Raising the Bar
Laura has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America as "One to Watch" in 2020, a designation given to attorneys who, early in their careers, show outstanding professional excellence. Recognition for this honor is completely based upon peer review. We sat down with Laura to discuss how her practice has evolved since she began her career and what she thinks makes a good attorney.
How has your practice evolved from when you started out?
I began my career at Preti Flaherty as a rising 2L in law school as a summer associate. I came back for a second summer and started with the firm full time in September 2012. I started out with a relatively diverse litigation practice. That part really hasn’t changed, though in recent years I am focusing heavily on employment litigation and advising clients when they confront issues related to their workforce. A significant part of my practice is assisting clients across industries as they navigate the laws and regulations that impact them as employers. I have also developed a significant trial-oriented skillset and I am at a point in my career where I handle all aspects of developing cases for trial.
What skills/talents/methods do you think help you excel in this field?
Strong interpersonal skills, attention to detail, and pragmatic problem solving. I have the ability to connect with others and make people feel comfortable if they need to talk about a difficult subject matter (i.e., circumstances surrounding a disciplinary action or termination decision or a sexual harassment investigation). Effective communication is also key and I strive to provide clients with the information they need to decisively and confidently make decisions.
Where are you most active or visible within your practice area? Is there a specific niche you’re known for?
I cover the gamut of labor and employment law issues, but a particular interest of mine is issues related to working parents. I have spoken on topics including legal requirements that relate to pregnant employees, employees who have welcomed a new child, or employees who are breastfeeding upon return to the workplace. I have also spoken on gender equality at work, including combating implicit bias. Otherwise, a significant portion of my work is assisting clients in responding to and defending discrimination claims brought by current or former employees.
How would your clients describe you?
Attentive, thorough, enjoyable to work with.
What do you like best about your practice area?
One collateral benefit of my practice area is that I get to work with people in many different industries, including retail, hospitality, manufacturing, timber, healthcare, and professional service providers. They are all employers, and they all confront issues related to their workforce, but it is fun and interesting to better understand the inner workings of their individual businesses.
How do you start your day?
Hot lemon water while I drive my kids to day care, the five minute journal, and a couple of americanos as I get started with my work day. Always.
When you’re able to sneak in a break during the day, where could you be found?
An outdoor run on a local trail.
When it comes to reviewing your own peers, what criteria are important? What makes an attorney stand out?
I am impressed with other attorneys when they demonstrate that they understand the issues facing their clients, when they are pragmatic, when they look for creative solutions to problems, when they have strong oral advocacy skills, when they are articulate and well-versed in applicable legal standards and requirements, and when they are aggressive but know how far to push the envelope.