Attorney Spotlight: Mary Rannells Rowan

In what area of law do you practice and why did you choose this?

I practice in all areas of family law, and I kind of fell into this after law school. However, I love the diverse situations I encounter and the ability to help people through a very emotionally challenging time in their lives.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Until two years into college, I was going to be a computer programmer just like my dad!

When did you decide you wanted to be a lawyer?

When I took a First Amendment class in college for my degree in Journalism and Mass Communications.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a lawyer? 

I’d like to be a lottery winner! (But I don’t buy lottery tickets, so….)

Tell us about a mentor who made an impact on your career.

The very first paralegal I worked with as a “baby lawyer” taught me much of what I know about family law practice.

What do you like best about practicing law at H&J?

I enjoy the ability to take care of client needs across such a broad spectrum, and to have collegiality in the practice of family law – to have others to bounce ideas off of and give the best service to clients.

What is the best career advice you have received?

Leave your work at work.

What is an item on your bucket list?

I’d like to travel internationally, outside of Canada and Mexico.

What is your favorite vacation spot?

Anywhere with my family! I love going to smaller towns and finding the interesting things to see – there is always something to explore, wherever you go!

What is your favorite Minnesota Lake?

Nokomis – I love to run around this lake, and it brings back memories of walking the Hiawatha golf course with my grandpa.

What is your favorite Twin Cities restaurant?

I’d rather eat at home – anything my husband makes – than go out! But if I had to choose, I’d pick Tenant. A great tasting menu, intimate setting, and delicious food and wine!

When you are not working, what would people find you doing?

I’m usually at home with my family and dog, or volunteering. I love to read, watch documentaries of all kinds, and run.

What is your favorite part of practicing law?

I enjoy feeling productive and that I am helping others. I want to find ways to make attorneys and the legal process more “user-friendly” for clients, because when you are involved in litigation, it’s scary enough and you need someone to help guide you through it.

Who is your hero?

My parents – they raised 8 daughters with my dad working and my mom handling the home, and they made it look easy! After 55+ years of marriage, they are still making it look easy.

What is a recent good book you read?

“Untangled” and “Under Pressure” by Lisa Damour, about guiding the transition for teenage girls to adulthood and managing the impacts of stress and anxiety in teenage girls.

What advice would you give to the young version of yourself who is just entering law school?

Keep looking for that school or work life balance, because who you are as a person impacts your success as a student and professional.

What might people be surprised to know about you?

That I have five children between the ages of 10-25!

What is your strongest asset?

I am a people person, and I put that skill to use in practice, personally, and with my volunteer commitments. I want to listen and help!