MSJDN Receives Newman’s Own Award at Pentagon Ceremony


Josie Beets, MSJDN President, receives Newman’s Own Award from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford, Newman’s Own Vice President Jeff Smith, and Fisher House Foundation President Dave Coker.

When I set out to become president of the Military Spouse JD Network, I did it because I wanted 2012 Josie to know being a military spouse and lawyer are not incompatible ideas. My passion for this organization is rooted in the phrase that we’ve all said: “I thought I was the only one!” Through my own experience of becoming involved, first as a volunteer and then as a leader with MSJDN, I knew what a wonderful benefit it could be for so many spouses.

I knew that being president would mean a lot of responsibilities, a lot of work, and a lot of sweat equity. What I think I was unprepared for was the unparalleled joy of seeing our organization and the work you all do day in and day out recognized by the military community.

On September 29, I stood on stage at the Pentagon to receive a certificate of award from Gen. Joe Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a check for $37,500 from Newman’s Own Foundation on behalf of the Military Spouse JD Network. MSJDN was chosen as a recipient of the Newman’s Own Award, co-sponsored by Fisher House Foundation, Military Times, and Newman’s Own. The award is given to a select group of non-profit organizations for their innovative programs created to improve military quality of life. For seventeen years, Newman’s Own and Fisher House have recognized 169 programs with awards totaling $1,525,000.

MSJDN is now part of a wonderful group of military support programs to be honored by Newman’s Own, Military Times, and Fisher House. This award is recognition of the work MSJDN has done to support licensing accommodations and serve our military community through pro bono work. I was proud to stand up to represent all the hard work you have put into making MSJDN a first-class organization.

Making the Right Moves, Oct. 21, DC

MSJDN’s annual professional development conference, Making the Right Moves, happens this month in Washington, DC. The first year back on the East Coast since 2013, this year’s program is set to be the best yet. Our keynote speaker will be Cait Clarke, author of “Dare to Ask,” a practical guide to negotiation. I saw Cait speak several years ago and cannot wait for her to share her nuts and bolts tips on how to be your best advocate in salary negotiations and beyond. Cait is a lawyer who currently serves at the Chief of Defender Services in the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

Purchase your ticket now

This year’s conference will be held at Vinson & Elkins, winner of this year’s MSJDN Members’ Choice Award in recognition of the support the firm provides to military spouse attorneys. MSJDN members registered for the conference will have an opportunity for a special treat that’s not quite ready to share yet — but get your tickets now, you won’t want to miss it! Check out the agenda here, then go here to get your ticket before they sell out!

Celebrate Pro Bono with the American Bar Association

Every October, the American Bar Association focuses the attention of its 400,000 strong membership on pro bono legal work by holding the National Pro Bono Celebration: Celebrate Pro Bono. This year, in connection with ABA President Linda Klein’s ABA Veterans Legal Services Initiative, Celebrate Pro Bono will focus on veterans and military families.

The ABA encourages you to plan and participate in service to veterans as part of the 2016 Celebration. Legal barriers often keep veterans from receiving their rightful benefits and services, and many have unique legal needs in areas including family law, consumer law, housing, employment, criminal law, guardianships and conservatorships, administrative challenges resulting from service, and other matters.

Through our pro bono program, MSJDN serves this military community every day. Focused on Gold Star families, our pro bono team has helped 50 clients this year alone — that’s twice the number we did in the first two years of the program!

Celebrate Pro Bono is another opportunity for you to get out into your local communities to serve military veterans and families. Find an event in your area here.