As an undergraduate, Dean studied history and went on to earn an MA from the University of Chicago. his law degree from Capital University propelled him into a career that has ranged from legislative aide and researcher to lobbyist and CFO of a manufacturing company. He has continued to hone his writing skills by studying at Kent State University and attending writers conferences at the University of South Florida, Chatauqua, and Eckerd College. While serving on various arts and education nonprofit boards, Dean founded AHEAD, an organization serving at-risk students. His legal writings have appeared in numerous publications, and his creative writing has appeared in Aethlon, Helix, and The New Plains Review.