Get to Know: Julie A. Hlywa


by Jo Mathis
Legal News

Julie A. Hlywa is an Eastpointe family law and criminal defense attorney.  She graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy with a bachelor’s degree in 1998 and from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 2001.

A resident of Grosse Pointe Farms, Hlywa has been a solo practitioner since July 2002.

How are you handling things during this coronavirus shutdown?  I am trying to keep a balance of some work, but really enjoying the time with my husband, Brandon.

Have you learned anything about yourself during these last few weeks?  I have learned how much I really miss social interaction. 

What is your proudest moment as a lawyer? I would have to say my very first jury trial acquittal. You never forget that!

What was always written on your grade school report card?  “A very good student, always contributes in class, and a pleasure to have in the classroom.”  I had my mom help me on this one!

What is your happiest childhood memory?  Going to Disney World and Daytona Beach with my family when I was in the fourth grade. I can remember so many wonderful moments of that trip. 

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received? The best compliment I have ever received was when I was called “inspiring.”

When you were considering law school, what was Plan B?  I honestly did not have a Plan B – it was all or nothing. I knew when I was in the fifth grade that I wanted to be a lawyer and I truly did not stray from that goal.

What would surprise people about your job?  Even though I practice mainly family law and criminal, I absolutely love what I do. Can it be messy?  Yes. Can it be contentious?  Yes.  Stressful? Yes. But someone who is going through a divorce, custody battle, or criminal case is probably the most fragile they have ever been and I love that I am able to help provide guidance and give that person some peace of mind as they go through that difficult time. 

What do you wish someone would invent?  Definitely a time machine!

When you look back into the past, what do you miss most?  I miss my grandparents and their stories.

What is your most treasured material possession? My piano.

If you could have witnessed any event in history, what would it be? The American Revolution. Although it is a broad spectrum of time spanning nearly 20 years, it is such a rich piece of history about the fabric of our country, with fascinating leaders and the influences they had. 

What were you doing in your last selfie? I was posing with my beloved Vizsla, Winnie. 

What is the best advice you ever received? Be nice to everyone!

What question do you most often ask yourself?  How did I get to be so lucky?

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be? Paul McCartney. Need I say more?

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been? My husband and I just went to Breckenridge, Colo. It was simply that:  awe-inspiring. I was blown away at the beauty of it all and being able to snowboard on Peak 9 was not only breathtaking, but a bucket list item I finally got to check off. 

What’s something you changed your mind about recently? I now love eating salmon and steak; whereas before I would never veer from a chicken dish. 

What is one thing you would like to learn to do? Play the drums!

What is something most people don't know about you? After the limousine crash that injured a couple of the Detroit Red Wings and team masseur in 1997, I wrote a song called “Mend Our Broken Wings.” One of the local news channels wanted to feature my song on one of their stories about the crash. One afternoon, I received a phone call from the news station that they wanted to record the song live from my home on their equipment. Unfortunately for me, I cannot sing and my friend that did was unable to get out of work to come over. So although I was close to my big break, it never happened.


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