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Laurie A. Holmes



Laurie Holmes advises clients in the areas of employment litigation and counseling, or as she likes to call it, “soap opera law.” She prides herself on giving down-to-earth and legally sound advice, delivered with compassion and a dose of humor where appropriate. She also is a firm believer that “less is more” when it comes to agreements to be signed by employees. If substance is drowned in legalese, the average employee won’t have any idea what s/he is agreeing to.

Her clients come in all sizes and sectors. She has represented nonprofit organizations, public companies, family-owned businesses, health care systems, start-up companies and (occasionally) individuals.


Laurie’s clients seek her advice on all aspects of employment law, including harassment, discrimination, leave laws, accommodations, and wage and hour classifications under the Fair Labor Standards Act. But her favorite part of the job is educating opposing counsel on all the facts that their clients forgot to tell them.

Workplace Scenarios

Each day, Laurie fields questions like:

  • Can I fire an employee who is too sick to return to work, but posted a photo on Facebook yesterday of his crossing the finish line in a marathon?
  • Is it ok to have a beer refrigerator in our kitchen if we keep it locked until 5 p.m.? Is it ok to fire a manager who breaks into the beer refrigerator at 3 p.m.?
  • Our CFO has porn delivered to the office and his secretary opens his mail. Is that harassment?
  • Do we have a reasonable suspicion of drug use if an employee says to coworkers, “If I transfer to that new job, will they give me a drug test?”

She is rarely bored.

Personal Interests

  • Laurie is a certified floral designer – follow her on Instagram at legal_arrangements.
  • An avid baseball fan, Laurie holds the distinction of having been present to witness (1) the Bill Buckner error in the 10th inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series (Red Sox/Mets), (2) the infamous Steve Bartman incident in the 8th inning of Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series (Cubs/Marlins), and (3) Game 7 of the 2016 World Series (Cubs/Indians). Her favorite game is #3.
  • Laurie is a fan of all things vintage, especially jewelry, movies and furniture. Until recently, she owned Scarlett O’Hara’s bed from Gone with the Wind.


Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois


Georgetown University Law Center
J.D. cum laude (1992)

Manhattanville College
B.A. magna cum laude (1984)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives

Firm Blog Contributions

  • LaborSphere – a resource providing coverage and insights on breaking cases, recently enacted legislation and a broad range of labor issues

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • Economic Club of Chicago
  • Chicago Architecture Center

Civic Activities

Laurie is a member of the Board of Directors of SOS Children’s Villages Illinois, which builds homes and employs foster parents to keep sibling groups together in the foster care system. She is also on the Board of Governors of the Metropolitan Planning Council and serves as its general counsel.


  • Faegre Drinker — Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2021-23
  • Drinker Biddle & Reath, LLP — James H. Douglas Award in recognition of extraordinary service to the community, 2014
Awards Methodology
No aspect of these recognitions has been approved by the highest court of any state.
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