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Lauren J. Howard
July 12, 1969
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Other names||Lauren J. Howard|
Lauren Lake Woods
Lauren Laniece Howard
Lauren Laniece Lake
Lauren L. Lake
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
Wayne State University Law School
|Occupation||Lawyer, talk show host, television personality|
Family lawyer & other professional legal work
|Known for||Regular and guest talk show hosting & news anchoring, life coach, legal analyst|
Lauren Laniece Lake (born July 12, 1969) is an American family lawyer, author, interior designer, real estate developer, background singer, legal/relationship/life consultant, guest host, and talk show presenter.
Lake has performed in guest hosting and news anchoring positions for various talk shows and reality legal programs. In much of her guest hosting, she has tackled controversial racial, ethnic, gender, and political issues head-on. She was the host of HGTV's how-to series Spice Up My Kitchen.
Youth and early adulthood
Lake was born in Detroit, Michigan  to parents who had "very particular expectations" for their daughter's future; in her words, "These were Black people who fought their way through, one Ph.D. at a time, so they were big on education."
Growing up, Lake sang, danced, and acted in plays. Her parents agreed to allow this as long as she kept up with her studies. Lake attended Mercy High School in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and was honored as a National Merit Scholar in 1986. In May 1990, Lake earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She earned a secondary teacher certification that same year. In May 1993, Lake earned a Juris Doctor from Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, Michigan.
In June 1995, she was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan and began her law career as a criminal defense attorney. In June 2002, she was also admitted to the State Bar of New York and the State Bar of New Jersey, where her practice is predominantly devoted to entertainment and family law. Whilst engaged in her legal education she also pursued her creative passions and began designing professionally after graduating from law school.
In 1999, Lake relocated to New York City, determined to establish herself as an entertainer. She immediately began securing jobs singing background for multi-platinum selling artists, such as Mary J. Blige, Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg. Lake then began writing and recording her own music and performing throughout the New York metropolitan area. She has produced album projects and secured label record deals for artists signed to her production company.
Reality, how-to, and talk television
On To Live and Date in New York, which chronicled the dating lives of independent and single New York women, Lake was selected out of thousands of women to appear on the series. Soon she was being followed by cameras as she weaved her way through her New York lifestyle. The series developed a wide local following, prompting the Women's Entertainment Channel to air it nationally as "Single in the City."
She also served as the legal and relationship expert and life coach on The Ricki Lake Show, where for two seasons, she delivered advice on a myriad of social and legal issues. She also served in various other capacities on the show, including field correspondent, makeover specialist, and a judge.
She has made regular guest appearances on Dr. Phil and The View as a legal expert. Her other television appearances have included The Today Show, The O'Reilly Factor, The Bill Cunningham Show, Regis & Kelly, Montel Williams, and The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet. Lake has served as a guest host/anchor and legal analyst for MSNBC and TruTV. Since 2005, Lake has been a regular on-air commentator for various news programs on CNN, Headline News, Fox News Channel, and CNBC. In many of these guest appearances, Lake has shared her points of view on everything from current criminal trials, civil cases, race, politics, and women's issues to the latest in pop culture news and controversies.
She has also pursued her interior decorating interests in the entertainment industry: She has participated in TLC shows such as While You Were Out and Trading Spaces. Further, from May 2007 through 2009, Lake hosted 47 episodes of HGTV's hit how-to show Spice Up My Kitchen. In this forum, she specialized in turning ordinary kitchens into kitchens of style.
- Lake has acknowledged her lack of formal design training, ironically, as an asset. She believes the lack of training experience allows her to think outside the box and express herself without rules or boundaries. She encourages the same manner of thinking to her clients, that is, to think outside the box when creating their dream homes and to make sure their personalities come alive in their space of choice. She often prompts their imaginations with her signature question: "If your room could talk, what would you want it to say?"
She presides over her own tabloid talk/courtroom series, Paternity Court, which began on September 23, 2013, and is produced by MGM Television. In this forum, Lake hears and decides paternity cases and renders DNA test results. The series has been designed to be a major competitor in the daytime television market for its courtroom series format and focus on paternity matters, both of which are formulas that currently do well in daytime.
Lake has frequently participated as a guest legal expert on Power 105.1 FM. She has also been a regular guest on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and Michael Baisden radio show. She has been a guest on WBLS New York. and has served as guest on-air host for Radio One's WDBZ in Cincinnati.
Authoring and writing
Lake wrote her first book, "Girl! Let Me Tell You...," published in 2009. In the book, Lake answers questions about life and love, posed by single successful women. The book deals with everything from men, dating and relationships to expectations, feelings of loneliness, and the pursuit of dreams.
She regularly travels the country motivating others to pursue their passions and get the most out of life through motivational speeches and seminars. Lake launches the Limitless Living Empowerment Tour in January.
After witnessing Lake advocating dynamically for victims of Hurricane Katrina, comedian and activist Dr. Bill Cosby selected Lake as a motivational speaker on his nationwide Call Out tour: a tour which reaches out to encourage and uplift inner city communities. Lake is also featured in Cosby's book Come on, People: On the Path from Victims to Victor.
From 1999 to 2002, Lake was the vice president of DS Recordings Inc., where she discovered, signed, and developed new talent. Since September 2000, Lake has also been the co-owner of L Style Design Studios, LLC, in Fort Lee, N.J. In this forum, she provides full scale interior design services for clients, including updates, renovations, construction, and general contracting.
Since 2006, Lake has run the Law Offices of Lauren Lake, located in New York, New York, Saddlebrook, New Jersey, and Southfield, Michigan. In this forum, she acts as the sole practitioner, responsible for establishing and maintaining client relationships. She represents clients in civil and criminal matters, including divorce, child custody and support, and paternity. Further, she has handled felony and misdemeanor trials, involving arson, criminal sexual conduct, theft, weapons, assault, and possession of controlled substances. She is a member of The Metropolitan Bar Association, Association of Black Women Lawyers, and Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association. Lake is the co-founder of the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network (WEEN) which promotes the positive portrayal of women in entertainment and society.
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