Laurel met Al McSurely in the Spring of 2010 when he represented her after she was arrested for civil disobedience during an NAACP-led demonstration protesting the resegregation of Wake County schools. She worked with Al over the next few years in her capacities as a labor organizer and a member of the Chapel Hill/Carrboro NAACP. Laurel became the office manager of McSurely & Turner in September, 2012.
Laurel graduated from UNC Chapel Hill where she studied Women’s Studies and Afro-American Studies. She was a recipient of the 2012 Franklin Porter Graham Chancellor’s award.