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Cownie practices health law


It’s been a busy year for Katie Cownie, an associate attorney at Brown, Winick, Graves, Gross, Baskerville and Schoenebaum. She got married last summer; she and her husband, Damien Lock, started new jobs in January; they got a new puppy, Koa; and they spent most of the fall campaigning to get her father, Frank Cownie, elected mayor of Des Moines. Cownie says she doesn’t mind the questions that come with the family name.

“I’m proud of my dad,” she said. “I kept my name for professional reasons. I practiced for several years under this name, and this is how I’m known to my clients and the legal community.”

Cownie grew up in Des Moines and received her undergraduate degree from Chaminade University of Honolulu. She chose the university, in part, because her mother lives on the island. It was there that she met Lock. Cownie returned to Iowa to attend law school at the University of Iowa and received her degree in May 1999.

During and prior to law school, Cownie had thought her calling was in family law. She then spent a summer as a clerk doing health law.

“It was more transactional, more corporate,” she said. “In family law, you end up doing a lot of divorces, and I decided that was not the way I wanted to spend my career.”

Upon graduation, Cownie joined Baudino Law Group, whose practice is restricted to health law. She was with the firm for more than four years before joining Brown Winick. In the past, she has worked on transactions, such as sales of hospitals. She currently works to help clients — such as hospitals, nursing homes and physician practices — function in compliance with Medicare and Medicaid regulations. Cownie said one reason for the move to Brown Winick was the opportunity to occasionally practice other types of corporate and business law. Other reasons included the wealth of opportunities for mentoring and career advancement.

“At my old firm, there wasn’t an opportunity for partnership,” she said. “One of my favorite things about my job is the opportunity to work with so many attorneys. I went from being one of four attorneys [with Baudino] to one of 60. I can see myself working here for the rest of my career.”

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