Eleanor Magers Vuono

From the President’s Desk:  Summer greetings to all! Your MSJDN Board of Directors and committee chairs have been hard at work this summer. We are excited about the upcoming year and the many fantastic MSJDN projects underway. Whenever you want to talk, ask a question, or share an idea, please reach out to me directly at president@msjdn.org. I would love to hear from you!

The new MSJDN leadership team kicked off the year with a two-day strategic planning session over the July 11-12 weekend. Fourteen members gathered in Arlington, VA and, reflecting our global reach, two members dialed in from Japan and Washington State. Strategic planning sounds dull, but the weekend was packed with vigorous debates about how to make this year productive and successful. This year’s leadership team is incredibly dedicated, hard working, talented, and energetic. It was fun to spend two days with these amazing lawyers.

All of our goals this year will focus on MSJDN’s core mission:

  1. support military spouses in the legal profession by advocating for licensing accommodations,
  2. educate the public about the challenges faced by career-minded military spouses and their families,
  3. encourage the hiring of military spouses, and
  4. provide a network connecting military spouse attorneys with each other and their supporters.

We are committed to achieving these goals with greater transparency, more volunteer support, better fundraising, and enhanced communication with our membership. Our new website is key to all of these goals. I hope you will spend a little time exploring the new site. Launched in May, the website now has a jobs board where hiring opportunities for military spouse attorneys are posted regularly, and members themselves can post jobs they learn about. Our Library has all of our governance documents and meeting minutes, as well as other useful resources including our newsletter archive. Our member forums can help you connect with other MSJDNers in your area. The website is also a great way to learn about MSJDN’s programs and how your dues are being spent on the critical projects of the Network.

Without question, MSJDN’s programs are the heart of our success. We have developed a tremendous reputation as an organization that gets things done. Our state licensing efforts are moving forward in warp-speed, with rules pending in Kentucky, Kansas, Ohio, Tennessee, and Maryland. We are in constant communication with the state bars as we work toward rule accommodations in all 50 states. Our pro bono project, Justice for Military Families, is a wonderful service for our Gold Star families and allows MSJDN attorneys to use their talents for military families in need. We are planning our October 2015 Making the Right Moves conference in Seattle—stay tuned for ticket information! We are excited about our new Homefront to Hired partners who have committed to hiring MSJDN members—check out these companies on the website under “Resources.” Our Finance, Government Affairs, Communications, and Awards committees all need your support, so pick your passion and sign up to help. We value your energy, your ideas, and your enthusiasm.

I look forward to a great year together.