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Marques Lang
Marques Lang specializes in reviewing, drafting and offering advice on qualified domestic relations orders, which grants part of one spouse’s retirement assets to a former spouse. (Submitted photo)

Breaking the Ice: QDRO practice combines legal and financial skills

Name: Marques Lang

Title: Founding attorney, Landon Kennedi Law

Education: B.S., social science Portland State University; certificate in financial planning, Pepperdine University; J.D., Lewis & Clark Law School

Marques Lang, founding attorney of Landon Kennedi Law in Bloomington, likes helping clients get a fresh start financially after a divorce.

To do that, Lang specializes in what he concedes is a “narrow niche” — reviewing, drafting and offering advice on qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs), which grants part of one spouse’s retirement assets to a former spouse.

Before his legal career Lang, who performs QDRO services on a neutral basis according to the divorce decree, worked in employee benefits and human resources and as a financial planner.

“I decided that QDROs would be a good area, to combine the skills sets that I developed on the financial side with the legal side to build a practice that was in alignment with the vision that I had for my professional life,” Lang said.

Lang was considering law school and graduate programs in finance before choosing the former. “I figured if anything ever hit the fan, I would have a J.D. to fall back on,” Lang said.

Q: What’s the best way to start a conversation with you?

A: There are topics that get me fired up. QDROs definitely do that, but that’s pretty nerdy. I really enjoy football, personal development and wine. I could I can talk about those any day of the week, at any moment.

Q: What books are on your bedside table or e-reader?

A: I’m rereading “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. The next one on my list of “Atomic Habits.” I recently finished “Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise.”

Q: What’s your pet peeve?

A: People not doing what they say they’re going to do. Reliability is a big value for me.

Q: What’s the best part of your work?

A: On the technical side, I enjoy the puzzle of putting all of those different laws together and figuring out the retirement plan. On the client side, I really just enjoy working with people to create a financial fresh start after an emotionally traumatic experience in the divorce process.

Q: What do you least like about it?

A: Sometimes emotions are still running high. People are not happy about having to split their retirement plans.

Q: What’s a favorite activity away from work?

A: Wine tasting. I like to read. I like to kayak. I like to paddleboard. I like to snowshoe in the winter. Pre-COVID times, I really enjoyed seeing live music, especially jazz and blues.

Q: If someone visits you in your hometown, what would you take them to see or do there?

A: My parents split up when I was young. My mom was in Seattle and my dad was in military. We moved around quite a bit. I spent more time in Oregon going to school there. I would take somebody on a drive through the Columbia River Gorge and then hike up to a waterfall.

Q: Is there an attorney or judge whom you most admire? Why?

A: RBG [Ruth Bader Ginsburg]. She took no bones from anybody and she was tenacious. It still stings that we lost her.

Q: What’s a misconception that others have about your work as an attorney?

A: That because I’m an attorney, I know about every aspect of the law and I do not. I just had a friend say, “Can you draft a liability waiver for a party that I want to throw up my house?” I work retirement plans. That’s all I do.

Q: What’s a favorite novel, movie or TV show about lawyers or the legal profession?

A: I really liked the John Grisham books, especially the ones that are turned into movies. This is going to sound super cheesy but I’ve probably seen “Legally Blonde” 50 times. I identify with that character because she’s a person who is not supposed to be there and everybody counts out, and I’ve kind of been underdog my entire life.

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