WMU-Cooley, as a military friendly and designated Yellow Ribbon School, talks to its military students, faculty and graduates about their journey from the military to law school and about their career goals. This month’s military feature is WMU-Cooley graduate Maurice McDaniel, a retired imagery and intelligence analyst working for the military’s Seven Special Forces Group. After a parachuting accident, Maurice decided it was time to fulfill his lifelong goal of becoming an attorney.
Military rank and title: Military Intelligence Attachment of the Seven Special Forces Group
Tell us about your military experience: I was an imagery and intelligence analyst working for the military’s Seven Special Forces Group. We worked on target packages in Central and South America doing a lot of work with the president’s war on drugs at the time. I was involved with the planning and execution phases of some large operations. I spent time in the Pentagon working with the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Drug Enforcement Administration, along with doing counter-insurgency activity in Peru.
Why did you decide to go to law school: I decided to go to law school after a military parachuting accident. I realized that I just wasn’t able to physically perform all my duties in my law enforcement job. I also realized I needed to change directions in my career. I knew I had always been interested in a legal career; ever since I remember. Now was the time to act on that goal. I looked into law schools and decided to attend Western Michigan University Cooley Law School for several reasons. One was the convenience. WMU-Cooley offered flexible schedule options, which included offering classes three times a day; plus weekend classes. I also liked that the campus was geographically close to where I lived. It made it that much easier to get to my classes. And once I started law school, I knew I had made the right decision. I really enjoyed the all staff and faculty of the law school.
Career Goals: I currently enjoy working in my own private practice in High Springs, Florida, downtown Historic District. My goal is to see my firm expand and to hire more employees and associates into my successful practice.
Tell us a little about you: I am married, and we have five children between us. My wife is the county attorney for Alachua County, in Gainesville, which is also the county I practice in. Our children range from nine to 27 years of age. The 27-year-old is an engineer. Two others are attending college at the University of Florida. One child is a senior at Santa Fe High School, and our youngest is going into the fifth grade this fall. We enjoy living on a little mini ranch of around 56 acres, along with several horses, cows and other farm animals. We love being a part of this small rural community. My daughter is involved in horse riding and jumping. I enjoy watching her competitions, as well as the being involved in the other children’s sports activities.