Alumni Spotlight

Laurie Boreanaz Carra '81



Laurie Boreanaz Carra '81 did not take the traditional route to, or through Hilbert. Even so, Hilbert remains an important part of her life and a driving force in her success. "I remember I had the feeling that people really cared about me. I felt looked after. There were places I could go and people I could talk to if I needed anything," said Carra.

Carra's high school had closed at the end of her junior year (St John Neumann High School). "I really didn't want to change schools just for my senior year," stated Carra. Hilbert was able to fill the void, offering a unique accelerated associates degree program. Of the several hundred in her class, one other high school classmate of Carra was also afforded this opportunity at Hilbert (but that student did not complete the program) and two others attended accelerated programs at other schools.

As true then as it is today, Hilbert was able to provide a nurturing experience for Carra. "Sister Alberta Surowiec really took me under her wing, because I was only 16 years old at the time I started attending Hilbert. Sister Alberta, promised my parents that she would look after me, and she did."

Despite her young age, Laurie was encouraged to be involved in every aspect of Hilbert life. She went to baseball and basketball games, was involved with the theater program and even got to direct a play. "I can recall singing the National Anthem at commencement in the gym," said Carra.

Freedom and openness were keys to Carra's success in the legal assistant program at Hilbert. "I was allowed the opportunity to express opinions and judgments and not just told what to do or think. The freedoms I was afforded under watchful guidance really made me feel like an adult at an early age."

This helped to form a strong foundation to allow Carra to go on to finish her undergraduate work and also graduate from law school. She is admitted to practice in New York in all state and federal courts, and the United States Supreme Court. From civil to criminal, and many areas in between, she has practiced law in private practice, higher education and government service. She litigated many criminal cases while managing partner for her family's firm, Boreanaz, Carra & Boreanaz, and handled mostly civil cases when the practice merged with another firm after the death of her father, noted criminal defense attorney, Harold J. Boreanaz.

She has also served as law clerk for a Federal District Court Judge and also worked in the federal courts system for a number of Magistrate Judges. In a brief hiatus from the practice of law, Carra worked at Canisius College for three years as Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs, functioning as the college's Chief Disciplinary Officer. "This was like a breath of fresh air after working in the legal arena" stated Carra. Returning to her legal roots, today she serves as Senior Deputy Counsel at Independent Health. "My department provides legal counsel to all areas of the company and its affiliates. We advise on everything from contracts to litigation to regulatory compliance. The new health care reform laws have kept us very busy over the past several years" said Carra.

She has been married for 26 years to Charles S. Carra, who is also an attorney, and is the mother to two daughters, one in college and the other in middle school.