This piece of advice given to Erik Lowrey by his mother helped pave the road to his firm's success
There is a method to Erik Lowrey's madness. His method is rooted deep in family influence, which is why his firm is different than others.
Erik founded Lowrey & Fortner P.A. in December of 1980. Erik has practiced exclusively in civil law litigation since his admittance to the bar.
The success of his firm stems from hard working people being in a room, willing to grow and learn.
This is something that was instilled in Erik by his mother, and is something he hopes to pass along to those who will continue his firm after he is gone.
We caught up with Erik to learn more about why his mother, and the city of Hattiesburg, contributed to the success of his career.
What was it like growing up in Hattiesburg?
A gracious small town attempting to handle the last of the remnants of integration and learning how the two races could begin to heal 200 years of cruelty and fourth-class treatment to the black community. It has been such a learning experience for all of us, and though there is always work to do in any relationship, we have come a long way. Like many young kids, I found puberty hell and would have regardless of where I had grown up. Sometimes I think I have actually made it to adulthood, but I could be wrong on that.
What is your favorite Hattiesburg memory?
Having a loving mother always waiting to greet me with open arms regardless of any mischief I had been up to.
Why did you choose to go to law school?
I was planning on going to Quebec and continue my study in Philosophy, but the funding dried up. Someone suggested law school, so I thought "why not?" After graduating, with a wife and young child, I realized I needed to go to work and try to practice. After forty years I'm still trying to learn how to do this. I suppose that's why we call it the "practice."
Why did you start your own firm?
It was like most other things in my life. Wonderful folks crossed my path who were extremely bright, ethical and hardworking. I didn't wish to lose them, so all agreed to stay and help with the practice. Each of the people at the firm have become one of my cherished blessings.
What is it like working with your son?
The greatest Blessing. Spending each day in his presence, providing me with his love, support, and guidance. Me watching him become such a fine adult and professional is truly a life dream come true.
You have a cream of the crop staff. Name their best qualities.
Intelligence, loyalty to the profession and each other, exemplary ethical standards, and love of others.
Your family has invested a lot into Hattiesburg. Why?
We love Hattiesburg - its openness to all who wish to be free in their lifestyles, the attitude of the City towards positive growth for all, and most of all, the wonderful people who reside here. I have traveled the world and the Hattiesburg area is as good as any place to raise a family and express yourself to the truth of your convictions. I have great faith in the younger generations and can see our area becoming the "Austin" of Mississippi, and that is worth investing my time.
What is your advice for any new lawyer?
Work hard, never stop researching and learning, always get back up after being knocked down, and especially do the right thing, morally and ethically, regardless of the price.
What is your vision for Lowrey & Fortner PA.? What do you want your clients to know about the future of the firm?
The future belongs to the young and we have a great depth of young lawyers with Shawn, Richard, KJ and Valerie who will carry on our traditions long after Tom, Bob and I have left the battlefield. It isn't my place to have a vision for them, but their vision of what they wish to the firm to become after our time. I have the utmost faith in their future choices. What will be...will be.
You share a lot of wise words to your Facebook page. What is the best advice you were ever given?
"Never, ever give up." -Mama
Learn more about Erik Lowrey here.