Celebrating ArentFox Schiff’s Veterans: Dean A. Roy on Going From Military Service to Client Service

Dean A. Roy, Lieutenant, US Navy

After completing the ROTC program at the University of Notre Dame, Dean earned his commission upon graduation and joined the US Navy, beginning his military career as an ensign. He served on active duty for four years, ultimately holding the rank of lieutenant upon his discharge.

Why did you choose to serve in the military?

I was drawn to the idea of public service and embarking on an unconventional career path. It certainly lived up to that expectation! Additionally, the opportunity for world travel made the Navy even more appealing.

Where were you deployed?

I was deployed to the Arabian Gulf twice and participated in large "Rim of the Pacific" exercises with international navies in and around Hawaii.

How did deployment impact you? What do you remember most?

Deployment was certainly a sacrifice, as we spent holidays away from family, including floating in the middle of the Indian Ocean on Thanksgiving and in the Gulf at Christmas. Several colleagues missed the birth of their children. We lived and worked in close quarters for months on end. Despite the challenges, I recall the camaraderie shared among fellow shipmates, the unique experience of "five and dime" watchstanding with numerous night shifts, and enjoyable moments spent in port across the Middle East, Australia, Asia, and Hawaii. I literally traveled around the world on these deployments.

What made you pivot to a legal career?

After engaging in some career soul-searching, I felt drawn to a different type of work where I could use more natural skills in research, analysis, and writing. Life at sea in the Navy was undoubtedly an interesting career, but also one involving a lot of repetition, and I liked the idea of doing different things every day. Terra firma suits me more too.  

How has your military experience influenced your legal practice?

My military experience instilled in me the importance of continuously learning new skills and information, adapting to ever-changing circumstances and schedules, and managing stressful situations that often require quick action. These attributes align well with the demands of legal practice.