Dan Brown '10 Enjoys Intersection of Law & Science
Today, Dan is an attorney at Marathon Petroleum. Learn more about the path he took to his current position.
An established interest in science, coupled with an emerging curiosity streak about the role technology plays in addressing legal issues of the day, led Dan Brown ’10 to consider UC Law and the Glenn M. Weaver Institute of Law and Psychiatry three years ago. Soon this 3L, whose professional experiences have taken him from the aisles of Golf Galaxy to the halls of Marathon Oil, will embark on a career where he hopes to practice law under the umbrella of solving larger business solutions for a technology driven company. And he can’t wait to get started.
Brown, a Cincinnati native, is a graduate of local McNicholas High School and Xavier University. A National Merit Finalist and University Scholar, he majored in chemical science and Spanish, and minored in natural science, for his undergraduate degree. “I’ve always had a strong interest in the sciences,” said Brown, “and I enjoyed studying Spanish. A college professor encouraged me to major in the subject; I figured that whatever career path I took, knowing another language would help.”
But during his junior year of college, a light bulb moment occurred when he took classes in healthcare ethics and biomedical ethics. “That’s when I became curious about what goes on ‘behind the technology’—the why part of the equation.” His interest in law was piqued.
The law school’s clinical programs, along with the opportunities for practical experience, were a key reason why he chose UC for law school. “The institutes, by their very design, offer so many possibilities,” he commented. “Frankly, they offer options you can only get in a big city.” In addition, he was pleased with the small class sizes and, most importantly, the camaraderie of the students. “It’s not that cutthroat environment, as so many law schools can be; students are rooting for one another.”
Combining Science and the Law
Brown has always been fascinated with the workings of the brain, he says. He is especially interested in movement disorders, compulsive behavior, and the delicate biochemical balances of the human mind. Thus, the Weaver Institute was a perfect fit for him. “My anatomy and physiology interest and curiosity about how the body works meshed with emerging issues in law, and has broadened my perspective about mental health issues, involuntary/civil commitment, and much more. These are very real issues which aren’t always so cut and dry.”
As a Weaver fellow, Brown participates in monthly journal club activities, where fellows meet with psychiatry interns and other members of the legal and medical communities for dinner and round table discussions. They often discuss cases or law articles, seeking input from a legal and medical perspective. “It’s interesting to get the medical perspective, particularly of those who are working the field daily,” Brown says.
Involved At UC Law
An active participant in school life, Brown is president of the Student Ambassadors, a student representative organization that educates others about the faculty, academics, student life, and student body. “UC Law is very connected, more than people realize,” he said. “My path to law school wasn’t tailor made. That’s why I enjoy talking to prospective students about us. I talk about how their different, ‘non-traditional’ majors, along with the critical thinking skills they’ve developed, open the door for many opportunities, particularly in law.”
Brown is also co-president of the Intellectual Property Legal Society. “This year, the student leaders and faculty have been pushing us to integrate more practical experience opportunities into the program. So we’ve emphasized the IP mentoring program.” This program connects law students with members of the Cincinnati IP Legal Association. “So far, students seem to be enjoying it.”
Sales Career A Precursor to Law?
When thinking back over the most valuable professional experiences in his life, Brown is quick to name one thing: sales. Having always loved golf, he worked at a golf retail store for four years. While he does enjoy other sports, including playing on the intramural soccer team and the reigning championship intramural basketball team, it was Brown’s interest in golf that presented an opportunity to gain professional skills. Since coming to law school “I’ve realized that selling golf clubs and law have quite a few similarities. In fact, I’ve been able to parlay my sales background into an asset for my legal career,” he laughed. “As a salesperson you learn to take in information, analyze it, and determine strategies to best address the issues or solve the individual problem. That’s a big part of what lawyers do!”
He continued, “I think that UC Law is a great place to explore your interests. The opportunities presented are incredible and the faculty is available to help you flesh out your interests. There’s not a better choice for a legal education.”