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Julie CurryJulie Curry 

lead conversion and validation rule error

I have a few validation rules that are interfering in lead conversion.  They are GDPR related so I don't want to get rid of them.  I also don't want to uncheck the checkbox in the lead settings for requiring validation for converted leads.  I'm less concerned about validation, triggers, etc for what is in place today and more concerned about needing this in the future.  
So I'm trying to figure out if there is a way for these specific validation rules to write something in there so that they won't trigger when a lead is converted.  I know that adding status is 'qualified' and converted is 'true' to the validation rule won't work since those are applied after the validation rule runs.  Does anyone know if maybe I can write a before trigger to make 'lead status' 'qualified' so that these things are present when the validation rule fires?
I have also read some posts about people creating custom buttons to help with things like this.
I'd love to hear any ideas about how I might be able to get around this issue.
Thanks in advance for your help!