GEARHART — Entering its third year, Lawrence & Lawrence is one of Clatsop County’s youngest law firms. Ben Lawrence, 35, and Megan Lawrence, 36, occupy bright, nicely appointed quarters on Highway 101 at the main Gearhart junction.

“The age continuum of Clatsop County lawyers is the reverse of the bell curve,” says Ben, “with a lot of lawyers at the retirement end and a lot at the beginning end.”

After graduating from Indiana University Law School, where the Lawrences married after the first year, the couple’s entry to the legal profession coincided with the 2008 market crash, in which law firms were laying off lawyers.

After receiving “the nicest rejection letter” from Larry Popkin at Seaside’s Campbell Popkin, Ben subsequently was hired the firm. After five years there, the Lawrences hung out their shingle.

Their practice is evenly divided among landlord-tenant law, bankruptcy and estate planning. They stay away from divorce cases and do no criminal law.

“In a small community, word of mouth is huge,” says Ben, noting the importance of referrals.

The Lawrences’ big accomplishment is the March hiring of their legal assistant. Of prospering, Ben says: “This takes 50 to 60 billable hours per month, That’s much less than in a city.”

The couple is quite conscious of lifestyle benefits in their practice. They live one mile from their office, and their daughter goes to Gearhart Elementary School, a block or two away from the office.

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