Laura Geringer Gross
Kaufman & Canoles, P.C.
150 W. Main S., Suite 2100, P. O. Box 3037
Norfolk, VA 23514-3037
B.A., Washington University in St. Louis, Phi Beta Kappa, Oma Kron Delta Kappa, University Honors; JD, Georgetown University Law Center, Cum Laude
Professional/business/civic/nonprofit organizations in which you are/have been involved and positions held:
Board Memberships at the Ecumenical Family Shelter d/b/a The Dwelling Place, a shelter for homeless families; Cultural Alliance of Hampton Roads. Former Diversity Director of the Hampton Roads Society for Human Resource Management, current member. Past President of the Simon Family Jewish Community Center. Board Member of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Executive Committee of Women’s Cabinet of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Former Board Member of Children’s Performance Workshop, a group dedicated to ending child abuse.
Who were the important mentors you have had and how did they impact your career?
I had many mentors but will identify two. The first is my father, who, at 78, is still a practicing lawyer in Lower Manhattan. My father demonstrated a work ethic and concern for clients and staff that has been my example for how to conduct my practice of law. I also admired my father’s ability to achieve work life balance. The second mentor, who I was fortunate enough to have a brief working relationship with, was Judge Simon Rifkind of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, a firm I worked at in Manhattan early in my career. Judge Rifkind was the ultimate gentleman, well respected not only by his partners, but by clients, opposing counsel, opposing parties, staff, and all new associates who he addressed annually about the practice of law. One year during my tenure at Paul Weiss the firm printed t-shirts for the firm outing that included a quote from Judge Rifkind, which stated “If you’re not having fun practicing law, you’re probably not doing it right.”
What advice would you give to a young person graduating from college this spring?
It is important to focus on pursuing something you love so that each day when you get up to go to work you look forward to doing so. If you can combine it in some way with the opportunity to help others, so much the better.
How do you achieve a balance between your professional life and your personal life?
I am fortunate to work for a firm, Kaufman & Canoles, that has allowed me to pursue a nontraditional work schedule. The flexibility that Kaufman & Canoles provided enabled me to balance my work life with raising three children (and three dogs), enjoying time with my husband, and participating in community activities. Kaufman & Canoles has also provided tremendous support for my community work, enabling me to engage in significant pro bono work for many not for profit organizations in the Hampton Roads area.
When you were growing up, what did you want to be?
I always dreamed of being on the United States Supreme Court.
What is your favorite book or movie and why?
My favorite book is The Once and Future King, a story of King Arthur and Merlin, because it represents to me the possibilities and opportunities in life.
What are two things about you that not many people know?
1. The first time I participated in a triathlon I set a course record . . . for having the oldest bicycle on the course. 2. I love to ski, fast.
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