Editor’s Note: MSJDN asked its members to help us spotlight employers that are going above and beyond for military spouse attorneys. Each employer in this series was nominated for MSJDN’s Members’ Choice Award for doing just that, by members who told us in their own words about the awesomeness of their employers. MSJDN is thrilled to tell these employer stories as a way of expressing our gratitude for supporting military spouses as they build careers in the legal profession.
The MSJDN Members’ Choice Award recipient will be announced at MSJDN’s Annual Reception in Washington, D.C. on May 6.
Military spouses – even those with unique, desirable skill sets and who are an easy fit with a company’s culture – are often overlooked because of the nomadic by-product of their spouses’ employment.
In fact, the seemingly simple action of an employer recruiting a military spouse who would make a valuable employee is often the exception. But Salazar Jackson LLP has shown a commitment to building an innovative practice, one that will rise to the challenge of hiring and keeping an employee who can help them compete with much larger firms.
Salazar Jackson, one of the firms nominated for the 2015 MSJDN Members’ Choice Award, was recently featured in Florida media after they hired MSJDNer Amanda Braun as the firm’s project manager, making them one of the first law firms in South Florida to implement in-house project management.
“Salazar Jackson did not shy away from hiring me as a military spouse in the face of an imminent relocation,” said Braun. “They gave me the opportunity to shine and to make them shine.”
Interestingly, in-house project management is usually only supported by large law firms – if at all. But Salazar Jackson, a small firm, saw it as a way to compete and found a way to implement it when one of the partners met Braun, who was working in the IT field as a certified project manager (PMP®). Braun had only recently completed law school and passed the Florida bar.
“He asked me if I planned to stay in IT or to move into the legal field,” said Braun of her meeting with Luis Salazar. “It was a question I heard often and one I dreaded. I gave him my typical answer that I would love to move into the legal field, but that as an Army wife I wasn’t sure about my geographical future so I didn’t feel comfortable joining a firm that I may have to leave when we received new orders in a few months. He looked puzzled by my response.”
After a series of meetings, Braun joined the firm and received the inevitable orders, taking her family to Colorado – much too far to maintain a typical working arrangement with the Miami-based firm. But Salazar Jackson’s management viewed the relocation as a challenge and chose to keep a talented employee, creating an arrangement that involves Braun telecommuting from her new home with partial time on site. To make that situation successful for both sides, the firm provided a technology platform to support telecommuting, as well as travel support.
“As a small firm, I admire their courage in trying out unconventional arrangements that support me as a military spouse. Certainly, their support and commitment to me provides me with a great sense of professional belonging that is so rare as a combined attorney/professional and military spouse,” said Braun.
Salazar Jackson is a Miami-based firm serving individuals and businesses facing financial crisis, complex commercial litigation or government investigations as well as those seeking to seize financial or business opportunities through startups, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. The firm represents clients in matters throughout the country.
Find out the recipient of the MSJDN Members’ Choice Award at the 2015 Annual Reception in Washington, D.C. on May 6th. Tickets and information available here.