Tirien Steinbach’s desire to become a lawyer can be traced back to one incident: the night she saw her sister, brother-in-law and best friend arrested.

The four were at a house party in Santa Cruz when police came in and demanded to see the I.D. of Steinbach’s friend. When the woman questioned the police, they handcuffed and arrested her and the two others. “We were the only African-Americans in the room at the time,” Steinbach says. As her sister was taken away, she yelled to Steinbach to call a lawyer.

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