Laura D. Cooper is a lifelong Republican and native Oregonian, graduate of Reedsport High School and the University of Oregon. Tragically, Laura was diagnosed with acute, fulminating multiple sclerosis, becoming wheelchair-dependent at a very young age. Nevertheless, determined to make her own way in the world, Laura successfully navigated her way through law school and obtained her law degree from the University of Washington in 1986; the following year she served in a Federal Appellate Judicial Clerkship position at the US Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit in New Orleans.
Laura then began private practice in 1987 at Pettit & Martin, a major international law firm located in San Francisco, where she served as outside counsel to the Federal Savings & Loan Insurance Corporation. In 1989 she was selected as one of twenty outstanding young American “Lawyers Who Make A Difference” by the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and its Barrister Editorial Board. That same year, Laura received a political appointment in the Bush [Sr] administration to serve as Counsel to the Chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission [“ICC”], where she helped lay the legal foundation to eliminate that federal agency. [The ICC is now officially deceased.]
In 1992, Laura returned to private practice, where she served as outside counsel to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society based in New York City. Based on her outstanding public services, In 1994 Laura received both the Society’s national Distinguished Service Award as well as the Miriam Ottenberg distinguished service award from the National Capital Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
In 2000 Laura retired and returned to her native Oregon, where she now maintains a pro bono private law practice wherein she has handled complex ERISA and related benefits planning issues; recently, she has narrowly focused on legal issues surrounding the treatment of pain.
As a result of her extensive pro bono work, the President of the Oregon State Bar presented Laura in 2004 at the Oregon Statewide Bar Convention in Portland with the Oregon State Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award (given annually to a single member in recognition of distinguished legal service to the Oregon Community). In 2009, Laura was again recognized for her outstanding pro bono service with the bar’s pro bono award for solo practitioner lawyers based on her extensive hours of pro bono service to the Oregon community.
Laura is licensed to practice law in Oregon, California, and the District of Columbia.