BROOKSVILLE — Joe and Stephanie Lowman are investing in downtown Brooksville once again. Renovations are under way that will enable the Lowman Law Firm to nearly double its space to some 9,000 square feet at 31 S Main St.
"Honestly, we need the space," said the firm's marketing director, Jay Lowman. "We've been hiring pretty steadily, mainly paralegals. We hired six new people in the last year, averaging one every two months. We're up to 18 (employees) now."
Specializing in personal injury cases, co-founder and managing partner Joe Lowman said, "We're trying to create a law firm that caters to the injured in Hernando County."
Before founding the firm with his wife in 2005, Joe Lowman, a graduate of Florida State University, had practiced law on both sides of the aisle, for the plaintiff and for the defendant, the latter for a big insurance corporation.
In their own practice, he said, "What I find most satisfying is helping people that are injured, rather than the big corporations. We live here. The people we take care of are our friends and family and neighbors. We're trying to expand where we live, where our resources are better spent and realized."
For this expansion, the firm purchased and gutted the adjacent one-story building that faces E Liberty Street, which housed the former Bullseye Gun Shop. A second story, to match the existing law office building, has already been added.
Modern Day Builders of Spring Hill is the contractor for the project, which carries a price tag of about $250,000.
"In addition, we just purchased a building in Citrus County, at U.S. 19 and Gulf to Coast Highway, expanding for the first time into Citrus County," Jay Lowman said.
Modern Day Builders also will renovate that structure for a planned fall opening.
While the firm's focus remains in Hernando County, Jay Lowman said, "We've had quite a few clients come out of Citrus County, and we saw that as our next step." He noted, too, "Our clients come from all over the state."
Regarding the firm's growth, Joe Lowman said, "We have such a large referral rate from past clients. The biggest reason for our group is that we have personal relationships with all our clients." For instance, he noted, all clients are supplied with cellphone numbers of lawyers so they can reach professional counsel at any time.
Calling the business a family firm is practically an understatement. Along with Joe Lowman, his wife is co-founder and co-managing partner. Cousin Brent Lowman is an associate. Jay Lowman as marketer is brother to Joe. Rachel Lowman, a cousin and owner of Simply Balanced Accounting, is the firm's accountant.
While Joe Lowman chuckled at the suggestion he's building a family dynasty, he represents the fourth generation of the family in Hernando County. The family's involvement in the legal profession dates to the 1970s, when great-uncle Simeon Lowman served as county sheriff.
Joe and Stephanie Lowman made a commitment to invest in Hernando County in 2012, when the law firm purchased and renovated an empty bank building at Main and Liberty streets to the tune of nearly $350,000.
The original structure on the site predates even the late Sheriff Lowman. It was a livery stable, built in 1885.
Contact Beth Gray at [email protected]