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Michelle Teran

Michelle Teran
Year Graduated: 2017
Title: MSL, Class of 2017
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Home > Shannon Lacey
Shannon Lacey

Shannon Lacey

Associate Attorney, Lauria, Tokunaga, Gates & Linn, LLP
Area of Practice: Insurance
Year Graduated: 2014

Undergraduate: Santa Clara University
Major: Bachelor of Science in Anthropology (emphasis in law and society)
Year/Track: 2011

Summary Bio

Shannon Lacey, '14, an associate attorney at Lauria, Tokunaga, Gates & Linn, LLP, works in insurance defense specializing in medical malpractice and personal injury. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in anthropology with an emphasis in law and society (Santa Clara University 2011). She enjoyed the opportunity to gain practical experience at McGeorge and graduated with distinction.

Full Profile

Shannon Lacey '14 says her path to becoming a lawyer "chose her." "I set out to be a doctor but I hated organic chemistry. I switched my major to anthropology, began taking law and society classes, and loved them."

Lacey completed her Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in Law and Society at Santa Clara University in 2011. During undergrad, she worked as a file clerk at Temmerman, Cilley, & Kohlman, LLP, in Santa Clara, CA. Jim Cilley, a McGeorge alumnus, noticed her potential and assigned her law clerk duties as well. "That experience cemented my desire to be a lawyer and a litigator."

When it came time to apply to law school, Jim Cilley introduced her to McGeorge. Lacey was also advised to go to law school where she saw herself residing long term. "I liked Sacramento and the more I looked into McGeorge, I knew it would be a good fit."

Lacey quickly realized the benefits of a McGeorge education. "McGeorge offered excellent practical classes. Pre-litigation courses taught us how to propound and respond to discovery, a skill usually learned in the field. I also learned how to effectively take and defend depositions, a skill most do not learn until their second or third year of practice.  

As an associate attorney at Lauria, Tokunaga, Gates & Linn, LLP, Lacey works in insurance defense, specializing in medical malpractice and personal injury. She uses the practical skills she gained at McGeorge in this position. "Our firm is unique because we go to trial often, a rarity these days for civil litigation firms. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to go to trial with Partner Ray Gates on three different cases since January (second chair in Las Vegas twice, and third chair in Reno). We received a defense verdict in all three cases. Partners Tony Lauria and Paul Cardinale also received a defense verdict in a dental malpractice case in Reno this January."  

Supporting medical professionals, business owners, and every day people, all of whom are clients of Lauria, Tokunaga, Gates and Linn, LLP is the most rewarding aspect of Lacey's work. "I'm grateful that our firm can provide support, knowledge and assistance during a stressful and confusing time."

To anyone considering law school, Lacey says to think hard. "It's important to understand that law school is an investment for your future. Law school is hard work, and that does not stop upon graduation. Ray Gates has a saying that I have adopted, 'One day you will encounter a better lawyer than you, it is inevitable. But you will beat that lawyer because you work harder than they do. It is okay to be out lawyered; it is never okay to be out worked.' This saying goes for law school too. I wasn't always the smartest student in the room, but I worked hard. My success was because of my determination."

Lacey also says not to let the LSAT determine your fate, "I was waitlisted at McGeorge because of my LSAT score; but in the end, I graduated with an academic scholarship and with distinction." In the future, Lacey plans to continue to grow in her current firm and will also marry fiancé Erich Knorr, '13, whom she met at McGeorge.

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