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Lastrina paves her way for a career in human rights law

Published on September 27, 2023

Lastrina paves her way for a career in human rights law

Isabelle Lastrina
Isabelle Lastrina '24, political science major and CBA Future of the Legal Profession Scholar

A political science major at Eastern Connecticut State University was recently accepted into a scholarship program that will enrich her law school application. Isabelle Lastrina ’24 was accepted into the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA) Future of the Legal Profession Program on Sept. 13.  

The Future of the Legal Profession Scholarship will cover the cost of two one-year preparation courses for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The CBA will also provide Lastrina with opportunities to attend events and access resources to help prepare her for a law career. 

The Future of the Legal Profession Program is highly competitive, as its largest cohort to date before this fall included 10 students throughout Connecticut.  

Lastrina’s “dream organizations” to work for include the American Civil Liberties Union and the Innocence Project, a nonprofit that looks to prevent wrongful convictions. The CBA program will help Lastrina get in touch with people within these organizations. 

In the big picture, Lastrina seeks a career in human rights law. Originally a psychology major and aspiring child psychologist, Lastrina decided she wanted to effect change “in a different way, rather than on a case-to-case basis.”  

“Since I was about 14 years old, I have always been interested in politics, changes in government and how that affects people on the ground,” said Lastrina. “To see all of these people so concerned about their rights, it made me realize I can use my position as a white individual to help empower others.” 

Lastrina thanks Martín Mendoza-Botelho, associate professor of political science, who initially emailed her regarding the opportunity with the CBA.  

“I definitely think that my Eastern law courses will help me in the future,” said Lastrina. She has gained a background knowledge of law in several disciplines by taking courses such as constitutional law, business law and communication law. 

Lastrina’s background knowledge and experience in law extend beyond the classroom. In the spring of 2023, she completed an internship at the office of Qualey, Williams & Aikens Attorneys at Law in Suffield, CT.  

At her internship, Lastrina learned about insurance subrogation law, which helps an injured party seek damages from the at-fault person through their insurance company. She learned how to draft complaints, write demands and navigate the database used by the firm. 

In the same spring semester, Lastrina’s constitutional law class traveled to the Connecticut Supreme Court. On campus, Lastrina is the secretary of the Pre-Law Society and the public relations officer for the Political Science Honor Society. She also strengthened her research background by completing a summer research institute at Eastern in 2022. 

Lastrina’s membership in the CBA Future of the Legal Profession Program will serve her career interests and enrich her already strong resume. She will use this network of resources to make her law school application stand out. 

Written by Noel Teter