Featured Lawtina: Nicole Bastos
My name is Nicole Bastos and I am a 3L at the William S. Boyd School of Law in Las Vegas, Nevada. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Currently, I am the President of La Voz, the Hispanic/Latinx law student organization at Boyd Law School. La Voz is an absolutely incredible organization because it focuses on mentorship, building relationships, and giving back to the community. The legal community in Las Vegas is amazing because it is so supportive of young legal professionals like me. Additionally, I am the Business Editor of the Gaming Law Journal, which is the only student-run law review in the United States that focuses solely on gaming. I am interested in government compliance/investigations/civil litigation.
Best law school experiences:
One of the most special moments I’ve had in law school was finding out that my student note on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in Nevada was going to be published in the Gaming Law Journal. One of the most impactful memories I had was going to San Antonio, Texas with my classmates to help immigrant refugees with an organization called RAICES. It was an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
I am Bolivian/Portuguese and of course a proud #lawtina. My mother was born in Bolivia. My father grew up near the Bolivia/ Brazil border. His family immigrated from Portugal to Brazil. My culture was a very important part of my upbringing, which inspired me to further study Bolivia's history as an undergraduate at UC Irvine. I majored in history with an emphasis in indigenous revolutions. I was awarded the Vicky L. Ruiz Excellence in History award and was selected as the UCI School of Humanities commencement speaker for my graduating class.
Getting to law school was not an easy journey. But, my mom always said, “El que quiere, puede” and that really stuck with me. At the age of 15, I was a victim of medical malpractice,which left me in a wheelchair for some time. My parents didn’t have the resources, nor were they familiar with the way in which the law worked, which really limited our ability to seek justice. This is why my legal education is so important to me. That was a pivotal moment in my life where I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. I had to learn how to advocate for myself early on, and I promised myself that I would do the same for others. It is so vital to keep paying it forward in order to uplift our communities. Our struggles may be different, but they unite us. They tell a compelling story about how resilient we are, and I think that’s a beautiful thing.
The future: Law school is not the end, it's just the beginning. Latinas account for less than 2% of American lawyers (HNBA statistic). There’s a lot more work to be done, but I am excited to be part of the shift in the right direction. Whatever opportunities were given to me, I am to give to others. I want to continue giving back and I want to inspire others to do the same.