University of Iowa
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LT Keifer Wells ( Class of 2015)

Hometown: Detroit, MI

Undergraduate school and major: Berklee College of Music, Bachelor of Music, Music Business and Management

Your favorite Iowa Law memory:

Waking up early on crisp Saturday mornings in October to tailgate for Iowa Hawkeye football games.

Current employer:

United States Coast Guard, Thirteenth District Legal Office

Location:

Seattle, WA

Job title:

Judge Advocate

Previous positions:

Judge Advocate, Coast Guard Legal Service Command, Norfolk VA

Description of what you do:

As the primary Judge Advocate assigned to Sector Puget Sound, I am responsible for providing full scope field and operational legal support to Coast Guard units in the State of Washington.  My frequent practice areas include Federal environmental law/compliance, tribal law and Indian affairs, maritime law enforcement, administrative rulemaking for navigable waterways, military justice, fiscal law, government contracts, and ethics.

Your favorite part of your job:

My favorite aspect of being a Coast Guard Judge Advocate is that I get to change jobs and move to a new location every three to four years.  I find this aspect of my work incredibly refreshing, as I am constantly learning something new and living in a different place, whether I am serving in a legal or non-legal job.

Your interests outside of work:

Living in the Pacific Northwest, I do my best to get in the outdoors whenever possible, whether it's backpacking, camping, climbing, or kayaking on the weekends.

What is your favorite movie:

Office Space

What do you wish your 1L/2L/3L self knew about the job search:

To give proper weight to purpose when considering a career. In my case, the inner satisfaction that comes from serving the public inspires my work every day, and for me, is well-worth trade-offs. Everybody has different priorities based on their own goals, but it's always important to remember to stay true to your purpose.  Lots of other factors might come up during the job search, however if you dig deep, and follow what motivates you, you'll sleep well at night knowing you're doing/trying to do what you were meant to do.

What advice do you have for success in summer positions:

Don't be afraid to make a decision and commit yourself to it, even if you are uncertain about the result.  In an era of endless options and a strong job market, I feel like analysis paralysis often comes in to play, hampering the decision making process for a summer position or career. Instead of playing the field and attempting to keep all options open, make the best choice you can at the time, work hard, and pursue it wholeheartedly.  Even if it doesn't end up being your path, the fact that you gave it 100% and built your professional reputation will open doors in other places.