Kenneth Laurence was born on April 11, 1937, in Sydney, Australia. He graduated from Harvard College, magna cum laude, in 1958 and from Harvard University School of Law, cum laude, in 1962. Justice Laurence was admitted to the State and Federal bars in Maine, New York, and Massachusetts. In 1970, Justice Laurence joined the Boston law firm of Choate, Hall & Stewart, where he became a partner. He specialized in banking, antitrust, health care, and environmental litigation and administrative proceedings. He also represented bondholders of independent public authorities in litigation and financing.
Governor Dukakis appointed Justice Laurence to the Appeals Court in 1990, where he served until he retired in 2007. He has taught at Northeastern University School of Law and has written extensively in the areas of legal malpractice, the ethical practice of law, and the public trust doctrine. He is the coauthor with Justice George Jacobs of Volume 51 - Professional Malpractice - of the Massachusetts Practice Series, published by Thomson Reuters West.