It was an unexpected experience that led Lauren Shurman to realize she wanted to be an attorney.
Growing up, the thought of attending law school never crossed her mind. She had been drawn to science, and thought she might go to medical school.
Then, while in college, she began volunteering at the YWCA. She was working in a battered women’s shelter, and helping with domestic violence issues. Working on the advocacy side often drew her into court and she realized that she found it extremely interesting and rewarding.
“It was when I had that firsthand experience that I realized law wasn’t always like you saw on television or in the movies and that it was something I wanted to pursue,” she explained. “I also loved the intellectual challenge of it. Seeing the impact it had on clients’ day-to-day lives and enjoying the intellectual rigor and challenge were appealing to me.”
So to law school she went. After a summer associate position at Stoel Rives LLP, she joined the firm in 2006.
Today, Shurman is a partner in the litigation group, focusing her practice on general commercial and employment litigation. She has litigated complex commercial disputes and represented employers in matters relating to employment discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, the Family Medical Leave Act, non-compete agreements and trade secret law.
“The thing I like best about being a litigator is that no two days are the same. Every case has its own challenges, its own unique set of facts and legal questions that will arise,” Shurman said. “I like the challenges my cases present. My job is certainly never boring.”
A Memorable Case
There is one case from early in her career that Shurman believes shaped the way she practices today. She was working alongside partner David Jordan, representing Utah’s Jordan School District. At the time, it was the largest school district in Utah.
“There was legislation passed that allowed some cities to secede from the district,” she explained. “We handled an arbitration that divided over $1 billion in assets and liabilities between the Jordan School District and the Canyons School District. It was a very educational experience.”
Shurman’s work has led her to be listed as a Rising Star in the Mountain States Super Lawyers. She is also a member of several professional organizations.
When she’s not working, her two children – ages 2 and 5 – keep her very busy. And, of course, she is still involved in several community organizations including the YMCA of Utah where her career in the law began.
“I’m now on the governance committee for the YWCA of Utah and have served on the board of directors for the YWCA of Salt Lake City, so I’m still using my legal skills but giving back in a different way,” Shurman said. “It’s nice to still give back.”