Get to Know Rabih Hamawi

Rabih Hamawi was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, during the Lebanese civil war. After earning a bachelor’s of law with high honors from the Lebanese University in 2002, he immigrated to the United States in 2003, seeking a brighter future for him, his parents, and five siblings.

Before attending law school, he earned a master’s degree in finance with a concentration in financial planning. Hamawi earned a Juris Doctor from Western Michigan University – Cooley Law School, graduating magna cum laude. While in law school, he interned for the Hon. John Corbett O’Meara, judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, and the U.S. Department of Justice in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit.

A Dearborn resident, Hamawi has extensive expertise in insurance coverage. He is a principal at Law Office of Rabih Hamawi, P.C. and focuses his practice on representing policyholders in fire, property damage, and insurance-coverage disputes against insurance companies and in errors-and-omissions cases against insurance agents.

A member of the American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Hamawi is vice chair of the Property Insurance Law Committee. He is an active member of the Michigan Association of Justice and serves as a council member of the Insurance and Indemnity Law Section and the Young Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Michigan. He also is a board member of the Institute of Continuing Legal Education New Lawyers Advisory Board.

By Jo Mathis
Legal News

Favorite local hangouts: Vincente’s in Detroit and Ronin in Royal Oak.

What is your most treasured material possession?
The first handwritten letter that my father sent me after I immigrated to the United States in 2003.

What is your favorite website? and

What is your happiest childhood memory? Working with my father in his glass and aluminum shop during the summer. Also, growing up and playing with my five younger siblings in our home in Beirut.

When you were considering law school, what was Plan B? I didn’t even consider Plan B. I immigrated to the United States to become an attorney. This was my goal, and I wasn’t backing down from achieving it.

What would surprise people about your job?
How satisfying it is when fighting and winning for those who have lost their homes, businesses, and their most precious personal items due to disasters. My work is crucial in helping them get their lives back together. Also, the attention that must be given to the needs of minorities who sometimes are victimized due to race, ethnicity, religion, or inexperience with the judicial system.

What do you wish someone would invent? Something that can cure all diseases or something that can take us back in time.

What has been your favorite year so far?
2005, the year when my parents and three of my five siblings immigrated to the United States and joined me here.

Do you prefer e-mail, text, or a phone call?
A phone call because it allows you to converse and talk with others, listening to their voices, probing into their feelings, and getting an idea about what they are going through.

What is your most typical mood?
Positive, energetic, and determined.

When you look back into the past, what do you miss most? My grandfather. He died in 1992, at the very young age of 62, when I was 13. We were very close. I frequently see him in my dreams.

If you could have witnessed any event in history, what would it be?
The fall of the Berlin Wall.

Who is on your guest list for the ideal dinner party (dead or alive)?
Prophet Mohammed, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Christopher Columbus.

What question do you most often ask yourself?
What can I do to improve myself and be a better person?

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be?
My youngest brother, Hamza. He has been battling a rare disease for 11 years and I would love to trade places with him to give him a break from his battle – even if for only one day.

What’s something you changed your mind about recently?
Opening my own law firm and working for myself.

What is one thing you would like to learn to do? I have always wanted to play the guitar.

What is something most people don't know about you? I survived on bread and jelly for 20 days.  Back in 2003, I had only 20 dollars to survive on (I had started a new job but had to work for three weeks first to get paid for two weeks). I had to spend this money as wise as possible. So I bought bread and jelly with the 20 dollars and survived on them.

What is the best advice you ever received? From my parents, before immigrating to the United States: “Make it worth it.”

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