Natalie Lara '25

Bridging Science, Policy, and People

Natalie Lara ’25 is a first generation Mexican American whose parents both came to the United States as young adults. Natalie was the first in her entire extended family to attend undergraduate school and now is the first to attend law school.

Originally, Natalie wanted to become a climate researcher, but after taking her first environmental policy course she learned more about environmental law and was intrigued. “Environmental law really stood out to me, because my professor had explained it as a way to bridge science, policy, and people,” said Natalie. “I knew I liked working with people, but I also wanted to advocate for better environmental conditions. Furthermore, growing up in South Florida, hurricanes were a common occurrence. I saw how climate change was affecting my community and other communities like mine, and I realized that I wanted to use the law to advocate for a sustainable future for all.”

So far, Natalie has had a very well rounded and positive experience at Haub Law. She finds the professors engaging and enthusiastic and all are willing to go beyond the classroom and act as mentors to help their students navigate their legal careers. “Professor Narula in particular always inspires me,” said Natalie. “In addition to her impressive legal career and despite any injustices that she's confronted throughout her life, she is still kind to everyone, and she reminds us to do the same. She reminds her students that it's important to process emotions as we feel them, whether we have great wins or great losses. This has been invaluable to remember.”

During her time at Haub Law, Natalie has participated in the Land Use Law Center legal externship and helped to develop the Climate Resilient Development workshop series. She is also president of the Environmental Law Society here at Haub Law, secretary of the Latin American Law Students Association, and Hospitality Vice-Chair for the National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition.

Natalie is pursuing an Advanced Certificate in Environmental Law and when she graduates in 2025, she hopes to find herself working in environmental law. “I would love to end up at a firm full of people who are inspired by the law and continue to challenge themselves.”

School-life balance is important to Natalie and even as a 1L last year she was able to read 100 books for leisure! “It is important to dedicate time to focus on yourself outside of your studies,” said Natalie.