Laura R. Sheppard is a solo practitioner at the Law Office of Laura R. Sheppard in City Heights. Half of her practice is criminal defense, primarily for the indigent as a conflict panelist for the Public Defender’s Office of Assigned Counsel. Sheppard defends misdemeanors, felonies and appeals in state court. She is proud to have represented multiple defendants from the Occupy San Diego movement who were arrested during protests.
The other half of her practice is defending life-sentence inmates in the California Department of Corrections in their parole hearings and in writs of habeas corpus that often follow. Sheppard represents indigent lifers as a state-appointed attorney, pro bono for inmates who are sick and dying, and in family-funded retained cases. She also practices a small amount of juvenile dependency, primarily representing indigent parents as a conflict panel member for the Dependency Legal Group.
Sheppard regularly works with undergrad, paralegal and law student interns, providing them an educational experience while utilizing their assistance to help inmates more affordably. Helping inmates prepare a parole plan often requires a social worker’s resourcefulness as well as legal skills, and Sheppard and her interns make the extra effort to help lifers prepare comprehensively for re-entry into society.
Sheppard is a member of the San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association, the California Public Defender’s Association, and is an alumnus of the National Criminal Defense College. She volunteers several times a year to judge mock trial tournaments at high schools, universities and law schools. She has also spoken at educational presentations for the San Diego Bar Association and the University of San Diego School of Law.
Sheppard received her J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law, graduating in 2009. While in law school, she was a member of the law school’s nationally competitive mock trial team and was active with the Children’s Law Center. While in law school, she also interned for two full years at the San Diego Primary Public Defender’s office, receiving valuable training in misdemeanor, felony, juvenile delinquency and appellate practice. She credits the public defender’s office with providing her the education necessary to start a law firm immediately after passing the bar.
Between undergraduate and law school, Sheppard worked for four years in election campaigns and also was a community educator for city paramedics; taught CPR, adolescent special education, and domestic violence prevention; mentored teens on court-ordered truancy probation; and worked as a sexual assault victims’ advocate and hotline counselor.
Sheppard received a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Gonzaga University with a major in theater and a minor in fine art. She designed sets, props and masks, but was also director of her school’s long-running improv comedy group, Gonzaga University Theater Sports (GUTS!). She credits theatrical improvisation as one of the most valuable skills that has assisted her as a trial lawyer.
This is the culmination of a peer nominating process that asked San Diego County lawyers to name the best young attorneys in San Diego County who are: Hard-Working & Detail-Oriented, Knowledgeable & Enthusiastic, Ethical & Professional, and Committed to Furthering the Interests of Justice in Society.
Don't miss this opportunity to recognize your peers or congratulate the San Diego Young Attorneys. Highlight your company's expertise by advertising or sponsoring Young Attorneys 2012.
|Nominations Open:||August 31|
|Nominations Close:||October 19|
|Nominees Announced:||October 26|
|Finalists Notified:||October 31|
|Publication Date:||December 13|
Associate at Allen Matkins San Diego, Timothy Hutter's drive and passion for law have earned him recognition as a top Young Attorney for 2012 by The Daily Transcript.
Transcript reporter Doug Sherwin talks to Nadia P. Bermudez of the Brown Law Group LLP at the 2007 Young Attorneys reception.