If Las Vegas is the place where dreams come true, Lauri Thompson got lucky twice.
She grew up in Boulder, Colo., and studied ballet at the University of Utah. After graduation, she was lured to Las Vegas for a job in the show “Jubilee.” That didn’t pan out. Instead, she became one of the principal dancers in “Les Folies Bergere” at the Tropicana for 12 years. She also modeled and appeared on a 1980s TV show called “The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling.”
But, since childhood she had wanted to become an attorney, so her family wasn’t surprised when she enrolled in law school. However, this was before Las Vegas had a law school, and she was under contract as a performer. So at age 35, she commuted by plane five days a week to school at the University of San Diego, and returned the same night to work.
After graduation, Thompson decided to specialize in entertainment law. “I was always fascinated by the business side of entertainment. It was amazing how many people it took to put on a show,” she said.
As a shareholder in the local office of Greenberg Traurig, Thompson keeps busy protecting intellectual property rights for all kinds of media production companies, with clients like Floyd Mayweather and the Golden Nugget. Many depend on her to protect and enhance their corporate brands and copyright portfolios.
“I owe much of my success to the opportunity to provide legal work for dynamic businesses in Las Vegas, many with an international platform, and some as new start-ups, finding Las Vegas an ideal location to support new business,” she said.
She shares her wisdom as an adjunct professor of entertainment law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ College of Fine Arts and, in 2010, was selected by the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce for its elite Leadership Las Vegas Executive Development Program.
The married mother of two boys also gives her time to causes including the League of Women Voters and the Nevada Women’s Lobby. She serves on the executive board of Nevada Ballet Theatre, and is chairman of the board of Variety-The Children’s Charity of Southern Nevada.
“I find in my philanthropic endeavors that the community is full of many like-minded people, dedicating a part of their time and financial resources to elevating the quality of life for others. Together, our potential is so much greater, than we have as individuals,” said Thompson.
As she has shifted out of the spotlight, Thompson said she “takes what you learned yesterday and apply it to tomorrow. I am truly looking forward to seeing all of the new success my clients are diligently working toward, and both providing my expertise when needed and learning from them along the way.”
— By Susan Stone