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2022 Unsung Legal Heroes: Laurie A. Coleman

Firm Administration: Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development, Spencer Fane

Laurie ColemanWhen Laurie Coleman joined Spencer Fane in 2016, the firm had less than 150 lawyers. In the five and a half years since, it has grown to nearly 400 attorneys and more than 200 professional staff across 23 offices nationwide — including more than 40 attorney who joined as the result of a combination with a Nashville, Tennessee, firm last year.

Coleman is behind all the talent acquisition and development, employee relations, compensation and rewards, performance management, payroll, benefits, and leadership development that growth entails. Her nominator said her contributions “cannot be overstated.”

“We truly value her work and contributions and would not have been in the position grow in the manner we have in recent years without her leadership and guidance,” the nominator wrote.

Tell us about your key accomplishments in this role.

Looking back over the past couple of years, I believe that participating in the collective effort by our leadership team to support all members of the firm through the pandemic, while remaining true to our values, was a key accomplishment.

What led you to choose a career in the legal field?

I was attracted to the opportunity to work with smart and dedicated professionals who provide a critical service to clients. Over many years in the human resources field, I often relied upon my outside counsel as a key partner and can appreciate the value good counsel adds to any business.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

The best professional advice I have received is to keep in mind that feedback is a gift. I put effort into improving my ability to both give and receive effective feedback that fosters professional growth.

What is something that would surprise people about you?

I have a CPA certificate — I studied accounting at Kansas State and spent five years in accounting and auditing before graduate school and making the shift to HR.

Unsung Legal Heroes 2022