By Rachel Hsiao
Military spouses have to be flexible. It’s a requirement of the military lifestyle. That requirement of flexibility crosses over to all aspects of life- particularly the professional life. It can be difficult to find an employer who is accepting and accommodating of the military lifestyle. So it is notable when an employer sees through the challenges to embrace the positives of hiring a military spouse attorney. MSJDN member Eleanor Magers Vuono found such an accommodating and understanding employer through the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America, and she nominated the law school for the 2016 MSJDN Members’ Choice Award to recognize their support for military spouse attorneys.
When Eleanor initially interviewed with CUA, she was concerned about her status as a military spouse. However, during the hiring process, the hiring attorney explained that Eleanor’s experiences as a military spouse attorney were an asset, not a hindrance. CUA Law is supportive of law students with military commitments and welcomes faculty with military connections as well. The school’s goal is to hire the most qualified person for the job, regardless of the potential for a future military relocation. Eleanor was incredibly encouraged to feel proud of her spouse’s military service in a job interview, rather than having to hide the fact for fear of removing her from the candidate pool.
Eleanor originally was hired to teach LLM students on a part time basis, and she continues to teach at CUA Law today. In 2015, she was unable to teach one of her evening classes. As a result, she recommended another military spouse attorney, with an outstanding resume and excellent legal skills, who ultimately was hired for the job. The faculty had confidence that a military spouse’s skills would make her an excellent teacher, even if she were able to teach just one class before the military moved the family again.
As Eleanor’s experience demonstrates, CUA Law views the military lifestyle as a bonus and not a deterrent. The General Counsel of The Catholic University of America is a retired Army JAG and the University is very supportive of law students with military commitments and those interested in serving as military lawyers or who are married to service members. MSJDN joins Eleanor in thanking and applauding The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law for their support of military spouse attorneys.