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People Magazine

January 29th 1990.
No Cracks, Please! Bob Nordyke Offers a Window of Opportunity for People Driven to Divorce

Robert Nordyke, an attorney—a rather flamboyant attorney—was looking for new office space in Salem, Ore., where he practices. At that time, about three years ago, a savings and loan vacated a ground-floor branch office in his building. Despite the steel vault and a few other unusual extras, the space seemed perfect, so Nordyke, a one-man law firm who specializes in matrimonial matters, rented it. Of course, that left him with the bank's drive-through window, with its microphone, retractable drawer and inch-thick bulletproof glass.

Eureka! Salem now has its very own Drive-Up Divorce service, for splitting spouses who don't want to get soaked in the process. "In Oregon," says Nordyke, 44, "we have a lot of rain. Some people don't want to get out of their cars."

Actually, Nordyke mostly uses the window for serving legal papers. When a client is ready to serve papers on his or her spouse, the spouse is advised to drive up to the window. There, one of Nordyke's two secretaries, safe behind the bulletproof glass, serves the papers through the drawer. The spouse then drives away. No muss. No fuss. No process servers. "We consider it a more friendly way of dealing with that service," says Nordyke. "It's a lot less painful and a lot less embarrassing, plus it saves the $15 or $20 the sheriff would charge."

Nordyke jumped at the idea of drive-through divorce because he had been toying for years with notions of novel legal services, such as a $10-a-question law booth in a shopping mall. He says the window is sometimes used several times a day and sometimes goes several days without a taker. To make it a little less institutional-looking, Nordyke had an artist paint the law firm's shingle that hangs above it and had the whole office decorated in Art Deco, complete with glass blocks, 1930s lamp and clock-design wallpaper, all visible through the window. "I decided to offset whatever tackiness might be associated with that window by having a nice-quality decor," he explains.

Nordyke, who went solo after his first law firm objected to his moonlighting membership in a rock band, specializes in low-cost divorces starting at $100, with $100 added if there are kids and another $100 for divvying assets. Nordyke, who was himself divorced in 1988 after a 12-year marriage, estimates that he has handled 4,000 divorces—about 10 percent with the help of the window

Tri City Herald

Febuary 24th 1987.

L.A. Times(abstract)

October 29th 1989.

Lawyer Helps Spouces Driven to Divorce

The idea for a drive-up legal window occurred to [Lawyer Robert Nordyke] years ago, when he concluded that the increasing number of simple divorce cases and America's "fast-paced society" might make the plan viable.

When office space in a former bank building opened up in 1986, Nordyke saw his chance, and rented the end of the building where the bank's drive-up window had been located. Except for hanging up a sign, little was required to transform the window from a place where people could get some money to one where they could lose a spouse.

Today the window still has a buzzer to warn of arriving customers and the bank's old mechanical drawer that can transfer things to people waiting in a car. About the only changes are the presence of the office stereo system and Nordyke's golf balls and putter, used for occasional practice sessions.