College of the Canyons student Lauren Doan has been honored with a first-place award and $1,500 scholarship from the American Association for Paralegal Education Lambda Epsilon Chi National Honor Society.
Her essay, “Setting Legal Precedents Amid an Unprecedented Pandemic,” analyzed whether a senior-living facility for those suffering from Alzheimer’s is liable for the death of a resident who contracted COVID-19 during lockdown.
“It is a pivotal turning point in my life that I will look back on and say this is where I knew that I was meant to be an attorney,” said Doan of her recent win. “When I was working on my essay, I wasn’t concerned with this idea of winning or that this was a national competition, rather I was so engulfed in the enjoyment of working on a legal case. You know you truly love something when you could stare at numerous statute codes that, to others, look incredibly boring, and yet enjoy every minute of it.”
Doan’s essay will be published in an upcoming edition of “The Legal Educator,” AAfPE’s professional journal.
“Being able to be published at a national level in ‘The Legal Educator’ and winning a scholarship is truly an honor as I hope this can encourage future students to put themselves out there and actively pursue their passion,” said Doan. “Education transcends a degree or diploma; it is what opens up these very doors that lead us to these life-changing moments.”
Doan, who graduated from COC in June after completing the college’s Pathway to Law School program, credits professor Lori Young with bolstering her passion for law.
“She is a huge inspiration for me as after taking her introduction class to law I felt as if law is more than a dream and more of a destiny,” said Doan, who lives in the Santa Clarita Valley. “I would have not been given this amazing opportunity without Professor Young as she was the individual who introduced me to the scholarship and helped read through my essay.”
Young says she was elated to learn that Doan had won the essay contest.
“Lauren has a great writing style, and she embraced the opportunity to compete at a national level by analyzing a case scenario, utilizing her research skills, and producing a stellar legal essay,” said Young. “I am so proud of her accomplishment.”
Doan is transferring to UCLA in the fall to study biochemistry and law.
COC is one of 27 California Community Colleges in partnership with the State Bar of California through California LAW, a nonprofit organization, offering a pathway to law school to some of the state’s top law schools.
Approved by the American Bar Association, the college’s paralegal studies program helps students gain a broad-based understanding of the American legal system and the role of the paralegal in that legal system.