Bio for Donna A. Laurent, Certified Family Law Specialist
Donna graduated from Southwestern University School of Law, Summa Cum Laude, in May 1994. While at Southwestern, she earned American Jurisprudence Awards in Legal Research & Writing, Constitutional Law and Torts. She also received Corpus Juris Secundum Awards in Civil Procedure and Torts and an Outstanding Achievement Award in the International Protection of Human Rights. She was invited to Law Review and Moot Court, but chose, instead, to devote her non-school hours to raising her young son, who started kindergarten when she started law school.
Prior to law school, Donna earned a B.A. in Drama from the University of Virginia and spent several years acting in various theater companies before eventually becoming the Director of Acquisitions for a private real estate owner/developer of multi-million dollar manufactured housing communities located throughout the United States. She held that position for several years and was responsible for acquiring properties valued at over $50,000,000. This background and experience provide Donna with unique skills which can be creatively utilized in both courtroom advocacy and in analyzing complex financial issues.
While still attending law school, Donna began volunteering in the Domestic Violence Clinic of the San Fernando Valley Neighborhood Legal Services. She has continued to advocate for domestic violence victims over the past 16 years and has a particular expertise in this area of family law.
In addition, Donna is highly experienced in the representation of parents of “special needs” children, including children with autism, bipolar disorder, learning disabilities, ADHD, etc. As the parent of a special needs child herself, she brings personalized knowledge, empathy and an ability to develop and implement individualized parenting plans that best suit the unique needs of these children and their families. She has lectured extensively, both for various bar associations and for the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts on issues related to special needs children involved in family law proceedings .
Donna is also extremely active in local bar association activities and does volunteer work for the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Family Law Departments in a number of capacities. She has sat as a “Judge Pro Tem” or temporary judge, in numerous family law courts throughout L.A. County since 2005. She is a volunteer family law mediator for the Van Nuys branch court. She and Cari M. Pines are currently Co-Chair Elects of the Executive Committee of the Family Law Section of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association (SFVBA) and Co-Chairs of the Family Law Section’s Programs. She is a former Trustee of the SFVBA, a Co-Chair of its Attorney Referral Service Committee, and a member of its Diversity Committee, which includes being an adult advisor/Committee Member of the Bar’s Law and Government Explorer Post #1926.
In her free time, Donna’s hobbies include flower gardening & practicing meditation.