Monday Profile: Dan Ferency

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Residence: Northville

What is your most treasured material possession? I have seven guitars but I'm not sure I could pick out just one, especially the ones given to me by my father.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school? If you love to read, write, think about, and/or discuss important issues then law school could be for you. Don't be afraid of the need to develop one or more of these interests after enrolling. Do it because you love the law, love what the law could be, or you just love expanding your way of thinking. Don't do it for the money or because it sounds like a good career choice.

Favorite local hangouts: The Ark may be my favorite Ann Arbor spot. My parents drove me down from "Up North" several times to see concerts when I was younger. I also enjoy a quick trip to the Washtenaw Dairy after going to court.

Favorite websites: Nate Silver's website: fivethirtyeight.com; Any mapping website, usually Google Maps or County GIS mapping sites; Curbed Detroit: detroit.curbed.com; The Detroit Free Press: freep.com

Favorite app: During baseball season, definitely the MLB.com At Bat app so I can check in on games.

Favorite album: Wilco's Sky Blue Sky

What is your happiest childhood memory? Any or all of the summer days spent at my grandparents' cottage on Blue Lake in Mecosta.

What would surprise people about your job? Practicing law is less about knowing the law and more about understanding people and how to get them to a comfortable and safe place in life-the law is just a means to that end, and an imperfect one at that.

What do you wish someone would invent? A machine that slows down or stops time-mostly so I could take a nap during the day without feeling guilty.

What has been your favorite year so far and why? 2014: I took and passed the bar exam, my first nephew was born, I got a job as an attorney at Faupel Law, PC in Ann Arbor, got engaged to my beautiful fiancé-life doesn't get much better than that.

Why did you become a lawyer? In a nutshell, so that I could better understand, defend, and uphold the privileges and obligations that come with being a member of the community and citizenry in this so-called "government of laws" and eventually to help others to do the same thing.

What's your favorite law-related TV show, movie, and/or book? More about the politics relating to lawmaking, but I love "House of Cards" on Netflix. Favorite movie would have to be "My Cousin Vinny," and favorite book is "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Who are your law role models real and/or fictional? Real life: Zolton Ferency, my great-uncle who ran for Michigan governor and taught criminal justice at Michigan State University; and Marian Faupel-both for their absolute fearlessness. Fictional: Assistant District Attorney Jack McCoy on Law & Order-the man could give a closing argument.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be? Any of the of the U.S. Supreme Court Justices on a day that oral argument is scheduled.

What's the most awe-inspiring place you've ever been? It's a tie between Glacier National Park in Montana on a clear summer night and the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

What did you do last weekend? I went to a cake tasting appointment for my wedding in July, and a wedding shower hosted by Marian Faupel.

If you could have one super power, what would it be? The ability to read minds.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self? Don't take yourself too seriously.

What's your proudest moment as a lawyer? Reading the first opinion from a circuit court judge with my name in the caption and referencing a direct examination I conducted and arguments I made at closing-the result was a good one, too! Just the fact that I was participating in the process in a meaningful way made me feel proud.

What do you do to relax? Go for a run or play guitar.

If you were starting all over again and couldn't go into law, what career path would you choose? Medicine. I might be doing that now if it weren't for organic chemistry!

What's one thing you would like to learn to do? Speak another language fluently.

What is something most people don't know about you? I have a twin brother and I was born exactly one minute before he was. Sometimes I swear that we can read each others' thoughts.

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? Martin Luther King, Jr., my late grandfather, and my fiancé Kanika.

What's the best advice you ever received? From Judge Halloran, my former employer, on practicing law: "It's important to know the law, it's better to know the judge."

Favorite place to spend money: Guitar Center or Elderly Instruments in Lansing.

What is your motto? Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

Which living person do you most admire? Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Graduating law school and passing the bar-both alongside my soon-to-be wife.

What is the most unusual thing you have done? Finished the 2013 Detroit Free Press Marathon.

Where would you like to be when you're 90? In Michigan, enjoying the company of family and friends.

Published: Mon, May 11, 2015

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