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 spouse attorneys face many daunting challenges, but there is perhaps none so challenging as the overseas assignment. In addition to the traditional licensing barriers, there are also visa, tax, and insurance issues, business communities with a protectionist view of outsiders, and in some places, protectionist laws that can prevent military spouses from working “on the economy” at all. It’s not wonder, then, that Colleen O’Boyle would want to recognize her employer, Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP for going above and beyond when her servicemember received such an assignment.
Squire Patton Boggs LLP is a large multinational law firm with 44 offices in 21 countries. The law firm resulted from the merger of two firms large in their own right: Squire Sanders and Patton Boggs. Prior to the merger, Colleen was hired as a summer associate, then an associate, by Patton Boggs in their D.C. office in 2010.
In 2012, Colleen’s future husband accepted an assignment with the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps to be stationed in Germany. “My partners–specifically Alan Noskow and Doug Boggs–were flexible and supportive in letting me travel to and work from Germany for two and three week periods,” Colleen says. When she became engaged in 2013, Colleen approached her partners about a leave of absence from the firm so that she could be with her fiancé. “Their response was not only supportive of my decision to move to live with my fiancé,” she says, “they made every effort to find a way for me to continue to work for them from abroad.”
Initially, tax and insurance issues prevented Colleen from continuing to work for the firm remotely, and she was granted her leave of absence in early 2014. However, with the merger of Patton Boggs later that year, suddenly her firm now had a Frankfurt office. Her partners immediately began the process of having Colleen added to that office. A work visa and a bar waiver later, Colleen now works full-time in Squire Patton Boggs’ Frankfurt office.
“My partners, and the firm as a whole, truly made incredibly efforts to support my career and the move I chose to make in order to live with my spouse where the Army has stationed him.” That Squire Patton Boggs has gone above and beyond for Colleen in her journey as a military spouse attorney is why she nominated the firm for MSJDN’s Member’s Choice Award.
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.