Discovery with Lauren Barghols Hanna

Why Lauren Hanna never gets a sunburned nose

Published in 2017 Oklahoma Super Lawyers — November 2017

I can’t go a day without … coffee and a Tom Clancy audiobook for the commute.

If you were in my office, you’d … know that I am a proud graduate of the University of Oklahoma (Boomer Sooner)! I am also curating a growing collection of stick-figure/handprint art, courtesy of my two preschoolers.

When I was a newbie lawyer I … didn’t sufficiently appreciate “war stories,” especially from lawyers who have been practicing since long before I was born. Now I can’t get enough of these tales of triumphs, epic defeats and bizarre courtroom anecdotes.

The lawyer I most admire is … my law partner, Betsy Wood. She is incredibly smart, unflappable and unfailingly kind—a counselor to her clients in every sense of the word.  

The qualities I most like in a lawyer are … integrity and collegiality. I love having colleagues whom I can fight hard—but fair—battles against in court, then join for coffee to talk life and our kids.

When I started, I wish I knew … that no one can do/have it all.

My career high point (so far) has been … prevailing in a termination-of-parental-rights trial on behalf of my 9-year-old client—and then standing next to him the day he was adopted by his foster parents. My pro bono cases through Oklahoma Lawyers for Children are the ones that will stick with me forever.

If I weren’t a lawyer, I’d be … a rowing coach. Rowing is good for the soul. Of course, Mike Knopp, my former OU rowing coach, is also a lawyer. So maybe someday I will figure out how to do both!

I almost quit the law because … I wondered how I would ever be able to leave my first baby after maternity leave. Finding an incredible nanny saved my career.

The SCOTUS justice I’d like to meet is … Justice Ginsburg. Her close friendship with Justice Scalia inspires me to surround myself with friends of all different political philosophies, to avoid living life in a self-imposed echo chamber.

My heroes are … my mom and dad. Both lawyers, they instilled in me that rock-solid integrity is a person’s most important character trait. They also encouraged me from an early age to question authority and always remember that life is all about the journey. 

On weekends I … attend thrilling preschool soccer games, build Magna-Tiles skyscrapers, crash Matchbox cars against each other to determine which is “the strongest good-guy car,” try valiantly to execute my daughter’s latest choreographed ballets to radio pop, and read every Llama Llama book ever written at least 10 times.

I wish I had invented … anything: Shark Tank is my favorite show. But seriously, in fifth grade, I did invent the Nose Shade, a curved plastic device that clipped on your sunglasses to protect your nose from sunburn. “No shade? Try Nose Shade.” Can’t imagine why it didn’t take off.

If I had a morning show, my co-host would be … my husband, Adam. He actually does invent things, as well as being a neonatologist, carpenter, author, artist ... and the best dad to our kids.

My favorite word is … lagom, a Swedish word that means not too much, not too little. It originates from the Viking days, when wine would be passed around the table, and each person would be expected to consume a lagom portion. I try to apply this concept of “moderation in all things” to my life.

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