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 are familiar with the frequent PCS moves that often come with the military lifestyle. But for military spouse attorneys, those moves create additional challenges beyond moving your household, finding your way around a new area, meeting new friends, and making your new duty station “home”. Military spouse attorneys also often find themselves in a new state where they have limited or no ties to the legal community to assist in their job search, on top of additional licensing requirements. It is undoubtedly a daunting situation. So it is no surprise that MSJDN member Lauren Wolfe nominated her employer, W. Timothy Harvey, for MSJDN’s Members’ Choice Award, because when Lauren found herself in that very situation, Mr. Harvey chose to hire her, mentor her, and support her legal career.
Lauren went to law school in Louisiana and passed the Bar Exam there, but then immediately found herself in Tennessee – with a newborn baby – following her husband’s PCS. She took the Tennessee Bar Exam and began looking for work in Clarksville, which she explains has a limited number of law offices. Lauren sent letters “en masse” to all of the firms and legal offices she could find nearby, looking for anyone who was hiring. Before long, she heard back from Mr. Harvey and had a job with him at the Law Office of Harvey and Silvus!
Despite the fact that Mr. Harvey runs a small law office, he is willing to hire military spouse attorneys like Lauren, even knowing that they will likely not remain in the area long-term due to their spouse’s military service. Lauren explains: “Mr. Harvey hired me knowing that I am not from Tennessee, that I am married to a service-member, that I had no previous experience, and that I had a new baby and could possibly need time off to care for that child.” Even knowing all of her circumstances, Mr. Harvey hired Lauren and has worked with her to develop her legal skills. Lauren also praises Mr. Harvey for being willing to hire new attorneys, mentor them, and develop their legal careers, giving them much needed legal experience to secure future employment if and when they do move again. Lauren describes Mr. Harvey as “a true mentor who devotes his time and resources to teaching the next generation of attorneys.” On top of all that he does for young attorneys and military spouses, Mr. Harvey is also an exceptional cook and often prepares delicious meals for the entire office!
Mr. Harvey has hired several military spouse attorneys over the years, and he is most interested in hiring “hard-working, enthusiastic attorneys,” regardless of whether they are married to a service member. Lauren highlights a special quality about her employer, writing that: “Mr. Harvey’s willingness to employ military spouse attorneys makes him a special asset to both the military and local communities.” MSJDN joins member Lauren Wolfe in thanking Mr. Harvey for his support of military spouse attorneys!
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.