A modern dancer with credits including performing with the Martha Graham ensemble, Laureve D. Blackstone had her feet planted firmly on the stage. Then, a call for jury duty sent her life in a completely different direction. “I always knew I would do something besides dance, but I wasn’t sure what that would be,” says Laureve, who comes from a family of dancers and choreographers. “Then I sat on a jury, and I was fascinated by the process. I saw the trial as a kind of performance, and performance is what I grew up with.” Soon after, Laureve took the LSAT, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Labor law was Laureve’s preference from the time she entered law school. “To support my dance career, I was a barista, a restaurant hostess, busser and server. I worked in a library and for a fashion designer,” Laureve explains. “Having all those different jobs made me realize how much of our lives are spent in the workplace. Workers need strong advocates, and I wanted to be on their side.”
Levy Ratner gives Laureve the chance to do just that. Involved in all aspects of the firm's labor and employee benefits practice, she counsels individual employees regarding employment contract issues, severance agreements and related matters and represents unions and Taft-Hartley funds in negotiations, arbitrations, litigation and administrative proceedings. Laureve advises the 1199SEIU National Benefit Fund for Home Care Employees, 1199SEIU Home Care Employees Pension Fund and 1199SEIU Home Care Industry Education Fund. Her deep understanding of the home care industry equipped Laureve as effective and creative counsel when 1199SEIU faced a three-week window within which to conclude contract negotiations engaging more than 50 employers and affecting 75,000 workers. “I think my ability to watch what was going on and be in sync with my clients helped get the job done in the short amount of time we had,” Laureve recalls. “That’s really the culture at Levy Ratner: competent people who can identify what’s most important, give it the attention it’s due, and get the job done efficiently.”
Laureve joined Levy Ratner in 2011, after serving as an associate practicing labor, employment, employee benefits and disability rights law at Broach & Stulberg, LLP from 2008-2011. From 2006-2008, she was a law clerk in the Staff Attorney’s Office of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Laureve is a contributing author to Employee Benefits Law, 3d Edition. Her previous publications include Courting Islam: Practical Alternatives to a Muslim Family Court in Ontario, 31 Brooklyn J. Int’l L. 207 (2005).
Brooklyn Law School, JD, 2006, cum laude
Executive Articles Editor, Journal of International Law; Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Law Fellowship; Jeffrey E. Rockwell Memorial Prize for International Law; Thomas Christensen, Jr. Memorial Prize for Commitment to Legal Scholarship & Public Service; CALI Awards in International Law, Comparative Constitutional Law and War Crimes Seminar
New York University, BA, Concentrations in Religious Studies and Cultural Anthropology, 1999, magna cum laude
Admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey