Paola Lázaro was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Lázaro left Puerto Rico to study at the State University of New York at Purchase, where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dramatic writing. She went on to earn her Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University. At the end of her final year at Columbia, she was mentored by playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis over the course of the production of her thesis play. Over the years the two have become very close, and Guirgis finds her to be a "kindred spirit", often referring to Lázaro as his best friend. His presence has heavily influenced both her writing and her career.
Following her thesis production with Guirgis, Lázaro also participated in the Emerging Young Writer's Group at the Public Theatre, worked on a summer program with Labyrinth Theatre Company, and received an Arts Entertainment Scholarship Award from the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts.
- Lethal Weapon