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A TRIBUTE TO LARA D. GASS

About Lara

Lara was born on April 11, 1986 to Gerri and Jay Gass in Memphis, Tennessee at 4:24am. When she was born, Lara had one brother, Chris. Chris was almost 4 when Lara was born and then Jason her younger brother came along 21 months after Lara. 

Lara attended Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis, Tennessee until the family moved to Spokane, Washington on January 1, 1998. She attended the Mead School District while living in Spokane and graduated in the spring of 2004. During her sophomore and junior years she was a Big Sister to a nine year old little girl and also helped tutor elementary age children in reading. 

Upon high school graduation, Lara was accepted to attend the University of Washington in Seattle. She majored in Political Science and graduated Cum Laude in the spring of 2008. During her time at UW, she was a volunteer in the King County (Washington State) Bar Association’s Central Legal Clinic. Lara pledged the Delta Gamma sorority in her freshmen year and became a very active member. During her senior year she became the Vice President of Recruitment in her chapter. 

After graduation from the University of Washington Lara re-entered the work force by taking a job with a small Seattle Family Law Firm. While working for the law firm as an executive assistant she took classes to become certified as a Paralegal. 

Lara was always interested in the law and someday becoming an attorney. In 2010 she began the process of studying for and taking the LSAT and then applying to law schools. In the fall of 2011 she started law school at Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia. 

Lara was a leader in many Law School ventures. She served as the Symposium Editor of the Washington and Lee Law Review, where she organized the Review’s successful symposium “Roe at 40 – The Controversy Continues.” Lara also crafted a student Note, Virginia’s Redefinition of the “Future Dangerousness” Aggravating Factor: Unprecedented, Unfounded, and Unconstitutional, which was selected for publication in the Law Review Vol.  70, No. 3 (Summer 2013) She served as a Kirgis Fellow during her 2L year, positively impacting her group of 1Ls. Lara was also active in Women Law Students Organization, and her initiative led to the planning of a panel on Women Practicing Law.  Lara took an active role with the Southwest Virginia Innocence Project and was President of the W&L campus chapter during her 2L and 3L years. Lara received recognition for her academic achievements, her leadership abilities, her service to the law school and university community, and her character when she was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), the National Leadership Honor Society, in January 2014. She held the Alexander M. and Rose S. Harman Scholarship. 

Members of the law school community held Lara in the highest regard. She was an outstanding representative of the ideals for which W&L strives. Dean Demleitner described Lara as “a humble and compassionate person, and, on top of that, she was truly magnetic—the kind of person you would hope to run into in Sydney Lewis Hall.” She was a vibrant and caring member of the Lexington and W&L communities where her good cheer and positive attitude were always infectious.

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