DITH Press Release: Austin, TX ~ For Immediate Release

Longstanding Texas Support of Military Community Extends to Military Spouse Networks. Brunch next week at iconic Austin Club honors and thanks Judicial and community members, features Texans who stand behind military spouse attorneys.

On February 23, the Military Spouse JD Network (MSJDN.org) will host Deep in the Heart of Texas, a celebration and recognition of advancements in keeping with the First Lady’s Joining Forces initiative to pave the way for military spouse licensing that accommodates the needs of frequently moving military families. The event takes place at Austin’s historic Austin Club.

Phil&Carla

Justice Phil Johnson and his wife, Carla

Texas Supreme Court Justice Phil Johnson, an Air Force veteran, will be the keynote speaker at the event. Justice Johnson’s military history runs deep; his father was also a veteran, joining the Air Force during WWII and stationed at Reese AFB in Lubbock, Texas after the war. Justice Johnson grew up in Lubbock and attended Lubbock High School before graduating from Texas Tech University and being commissioned in the Air Force. He flew fighter-bombers in Vietnam and was awarded the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. After his tour in Vietnam, Justice Johnson returned to Reese AFB as a flight instructor. In 1972, Justice Johnson was honorably discharged from the Air Force and began law school at his alma mater, Texas Tech, going on to the firm of Crenshaw, Dupree & Milam before being elected to the Seventh Court of Appeals in 1998. In 2002 he was elected Chief Justice of the appeals court and in 2005, Gov. Rick Perry appointed Justice Johnson to the Supreme Court of Texas.

In February 2013, Texas became the first state to initiate a licensing policy for military spouse attorneys without a formal rule change so that it could begin consideration of military spouse applications immediately. The License Portability for Military Spouses (LPMS) policy allows for bar admission for military spouses accompanying a servicemember to Texas, and provides for reduced application fees.

To celebrate the anniversary, the Military Spouse JD Network organized the event. “It’s important that we recognize our supporters in the communities where we practice who make the rule changes real for us, and Texas was the first to initiate a rule like this on their own. That kind of support means the world to military families,” says Mary Reding, President of the first of the military spouse association that works with state licensing authorities to make the legal profession compatible with military service and reduce employment barriers after each military move.

Other supporters include event attendees Chief Justice Nathan Hecht, a veteran of the U.S. Naval Reserve JAG Corps, Justice Jeff Boyd, and Julia Vaughan, Executive Director of the Texas Board of Law Examiners. The title sponsors for the event are law firms Langley & Banack, and Seigman, Starritt-Burnett & Sinkfield LLP. Additional sponsors include USAA, Precision Discovery, and the Texas Veterans Legal Assistance Project.

For more information contact MSJDN Texas Director Reda Hicks at reda.hicks@msjdn.org, or visit the event page at http://deepintheheart.eventbrite.com