Visiting with Menlo Park Kiwanis Club president John Martin at the organization’s Christmas tree lot
Menlo Park attorney John Martin
grew up in San Mateo, but every morning during middle and high school, he got off the train at the Menlo station to catch a shuttle out to Woodside Priory. So it's a bit ironic that his law office is right across the street from the station in a 1903 building he shares with his parents, who run Martin Wealth Management.
We talked to John amidst the beautiful Noble fir trees that are being sold at the Menlo Park Kiwanis Christmas tree lot on El Camino adjacent to Stanford University. He is currently President of the Kiwanis Club, but it is the Kiwanis Club Foundation that benefits from the lot's tree sales. The Foundation focuses on local needs/organizations such as scholarships for deserving Menlo-Atherton High School students ($60,000/year), improvements to the Ravenswood School District, Rebuilding Together, St. Anthony’s of Padua Dining Room, Special Games and Project Read.
It was through the Kiwanis Club that John met fellow attorney Jim Palmer, who serves "of counsel" in John's office. "He's been a wonderful mentor," John said. "And someone I consult with every day. He's been practicing since the 60s — I've learned so much from him."
Neither his practice focus — estates and trust — nor his Menlo Park location was on John's radar when he was in law school at Boston College after graduating from UCLA. "I thought I'd practice international law doing arbitration and actually worked for a Paris law firm for awhile," he said. "I learned Portuguese and lived in Brazil for a time. A bit of irony is that I have a number of clients who have international estate planning needs.
"Somewhere along the way, I realized this is the best area in the world to live and work. Where else can you surf and ski in one day? That's on my bucket list to do!"
The Menlo Park Kiwanis tree lot is open daily from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm and on weekends from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm through Dec. 21 — or until the last tree is sold. Trees can be delivered to the purchaser’s home. Loyal customers will be glad to know that they'll find Doug Scott and Mark Ghanbari on duty!