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LA Mesa Law intends to stay small but powerful

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By Carol A. Clark

Providing the finest legal service to its clients through zealous representation, professional diligence and personalized attention is the bar LA Mesa Law Firm set when opening its doors in Los Alamos in December.

 

“They are just outstanding,” said longtime local Realtor Pearl White who recently sought legal advice from the firm. “Their response was awesome, they helped me figure out my problem, gave me the forms I needed and took care of me quickly, efficiently and professionally. I would absolutely recommend them and I have.” 

 

Attorneys Michael A. Lane and Steven J. Laurent and Office Manager Cindy Hollabaugh make up LA Mesa Law. They intentionally capitalized the “LA” in the firm’s name to stand for Los Alamos.

 

“We love this community and we believe there are enough needs here to support two more attorneys,” Laurent said. “When I moved here a few months ago, people told me I’d have to go to Santa Fe to get a job. I interviewed with law firms down there and they talked about all the Los Alamos clients they serve. I thought Los Alamos clients should have their needs met in Los Alamos.”

 

Laurent practiced law in Grand Rapids, Mich., for six years. He brings an expertise of business issues to the firm with a specialized knowledge in the areas of real estate and construction law.

 

Laurent moved to town after his wife, Anne Laurent, was hired to head Los Alamos County’s Capital Improvement Projects division.

 

“We became tired of big city life,” he said. “I worked for a large corporate law firm in Grand Rapids. We have small children and decided we wanted to be in a place where we could spend more time with them. In this job I can be Mr. Mom and run to school when they have activities and be home when they’re sick.”

 

Lane dreamed of practicing law since he was 8 years old. “Life got in the way,” he said. “But suddenly there was an opportunity for me to go to law school after working more than 20 years in engineering and project management.”

 

Hollabaugh was born and raised in Los Alamos and has worked as a loan secretary, loan officer and a real estate agent. She has also volunteered with many organizations including Los Alamos Aquatomics, Girl Scouts, Chamisa Elementary School, Los Alamos Association of REALTORS and currently serves as vice chair of the Los Alamos Housing Partnership.

 

“I was a stay at home mom and after my children were grown I went into real estate,” Hollabaugh said. “Last year the real estate market was very challenging. The opportunity came up to join Mike and Steve and it’s been absolutely wonderful working here with them.”

 

LA Mesa Law provides its clients with estate planning services including wills, revocable trusts, power of attorney, health care directives and some tax planning. They also provide some family law services. 

 

The firm’s small business services encompass entity formation, document preparation and business filings. Its real estate services address real estate contracts, leases, landlord and tenant issues and construction advice.

 

“Our success is measured by how well we serve our clients,” Lane said.

David Apple owns property in the area and hired LA Mesa Law to assist him with a legal problem he said had to be concluded within one week.

 

“I used LA Mesa Law for a real estate lease purchase agreement modification,” Apple said. “There was a very short time frame to get together the two parties involved. They did it very quickly and smoothly.”

 

Apple commended the firm saying they took the time to understand the overall background of the real estate property in question along with other properties that may be involved in the future.

 

“They went beyond my initial need and took care of my overall legal planning and I would gladly recommend them to others,” he said.

 

The Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce hosted an official ribbon cutting ceremony for LA Mesa Law in its new offices inside the Community Bank Building at 1475 Central Avenue Thursday evening.

 

“Welcoming new businesses is one of the most enjoyable parts of working for the Chamber,” Member Services Coordinator Katy Korkos said. “Steve and Mike are energetic and caring and having Cindy as their office manager is the perfect combination.”

 

Lane is a native of Virginia. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of New Mexico, where he was recognized for excellent achievement in legal research, intellectual property law, constitutional rights, and clinical skills.

 

Lane is a member of the American Bar Association, licensed to practice law in the State of New Mexico. His hobbies include a keen interest in the history of the Pajarito Plateau.

 

Lane resides on Barranca Mesa with his wife, Denise, a longtime local real estate broker, commercial property owner, restaurateur and former county councilor.

 

Laurent was born and raised near Grand Rapids where he graduated cum laude from Aquinas College with a bachelor’s degree in history and international studies. After taking a year to travel Australia and Southeast Asia, he attended graduate school at Arizona State University, earning a Master’s Degree in history with a specialty in historic preservation.

 

Laurent attended law school at Michigan State University, where he graduated in the top ten of his class, served on law review and earned jurisprudence book awards, which are the highest marks possible, in seven of his classes.

 

Laurent is a Michigan licensed attorney currently working under Lane’s license. He intends to take the New Mexico Bar in July.

 

Laurent resides on Barranca Mesa with Anne and their children, Frances and Maxim. In his spare time, he likes to hike and travel with his family.

 

Hollabaugh spends her free time with her husband, John, and visiting her daughters, Kimberly and Amy, in Oklahoma.

 

For information about LA Mesa Law, access www.lajuris.com or call 662-7205.

 

Contact Carol A. Clark at lanews@lamonitor.com or (505) 662-4185 ext. 25. Read her blog at www.newsextras.wordpress.com.

 

SIDEBAR:

 

In operating LA Mesa Law, attorneys Michael Lane and Steven Laurent describe applying the following principles in establishing and maintaining their client relationships:

 

-Our primary goal is to provide the best legal services available in our focus areas of family, law, small business representation and transactional work;

 

-Our core values are represented by the acronym QFIRST, representing Quality, Fun, Integrity, Respect, Safety, and Teamwork;

 

-Our clients will receive personal and timely attention. This includes, first and foremost, the prompt return of all phone calls, email, and other client correspondence;

 

-As advocates for our clients, we also are required to provide counsel.    Accordingly, all communications must be in clear and understandable language. We are dedicated to providing the best legal advice, which includes ensuring that our clients know what we do, why we do it, and how it benefits them;

 

-We ascribe to the highest professional ethics, and shall protect client confidences from improper disclosure. We shall strive to prevent or eliminate all real and potential conflicts of interests from our practice;

 

-We will be both thorough and effective, as we strive to find the best way to advance the goals of the representation as established by the client. To that end, we will apply the principles of project management in the day-to-day running of our business, for long-range planning, and to identify, assess and manage risks;

 

-Because we believe that legal services need to be affordable, we will use technology and procedures to minimize costs wherever possible. We shall strive to serve clients on a pro bono basis to the extent it can be reasonably accommodated within our practice. Where appropriate, we will also service clients on a reduced fee basis, so that those in need of legal services, who may not otherwise be able to afford it, can also be served.

 

-We are committed to continuing legal education. We will stay abreast of developments in the law and inform our clients of how these changes may affect them; and

 

-We shall never lose sight of the fact that our clients are the reason we exist as a firm.