Laura Keeler, the NHBA’s new Member Services and Law Practice Management Coordinator, is a New Hampshire native and a true New Englander. She loves sports, among them skiing, of course; in fact, when she graduated from Middlebury College, she graduated downhill “on the slopes,” a special privilege granted to February graduates of Middlebury.
Prior to entering college, Laura’s eagerness to learn as much as she could about the law led her to take a Law & Government class, a class which she later interned for as a teaching assistant at the St. Paul’s Advanced Studies Program. At Middlebury, Laura majored in Political Science and she says she especially appreciated her senior elective class on Law & the Environment, which was co-taught by her physics professor and Vermont District Judge William K. Sessions.
She furthered her legal studies at the Paralegal Studies program at NHTI, which she describes as “an unheralded resource to the legal community.” She says her professors were excellent teachers and attorneys. She was awarded a Certificate of Scholarship from the Paralegal Association of NH and earned her Certified Paralegal designation from the National Association of Legal Assistants.
Laura worked at the Dept. of Justice in Washington, DC where she became a paralegal specialist in the Honors Program, working in both the criminal and civil sections of the Antitrust Division. Her first case involved a proposed search advertising agreement between Yahoo and Google, and she later supported the litigation team which blocked a proposed merger by H & R Block. When she returned to New Hampshire, she also worked as a paralegal at Bianco P.A., where she worked mostly in probate, civil litigation, and real estate.
Her life in Washington was not all business, though. Laura played softball for the Justice League (on the National Mall, no less!) and frequented many museums and national monuments. She also visited the Supreme Court in session (4 times) and twice watched New Hampshire’s own Justice Souter on the Bench. She says she has admired both Justice Souter and Senator Rudman ever since she started reading the newspaper in grade school. She commends their integrity, public service, and commitment to civic engagement.
Laura first gained experience with hospitality and member services working summers on the Isles of Shoals, which are located off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine. She highly recommends visiting the Isles, which are full of history, natural splendor, and picturesque views.
She also realizes how lucky she has been to work at not one, but two locations with picturesque lighthouse backdrops, the second being the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.
Like many of us, Laura loves to learn and explore new places. In college, she studied European Politics abroad in Denmark, which included the opportunity for educational trips to The Hague and the EU Headquarters. Oslo, Zurich and Liechtenstein rank among the favorite places she’s visited, and she especially enjoyed winter hiking in Iceland.
As for the future? She would love to travel the world, meet new people, and catch up on her ever expanding “to-read list” – and as for her personal goals: “I aim to be a good person – a trusted friend and an engaged citizen,” she says.
She is still settling in at the Bar Association. “The duties of my position are as yet somewhat open-ended,” she says, “but I am greatly looking forward to my work here.” She is also looking forward to the Midyear meeting, because, as you might expect, Laura is an avid reader. “I hope to meet Robert Putnam, the author of Bowling Alone, who will be speaking,” she says.
Some of her many favorite books include Nicomachean Ethics, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Republic, Little Women, Merchant of Venice, Gideon’s Trumpet, Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie, Great Expectations, and anything connected with the great detective Sherlock Holmes