Get to Know Dennis A. Kent

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Dennis Kent joined Ayar Law as an associate tax attorney in May. He spent over 20 years in strategic planning and commercial product management in the world of corporate chemical technologies, before making a career shift to law. 

Formerly with Silver Tax Group and Strategic Legal Services,Kent brings extensive experience in intellectual property, corporate business, estate planning, tax law and audit defense to a team of Ayar Law attorneys who specialize in state, federal, and international tax resolution and defense.

Kent earned his Juris Doctor from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Auburn Hills, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Michigan.

While at law school, he received merit certificates in Federal Administrative Law and Secured Transactions, and served as a member of the Michigan Intellectual Property American Inn of Court.

Kent resides in Rochester Hills with his wife and two children, and routinely volunteers his time and expertise at free law clinics throughout Metro Detroit.

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

What would surprise people about your job? The amount of time you spend on hold each day.

Why did you become a lawyer? I like to help people that cannot help themselves and I like to argue with people so perfect combo, plus I didn’t like the industry I was working in anymore

What’s your favorite law-related TV show, movie, and/or book? I should say “To Kill a Mockingbird”, but the movie The Firm with Tom Cruise is great – ends up being the underdog triumphing over big bad guys using his intelligence.

Who are your law role models – real and/or fictional?  I don’t really have one. Judge Bowman in Oakland County let me sit in on one of his motion days and then spoke with us after, and that was very cool. 

What advice do you have for someone considering law school? Do it because you are interested in the law and helping people, not because you want to be rich. If you are passionate about your work, then the money will follow. If you are only worried about the money you will eventually get caught up in it. Also try and take as few student loans as possible.

What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer?
I handled a pro bono criminal expungement case for a woman who was fighting to get public housing and a job. When she sent me a card saying how much it meant to her, I thought to myself, “Well, I can now say I helped at least one person”

What do you do to relax? I like to just hang out with my wife and family, they are the greatest source of strength in my life.

What other career path might you have chosen? Well, this is a second career. I spent 20+ years in chemical technical sales. I was not enjoying that any more and my wife asked what I wanted to do about it. I said go to law school. So I did, and here I am.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self?
Buy Apple Stock and Ford Stock when it hits $1.50 - it will be back. 

Favorite music:  The music I grew up with, mostly easy rock. I love the Goo Goo Dolls.

What is your happiest childhood memory? When my dog I got as a birthday present when I was 6, had puppies on my bed and I thought it was a miracle.
Favorite app: I like thumbtack for some leads.

What is your most treasured material possession? The cheap wooden chess set my grandfather taught me to play on. He always said if I ever beat him, he would never play again. He was still playing until he passed.

What do you wish someone would invent? Teleporter. Want to go to Florida – boom, you are there!

What has been your favorite year so far and why? 1997 – married my perfect match.  Wouldn’t trade her for anything.

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been?
My family and I hiked the chapel loop several times in Pictured Rocks National Park. When you stand above the water and look out over Lake Superior – if you don’t feel God reaching down to lay his hand on your shoulder – I am not sure where you could.

If you could have one super power, what would it be? I want to be Spider-man – I have always wanted to climb walls and shoot webs.

What’s one thing you would like to learn to do?
Learn to play the piano.

What is something most people don't know about you?
I am almost always concerned I will let people down – so I try my hardest to not let that happen.

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? Jesus Christ, Ghandi, and Warren Buffet.

What’s the best advice you ever received? When a judge says “No” – stop talking.

Favorite place to spend money:
I love to hunt bargains at places like Marshall’s, half shopping half hunting.

What is your motto? You are never promised another day – live like it is your last.

Which living person do you most admire? My wife – she is the strongest person I know. Putting up with me for 20 years should get her a medal.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? My children – two awesome, smart, kind, loving kids that are that way in spite of me.

What is the most unusual thing you have done? I once jumped out of an airplane – man, was that dumb.
 

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