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Lowenstein Professor Doug Eakeley on the Promise of Law and the Legacy of Alan Lowenstein

In remarks delivered at his investiture as the first holder of the Alan V. Lowenstein Chair in Corporate and Business Law at Rutgers School of Law–Newark, Douglas S. Eakeley declared: “No one believed in the promise of law – or the responsibilities that come with it – more than Alan Lowenstein. For him the law and social justice were inextricable.”

Eakeley w Lowensteins
Professor Eakeley is shown before the ceremony with Alan Lowenstein’s two sons, John (center) and Roger.

Alan Lowenstein was the founder of Lowenstein Sandler LLP, one of the state’s most prominent law firms, and a major figure in New Jersey’s legal and non-profit communities. He was an expert in banking and business law whose leadership contributions included serving as principal drafter of the Banking Act of 1948 and chair of the New Jersey Corporation Law Revision Commission. From its inception in 1983 until his retirement in 2001, The Best Lawyers in America listed Lowenstein as one of New Jersey’s top corporate law attorneys.

Alan Lowenstein also was a dedicated civic and social activist and philanthropist. He was a leader in the City of Newark charter reform movement, which resulted in the direct election of a mayor and city council; helped guide the development of Liberty State Park; and was president of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra during its transformation into a major institution. In addition to the Rutgers chair, with his wife, Amy, he endowed the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and the Professorship in Democracy, Democratization and Human Rights at the University of Michigan

Speaking of his late father, Roger A. Lowenstein recalled his devotion to Newark and corporate lawyer’s appreciation for the fact that the city is “an inch away from Wall Street and the vortex of corporate law.” His father’s intent was that the chair be held by a leading business law practitioner and that it provide Rutgers Law School with an opportunity to expand its program on laws and regulations governing corporations and the commercial bar. 

“There is nobody,” Roger Lowenstein concluded, “that I could possibly think of who would make my father happier to see in the Alan Lowenstein Chair than Doug Eakeley. He will make this chair everything that my father had hoped for and more.”

The investiture took place on Friday, May 10, at the law school with more than 125 of Eakeley’s family, friends, university dignitaries, Rutgers Law and Lowenstein Sandler colleagues, and law students in attendance. Speaking at the ceremony, Rutgers University President Robert L. Barchi said: “Today we engage in an important Rutgers tradition, as our community honors an accomplished colleague by awarding him an endowed chair. With deep gratitude, we also pay tribute to the distinguished figure for whom the endowed chair has been named. It is an occasion for celebrating the generosity of the donor family and the brilliance of the recipient – and together, the gift they give to Rutgers.”

For any number of reasons the choice of Eakeley as the first occupant of the Lowenstein Chair was an inspired one. A partner at Lowenstein since 1996, he has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America (2008-2013) as a “bet-the-company” litigator for his work in “make or break” litigation. Furthermore, he is as respected for his contributions to increasing legal services for the poor as he is for his trial and appellate successes in a variety of complex commercial litigation. 

Appointed by President Clinton to the board of directors of the Legal Services Corporation in 1993, Eakeley chaired the organization until April 2003. He currently is vice chair of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, trustee of Legal Services of New Jersey, and member of the Legal Services Corporation Pro Bono Task Force. 

Professor Eakeley has received numerous awards for his pro bono work and contributions to the legal community, including the American Jewish Committee’s Judge Learned Hand Award, Thurgood Marshall College Fund Award of Excellence, John Minor Wisdom Public Service and Professionalism Award from the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association, National Housing Institute’s Outstanding Service Award, Reynoso-Abascal Don Quixote Award from California Rural Legal Assistance, League of Women Voters of New Jersey Making Democracy Work Award, and the first Legal Services of New Jersey/New Jersey State Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award (renamed the Debevoise-Eakeley Award).

Neither Alan Lowenstein nor Doug Eakeley attended Rutgers Law School, said Dean John J. Farmer, Jr., “but both embody the values that we at Rutgers Law School present to the world: excellence in legal practice and commitment to make the world a better place.” In introducing Eakeley, Farmer, on leave to serve as Rutgers senior vice president and general counsel, described the Lowenstein Chair as “recognition for Doug that is long overdue.”


Click here for complete text of Professor Eakeley’s remarks at the Lowenstein Chair investiture.