Her immigration journey tested resolve of Detroit Law student

Diana Lazar is a rising 2L at Detroit Mercy Law, with a particular interest in business law, employment law, and immigration law.

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Diana Lazar’s decision to study law was deeply influenced by her background as an immigrant from Romania who came to the United States with her family at the age of 5, and is the first in her family to attend college.

“I witnessed firsthand the challenges my family faced due to language barriers and a lack of understanding of the legal and regulatory systems in the U.S.,” she says. “These difficulties ignited a passion within me to learn how to navigate these systems not only to aid my own family but also to assist others in similar situations who are often underserved and overlooked.”

Now a rising 2L at Detroit Mercy Law, Lazar has a particular interest in business law, and employment law, an interest is strongly influenced by her previous work experience in various business fields, including HR, data analytics and compliance. She also is interested in immigration law, with a desire to give back to the immigrant community just as her family was assisted.

Lazar launched her academic trajectory by earning two bachelor of science degrees, cum laude, from Oakland University: one in Management Information Systems and a second one in Human Resources Management. She earned a Mathematics and Statistics Award of Merit, and was a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, and Golden Key International Honor Society.

After graduation, she worked in fields of data analytics, business intelligence, and compliance.

“This experience was incredibly rewarding as it allowed me to hone my analytical skills and gain a deep understanding of data-driven decision making,” she says. “I particularly enjoyed the challenge of extracting meaningful insights from complex data sets and translating these into actionable strategies that could drive business growth and decisions.

“My most recent role was in compliance as part of an in-house legal team at an automotive supplier where I was able to leverage my business and analytics background to navigate and understand various legal and regulatory frameworks, which not only satisfied my interest in law but also underscored the importance of ethics and responsibility in business practices.”

Lazar is thoroughly enjoying her law school experience at UDM.

“What I most appreciate about Detroit Mercy Law is its exceptionally inclusive environment and the genuine commitment to student success,” she says. “The faculty really takes the time to know each student, which creates a personalized and supportive educational experience. This approach not only makes students feel heard and valued but also fosters a conducive atmosphere for learning and professional growth.”

She also appreciates the ample opportunities for development through various programs and initiatives, ensuring students can explore their interests deeply and gain practical experience.

“The inclusivity and attention to individual student growth truly enhance the educational journey, making it a nurturing ground for aspiring lawyers,” Lazar says.

After serving as 1L class treasurer, she will continue to serve in her 2L year.

“I enjoy the responsibility of managing finances, which is crucial for supporting the various student activities and initiatives,” she says. “It allows me to apply my background in business and analytics in a meaningful way, ensuring resources are used efficiently.”

Lazar is the recipient of both a Dean’s Scholarship and a Future Spirit of Detroit Mercy Law Award, calling these “an honor and a profound motivation.”

“The Dean’s Scholarship, awarded for academic excellence and potential, has been instrumental in allowing me to pursue my legal studies, enabling me to fully focus on my academic and extracurricular engagements,” she says. “The recognition reinforces my commitment to maintaining high standards in my legal education.”

Lazar is excited about her upcoming work as a first-year summer associate at Ogletree Deakins.

“I look forward to immersing myself in the world of employment law, a field that aligns closely with my interests in business and legal practices affecting the workplace,” she says. “I’m very excited to be able to learn from the talented legal professionals at the firm.”

She also has been selected to participate in this summer’s Women’s Lawyers Association of Michigan (WLAM) Leadership class.

“I’m excited to gain valuable skills and insights into effective leadership, specifically within the legal profession,” she says.

As for the future, Lazar says her primary career goal is to work at a law firm where she can immerse herself in the field of business law, gaining the practical experience and mentorship necessary to understand the diverse legal needs of businesses.

A resident of Rochester Hills, Lazar enjoys the rich history and culture of Detroit.

“The sense of community and resilience among Detroiters is palpable, making it a city that not only embraces its past but is also enthusiastically building towards its future,” she says.

In her leisure time, Lazar enjoys working out, traveling, and trying new restaurants; and also makes time to give back to the community. She has volunteered for Life Remodeled, Forgotten Harvest, Gleaners Community Food Bank, and Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, and was a mentor of part of the SBA Mentorship program at Oakland University.

She is deeply appreciative of all that her family has done for her. Her family’s journey to the United States, arriving with very little, has been a fundamental part of her narrative and motivation.

“They made significant sacrifices, leaving behind everything familiar to start anew in a foreign land, all to give me opportunities they never had,” she says. “Witnessing their struggles and resilience profoundly shaped my values and aspirations. It instilled in me a deep sense of responsibility to not only make the most of the opportunities provided but also to give back to them and the community.

“My goal is to honor their sacrifices by achieving success in my legal career and using my skills and resources to support and uplift them, just as they have supported me.”

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