Lara Yeretsian is a criminal defense lawyer and community activist who grew up in the heart of the Armenian American Community in Hollywood. Her roots run deep in the same community where together with her three sisters she attended and graduated from Rose & Alex Pilibos, an Armenian K-12 school; where her parents established and continue to own Sasoun Bakery, a well-known Armenian bakery of 32 years; and where she currently resides with her wonderful family including her husband Hratch Manuelian and their two boys David and Christopher.
Ms. Yeretsian is a criminal defense attorney of 19 years with an impressive track record. As a result of her many successes as a young lawyer, she has been a Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star for eight consecutive years (2004-2011).
Ms. Yeretsian is the founder and principal of Yeretsian Law established in January, 2010. Prior to starting her own firm, Ms. Yeretsian gained significant experience during her ten years at the Law Offices of Geragos & Geragos. During her employment at the Geragos firm, she was involved in the defense of Scott Peterson and many celebrities including pop star Michael Jackson, hip hop star Nate Dogg, and James Bond Movie Director Lee Tamahori. She continues to successfully represent criminal defendants in white collar and other criminal cases in both state and federal courts.
Ms. Yeretsian is a community activist who lives by the motto of “giving back to our community.” She is a true believer in promoting political and community activism and serving her community in multiple capacities. She has been a Los Angeles City Commissioner since 2014 and is currently serving as chair of the Los Angeles Police Permit Review Panel of the Los Angeles Police Commission. She was appointed and served on the City of Los Angeles Little Armenia Gateway Panel in 2017, commissioned with the task of deciding the winning gateway to be permanently displayed in Little Armenia. She is currently on the board of the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry and has been involved with this well respected non-profit organization for the last fifteen years. She has also served on the board of the Armenian National Committee of America, Western Region, the largest Armenian grass roots organization lobbying for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and advancing issues of interest to Armenian Americans. She currently co-chairs the Hollywood Chapter of the Armenian National Committee of America and in that capacity is very committed to reviving the civic involvement and political activism of the Armenian Community in Los Angeles and to serving her community through internship programs, free legal clinics, and other community outreach events and programs.
Ms. Yeretsian has clerked for Judge Robert M. Takasugi, United States District Court, Central District of California and for Judge Bert Glennon of the Los Angeles Superior Court. She has worked for the United States House of Representatives, Committee of Commerce, Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade and Consumer Protection while studying for her LL.M. in Washington, D.C. She also briefly worked as a reporter on international legal issues for the California State Bar, International Newsletter.
Ms. Yeretsian received her LL.M. Degree (Masters of Laws) in International and Comparative law, with Distinction, from Georgetown University Law Center in 1998; her J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law in 1997; her B.A. in Political Science from California State University at Northridge in 1994. Ms. Yeretsian is admitted to the State Bar of California; U.S. District Court, Central and Northern Districts of California; and U.S. District Court, Southern District of Georgia. She is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense lawyers and the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
Ms. Yeretsian has received several awards including the 2010 Business Woman of the Year award from the Armenian Chamber of Commerce and the 2015 Woman of the Year Award from The Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry. She has authored op-eds for the San Francisco Examiner, the Daily Journal, LawNewz, and Law360. She has also authored a chapter in the Book Reaching the Bar: Stories of All Women at All Stages of Their Law Careers.