While studying political science and religion at Calvin College, Dan had an unexpected and profound experience. He participated in a mock trial for a heart-wrenching murder trial. Working with the defense attorney, Dan also stood in for the victim in a forensic reenactment; he and the victim were the same age, same height and same build. It was a tragic case for both sides, but Dan saw up-close the process and work of a good lawyer. The defense attorney was fair, compassionate and strong. It defined for Dan what it meant to be a lawyer.
Nevertheless, law school seemed like a foreign option for a kid from a family of teachers and preachers. So, Dan graduated from Calvin College with a third major, English, and a teaching degree. He taught at Grand Rapids Christian High and then after his wife, Amy, began graduate school, he taught at a charter school in Detroit.
When they moved to Ann Arbor, they did not own a television and Amy was very busy with school, so Dan went to as many lectures and concerts as he could. One night, he heard the University President, Lee Bollinger, talk and he gave this advice to students: “If you become really knowledgeable at one thing, it will greatly enrich your life.” That advice struck Dan as true and it was clear to him that he wanted to go to law school.
Starting at Warner in the fall of 2007, Dan has enjoyed his time here and cherishes the meaningful relationships he has with clients. Dan describes his practice in trust and estates as “this gem within the legal profession that allows you to develop expertise in one area of the law and also develop long-term relationships with individuals, families and family-owned businesses.” It is a good fit for Dan.
Dan and Amy have three children: Natalie, 11, Peter, 9, and Simon, 6.
Although they still do not own a television (the kids get plenty of screen time on phones and computers), Dan and Amy enjoy watching their kids delve into soccer, Harry Potter and (with some encouragement) music. Finch, a four-month-old black Golden Doodle named after another great defense lawyer, just joined their family and has been the instigator of late-night family walks.