Photo of Howard M. Levine

Howard M. Levine

Howard M. LeVine (In Memoriam)


Howard was not only the founding partner of the firm, he was its very spirit, including every iteration it has undergone over the past 50 years of his career. To me, Howard was a mentor, a friend, a teacher, a champion, and a fast member of my family. He was an unstoppable force and an immovable object, packaged in the form of a good-natured smile and an unshakeable sense that he always knew something more that was apparent. In many ways, at least to me, Howard was a contradiction: a fierce competitor and adversary, but humble and kind; a staunch advocate, yet a consument compromiser; and an obsessive worker who loved his family and his hobbies.

While it was my absolute intention to share this sad news and these sad sentiments quickly, they have been slow to take their proper form. Anyone who knew Howard would have to acknowledge that getting it right was always more important than being on time in his world. And so I'm sure that like so many of the good habits that he insisted on, some of the others have left their mark as well.

While almost everyone I know who knew him has a "Howard story," for each of those, he had a story of his own. These ranged from courtroom battles, to client interactions, to tales of the family he loved more than they knew. And for a man whose personality regularly filed up the room, he loved to joke about being the shortest lawyer in a given moment. He could disarm you with his self-deprecating charm, while marching unwaveringly towards whatever goal he had decided was his to have.

To say that the Domestic Relations division has lost an exemplar, an icon and something of an institution, seems both inadequate and overstated. Howard was all of those things and still no collection of words seems to do justice to his legacy. I know that his partners will endeavor to be faithful standard bearers of the firm that will always carry his name, just as all the "LeVine alums" will each carry on so many distinguished careers that he had some influence over shaping.