Lawyer opens sole-proprietor firm in Carthage | Jefferson County

Nelita Collins

CARTHAGE — After working for more than 40 years, many would look to retire, but one local attorney has decided instead to step out on his own.

Lawrence D. Hasseler, a Watertown native, began working for the Conboy, McKay, Bachman & Kendall law firm upon completing the bar exam in August 1974. The village resident worked at the Carthage office starting in 1981 and was a managing partner with the firm from 1998 until 2020.

Stepping down from that position, he was of counsel with the firm for the past year, and has now left to put out his shingle in the former E.C. Crooks Memorials building, 225 State St., owned by James and Robin Condino, next to the former car dealership.

The local lawyer said he was not ready to retire and saw the need for another law firm in the village after Conboy, McKay, Bachman & Kendall decided to close its Carthage office.

“I enjoy it,” he said of practicing law. “All three (law firms in Carthage) are doing good. The community supports them. The work is here.”

The Syracuse University alumnus has experience in several practice areas including general practice, real estate, municipal law, estate administration, elder law and Social Security.

In his new firm — Lawrence D. Hasseler Attorney — he will concentrate on estate administration, real estate, and municipal law.

“I gave up Social Security, domestic and criminal,” he said, noting they were time-consuming.

“It’s hard to be a court lawyer and an office lawyer,” Mr. Hasseler said. “For now, I’ll be an office lawyer.”

Once he has staff, the situation may change.

The attorney has been seeking other lawyers to join him, reaching out to those who had previously applied locally and may now be looking to relocate to the area.

Mr. Hasseler has been active in his community and, in the past, has served as president of the board of directors of Carthage Area Hospital and the Community Mental Health Association of Jefferson County Inc. He has served as secretary of the Jefferson County Bar Association for 15 years and as a member of the board of directors of Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Rural Healthcare Alliance, the Carthage Area Chamber of Commerce, the Branaugh Memorial Boys’ Club and the Citizens Advisory Board for the Alcoholism Center.

He is a member of Concordia Lutheran Church and remains on the boards of Carthage Area Hospital, Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York Inc., Watertown Urban Mission and Hospice of Jefferson County.

“I want to be more active — more hands-on in the community,” he said.

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