A stint working as a research analyst for Oklahoma’s workers’ compensation court ultimately led Laura Robinson to become a lawyer.
The Springfield attorney studied psychology as an undergraduate student at the University of Oklahoma, but she wasn’t sure what to do next, beyond knowing she wanted to find a job that helped others.
She found a workers’ compensation court job listing in a newspaper and applied. Through time, she got to know the judges and attorneys surrounding her, and she decided to go to law school.
“It was a good fit and I enjoyed my time there and what I did, but I knew I would never get promoted without an advanced degree,” she said.
She returned to her home state of Arkansas and earned her law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law.
She joined Husch Blackwell in Springfield in 2014, and she’s been there ever since. She said the firm has been a good fit for her, and she’s had some good mentors, including the late Virginia Fry, who was honored in 2015 as Woman of the Year in Missouri Lawyers Media’s Women’s Justice Awards.
Robinson’s practice is focused on commercial litigation, representing companies in a variety of matters. The aspect of her practice that she most enjoys is helping her clients to obtain favorable results, she said.
“It’s always a good feeling when you come away with a win for your client,” she said. “Whether that’s in the courtroom — which doesn’t happen as often these days — or writing briefs that resolve the case for your clients, that’s always a good feeling.”
As a defense attorney, it’s interesting to contrast her perspectives on litigation with that of her husband, who represents plaintiffs, she said.
“When you are involved in litigation on either side, you see parties that are not always acting the best. They can be plaintiffs or defendants,” she said. “I think both sides need someone to represent them. To help them reach a good outcome, you have to have that balance there.”
Part of her practice also includes counseling on compliance and ensuring companies are doing what they can to avoid litigation and minimize risk.
“I think it’s rewarding to have clients who are trying to do the right thing and trying to do right for their employees and need guidance on what to do to achieve that result,” she said.
Robinson also has been active in taking on a variety of pro bono work. In one such case, she helped a recently widowed woman and her child who were facing eviction stay in their home just before Christmas.
“Honestly, anytime we can help a client, whether it’s a big company going through something or pro bono clients, that’s why I like to practice law, to be able to help people through situations that are difficult and they wouldn’t be able to get through on their own,” she said.
Outside work, Robinson enjoys traveling with her family and sharing new places with her 7-year-old daughter. She also serves on the board of directors for Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ozarks.