In 2024, we proudly celebrate our 75 th year of shaping Nevada's legal, business, and government landscape.

Gender Blindness Meet Pat Lundvall

When I first saw this exquisite woman saunter into the restaurant her presence immediately filled the room. Tall, lanky and exuding a confidence that captured everyone’s attention, one friend remarked, “She is simply stunning.” Another marveled how beautifully she was dressed, but all of the table was captured.  We were celebrating a friend’s huge legal settlement when he chimed in, “That’s Pat Lundvall. Known as a barracuda in legal circles, she’s aggressive, takes no prisoners, and my friends, she’s the reason I am picking up the check today.  Meet my attorney!”

Pat Lundvall, born into a family of thirteen in the small town of Oakland, Nebraska, credits her strong work ethic to a mother who also worked outside the home and the necessity for everyone to pull their weight, regardless of age or gender. “A large family growing up on a farm means hard work.  Girls baled hay, boys peeled potatoes.  There was no gender bias, there were just chores to be done.”  This was the start of her gender-blind view of the world.

Her early mentors, three older brothers, were terrific athletes, stars of the hometown’s football, basketball and baseball teams. Since they had to take her everywhere, her competitive nature was originally stoked playing pick-up games of basketball and football as ‘shirts and skins’ with the guys, unaffected by comments from adults that those were boy’s games, especially when she played skins.

During high school Pat’s alma mater got a universal weight lifting apparatus that was placed in the boy’s locker room and its use was restricted to the lettermen’s club. Since Pat had just as many varsity letters as any of the boys, she petitioned to the school board to change this arrangement ending with an equipment reassignment to a neutral zone and admittance for girls to the lettermen’s club.  From there she challenged the board to abandon other gender-based limitations to the benefit of all.

Pat began her legal career with Lionel Sawyer & Collins, later joining (now) Justice Kristina Pickering’s law firm. In 1994, she joined McDonald Carano where her well-deserved reputation as an excellent litigator is firmly rooted.  Her mentors both men and women, are from both the legal field and clients who have greatly inspired her.

She is absolute in her love of litigation. “I am humbled and thrilled every time a client reaches out for help.”  As an attorney and business leader, many female limited organizations have offered awards, but they all have been rejected.  “I only want to be known as a good attorney, not a good female attorney.  In my opinion, if there is one profession for which your gender means nothing, it should be the practice of law.”

Government Relations Executive Michael Dayton goes on record to say, “Pat’s been recognized for many gender-neutral awards such as legal Elite, Best Lawyers in America, induction into the Litigation Counsel of America, Silver State’s Top 100 by Nevada Business Magazine, Chambers USA, and UNLV’s Distinguished Nevadan just to name a few. Not only has Pat distinguished herself in the courtroom, but also for her public and community services.  She was the first woman in Nevada history to chair the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which is known globally as a leader in regulating boxing, mixed martial arts, and kickboxing.  She is a board member of the Nevada Military Support Alliance, which has raised millions to help our veterans and their families.”

The common steel thread in Ms. Lundvall’s personal and professional life is gender blindness, which also translates to all aspects of current culture, whether it be race, national origin, sexual orientation, religious preferences, educational background, etc. “I simply do not use any such attribute as being a help or hindrance when it comes to the benefits or burdens of modern life.  All of us have work to do and can benefit accordingly.  We should be recognized for our individual ability to achieve, not any demographic.”  Such an attitude explains why athletics at any level continue to play a dominant role in her life.  “In a legitimate sporting contest, demographics mean nothing, talent prevails.”

Pat Lundvall is the perfect example of her own words, “The best will win, no matter where they come from or how they got there.”


By Dawn Gibbons

January 1, 2017

About McDonald Carano

In 2024, McDonald Carano celebrates our 75th year of shaping Nevada’s legal, business, and government landscape. More than 60 lawyers and government relations professionals serve state, national, and international clients from our offices in Reno, Las Vegas, and Carson City. McDonald Carano provides legal services and government affairs and advocacy advice to startups, corporations, trade associations, nonprofits, public entities, high-net-worth individuals, investors, and public-private partnerships throughout Nevada. We are proud to be your Nevada law firm since 1949.

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