A History of Service

Hickman & Lowder, Co., LPA, is the product of a shared dream of a group of lawyers whose own life and professional experiences have driven us to advocate for people whose special challenges demand a special champion.

We believe that every human being deserves the best life possible. We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to partner with people and families touched—and challenged—by disability, special needs, and the physical and mental changes that old age sometimes brings, to help them secure their best lives. Simply put, it is our honor and our mission to be of service.

Janet Lowder and Frank HickmanSince our founding, every one of the attorneys who have joined our team has brought with them a personal connection and commitment to improving the lives of the disadvantaged.

Founder Franklin Hickman, who, during his teen years, worked at one of Eunice Shriver’s camps for children with developmental disabilities, began his career at the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, where he advocated for the rights of those with mental disabilities.

Co-founder Janet Lowder, having begun her work with Frank as a paralegal, emerged from law school already equipped to champion the rights of children and adults with special needs, and to counsel older adults in the fast-growing new field of Elder Law.

Both Frank and Janet have devoted their careers to defining, promoting and protecting the legal rights of the elderly and of people with mental and physical disabilities, both through their service on public boards and agencies, and through strategic litigation to effect societal change.

Recognizing and Supporting a Growing Need

In the late 1990s, their unique approach to legal service in high demand, Frank and Janet began to expand their staff to include exceptional attorneys whose service ethic matched their own. They saw many of these attorneys’ previous career choices, in such fields as social work, community mental health, and special education, as essential to the kind of personal service that could truly transform both a client’s access to care, and confidence in their future.

As our firm’s momentum grew, other attorneys with related passions in public health, civil rights, geriatrics, and disability advocacy, have enhanced our firm’s ability to help our clients, both in and out of court. Many of us, including our paralegals, secretaries, and other professional staff, are related to children and adults with disabilities, or know personally what it means to be a caregiver for an older relative or friend. It’s rare to find a single law firm that offers so many approaches to the problems your life revolves around every day.

Working Together

The nature of our practice is warm and collegial. Supported by a culture of respect and understanding, each attorney has the freedom to truly be themselves in service of their clients. And, while we all deliberately narrow our individual practices to represent certain kinds of clients, our collective knowledge, gained from working closely with each other – both in service to clients and in our pioneering work improving the very legal terrain for elders and people with special needs – is one of the things that sets us apart from other firms.

Today, Hickman & Lowder’s team is nearly 25 strong, still moving and shaking – and unshakeable – on behalf of our clients. We’re a highly-certified bunch (including two of only 29 Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) in all of Ohio), constantly working to better ourselves in order to better empower our clients. Together, our attorneys and veteran staff of professionals are honored to spend every day guiding and fighting for people just like you and your loved ones.

That’s our story – we’d like to learn yours.

Managing big change starts with a little conversation. Give us a call; we’re here, and ready, when you are.

Learn more about each member of your Hickman & Lowder team here.