APERS is excited to announce the appointment of Laura Mack Gilson to the post of Chief Legal Counsel. A brief review of Gilson’s career in both private practice and public service reveals a history of professional excellence, personal integrity, and widespread acclaim. Gilson also brings a deep reservoir of experience with public retirement plans. Just prior to joining APERS’ staff, Gilson served in a similar position for the Arkansas Teacher’s Retirement System. She is an active member of the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys, and she publishes and speaks on a variety of pension topics and serves as a mentor to new public pension attorneys.
After earning a degree in theater from Arkansas State University, Gilson completed her law degree at the William H. Bowen School of Law in Little Rock. She has since provided legal services to a number of prestigious clients in both the public and private sectors, including Alltel Corporation, the General Assembly’s Bureau of Legislative Research, and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality. Gilson also served as a legal advisor on the staff of Governor Jim Guy Tucker, and in 1997 she was appointed to represent Arkansas as a commissioner on the Central Interstate Compact on Low-Level Radioactive Waste, a position she held through 2011.
Able to preach what she practices, Gilson has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in management and law for many years at the University of Central Arkansas, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and Webster University. Gilson also contributes to her community in a number of ways. She serves as a board member and volunteer for various civic organizations, including AFS intercultural exchange programs, the Arkansas Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, and Preserve Arkansas, a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to saving Arkansas’s architectural and cultural heritage. She is also a fitness instructor for the Athletic Clubs of Little Rock.