Frederick J. Kenney '91, Judge Advocate General, U.S. Coast Guard
As Judge Advocate General for the U.S. Coast Guard, Rear Adm. Frederick J. Kenney Jr. ’91 has a diverse set of practice areas to oversee. In addition to handling the standard legal areas of any military branch, the Coast Guard’s attorneys also act as legal counsel for the branch’s extensive regulatory and law enforcement functions, which includes everything from regulating the shipping industry to enforcing drug trafficking laws. “On any given day, people used to ask me what kind of law I practice,” said Rear Adm. Kenney. “I would say, ‘It depends on what my next phone call is.’” Appointed in January 2011 as the U.S. Coast Guard’s No. 1 attorney, Rear Adm. Frederick J. Kenney ‘91 oversees the delivery of all legal services in support of the Coast Guard’s worldwide missions, its units, and 50,000 personnel. He likens it to being the senior partner of a law firm; in Rear Adm. Kenney’s case, the “firm” includes 184 military attorneys, 92 civilian attorneys, and 87 legal support personnel. He also is the Coast Guard’s chief counsel, serving as the branch’s primary contact for legal advice for the Office of the General Counsel and the Office of Homeland Security.
Rear Adm. Kenney, who joined the Coast Guard in 1981 shortly after graduating from college, attended the USF School of Law while stationed in the Bay Area. “The thing that was most impressive to me about USF was the personal attention I got from the professors,” said Rear Adm. Kenney, who served as editor-in-chief of the Maritime Law Journal. “They took the time to sit down with you and talk about where you’re going. I really liked the way that they brought the teaching of law to a practical level. You really had to think about how you would apply things in the real world and that has helped me in my practice ever since.”