This review focuses on the influence of laminins, mediated through laminin receptors present on Schwann cells, on peripheral nerve development and pathology. Laminins influence multiple aspects of cell differentiation and tissue morphogenesis, including cell survival, proliferation, cytoskeletal rearrangements, and polarity. Peripheral nerves are no exception, as shown by the discovery that defective laminin signals contribute to the pathogenesis of diverse neuropathies such as merosin-deficient congenital muscular dystrophy and Charcot-Marie-Tooth 4F, neurofibromatosis, and leprosy. In the last 5 years, advanced molecular and cell biological techniques and conditional mutagenesis in mice began revealing the role of different laminins and receptors in developing nerves. In this way, we are starting to explain morphological and pathological observations beginning at the start of the last century. Here, we review these recent advances and show how the roles of laminins and their receptors are surprisingly varied in both time and place.