High Asset Divorce, High-Conflict Custody Litigation, Complex Divorce
Laurel joined Stahancyk, Kent & Hook in 1999 and was elected a shareholder in 2004. Laurel is a leading litigator in complex custody issues involving lifestyle and mental health issues. She practices dissolution cases throughout the states of Oregon and Washington, successfully representing clients in all matters relating to family law, which can include: divorce, legal separation, domestic partnership in Oregon, modification of spousal support and child support, prenuptial, postnuptial agreements, and cohabitation agreements.
Laurel litigates complex financial and business interest cases as well as high-conflict custody and parenting time matters and modifications. Laurel works closely with the estate-planning department to provide comprehensive legal counsel before, during, and after the divorce process. She is also experienced in the issues of international and interstate child custody and financial matters.
Seattle University School of Law
Seattle, WA · J.D. Cum Laude – 1999
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR · B.S. Psychology – 1996
Bakersfield High School
Bakersfield, CA – 1992
Laurel is licensed in both Oregon and Washington. Locally, she is a member of the Multnomah County, Washington County and Clackamas County Bar Associations. Nationally, she is a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts that keeps family law practitioners and mental health providers up to date with the latest research and solutions to emerging issues in Family Court.
Laurel trained was by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges in the multidisciplinary approach to Family Law. As a leader in complex business litigation in family law, Laurel presents on behalf of the Oregon Law Institute, as faculty, on “Divorce and the Role of the Business Lawyer.”
Laurel was certified in the Effective Representation of Children by Child Centered Solutions and presents at CLE’s on topics relating to the representation of children and effective trial practices. She is regularly appointed by judges to represent the interests of children in family disputes.
Laurel has been a member of the Portland Business Alliance for two decades, and was selected as a member of the Leadership Portland Class of 2004. One of her most rewarding projects during her tenure with Leadership Portland was being selected as a “principal for a day” at Laurelhurst Elementary school.
In addition to her work in the practice, she mentors law students interested in litigation and family law and helps them as they emerge from law school and into practice in the community.
Laurel serves on the board of Child Centered Solutions, a non-profit organization, which utilizes community outreach and education to help parents and professionals identify and appropriately address the needs of children during high-conflict family disputes. Following her passion to increase the accessibility of the legal system in family matters, Laurel volunteers with the Family Law Forms Project through Legal Aid Services of Oregon, helping self-represented litigants in completing their pro se documents.
Laurel and her daughter are active in the National Charity League where mothers and daughters come together in a commitment to community service, leadership development and cultural experiences. Laurel has volunteered on the Finance and Assurance Committee is the community liaison for Period, Inc. After studying food insecurity in Portland, Laurel and her daughter have focused many volunteer hours helping at Urban Gleaners, Blanchet House, Oregon Food Bank and Meals on Wheels.
Laurel hosts an annual Dress for Success drive at the firm. (Dress for Success empowers women to achieve economic success by providing professional attire to thrive in work and in life.)
Laurel enjoys volunteering in at the intersection of education and the law. Historically, Laurel worked with the Classroom Law Project supporting High School Regional Mock Trial Competitions and provided legal coaching for the Riverdale Mock Trial team.
In one of her favorite career fair appearances, Laurel gave an innovative presentation to students at Ainsworth Elementary School by using Goldilocks and the Three Bears to illustrate how courts make decisions and the role attorneys play in the process. After reading the story, the students were split into two teams. One team argued that Goldilocks inappropriately entered the house and ate the porridge, while the other team was tasked with defending Goldilocks’ behavior. After each side presented their arguments, the group reconvened to discuss the decision-making process and the role of the attorneys. The response from both students and teachers was overwhelmingly positive.
As a working mother, Laurel knows the unique struggles faced by women in the workplace. Laurel presented at the Samaritan Counseling Center’s Women’s Conference, “Women of Strength, Women in Transition: Forging Our Way Through Change and Challenge by Focusing on our Bodies, Minds and Spirit.” There, Laurel led a breakout session for a group of women, exploring leadership inside and outside the home. She covered a broad swath of life lessons from personal budgets and estate planning, to setting an example for your children through volunteer service.
