History | Brouse McDowell | Ohio Law Firm
Our Firm



Our Beginning

A handshake agreement to organize Brouse McDowell took place between Edwin W. Brouse and C. Blake McDowell.

November 1918

Our First Home

The firm formally organized as Commins, Brouse, Englebeck and McDowell and established offices on the 4th floor of the Central Savings and Trust Building. 

January 1919

C. Blake McDowell

Blake was the youngest of our founders. Despite his age, he played a key role in leading us to make a difference in Akron and Summit County.

January 1920

A New Home

The firm relocated to the Central Depositors Bank Building, later known as First National Tower, which remained the firm’s headquarters for 73 years. It was constructed in 1929.

January 1931

Our Firm Grows

Combined with Roetzel and Hunsicker.
January 1971

The Brouse Legacy Continues

Managing Partner Robert C. Brouse followed in his grandfather's footsteps to lead the firm and add to our firm’s vision for Summit County.

January 1972

C. Blake McDowell's Lifetime of Community Commitment

July 1972

The McDowell Succession Continues

C. Blake McDowell Jr. elected managing partner. His impact is still found throughout downtown Akron and in the hearts of new law students to this day, with the C. Blake McDowell Law Center in the northwest portion of the University of Akron.

January 1979

New Leadership

Managing Partner Frank Harvey Jr. helped advance our vision of providing unmatched and sophisticated legal services from 1984-1989. 

January 1984

Quirk Elected Managing Partner

Frank Quirk carried our firm forward with a commitment to furthering the vision and impact of Brouse McDowell throughout Northeast Ohio.

January 1989

Cleveland Office Established

Our Cleveland office was established in 1998 with more than 20 attorneys practicing from the 16th floor of the Fifth Third Center in downtown. 

January 1998

The Brouse McDowell Brand

The firm was given several different names throughout its history, through acquisitions of partners and combinations with other law firms, and finally settled on the name Brouse McDowell. 

January 1998

New Century, New Leadership

Jerry Whitmer elected managing partner carrying us through the new century. 

January 1998

Karl S. Hay Award for Service

Our firm presented the first Karl S. Hay Award to Brouse employees who have made exceptional contributions of time, talent, energy and enthusiasm in service to others.

January 2002

Brouse Adds Intellectual Property Attorneys

Brouse McDowell grew to 62 lawyers when it combined with Emerson & Skeriotis, Co. LPA.
October 2002

Leadership Change

Jeffrey T. Heintz elected managing partner. 

January 2004

A New Home on Main Street

The firm opened its new Akron headquarters in the AES Building, a former B.F. Goodrich manufacturing complex dating back to 1925. After renovations in 1995, the building was transformed into Class A office space at 388 South Main Street.

November 2004

90 Years of Service to the Community

Blake McDowell Sr. believed in giving back to the community. Here he serves breakfast to soap box derby racers in the 1950s.

January 2008

Leadership Under Marc Merklin

Marc B. Merklin elected managing partner. 

January 2013

Brouse Grows with Nadler

Brouse welcomed eight attorneys from the 100-year-old Youngstown-based Nadler Nadler and Burdman Co., LPA, growing the firm to approximately 70 attorneys.


December 2016

Brouse Grows with Thacker Robinson Zinz

Brouse welcomed 12 attorneys from the women-owned Thacker Robinson Zinz firm, growing to approximately 80 attorneys. Through the combination we added offices in Toledo, Ohio and Naples, Florida. July 2018

Brouse McDowell Today

Brouse McDowell’s Akron headquarters occupies more than 60,000 square feet in the AES Building.

January 2019

Brouse Celebrates 100 Years

Brouse McDowell celebrates its 100th year of client service, with a series of special events and commemorations throughout the year. The firm continues its commitment to excellence, professional responsibility, community involvement, and advocacy for our clients and their business matters. 

January 2019