Lauren J. Rucinski
Kean Miller, LLP
BRBA: Tell us about your education.
I graduated from Virginia Tech with degrees in Aerospace and Ocean Engineering, and received my law degree from LSU.
BRBA: Where are you from?
Gonzales, LA originally, now I live in Baton Rouge.
BRBA: Where and what type of law do you practice?
I practice in Kean Miller’s Environmental Regulatory group and am also a registered Patent Attorney.
BRBA: Why did you want to become an attorney?
For all intents and purposes, I went to law school on a whim. Since I was kid, I had always been under the impression that I was going to work for NASA on the space shuttle program, but the end of the space shuttle era corresponded with my last years of college and, in retrospect, the competition for jobs at NASA was fierce and required graduate study. So when I was introduced to patent law during a lunch and learn put on by the Tech engineering department, it really spoke to me. Being able to still dabble in science while helping people with people problems (vs. machine problems) was intriguing. So I signed up for the LSAT that summer and applied to law school during my second to last semester of college.
BRBA: If you were not practicing law, what would be your alternate profession?
Wedding planner. No doubt. I offer, often unsolicited, advise to all of my friends and love the mash up of extreme details with the complete laissez-faire of the love of the happy couple that trumps the day of.
BRBA: What is one thing you wish you would have known before you went to law school?
You need a study group. Law school is a hard “DIY” – I studied solo my first semester, but my experience was so much more enriching and enjoyable once I found a study group.
BRBA: Are you involved with the BRBA? If so, how?
Sure am; I am the Co-Chair of this year’s Law Day and serve as a member of the Young Lawyers’ Council. I have also coordinated our firm’s participation in the Holiday Star Program and participated in Belly Up with the Bar the past few years. I also really enjoyed volunteering as a judge for the high school mock trial competition this year.
BRBA: What motivated you to become involved with the BRBA?
My main goal in becoming involved in BRBA is to create connections with attorneys that I would not otherwise have had the opportunity to meet. The environmental regulatory and patent fields are relatively specialized so the BRBA provides me with opportunities to network with attorneys outside of my area of practice.
BRBA: What is your favorite BRBA activity or event?
Law Day; It’s such a neat program that introduces middle school and high school students to the role of law in our society and aims to cultivate a deeper understanding of how laws and the legal profession affects their lives on a day-to-day basis and on a grander scale. The students are always so impressive with their attentiveness and acceptance of the events on law day. And, I especially enjoy seeing them participate in the court-room sessions.
BRBA: Are you involved with any other organizations or causes?
Yes, I am member of the Board for We Produce Grads. WPG is Louisiana’s first middle and high school Aquaponics program with classroom laboratories and greenhouse focused in a foundation of STEM Education. Kids are amazing and its absolutely incredible to see the future of our community and state excited about science and math. I am also on the board for the South Louisiana Chapter of the Women’s Energy Network and serve on the planning committee for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Baton Rouge’s annual fundraising dinner.
BRBA: What is the best piece of advice you have received?
At the risk of sounding cliché, “tough times don’t last tough people do.” That was one of my dad’s “isms” and it rings true in so many situations. Have seventeen pages of discovery responses? Three more minutes of your workout? Having trouble balancing life and work? Trying to avoid eating the seemingly endless supply of king cakes at the office? . . . it fits.
BRBA: What are your leisure activities?
My husband and I are deeply entrenched in the wedding circuit right now and it seems like all of our free weekends are monopolized by friends’ weddings. But, I’m not complaining; it gives us an excuse to travel to see friends and family. And I my two dogs, Brees (maltipoo) and Izzo (poodle) have my heart and any free time I have laying around. I also enjoy hanging out in Mid-City with our local friends.
BRBA: What is the last book that you read?
I read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine about a year ago. I’m currently re-reading the Harry Potter series and occasionally picking up Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow.
BRBA: Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I went to Virginia Tech without knowing a soul in Blacksburg, or Virginia, or even the East Coast. This fact really did not hit me until I stood on the steps of my dorm, watching the taillights of my parents suburban fade away. To say the panic set in is a bit of an understatement. But, the experience was invaluable because not many people have the opportunity to start completely fresh and it forced me to become completely self-sufficient. And Virginia Tech gave me some of my dearest friends, and not to mention my husband, so I’d say it was worth it.
If you would like to contact Lauren, her email address is Lauren.Rucinski@keanmiller.com.
For more information or to comment on this this Member Spotlight feature, contact Landon Hester at firstname.lastname@example.org or 225-214-5560.