Laura J. Thalacker

Firm: Hartwell Thalacker, Ltd.
Location: Las Vegas - NV

  • 11920 Southern Highlands Pkwy Suite 201
    Las Vegas, NV 89141
  • Tel : 702-850-1079
  • Fax : 702-508-9551

Laura Thalacker is the co-founder of Hartwell Thalacker, Ltd., a labor and employment and commercial litigation firm located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Laura has been practicing employment law and litigation for over 25 years. Prior to founding Hartwell Thalacker, Ltd. with her longtime friend and colleague, Doreen Spears Hartwell, Laura worked for over 17 years at Nevada’s largest law firm, where she was a partner in the firm’s Litigation Department. Laura is ranked in Chambers USA 2020, and has been included in The Best Lawyers in America since 2010. She was awarded Las Vegas “Lawyer of the Year” honors by Best Lawyers in 2015 (Employment Law-Management), 2016 (Litigation-Labor and Employment) and 2018 (Employment Law-Management). She is rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale Hubbell  and, in 2013, was recognized as one of the “Top 50 Women Attorneys” in Mountain States Super Lawyers. 

Laura focuses on representing employers in Nevada, throughout the U.S., and worldwide in employment law matters. She is certified by both the Society for Human Resources Management and the Human Resources Certification Institute as a Senior Professional in human resources. Using her unique combination of practical human resources experience and skills, as well in-depth knowledge of labor and employment law, Laura takes a pro-active, preventative, and strategic approach to helping clients comply with a myriad of complex, and sometimes contradictory, federal and state employment laws. Laura takes prides in her accessible and down-to-earth approach with clients, her ability to explain complex legal issues in practical and understandable terms, and her skills in listening to clients and understanding and achieving their objectives for legal representation.

In the area of human resources compliance and counseling, Laura advises employers on a wide array of workplace issues including discipline and termination, reductions in force, leaves of absence, prevention of discrimination and harassment, social media use, workplace investigations, wage and hour compliance, drug testing, confidentiality and non-competes. Laura also drafts employee handbooks, policies, and employment contracts. She further provides training to employees, managers, and executives on various human resources topics.

In addition to working with employers on legal compliance and litigation prevention, Laura defends employers in employment-related litigation in Nevada state and federal courts. Laura has represented employers in a variety of cases, including litigation alleging discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, violation of leave of absence laws, wage and hour violations, breach of contract, and non-compete and trade secret violations. In her administrative practice, she defends employers before federal and state agencies such as the EEOC, the Nevada Equal Rights Commission, the United States Department of Labor, and the Office of the Nevada Labor Commissioner.

Laura is a past Chairperson of the State Bar of Nevada’s Labor and Employment Section, and is former Chairperson of the State Bar of Nevada’s Publications Committee. Laura is a frequent speaker and writer on a variety of employment law topics for Bar Association, client, and community events. She is an active member of, and from 2016-2019, served on the Labor & Employment Steering Committee of IR Global, a worldwide network of legal and business professionals. Laura has participated in a number of IR Global “Virtual Series” publications, and contributes to “Practical Law” in the area of non-competes. She also provides pro bono legal services for non-profit organizations, including serving as legal counsel for the Nevada Land Trust and the Rape Crisis Center of Southern Nevada.


B.A. (summa cum laude), Political Science and Women’s Studies, Wartburg College (1991)

J.D. (with high distinction), University of Iowa College of Law (1994)

Admissions & Certifications

  • State Bar of Nevada (1994)
  • United States District Court, District of Nevada (1994)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1997)
  • Certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (2014-present) (Human Resources Certification Institute)
  • Senior Certified Professional in Human Resources (2015-present) (Society for Human Resources Management)


  • Labor and Employment Section, State Bar of Nevada
  • Litigation Section, State Bar of Nevada
  • Labor and Employment Section, American Bar Association
  • Society for Human Resources Management
  • IR Global Labor and Employment Steering Committee (2016-2019)
  • Former Regional Vice-Chair (North America), Lex Mundi Global Labor and Employment Practice Group

Select Honors

  • 2020 Premier Employment Lawyers – Exclusive Featured Attorney for Las Vegas – NV
  • Ranked in Chambers USA 2020 (Labor & Employment)
  • 2018 Las Vegas “Lawyer of the Year” for Employment Law-Management, The Best Lawyers in America
  • 2016 Las Vegas “Lawyer of the Year” for Litigation-Labor and Employment, The Best Lawyers in America
  • 2015 Las Vegas “Lawyer of the Year” for Employment Law-Management, The Best Lawyers in America
  • Best Lawyers in America – Employment Law (Management); Labor Law (Management); and Litigation–Labor and Employment (2010-present)
  • Top 50 Women Lawyers, Mountain States Super Lawyers (2013)
  • Las Vegas Top Employment Lawyer-Management, Vegas, Inc. (2012)
  • AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell

Hartwell Thalacker, Ltd.

Laura Thalacker and Doreen Spears Hartwell joined together in 2014 to form Hartwell Thalacker, Ltd. after working together for nearly 15 years, first as associates and then as partners, in the litigation department of Nevada’s then largest law firm. A strong foundation built on friendship and trust, coupled with more than 45 years of combined legal experience, give Laura and Doreen a solid base from which to serve their clients in Southern Nevada and beyond.

Hartwell Thalacker, Ltd. is a well-known and respected labor and employment law and commercial litigation firm. In 2017, the Las Vegas Chapter of the National Bar Association honored the firm as its “Law Firm of the Year.” For the past several years, US News & World Report and The Best Lawyers in America has recognized Hartwell Thalacker, Ltd. as a “Tier 1” Las Vegas law firm in the areas of Employment Law-Management and Litigation–Labor and Employment and “Tier 2” in Labor Law- Management and Commercial Litigation.

As a boutique employment law and business litigation firm, Hartwell Thalacker, Ltd. is able to provide its clients with the individualized attention and care their matters deserve. Laura and Doreen take a hands-on, personal approach to their work, getting to know their clients and understanding the ins and outs of their businesses. Ask their clients, and you will learn that Laura and Doreen are trusted, invaluable advisors and advocates. They take a pragmatic, common sense approach to legal representation and work side-by-side with clients to allow them to focus on growing and running their business instead of costly legal matters.