Highlighting & profiling family ties within the Hawaii State Bar Association
This month's interview features Philip H.
Lowenthal (Bar # 945) along with his two
sons, Benjamin (Bar # 9945) and Jacob (Bar # 8645), of the Law Office of Philip
H. Lowenthal located in Maui. With bar number extensions to match and a strong
woman at the helm of the firm’s daily smooth operations, the Lowenthals share
with us the formula to their success.
Philip H. Lowenthal, a graduate of UC Berkeley shares with us his thoughts on a
family-run law firm and what has worked for him to be a successful Civil and
Criminal attorney and panel speaker on such topics.
have several years under your belt for handling Civil and Criminal cases.
Please tell us a little bit about what sparked your interest in this practice
A: I have a deep lifetime
commitment to Rule of Law as the best way to resolve disputes.
Q: Your law practice is
located on Maui and both your sons Ben and Jacob work alongside you. Please
share with us the perks of having a family-run law firm?
· Communal tie rack.
· Car pool
· My ideas are always challenged
· With wife/mom Caroline as office manager, I am
allowed to give input on important issues ( if succinct)
· If I behave I may get my own bank PIN
Photo inset (L-R): Jacob, Philip, Caroline, and Benjamin.
Q: If there was one piece
of advice that has rung true for you in both your personal and professional
life, what would you tell us it was?
in doubt, take the high road.
part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
things are more important than money.
Q: You have served as an expert panel speaker
and lecturer in the area of Public and Criminal Defense. What advice would you give to others who wish
to be experts in their area of practice?
A: If given the opportunity, teach.
Benjamin Eleu Lowenthal, a graduate of H.P.
Baldwin High School in Maui, San Francisco State University, and University of
Kansas School of Law shares with us a little bit on work life balance and
there an early memory that you can trace back to that piqued your interest in
the profession of law?
A: Nah. My dad didn’t talk to
us about his cases all that much and I never saw him in court when I was a young
boy. In fact, I think the first time I saw him in court was when I was second
chairing him at trial. I went to law school so I could read and write with more
precision. I always noticed that my dad was really good at pithy and particular
see that you maintain a blog covering Hawaii Legal News and that you have a
bachelor’s degree in
Journalism. Tell us a little bit about merging your two passions, Journalism
and the Law?
A: I like
learning new things. Good reporting requires you to leave the newsroom,
cultivate sources, interview people, do the research, and put it all together
in a clear and coherent way. Being a trial lawyer calls for almost the same
thing. You got to get out of the office, go to the scene, interview folks, and
then put it all together in the courtroom in a way that everyone can quickly
understand. That’s the fun part.
us through a typical day of yours. It must be a busy one considering you’re a Trial and
Appellate attorney, blogger, and you serve on several non-profit boards.
isn’t a typical day at work. Every day at the office usually has a surprise in
store be it a buried gem of an appellate issue in a voluminous record, a new
twist while investigating a case, a big ruling at court, or arguing with my
brother about who forgot to turn off the coffee machine. I try to maintain the
blog on weekends when I have time to read new cases and think about them before
just throwing something on the Internet.
Jacob Kalei Lowenthal, a graduate of
University of Hawaii, Manoa and University of Kansas School of Law talks with
us about family, Kansas and his thoughts on law school success.
family conversations a bit more interesting now that you work alongside your
father and older brother?
A: There was yelling before, and there is yelling now. But now
we cite cases.
noticed you and your brother Ben graduated from the University of Kansas School
of Law. Any particular connection to the school or maybe the state?
A: Other than it being cheaper than attending UH Richardson
School of Law, no. Oh, and we both love corn and basketball.
Photo inset (L-R): Ben, Philip, and Jacob.
a recent law school graduate, what are some words of wisdom you would share
with current law school attendees or those looking to pursue law school?
A: The legal market has become saturated, meaning that getting
a job after law school is incredibly difficult, even for those in Law Review or
the top 10 percent of the class. So think a lot about whether you want to
actually be a lawyer, because you’re incurring
$100,000 in debt. If you do go, better be 1stin your class or you may end up working for your family (which isn’t so bad as
long as your mom is the office manager).
More from the Family Connections series:
View the November 2013 interview with the Lowenthal Family.
View the October 2013 interview with the Matayoshi Family.
View the June 2013 interview with the Gray Family.
View the May 2013 interview with the Toma family.
View the April 2013 interview with the Gibson family.
View the March 2013 interview with the Roth family.
View the February 2013 interview with the Ayabe family.
View the January 2013 interview with the Kawashima family.