Ross K. Bower II

By Jo Mathis

Legal News

Ross Bower was born and raised in Ann Arbor, and graduated from Kalamazoo College in 2004 and Cooley Law School in 2007. In law school, he worked with various public service agencies, including the Michigan Attorney General's Office, City of Lansing Teen Court, and the Washtenaw County Public Defender's Office.

Following law school, Bower worked at a Lansing law firm as an associate attorney, focussing on personal injury cases, corporate matters, drain law, municipal law, property tax appeals, and criminal defense.

In 2008, he joined Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC in Okemos, focusing on municipal law, property tax appeals, and drain law. He became a partner in the firm this year, and-as part of the firm's local government practice group-serves as counsel to townships, villages, cities, county drain commissioners, and other municipal entities across the state.

Bower previously served as president of the Ingham County Bar Association's Young Lawyers' Section, and was recognized as one of the "Top 5" attorneys under the age of 35 in Ingham County in 2012. He volunteers in local schools, serves on the Erickson Learning Center Foundation board, and enjoys time playing sand volleyball, soccer and paddle boarding with his family.

Residence: Okemos.

Currently reading â?¦ "Snowy Day," "Bear About Town," "All by Myself," "Rapunzel," "Superman," "Batman," "Wonder Woman," "Peter Rabbit," "Tractor Mac," and whatever else our 4-year-old and 2-year-old pick out.

What is your most treasured material possession? My wedding ring and my great grandfather's ring.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school? Do anything you can to limit the amount of debt you will have after graduation. Be realistic and focus on your goals. Work hard. Results will follow. Pretty similar to what my now-law partner Mark Burzych told me.

Favorite local hangouts: Our neighborhood. We're lucky to have good friends and great neighbors within walking distance. Nothing beats a good backyard fire pit, s'mores, and not having to drive.

What is your happiest childhood memory? My parents always having time for me, summers in Sister Lakes, MI, and listening to the Tigers on the radio.

Which things do you not like to do? Keeping track of billable hours and billing clients.

What would surprise people about your job? That I don't have to wear a suit and tie every day.

What has been your favorite year so far? 2007. I graduated from law school, bought a house, passed the bar exam, and got married. In that order.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be? Lebron James-just to see for a day what it would feel like to be that coordinated and athletic.

What's the most awe-inspiring place you have visited? Old Mission Peninsula in Michigan and waking up on a sailboat to the sound of howler monkeys on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

If you could have one super power, what would it be? To stop time while I sleep.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self? You are going to make a lot of mistakes. You are going to make a lot of poor decisions. But as long as you learn from them, you won't have any true regrets. Be a better person each day.

What one thing do you wish people knew about your work? That it never stops. I'm always thinking about deadlines, strategies, potential motions, potential solutions, etc.

What's your proudest moment as a lawyer? Very early in my career, when Judge Amy Ronayne Krause recognized our efforts on a particularly emotional issue we handled when she was a trial court judge. I was a young associate working with attorney Thomas Bengtson. It made me recognize how important it is to treat every client and every matter as if it was the most important case in the world. It also made me realize how lucky I was to work with and learn from Mr. Bengtson.

What is guaranteed to make you laugh? My wife Hilary and my two daughters. They are hilarious.

Must-see TV: Detroit Tigers. Lately, the World Cup.

What's one thing you would like to learn to do? Wakeboarding. I tried it once and failed miserably.

What is something most people don't know about you? I played soccer in college and grew up playing the piano and drums. After spending time during the summer at Interlochen's Center for the Arts, I considered going there for high school. I chose to concentrate more on soccer and less on music, however.

Can't-live-without technology: iPhone

Does anything worry you? My daughters being teenagers someday. Thankfully, we have a few years until that happens.

What was the greatest compliment someone ever paid you? Receiving referrals from other lawyers. In addition, a particular thank-you letter from a former client serving time in prison. If I ever need a reminder about the positive impact we can have as attorneys, I read it. It is always nice to receive compliments from clients, but that one was pretty special.

Are you concerned about diet and exercise? I try to make time to exercise occasionally in our home "gym," located next to the cat litter box in our basement. We call it the KLG, which stands for the Kitty Litter Gym. It's not very fancy.

What's the best advice you ever received? Even though it's not something he said, I continue to learn patience and how to be a better listener from my dad. My mom always used to remind me to focus usually on the soccer field. But it's been terrific advice for law school, work, relationships, and fatherhood.

If you can help it, where will you never return? A widow-maker electric shower. Once was enough for me.

What do you drive? Ford Edge.

What would you drive if money were no object? A golf cart that I can drive everywhere.

Favorite place to spend money: Traveling.

What would you like carved onto your tombstone? No tombstone. Ashes in Lake Michigan and Big Crooked. And a party where tank tops and flip-flops are welcomed attire.

Published: Thu, Jul 24, 2014

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