Deputy General Counsel, Litigation and Employment
As the Deputy General Counsel, Laurie Barnes oversees litigation, regulatory, and labor and employment matters for the university, including the university’s health system and the Keck School of Medicine. Ms. Barnes also directs legal operations, assists in the overall management of the Office of the General Counsel, leads high-profile special projects, and advises on student affairs and athletics matters. In her role, Ms. Barnes provides strategic counsel to help USC navigate significant legal challenges, including crisis management and government investigations while promoting the university’s commitment to ethics and professionalism.
Prior to joining USC, Ms. Barnes was AVP, Senior Legal Counsel with AT&T where she focused on high-profile complex litigation management and strategy, advice and counsel, and appeals for all AT&T entities. There, she navigated a rapidly changing business, managing large-scale special projects including corporate reorganizations, corporate planning for mergers and acquisitions, and creating and leading task forces, such as the Reasonable Accommodations Task Force designed to comply with leave and disability law. Ms. Barnes also worked for Sheppard Mullin and Seyfarth Shaw as a Senior Associate in the Labor and Employment departments.
Ms. Barnes received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, cum laude, and her J.D. from the USC Gould School of Law. Outside of her work for USC, Ms. Barnes participates in pro bono work with the Alliance for Children’s Rights assisting children in foster care with Special Education rights. She is a member of the California State Bar, the National Association of College and University Attorneys, and the Association of Corporate Counsel.