Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University
This Month @ Moritz

Laura Carpenter '97: Prescription for the Good Life

Laura Carpenter
Laura Carpenter

Lawyer/pharmacist Laura Carpenter '97 works today as a general health care with Quarles & Brady Streich Lang in Phoenix , but more than half of her work is with pharmacies, pharmacy benefit managers, prescription drug wholesalers, and pharmacists. In February, she was elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the American Society for Pharmacy Law. For Laura, it's a dream come true and a family legacy fulfilled.

Laura's first job, at age 16, was at her grandfather's Ritzman pharmacy in 1950. (Since then, Ritzman pharmacy has expanded to become a small chain of nine stores in the Akron area called Ritzmans Natural Health Pharmacies.) It was here that she learned two very valuable lessons that changed her life. The first lesson came from her father, who taught her the value of good customer service.

"Dad just hammered me over the head with it: The phone never rings more than twice: answer it! The customer never waits!" says Laura. "His voice is still in my head, and because of it, I know I'm serving my clients well."

The second lesson was a little more difficult. At 17, she was held at gunpoint by a robber in a ski mask after narcotics. She wasn't harmed, but the man escaped from the pharmacy with a small amount of cash.

"It was my first brush with the legal system," says Laura. "They found the man, and I was called in to testify. Even though the man had been wearing a ski mask, the prosecuting attorney wanted me to point to the man in the courtroom and identify him. This demonstrated to me that the law could be manipulated."

Laura and her husband
Laura Carpenter with husband full
of Buckeye spirit

Laura was a practicing pharmacist for seven years before coming to Moritz. She followed her father, grandfather, uncles and an aunt into the profession. She even met her husband, Brian, in pharmacy school. She practiced law in Columbus for a year before relocating to Phoenix, when her husband was transferred. She has been with Quarles & Brady Streich Lang since 1998.

"We absolutely love Phoenix," says Laura. "Every weekend you can take a day trip and drive to a different world: The Sonoran Desert in Phoenix; Ohio-like hills and trees in Prescott; old mining towns like Bisbee; the Grand Canyon; The Painted Desert; Lake Powell; Hoover Dam. We also love Phoenix because it is a city that acts like a town. Phoenix is huge and has tons of things to do - D-backs, spring training, traveling Broadway shows, good places to eat. But like a smaller town, the people are friendly and you can get to be a part of the community."

Laura is active in the community, serving as a board member for the Arizona Chapter of the American Liver Foundation, the Chair of the "Quarles Cares" Community Service Committee, and a board member for Waste Not, Inc., a non-profit organization that collects and distributes more than one million pounds of perishable food a year to schools, rehabilitation centers, half-way houses and homeless shelters.

This fall, she hopes to be elected as a partner in her law firm. Classmates can wish Laura luck at lcarpent@quarles.com.