Jeffrey Crook will pass on his Sandy practice in July

Jeffrey Crook has been practicing law in Sandy for 36 years. He has narrowed his expertise over the years and has finally set his sights on a new lifestyle: retirement.

Originally from Michigan, Crook went to the University of Michigan and then to San Francisco to finish his law degree. He eventually ended up in Sandy after meeting his wife, Pam Giovannini-Crook, an California native. Crook opened his practice 32 years ago.

“Sandy has been a good place for us,” Crook said. “We’ve certainly watched it grow.”

Crook and his wife live in Marmot.

When he started out, Crook practiced general law and took on just about everything, he said. Through doing everything, Crook realized there were certain cases he didn’t want to take on, including divorces.

Over the last 15 years, Crook has moved toward transactional law. He’s spending the last of his time before retirement working on real estate transactions and wills.

Crook has been working side by side with his wife since the launching of the Sandy practice.

“That always elicits questions,” said Crook when asked what it’s been like working so closely with his wife for that length of time. “Mostly folks just look scared.”

But the couple said it has worked for them, with Crook spending a good amount of time at his desk and his wife stationed in the front office.

“But Sandy has more mom and pop businesses than you’d think,” Giovannini-Crook said.

Crook and Giovannini-Crook originally wanted to retire in 2011, but when the economy crashed, it took their portfolio with it. Still, Crook said he doesn’t want to be one of those lawyers that practices until they drop.

“That doesn’t ring the bell for me,” he said.

When Crook retires this summer, his practice will change hands. Kevin Tillson, who has been practicing in downtown Portland for 10 years, will take over Crook’s business to be closer to his family. His children are enrolled in the Gresham-Barlow School District.

“We’re glad somebody wanted to buy it and we didn’t just have to close the doors,” Giovannini-Crook said. She has been spending the last of her time with the practice cleaning out a 30-year collection of stuff. She said she found 15 years worth of floppy discs.

The couple plans to maintain their home in Marmot while they do some traveling — Crook is big into fly fishing and bird watching. Giovannini-Crook plans to read and get some sun. They have a property in southern Colorado that is more remote.

But Crook may not be hanging up his legal hat forever. He said he would consider doing volunteer legal work for environmental organizations.

He says he has even considered donating his time to tutor English students.

Contract Publishing

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