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Veteran’s Day Interview with Brian Pearson

Brian Pearson is an attorney at Smith Haughey Rice & Rogge (SHRR) who specializes in business law, construction law and real estate. Pearson is also an Army veteran, who served as an active duty officer from 2000 to 2005. He spent those years in the First Infantry Division out of Wurzbrug, Germany serving as a Cash Control Officer, an Executive Officer and a Company Commander. We get to know a little more about Pearson’s time in the Army and career as an attorney with SHRR.

How do you feel your military service prepared you to be lawyer?

The military certainly provides service members with real-world experience practicing many skills that are transferable to civilian life. My experience at West Point and in the active Army prepared me to be a lawyer in many ways, including teaching and reinforcing: dedication, loyalty, patience, attention to detail, delegation, personal responsibility/accountability and teamwork.

Why did you choose to work and live in Grand Rapids?

My wife, Stacy, and I chose to live and work in the Grand Rapids area because it offers the opportunities of large metropolitan area, while maintaining its unique identity. It is a fantastic place to live and raise a family, while allowing me to engage in complex and challenging legal work. My favorite part about Grand Rapids is its lively city feel and its proximity to the lake. Given that Stacy is an artist, we also love the city’s commitment to and facilitation of the arts. It is not hard to understand why Grand Rapids has become a premier destination for professionals and their families.

Why did you become a lawyer? What do you love about being a lawyer?

I became a lawyer because I want meet people, engage in the community and solve problems. I love practicing law in the corporate and real estate areas because it provides me with opportunities to think outside the box and recommend pragmatic solutions to complicated problems.

What does Veteran's Day mean to you?

As a third-generation veteran, Veteran’s Day is important to me because provides everyone with a time to pause and reflect on how the sacrifices of military members have positively impacted our lives and steered the course of our great nation. I also think that it is important on Veteran’s Day to appreciate military spouses and families. I know that my wife had to sacrifice quite a bit during my time in the military and I give her all the credit in the world. Being a military spouse is a difficult and unique challenge, so military family members deserve recognition on this day as well.

What are you most proud of?

From a purely military standpoint, I am most proud of the fact that all soldiers under my command returned home to their families from combat (though I don’t attribute this accomplishment to my leadership). Generally, I am most proud that my two children (Alex and Abby) are growing up in a country where everyone can have a voice regardless of their ethnicity, wealth, lineage or position in other demographic categories. Democracy is hard and freedom means that everyone gets a voice, even if we don’t like what it sounds like or has to say.

On a related note, I am also happy to say that my law firm, Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge, has done a fantastic job of spotlighting veteran employees each year and supporting causes within the community that give back to service members, veterans and their families.

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