Meet OUTlaw Co-Presidents Olivia Lassa '24 and Nicholas Medellin '24

Nicholas Medellin ’24, left, and Olivia Lassa ’24, right, are co-presidents of OUTlaw at UC Law San Francisco.

Olivia Lassa ’24 and Nicholas Medellin ’24 come from different backgrounds, but the two UC Law San Francisco students share one thing in common: both want to promote a positive atmosphere for LGBTQ+ students and their allies on their law school campus.

That’s why they joined and became co-presidents of OUTlaw, a student organization that fosters a welcoming community for all people on campus, including those with sexual orientations and gender identities that fall outside of the mainstream.

“OUTlaw is one of the most active and largest student organizations on campus, and I believe this is a microcosmic example of our solidarity in community, in the city, and abroad,” Medellin said.

Medellin grew up in Orange County, California, and studied film at California State University Northridge. He plans to return to Southern California after law school to practice entertainment law. Lassa grew up in Cupertino near San Jose and studied criminal justice at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. She plans to work as a public defender after graduation and possibly a criminal law professor later in her career.

Both say they are passionate about supporting members of the LGBTQ+ community at UC Law San Francisco and in the wider world. “The LGBTIA+ community, at large, is one where bonds and trust are formed just by virtue of having a unique, difficult shared experience,” Medellin said.

OUTlaw organizes career panels and networking events to help students explore different career paths and grow their professional networks. Their biweekly newsletter, the OUTpost, features a robust selection of job postings and fellowship opportunities. Their Mentorship Program pairs first-year students with 2L and 3L mentors, who provide law school and career advice. OUTlaw also established a Pro Bono Name and Gender Marker Change Clinic that assists LGBTQ+ San Franciscans with the paperwork needed to change their legal name and/or gender marker. Additionally, OUTlaw partners with the LGBT Asylum Project and SF LGBT Center to broaden its reach.

In 2022, OUTlaw was recognized as the Law Student Association of the Year by the BALIF Foundation. The organization works closely with the UC Law SF Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, the UC Law SF Alumni Association and UC Law SF Center for Advocacy, Resources & Education (CARE) to create a more inclusive environment for the LGBTQ+ community.

Medellin said he was drawn to UC Law San Francisco because of its prime location in the heart of a city known for its strong LGBTQ+ community and culture, “I was excited to live in such a historic and LGBTQIA+ friendly city.”

Lassa said she chose to attend UC Law SF because of its “robust opportunities, diverse student body, and proximity to all of the federal and state courts, judges, attorneys, and other movers and shakers who shape San Francisco’s legal landscape.”

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