Our Bulletin profile this month is on attorney Louise Wilhite-St. Laurent. Mrs. St. Laurent is a Partner with Panza Maurer where her practice focuses on health care regulatory compliance and administrative law. A double graduate of Florida State University, she received her undergraduate degree, with honors, in Public Administration and Political Science; and her law degree, with honors. She began her career as an assistant state attorney in the Second Judicial Circuit before transitioning to administrative practice with the Florida Department of Health, ultimately becoming General Counsel in 2018. During her time as General Counsel, she oversaw legal issues relating to Florida’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state’s Medicaid program for medically complex children, and the Office of Medical Marijuana Use, which regulates the third largest marijuana market in the country.
Mrs. St. Laurent is a member of the Tallahassee Bar Association, she is the Secretary of the Administrative Law Section of the Florida Bar, and a member of the Health Law Section, Government Lawyer Section, Governmental and Public Policy Advocacy Committee, and the Florida Government Bar Association. She lives in Wakulla County with her husband of 15 years and their two (fat) cats.
Why do you find it important to stay involved with voluntary bar associations, like TBA?
Exposure to so many lawyers with varying backgrounds and practices is the most important part for me. The great thing about the practice of law is that we all have an opportunity to engage in or be a part of issues that shape the world we live in. This is particularly true in Tallahassee. I could have never guessed that I would be a part of history in the way I was during the COVID-19 pandemic response, and what I learned from that experience can bring value to other attorneys in meaningful ways for their own practice. Voluntary bar associations are an opportunity to stay engaged with one another, learn from one another, and continue improving as lawyers for the benefit of our clients and for the benefit of society
What motivates you?
Working and learning have always motivated me. My work has been and will always be part of my identity as a person. Despite all of societal calls to “let go” of work and make sure one’s personal life gets just as much attention, working hard is just something I really enjoy doing. There is always so much to learn as a practicing lawyer and that makes the time and effort put into my work so much more satisfying than any other profession I could have.
What do you do for fun?
I like riding to nearby beaches with the top off of my Jeep and getting sunburnt.
If you could change one thing about the practice of law, what would it be and why?
I wish more lawyers knew about and followed rules. I love rules, they exist for a reason, even if they may not seem important to everyone.