First-generation college students face obstacles other students never think about. “We have parents who just aren’t aware of the process or what you need to do,” says Yuri Bazan, who not only got her undergraduate degree but her law degree as well. “You need to study for the LSAT, you need to do an application, get references, write a personal statement, there’s just so many things when you’re pursuing a higher degree—things that may require a year or two of preparation—and that’s something that I had to figure out on my own. It’s a struggle that a lot of Latinos who are first-generation go through.”
What she didn’t realize until she tried doing it was that she could not hold down a full-time job and be a first-year law student. That first year did not go well. To add to her challenges, she was in a serious relationship at the time and got pregnant. “I remembered constantly being asked, ‘Are you going to stop going to school?’ That is another hurdle we have. A lot of us think, ‘OK, motherhood is coming so we should just put everything on pause or throw it away.’ I was certain I didn’t want to do that.” So she stuck it out. “I’d even argue that it made me a better student and a better mother and just a better person in general, because I had this limited time to study, so I had to be productive. It helped me be so much more organized and my motivation went through the roof because now I had this little human baby who I needed to love and take care of. So, yeah, I was the stereotypical pregnant Latina girl in law school.”
Those weren’t the last challenges Yuri faced. She failed the bar exam the first time, her daughter’s father and husband died tragically in car accident and she survived an abusive relationship in a subsequent relationship. Being a survivor of that experience is one reason she added family law to her practice. “There’s a lot of shame around domestic violence,” she notes. “I think people think I must be dumb if I went through it. But statistics show that domestic violence happens to women rich, poor, smart, it doesn’t matter. It’s important for us to speak to ourselves like we’re our own friend. I was very hard on myself but I stopped doing that.”
Now she operates the Yuri Bazan Law Firm in Greenwood Village, Colorado, specializing in family law and personal injury law. “I’m surprised that there aren’t more Latino lawyers, actually,” she says. “Most Latinas end up doing so much speaking up for our parents. I moved from Mexico when I was in third grade and I learned English pretty quickly. I remember from an early age, I was speaking on behalf of my mom in front of courts, doctors, school, doing important things with her. So I feel like at a really young age, a lot of us Latinos who are bilingual are already doing that, speaking on behalf of people and translating their message as best as we can.”
Find Yuri on Instagram @ColoradoAbogada or at her website, yuribazanlaw.com, and read more of her compelling story in the inspiring new book Latinas Who Boss Up. “These boss ladies are truly inspiring, sharing their breakthroughs and triumphs for all of us to experience,” says author, educator, and podcaster Tam Luc. “Latinas Who Boss Up taught me more about a mix of cultures that I never stopped to examine. While our origin stories vary, we all experience life in full color and must navigate our circumstances. These beautiful women represent the world of Latina Supermamas and I am so happy to introduce them to you.” You can learn more about Yuri and the other featured women at https://bossupbestseller.com, where you will find a link to Latinas Who Boss Up Post-Pandemic.
About Women with Vision International
Women with Vision International aims to inspire, uplift, and empower women everywhere to never give up their dream of living their life on purpose. We gather dynamic, entrepreneurial women who are making a difference and changing people’s lives to spark conversation around the topics that impact us all such as building their businesses, fundraising, and balancing their work and their families.
About Tam Luc
Tam Luc is an international bestselling author and the founder of Women with Vision International who shares the triumphs, stress, and struggles of balancing her life to help women grow their businesses. After 20 years as an entrepreneur, she is able to help women leverage their messages and create the lifestyle they want through her unique book messaging strategies. Hear from some of the amazing entrepreneurs who have worked with Tam at https://womenbossupsummit.com/virtualsummit