In 2012, Laurie was elected Justice of the Montana Supreme Court. She has worked tirelessly as a justice to make fair decisions consistent with our constitution and the rule of law. But she also believes that courts should serve and answer the needs of its people. To that end, Laurie has worked to establish a state-wide mediation program, using the help of local attorneys, to mediate family law disputes and parenting plans for low-income families. Laurie believes the judiciary and courts should find better ways to address the needs of its users by looking at new and innovative programs and coming up with better ways of resolving disputes.
In 2007 Laurie was elected as a general jurisdiction trial judge for the Ninth Judicial District of Montana. In this role, she established the Ninth Judicial District Chemical Dependency Treatment Court as the district’s first problem solving court for drug and alcohol offenders. She helped create the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program to serve as guardians ad litem for children in child abuse and neglect cases. She also established the Self-Help Law Program to improve access to justice for low-income clients.
Laurie learned the Montana justice system serving as both a Special County Attorney for Glacier County and the Deputy County Attorney for Teton County. During that time she prosecuted felony and misdemeanor crimes, served as legal advisor for county officials and agencies, represented the county in involuntary commitment proceedings of the mentally ill, guardianships of incapacitation persons, abuse and neglect of children, property and access disputes, open meeting laws – to name a few.