Alan V. Lowenstein, one of New Jersey's most prominent attorneys, passed away Tuesday, May 8 at the age of 93. Mr. Lowenstein has been recognized for his professional excellence, leadership, integrity, and passion for the underprivileged. He set a standard of "meritocracy" for Lowenstein Sandler, one that welcomes lawyers of character and ability regardless of race or creed.
"Alan Lowenstein's vision and leadership helped to create the firm that we are today: one that embraces the ideals of professional excellence, commitment to its clients' interests, civic duty and diversity," said managing director Michael L. Rodburg. "While the practice of law and the firm's leadership continue to evolve, the imprint of Alan's ideals will forever guide us. He will be deeply missed."
Mr. Lowenstein founded the firm in 1961 in Newark, NJ. Others in the founding group included Richard M. Sandler, Joseph LeVow Steinberg, Benedict M. Kohl and Arnold Fisher. For most of the past 46 years, Mr. Lowenstein oversaw the firm's expansion from five attorneys to more than 250, with offices in Roseland, NJ and New York City. Today, the firm has top-ranked corporate and litigation departments as well as several nationally ranked practices.
During his 60 years of experience in banking and business law, Mr. Lowenstein represented institutions and corporations. After graduating Harvard Law School in 1936, he went to Washington, DC to work with William O. Douglas, who was then organizing the Temporary National Economic Committee, the predecessor of the Securities & Exchange Commission. In 1940, he returned to his roots in Newark to begin what became a life-long practice of law. Among his notable professional achievements, Mr. Lowenstein was the principal draftsman of the Banking Act of 1948 and chair of the New Jersey Corporation Law Revision Commission (1963-1971). He was listed among The Best Lawyers in America, since its inception in 1983 until his retirement in 2001, as one of New Jersey's top corporate law attorneys.
Early on, Mr. Lowenstein demonstrated a social conscience. In 1930, at age 16, Mr. Lowenstein boarded a train to North Carolina to report for The Newark Evening News the plight of textile mill workers who were seeking to organize under a labor union. Later he was a leader in Newark's charter reform movement, helping to change the city's governmental structure. Recognizing the need for cultural programs in his community, Mr. Lowenstein joined the Board of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in 1960, and served as its president from 1970 to 1973. Under Mr. Lowenstein's stewardship, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra was transformed from a suburban orchestra into one of the State's cultural icons. In 1999, the Alan V. and Amy Lowenstein Foundation founded the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, an organization that works through the legislature and the courts to assure basic human needs, freedom from discrimination, equal educational opportunities, and equal access to all levels of the judicial system.
Guided by and in recognition of Mr. Lowenstein's vision and leadership, Lowenstein Sandler:
Founded the Alan V. Lowenstein Public Interest Fellowship at Essex-Newark Legal Services, reflecting the firm's enthusiasm for the program and commitment to this enduring relationship with Legal Services.
Established (in honor of his 80th birthday) the Alan V. Lowenstein Scholarship for graduates of schools of social work who intend to serve as professionals of Jewish federations in the United States and Canada.
Sustained a leadership role in providing pro bono legal services, and is the recognized leader among New Jersey law firms in providing these services to a wide array of institutions and individuals.
Mr. Lowenstein was also a published author. In May of 2001, he wrote Alan V. Lowenstein: New Jersey Lawyer And Community Leader, an autobiography that spans six decades of public and private service (published by Rutgers University Press and the New Jersey ICLE). He also completed the Rutgers Oral History Project: Recording The Life And Work of Alan Lowenstein: A History Graduate Project.