Outstanding Law Student of the Month Award
The VLP is pleased to announce that Lauren Ruiz has been selected as our Outstanding Law Student Volunteer for the month of July 2014. Lauren, who very recently started volunteering with the VLP, has quickly proven her commitment to the program by participating in not one, but two, VLP student clinics.
This summer Lauren is volunteering in the Bankruptcy Reaffirmation and Service Center clinics, and has made herself a regular. Lauren’s sunny personality and willingness to learn new areas of the law make her a valued part of the VLP.
Lauren is from Glendale, AZ, but has been in Tucson for several years – first as an undergraduate student and now as a law student. As an undergrad at the University of Arizona, Lauren was a double major, graduating magna cum laude with a B.S. and B.A. in Finance and Entrepreneurship. During this time, she was a junior achievement volunteer, a Ben’s Bells volunteer, and played intramural softball and tennis.
Lauren was also recognized with several honors and awards, including: Eller’s 50 Hispanic Scholars of 2012, Regents High Honor Tuition Scholar, and Wildcat Excellence Award Scholar. Prior to graduation, Lauren also spent a summer in Barcelona, Spain where she worked at Barcelona Ecologia translating the company’s website and brochures into English.
When asked why she decided to stay at the U of A for law school, Lauren said, “I couldn’t see continuing my education elsewhere. Then when I toured the campus, I was sold on the small community feel.” Besides staying busy with classes, Lauren also participates in Wills for Heroes, she is a University of Arizona Student Delegate, and she is a member of the Hispanic Law Association.
After her 1L year, Lauren also decided to sign up as a VLP Advocate. According to Lauren, she chose to become involved because the VLP “provide[s] great hands on experience.” She also volunteers “to make a difference in the lives of those [who] really need it.” Lauren said, “I have always known I would want to use my legal experience to help those in need. I like how [the VLP] allows me to do that as a student.” In her short time with the VLP, Lauren has learned “how crucial it is [for a client] to get legal advice early in a case.” Particularly at the Service Center clinic, Lauren has witnessed how “the steps involved in a case can be overwhelming for clients and stack up quickly.”
As a hobby, Lauren enjoys cooking. She said, “I love trying new recipes or experimenting on my own.” Her favorite Tucson restaurant is Riley’s because of the restaurant’s “to die for” fried Brussels sprouts. And, when she should be studying, she prefers to watch Grey’s Anatomy, The Bachelor, and The Bachelorette.
Lauren’s dream job is to practice non-litigation Estates and Trusts so that she can combine her legal education with her finance and business background.
Thank you, Lauren, for volunteering with the VLP!