Laura has been an attorney for 25 years, having graduated from J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University in 1998. She is admitted to practice law in Oregon, Arizona, and Utah, as well as 9 federal jurisdictions, including the United States Supreme Court Bar and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Laura is also currently serving as the Municipal Court Judge for the City of Elgin.
Laura has extensive trial and motion practice at all levels, including federal, state, county, and city courts. She has been both a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney and has practiced civil law in the law firm, as well as the private practice setting. She relishes her role as a zealous advocate.
During law school, Laura successfully competed in the school’s trial advocacy team, was vice-chair of the Trial Advocacy Board, president of the Phi Delta Phi international legal fraternity, and was also a student member of the American Inns of Court. While having two children and graduating early, she also served multiple judicial/legal externships during law school, including: judicial extern for Judge Marian Blank Horn at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C.; legal intern at the legal department of the Church of Jesus of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah; and research assistant for Professor Richard G. Wilkins working for a Non-Governmental Organization lobbying group with the United Nations.
After law school, Laura joined a small law firm, working on a variety of civil litigation and criminal matters, before opening her own private practice. She later turned to the public sector, becoming the Property Acquisition Coordinator and Assistant City Prosecutor for the City of Layton, Utah in 2001. She was then selected by Federal Judge Ted Stewart to serve as a career staff attorney in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, specializing in criminal cases and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. She continued to clerk for Judge Stewart until she relocated to Arizona in 2007, where she transitioned to criminal defense.
In Phoenix, Arizona, Laura worked on major felony cases in both state and federal court, handling all aspects of criminal matters from initial appearance to trial and appeal. In 2009, Laura started her own law firm in Tempe, Arizona – the Law Office of Laura Jane Edwards, PLLC, later known as Laura Edwards Law – which she continues to operate. In 2012, she co-founded Edwards & Cherney, LLP in Scottsdale, Arizona, and served as the Senior Partner.
Upon her permanent relocation to Northeastern Oregon in 2013, Laura represented a software technology firm on a variety of business and civil law issues and continued her private practice. Laura became the Municipal Judge for the City of Elgin in 2017, a position which she currently holds.
Laura is married to Brock Eckstein, and together they have seven children. She is originally from Utah, and lived and practiced law in Arizona before relocating permanently to Northeastern Oregon.
In addition to being a judge and attorney, Laura is a CrossFit coach, a cooking instructor/caterer, a certified substitute teacher, and a legal writer. She is active in her church, serving as, among other things, a youth leader, teacher, and self-reliance coordinator.