Stetson University

Jeff Harvey

media/jeff_harvey_portrait.jpg Name: Jeff Harvey
Year at Stetson Law: 2L
Expected Graduation: May 2013
Service Branch: Army
Military Rank: Major
Stationed In:
I spent 10 years on active duty at Ft. Campbell, Ky. I'm currently stationed with the Florida Army National Guard in Pinellas Park, Fla.

How did military service prepare you for the study of law or for life in general?
There are countless skills I have learned through service in the military that have prepared me for the study of law, including time management, stress management, extreme attention to detail, problem solving skills, leadership, and outside of the box thinking. The biggest thing I have learned from service in the military is how to keep things in perspective. Law school can be stressful, but knowing that hard work eliminates the possibility of failure allows me not to worry about whether I will succeed. Freeing myself from that stress helps me to shift my focus on learning the law as best as I can.

Were there particular military service experiences that heightened your interest in the law?
There were two experiences that really heightened my interest in the law. The first was a combination of my combat experience and completing Army Ranger training. Through those experiences I learned that the secret to accomplishing difficult things in life is really about consistency and discipline. Learning this secret made me realize that difficult things, like the study of law, are easy as long as you are disciplined enough to read and study regularly and you ensure you consistently maintain that discipline every semester.

The second thing that heightened my interest in law was participation as an officer in quasi-legal military proceedings. Participating as a fact finder in things such as 15-6 investigations and Article 15 proceedings made me realize how much fun it is to learn and apply the law.

What do you think civilians should know about those in the service?
I think civilians should know that the real sacrifice that those in the service make is to place duty above all else. This makes service more than a career; it becomes a way of life. Many people think about the fact that service members find themselves in harm's way and have to spend time away from their families. They may not think about how this duty also causes service members to put duty ahead of forming and communicating political opinions.

Why did you select Stetson Law? Is the atmosphere supportive of military veterans?
I selected Stetson Law because of the emphasis it places on practical skills. By choosing law as a second career, it is important to me to be able to hit the ground running as an attorney once I graduate. Additionally, the community feel that Stetson Law provides made me feel confident that I would have the support I need while I study law.

What are your plans for after law school?
After law school, I plan to stay in the National Guard as a field artillery officer and find a small firm where I can practice in Orlando in the areas of estate planning and corporate governance.

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