honors Society  
  • Phi Theta Kapp National Honors Society  
Current Community Groups: 
  • Purple Ribbon Volunteer for Emerge! Center against Domestic Abuse assisting with lay legal services  
  • Board of Directors for the Tucson Paralegal Association

“With what I have learned here as a Wildcat, I hope to redefine the expectations that society holds for any woman who has been abused – in any way – and to help blaze a trail forward for single moms everywhere; especially women of color,” says Lauren Easter, University of Arizona graduating senior in the Bachelor of Arts in Law program 

Easter is also in the University of Arizona Honors College and enrolled in the accelerated Master of Legal Studies program. She was most recently awarded with the University of Arizona's 2020 Provost Award and the 2019 Centennial Achievement Award by University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins  

Easter chose to major in law to build her legal knowledge and help her prepare for law school, with her underlying mission being to reduce domestic violence.  

As a survivor of domestic violence, Easter wants to become an advocate attorney, conducting pro-bono work for victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.  

She is a volunteer at Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse and is looking forward to helping her local community.  

“One in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. This is a statistic that I have made my life’s mission to change,” says Easter. 

What made you pursue your BA in Law degree? 
I have found our legal system to be an area where I can genuinely fulfill my personal goals and my unique passions. In the current world we live in, we hear the words "one in four." One in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. This is a statistic that I have made my life mission to change. Domestic violence is a subject that I take to heart. At the age of 24, I became a single mother, homeless, and a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault. Becoming a survivor opened my eyes to how women, especially African American women, who endure these situations never have the support or help they need to get out. It was at that moment I found my passion for law.  

Why did you choose the University of Arizona? 
When I was 24 years old, I had to figure out how I was going to be able to achieve a higher education. At this age, I became a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault and left a five-year abusive relationship with nothing to my name. I only had my son and myself. I needed to get creative and figure out how I could work, go to school, take care of my son with autism, and be successful. I knew the University of Arizona had the necessary tools, flexibility and support to help me achieve these goals 

What is your favorite Arizona Law memory? 
I was honored to present on behalf of the BA in Law program at the 2020 African American Youth Heritage Day event here in Tucson. I had the privilege to speak with the youth and share my experiences within the program and encourage them to pursue a legal education. Furthermore, the experiences I have gained from participating in the Civil Rights Restoration Clinic are unforgettable. Working alongside Professor Andy Silverman and helping individuals in our local community has been truly rewarding.  

How do you think you've changed from your first year here to now? 
During my first year as a Wildcat, I was nervous and timid about trying to new things and branching out. I would doubt myself and wonder if I could even do this. Especially due to my being a woman of color and a single mother, I have been told that the odds are against me.  Now, I feel like I can overcome anything and continue to do so. I have never felt more empowered and more determined to make a difference in this worldThe University of Arizona has helped me find my purpose and solidify my strengths as an individual.  

What will you miss most about Arizona Law? 
What I will miss the most are the staff, faculty, and administration here at the University of Arizona. I have received such tremendous support and encouragement to go beyond what I thought was possible. Not all universities provide the type of support I have received, and I owe so much to this institution for helping become the woman I am today.  

What are you most proud of during your time at Arizona Law? 
My biggest accomplishment is completing my four-year degree. I once read a statistic that there are roughly 10 million single-mother-led families in the United States, and only about 2 million of those mothers go to college. I am proud to say that I am one of those 2 million. Studies have shown that college women who have endured violence, are more likely to drop out and not finish their degrees. Unfortunately, these rates are much higher among minority women. This includes the women on our UA campuses. My time at the University of Arizona allows me to set an example to these women, especially those who are women of color, single mothers, and who have endured rape and domestic violence.   

What do you wish you would have known your first year at Arizona Law, that you know now? 
That anything is possible. I doubted myself and was scared to get out of my comfort zone. However, after finding the courage to ask my advisors and professors about ideas and discuss my goals, it was easy to form a plan and get my ideas into action. The university has always taken the time to work with me, one on one, and find ways for me to achieve all my goals and fulfill my accomplishments.  

What is your advice for students who will be starting BA in Law in the fall? 
Sit with your advisor and tell them everything you want to accomplish during your time in the program. Whether it is graduating with honors, applying for an accelerated masters, triple majoring, or doing all of the above; they will make it happen for you. The BA in Law advisors are some of the best I have ever had, and they want nothing more than to see you succeed. I took the time to meet with my advisor at least twice a semester to touch base and make sure I was on track.  

What are your future career goals? 
The University of Arizona is giving me the tools that I need to reach my personal goal of helping other women who have been through similar scenarios. With what I have learned here as a Wildcat, I hope to redefine the expectations that society holds for any woman who has been abused – in any way – and to help blaze a trail forward for single moms everywhere, especially women of color. I know that I can make a positive impact by reducing the amount of violence against women through changing our legal system to make it better for those who will come after me. I am currently forming a scholarship foundation to help individuals impacted by domestic abuse and gender violence. Eventually, I want to become an advocate attorney, conducting pro-bono work for victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Once I am well-experienced in this field, I will obtain my Master of Laws (LLM) degree in human rights. I will eventually become an international human rights lawyer and bring global awareness to domestic violence while representing individuals from all over the world to help them gain justice and get a second chance, just like I did. 

Do you have a message for your fellow members of the Class of 2020? 
We are all together, during these unprecedented times, standing upon the cliffs of our futures. These cliffs are no longer a distant vision, but instead, a clear and present reality that is now the collective manifestation of our individual ambitions, personal dreams and our unique passions. As we gaze towards what lies ahead, searching for what will greet us beyond our cliff, one thing is clear, and one thing is certain: Our future begins here, and it begins now. Bear Down! And congratulations to the class of 2020!