- Law Job Star
Catching up with Laura Wasser: The Most-fashionable Family Law Lawyer in the Business
by Nabeal Twereet Follow Me on Google+
Laura Wasser is a family law attorney and principal of Wasser, Cooperman & Carter, P.C., her Los Angeles, CA based law firm. We've profiled her in the past on LawCrossing, and are glad we had a chance to catch up with her and her firm. For the past nineteen years, she has built a national reputation as an eminent family law attorney. Laura is well known for handling many high profile dissolutions for people of high net worth. Some of these include Angelina Jolie, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Kim Kardashian, Heidi Klum, Britney Spears, Stevie Wonder, Ryan Reynolds, Kiefer Sutherland, Nick Lachey, Ashton Kutcher, Patricia Arquette, Anna Faris, Jimmy Lovine, Kate Walsh, Peter Getty, Alexander Payne, Kelis, Spike Jonze, Kenny G, Ashlee Simpson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Robyn Moore in her divorce from Mel Gibson, Slash in his divorce from Perla Farrar, Ann Lopez in her divorce from George Lopez, Karen Caufield in her divorce from billionaire Frank Caufield, Offspring's Dexter Holland, Linkin Park's Chester Bennington, Korn's Jonathan Davis, Blink 182's Travis Barker, and members of Tool as well as many sealed celebrity prenuptial agreements that were undisclosed and paternity matters.
Over the years, Laura has been awarded with several distinctions. She holds an "AV" (pre-eminent) Martindale-Hubbell rating, which is the highest rating presented to any individual lawyer. From 2004 to 2006, Laura was chosen as a Southern California "Rising Star" and she was selected as a Southern California "Super Lawyer" from 2007 to 2012. She is currently on the Advisory Council of the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law (HBCFL), a non-profit organization in Southern California, which is devoted to protecting the victims of domestic violence as well as improving the well being of children living in poverty. Laura served previously as the V.P. of Financial Development and on the Board of Directors for the HBCFL. In June 2008, she was the recipient of the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law Zephyr M. Ramsey Award. Laura received the Century City Chamber of Commerce Women of Achievement Award in 2011 and earned a spot in The Hollywood Reporter 100 Power Lawyers in July 2011 and 2012. She has been chosen for inclusion in Los Angeles Magazine Super Lawyers Top 50 Women Lawyers 2012 and in Daily Journal Top Woman Lawyers in May 2012. Laura is a member of the Beverly Hills Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association and the State Bar of California.
The top-notch attorney has been featured in Vogue, Elle, Interview and Flair magazines as well as other publications.In addition to this, she was a legal consultant on-set for the movie Liar Liar.
Laura was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She graduated with a B.A. in Rhetoric from University of California, Berkeley and earned her J.D. from Loyola Law School. Laura's book, It Doesn't Have to Be That Way, will be released in Fall 2013. In the book, she discusses the evolution of the definition of family in our society and examines how Americans view divorce. Laura also discusses how divorce has been modified over the years and provides wisdom regarding how this generation can do it better with less damage to children and finances.
When she isn't working, she enjoys taking her two boys to Point Dume, a state beach located in Malibu, CA. Laura loves surfing, swimming and playing in the sand with her family. She also enjoys rooting for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Clippers. Laura is a frequent visitor of Eveleigh, an American restaurant which features outdoor patio dining, located in West Hollywood, CA.
On May 7, 2013, Laura will be honored at The Brady Center Gala and presented with The Brady Center Advocate Award for raising money that assisted in their mission of preventing gun violence.
Laura's Successful Law Career
Laura spent one year abroad in high school attending The American School in Switzerland. How was this experience? "It was amazing. It began my appetite for traveling. I got to see a big chunk of Europe." Laura continued to say that she lived in Spain for one year. She also resided in Australia and Canada before she returned to Los Angeles.
The Californian was asked if she received any awards or participated in any internship that influenced her decision to go into the law? Laura said, "No, but I worked at The Western Law Center for Disability Rights. I was also on the debate team in high school and in college."
Why did she decide to become an attorney? "There wasn't one moment when I decided to become an attorney." Laura recalled that when she was younger she used to bring her legal pad and would apply her reason to an argument. She explained that her parents decided to name her Laura Allison Wasser (her initials stand for law) because her father learned that he passed the California Bar exam the day she was conceived. Laura also explained why she enjoys being an attorney. "In this field, you get to meet people from so many different walks of life. I meet directors, entertainers, sports heroes and business people. It's cool to learn about different industries and to see how they relate."
Laura discussed the best part of her job. "Getting to meet people and helping them get to the next stage. They are coming to me because something is broken." She said she assists individuals who are going through a divorce and wants to help them move on with their lives. Laura also believes the parent should move on for the sake of their kids.
What is the number one reason people get a divorce? The candid attorney stated, "I don't know the answer to that question, but I know that people grow apart."
So what advice would Laura give to someone thinking about getting a divorce? "Be nice and be reasonable. Even if your spouse isn't being nice and reasonable."
What is Laura known for professionally? "A problem solver, known for settling a lot of cases. I get both parties together and I always try to settle a case first." Often parties who are going through an emotionally difficult time are not able to see the negotiations as a business transaction.
What area of the law is Laura most passionate about? "Family Law."
Is there an area of practice Laura would like to develop further into? "No."
If she weren't a lawyer, what would Laura probably be doing? "I don't know. I am a mom first and foremost and would remain so. I would probably own a beach bar and tie-dyed T-shirt business."
The family law attorney was asked where she sees herself in five years' time? "Right here. I am exactly where I want to be."
How does Laura want to be remembered? "As a good parent."
Laura's Mentor and Mentoring Others, Non Profit Organizations and Being a Very Successful Woman
Does Laura have a mentor? "Yes. My father, Dennis Wasser, has taught me everything I know." She pointed out that she currently mentors four to five associates at her firm.
Laura serves on the Advisory Council of the HBCFL, a non-profit organization in Southern California, which is dedicated to improving the lives of children living in poverty and protects victims of domestic violence. The Center offers free legal education to the poor and provides family law assistance. Laura also raised money for The Brady Center Gala, which helped their mission of preventing gun violence.
When asked how someone becomes as successful as her, the humble attorney replied, "I am vey lucky. Part of my success was being a young woman. There are crops of young people who are now coming into family law. I am fifteen years younger than most family law attorneys practicing with the socioeconomic level of clients our firm assists. I have a lot of clients in the entertainment industry who don't want to see a seventy year old in a suit. My clients can relate to me because we are closer in age and often we have kids who are similar ages."
Handling Kim Kardashian's Divorce, Being an On-set Legal Consultant for Liar Liar and Laura's Goals
On October 31, 2011, Laura filed a divorce petition on behalf of Kim Kardashian, seeking to dissolve Kim's two-month marriage to Kris Humphries. Is this divorce finalized? The attorney said the case is headed to California Superior Court and will begin on May 6 and conclude on May 10.
Laura served as an on-set legal consultant for the film, Liar Liar. What knowledge did she provide for the film? How was this experience? "It was a cool experience. I provided information about annulments as well as advice on courtroom settings and legal proceedings."
Does the UC Berkeley alumna have goals? Laura's personal goal is to raise two happy and healthy children. As for her professional goal, she would like to simplify family law, which she discusses in It Doesn't Have to Be That Way. The attorney stated, "I would like to change the perception of divorce and family law and educate individuals." Laura's book talks about how divorces have changed over a generation. Although couples have dissolved their marriage, they can still come together, co-parent and celebrate holidays like birthdays or Thanksgiving with their children.