- 2022 · Women In the Law, Best Lawyers
- 2021 · Best Lawyers In America, Best Lawyers
- 2020 · Top 25 Women Oregon Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers
- 2020 · Best Lawyers In America, Best Lawyers
- 2019 · Best Lawyers In America, Best Lawyers
- 2019 · Top 25 Women Oregon Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers
- 2019 ·Top 50 Oregon Lawyers, Super Lawyer
- 2018 . The Best Lawyers In America, Best Lawyers
- 2018 . Top 25 Women Oregon Lawyers, Super Lawyers
- 2018 . Top 50 Oregon Lawyers, Super Lawyers
- 2017 . The Best Lawyers In America, Best Lawyers
- 2017 . Top 25 Women Oregon Lawyers, Super Lawyers
- 2017 . Top 50 Oregon Lawyers, Super Lawyers
- 2016 . Women in the Law, Best Lawyers
- 2016 . Top 50 Oregon Lawyers, Super Lawyers
- 2016 . Top 25 Women Oregon Lawyers, Super Lawyers
- 2015 . The Best Lawyers In America, Best Lawyers
- 2015 . Best Attorneys In Oregon, Best Lawyers
- 2014 · Top 50 Oregon Lawyers, Super Lawyers
- 2014 · Top 25 Oregon Women Lawyers, Super Lawyers
- 2013-2015 · Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers
- 2012 · Forty under 40 Award, Portland Business Journal
- 2012 · Leader in Law, Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce
- 2008-2012 · Rising Star, Super Lawyers
Laurel was honored as a “Forty Under 40” award winner by the Portland Business Journal in 2012, a distinction given to leading business women and men, under the age of 40, in and around the Portland area. Laurel was also honored as an Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce Leader in Law, in 2012.
“I couldn’t have been more impressed by the way SKH handled my case. And I want to say thank you to SKH for assigning Laurel Hook and Anna Friedhoff to my case. Laurel and Anna are masterful in court. Laurel is amazing on every level and I continue to be blown away by Anna and her sheer determination as a lawyer. Anna is incredibly on point at all times and one of the most professional people I have ever encountered from any profession.
“If you are of a certain age, you will remember the 1972 song, “Cover of the Rolling Stone,” by the Union City, NJ, country-rock band Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show. There is nothing Jersey or country-rock about Laurel Hook. But her mere presence is nothing short of medicinal. She is the legal equivalent of a wonder drug, cutting through the cancer of confusion like a proton beam. Within the first few moments of our meeting, Ms. Hook began assembling her strategy, plotting out the inflection points with surgical precision. She then put together a team of world-class resources to support my every legal and personal need, working with the deft calm of an ER doctor on a busy Saturday night. I have had, coincidentally, had my life saved by a crew of over a dozen emergency medical professionals. Ms. Hook and the team and Stahancyk, Kent & Hook operate at an analogous level of skill, dedication and success. Thank you, Ms. Hook. Like the eponymous doctor, you are truly a rock star” -D.M.
“I’ve retained Laurel Hook for my divorce since 2009. Laurel and her associates have all been great for advocating for me and custody of my son. Professional colleagues I’ve known all have exemplary experiences with SKH attorneys and other (SKH staff members). This law firm is comfortable with going to court to advocate for you and also resolving the matter without the costly court/trial path. Divorce, parenting, and finances are all complicated and emotionally charged matters. I am so relieved that I took a recommendation to retain this firm in 2009. They have an excellent reputation with court staff and judges.” – P. L.
“Tate [Justesen] and Laurel [Hook]’s expertise have been outstanding in walking me through a very long, difficult, and emotional divorce process. They have given me excellent advice so I can remain level-headed, on-track and to remain child-focused. I have already recommended them to someone else and wouldn’t recommend any other firm! Thank you!” — K. S.”
“Divorce is bad. I was unprepared for the process. Laurel and her team did an outstanding job of communicating with me. I knew they were ready, willing, and able to win any fight if it came to that. Knowing they were there allowed me to mediate and initially avoid a huge fight. When the fight was unavoidable they knew exactly what to do. If you have to go through this process make sure you have a professional in your corner. I still don’t know how I made it through. I do believe that without Laurel and her team I wouldn’t have made it.” — C.
“Laurel Hook (and the Stahancyk firm) proved to be one of the silver linings of my divorce. Laurel went above and beyond to explain the legal process, was an excellent advocate on my behalf and artfully walked me through every aspect of my divorce with excellent results. She is an outstanding attorney who demonstrated a real genuine concern for me and my children. Laurel and Jody Stahancyk … didn’t stop providing first class support with the signing of the judgment – they went on to assist me in finding a new home, car and employment! From my first telephone [call] to the firm I felt understanding, compassion and confidence that I’d found the attorney (attorneys) and staff with the legal knowledge, experience and ability to advocate on my behalf which would result in a positive outcome.” — Anonymous
“Thank you so much for all of your hard work. I know you tried really hard to keep my costs down and I appreciate that. I think we did the best we could to get me the best settlement possible.” — M.C.
“Dear Jody and Laurel, all the mean things that people say about attorneys are totally untrue as it relates to all of you. You know that you’re doing a good job when Your client (me) can honestly say, ‘I miss you.’ The two of you are like sisters to me. You have seen me through much more than my divorce process. You are much more than extraordinary attorneys, the two of you are extraordinary people.” — D.B.
