Meet the Class: 1L Lauren Hamilton, a Former Food & Wine Photographer with a Passion for Human Rights

Meet 1L Lauren Hamilton, who after establishing a career in food & wine photography, decided to continue her education, and enrolled in UCLA. Hamilton received her Bachelor's degree cum laude and is seeking to create an impact in the public and international sectors.


You have an interesting background. Could you describe it a little bit?

Prior to completing my undergraduate studies at UCLA, I was a freelance photographer and ultimately found myself traveling throughout European and American wine regions leading operations and photography for a master sommelier’s wine club. 

Could you share an interesting life experience?

Working in wine allowed me to spend time in Europe with some of the best natural wine producers in the world, often in their vineyards and centuries old cellars. It wasn’t a traditional pathway, but their lifelong commitment to their craft set an example as I started the journey to law school.  

What do you hope/plan to do with your legal education (realizing, of course, that may change during the course of your studies)? 

I would like to create a positive impact on a global scale through international human rights law.

There are many law school choices. Why did you select Minnesota Law?

After living in Southern California for eight years, I of course moved here for the weather. Kidding! In all seriousness, the admissions team and current students I spoke with were welcoming and exuded a pride in the school and community that was unmatched. 

Minnesota Law strives for a diversity of perspectives in the classroom. What are you hoping to add to the mix?

My aim is to understand how all communities are impacted by laws and policy, particularly those that have been marginalized. Even people with positive intentions may not be able to see the downstream impact, and I believe my perspective can help provide a fuller picture.

Minnesota Law as an institution emphasizes leadership. What does leadership mean to you? 

I see leadership as holding doors of opportunity open for others. This can come in the form of mentorship, management, or setting a quiet example to follow. Ultimately, a leader helps others reach or even surpass the heights they have reached themselves.

What are you most looking forward to about being a law student?

I can’t wait to meet my fellow classmates! My final year and a half in undergrad was spent online due to the pandemic, so I’m very excited to connect with everyone in person. I’m also looking forward to learning about the law and how to translate my studies into an impactful career.

What are your hobbies/ interests?

Cooking or baking from one of my many cookbooks. Playing, watching, and talking about all things tennis (Vamos Rafa!).

How do you like to spend your free time?

I like to spend as much time as I can outside. I just moved within walking distance of one of the beautiful lakes here in the city. I love grabbing a book and reading along the water with my dogs. 

Favorite inspirational quote, book, or personal hero that you would like to mention? 

“...for no matter how far a person can go the horizon is still way beyond you....” 

--Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

Something interesting about you that others might not know?

I have a small collection of typewriters that I use to write thank you notes and letters to friends. My favorite is a 1930’s L.C. Smith & Corona Standard.