Monday Profile: Joan Lowenstein

By Jo Mathis

Legal News

Joan Lowenstein grew up in Texas and Missouri and graduated from the University of Missouri Journalism School. She worked as a television reporter before going to the University of Florida College of Law, then clerked for a federal judge and worked for a large firm in Miami.

When her husband, Jonathan Trobe, was offered a job at the Kellogg Eye Center in 1986, the couple moved to Ann Arbor. Lowenstein worked at Dykema and taught an undergraduate course in 1st Amendment law at the University of Michigan before moving on to the Ann Arbor office of Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer & Weiss where her practice is mainly copyright and trademark litigation, with some occasional libel law.

Lowenstein served four terms on the Ann Arbor City Council and is a Downtown Development Authority board member. She is the mother of Julian, 24, and Noah, 21.

Which is more fun? Television reporter or attorney?

Television reporter was more fun. As part of various assignments, I got to ride in just about every mode of transportation, including crop duster, helicopter, train, rowboat, construction crane, and AWACS (Airborne Warning And Control) plane.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Friday afternoon.

Which living person do you most admire?

My dad, Ralph Lowenstein.

What is the trait you hate most in yourself?

Lack of impulse control (especially involving shoes).

What is the trait you hate most in others?

Narcissism.

When and why did politics grab you?

I was president of my high school student government, so that was probably the beginning.

What is your proudest moment as an Ann Arbor City Council member?

When I sponsored the ordinance revision that protected breastfeeding in public.

What is your most treasured possession?

My Nespresso coffee machine.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Religious devotion.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self?

Curly hair will be "in" someday!

What gets you riled?

Unkind speech or actions.

What is something most people don't know about you?

I helped pay my tuition in college by doing play-by-play statistics for football and basketball for University of Missouri Sports Information.

What do you wish more people understood?

That self-righteousness is really hard to warm up to.

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?

Robert Reich, Hillary Clinton, and Gail Collins.

Favorite gadget: iPad.

Favorite movie: "The Band's Visit."

What is your motto?

I saw this on a bumper sticker: "I'd rather be right here."

Where would you like to be when you're 90?

In the fond memories of my children.

Published: Mon, May 21, 2012

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