“I am writing to say ‘thanks’ for participating in our Portland interview program last spring and to offer the services of the university of Oregon school of law’s career services office in the year ahead.” — Merv Loya, Assistant Dean & Director, Career Services, University of Oregon
“Dear Laurel, I’ve pulled myself away from the computer and the RMLS website you turned me on to so that I could thank you once again for all your did during the past 16 months to help me survive, ‘Divorce 101’ for beginners. Thanks to your very capable, competent guidance and insight, I not only survived but actually had some fun and good laughs doing so. Working with you and every other person there that had to deal with me was such a positive experience at each turn. It’s still hard to believe I’m divorced, but you have made it so that I know I’ll be ok, and probably even better having gone through this. Thank you, thank you.” — Anonymous
“It is very difficult to go through a divorce after 28 years but when you do you will need the best by your side. Laurel Hook is focused and keeps you on task when the emotions are running at an all time high. Tate Justesen has been wonderful to work with along with the rest of the team. SKH is warm and welcoming from the minute you walk in the door. Their décor is unlike most law offices plus a kitchen that serves up amazing food if you are in need of lunch. Now I am facing round two protecting the original judgment I received with Laurel and Tate right by my side.” — O.
” The legal services that Stahancyk, Kent & Hook provided me were absolutely top notch. After having my child custody case drag on for over a year and a half with another Portland firm, I switched firms and hired Laurel Hook to take my case. From the get-go Laurel and her assistant Tate Justesen impressed me with their intensity and knowledge. Their communications with me were clear and concise, and I was kept up to date on the progress of the case. The case that had seemed as though it was to go on forever was deftly brought to a close in a mere three months. Thanks to Laurel and Tate, my daughter and I have attained the peace of mind that could only come from closure of the case. If I were ever to need legal council in the future, without question I would seek the services of Stahancyk, Kent & Hook.” — E.L.
“Selecting Laurel Hook and the firm of Stahancyk, Kent & Hook P.C. was one of the best decisions I have made. From the initial consultation, it was clear that Laurel Hook clearly understood my complex business and tax issues and possessed the experience and strategy necessary for my case. I was not disappointed. Throughout the entire process, Laurel Hook and her associate, Tate Justesen, managed my case with a level of sophistication and professionalism, which resulted in a timely and extremely favorable outcome for me. Going with a less experienced firm or attorney would have cost me a fortune. I would refer anyone with family law issues to Laurel Hook, her team, and the firm of Stahancyk, Kent & Hook!” — P.D.
“They say that you should always trust a referral. Laurel Hook epitomizes what they mean. I found Laurel and the Stahancyk team through two independent referral sources. She and her associate did an amazing job helping me navigate a frustrating custody modification. Their attention to detail was amazing and their strategy resulted in an outcome beyond my expectations. If you need help – this is the team to call!” — E.F.
“Words cannot begin to describe how grateful our whole family is to you. You listened, put up with, soothed, encouraged, calmed all of us plus presented such powerful arguments that in spite of rather serious odds against allowed our son the opportunity to continue parenting with enough time to really be her daddy. The phrase ‘Steel Magnolia’ came to mind when I was deciding how to say thank you to you. You have a beautiful face and are soft spoken, but inside the velvet is a quick, intelligent mind. We appreciate your hard work, your constant attention to detail, you hours and time which probably cost you time with your own little girl. I know we benefited from you whole team’s effort and for that we are eternally thankful. Thank you for everything.” — C.B.
“Thank you. You and your team helped me get to a place that I thought was so far away. You told me it was going to be ok and that you would take care of me. It is and you did. I came out of this still an outstanding father, more perspective, stronger, etc. I am debt free with a beautiful brand new house etc. I know there is somebody that will be interested in me again. I believe I have a lot to offer somebody and with patience it will happen. A lot of healing has taken place over the last year and its try been a long time since I’ve been this happy.” — J.
“Laurel Hook and her associates – I recommend them on a regular basis. My husband and I used them for estate planning and check in from time to time for updates. The staff is professional, prompt, and kind.” – K.R.
“I highly recommend Ms. Hook to any client; she is extremely knowledgeable, experienced, goal-directed, and a go-getter; I am extremely satisfied with the legal assistance that she provided in expediting my situation, with the least amount of stress and anxiety; Thank you Ms. Hook!!!” — G.
“Laurel and her staff were instrumental in achieving a positive resolution without going to court of divorce filed by my wife. Laurel is personable as well as extremely professional. Throughout our proceedings, she demonstrated more thorough knowledge of our financial situation than the opposing attorney. I would highly recommend Laurel, though I hope to never personally require her services in the future.” – J.
“Let me start off by saying that divorce sucks. You may have heard this but will never really understand until you experience it. During this pretty horrible time in my life, Laurel Hook has been one of the greatest blessing. Not only does she help you navigate through the fog, she truly understands how you are feeling and cares about your well being. I honestly would have been lost without her support. Yes, she is my lawyer, but I view her at an extremely supportive friend and advocate. It you are facing this challenging time in your life, pick up the phone and schedule a meeting. You will need help and I’d encourage you to get the best help/lawyer in Portland.” – Anonymous
“I hired Laurel and her team to help me through a difficult process. Her professional experience and attention to detail helped make me feel very well taken care of under trying circumstances. I highly recommend her and her team.” – E.
Any result achieved on behalf of one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate that similar results can be obtained for other clients.