Over the last year, I’ve used my space in the newsletter to talk about some of the characteristics of military spouse attorneys that I’ve observed during my involvement with MSJDN:
Service: Military spouse attorneys are incredibly committed to pro bono and giving back to our communities, despite the stressors and challenges we face in our own lives.
Camaraderie: We have a special bond as military spouse attorneys, and the connections we build in this organization fuel us to overcome our personal and professional challenges.
Courage: Military spouse attorneys are a courageous bunch, fighting outdated stereotypes and negativity to push forward with our chosen profession while serving alongside the true heroes, our servicemember spouses.
This month, I want to talk about the power of MSJDN and military spouse attorneys.
In case you haven’t noticed, power posing is kind of our thing – here I am doing my best Wonder Woman impression.
And check out Vanessa striking this awesome power pose, complete with MSJDN gear at Making the Right Moves 2016.
And the most fun, the group power pose (I promise, Alex is striking a full power pose in the back row) at last year’s American Military Partner Association National Gala.
We want to see your power poses! Share on Twitter (@milspouseJD) or Instagram (@msjdn) using #MSJDNpower.
But we are powerful beyond our posing abilities.
Knowledge is power, and the wealth of information available to members through the MSJDN website and Facebook group is impressive. Bar prep tips, information on working in Germany, and advice on building a PCS-proof practice are just a few of the items available in the Resource Library. Pose a question in the Facebook group on negotiating your salary, transferring law schools, or finding an attorney referral and you’ll have input from multiple members within minutes.
The MSJDN network has grown over the past seven years and expanded to every corner of the globe. (Did you know that the Okinawa chapter alone has around 10 members?) You can search the private MSJDN member directory to find other military spouse attorneys near you for guidance on the job hunt, child care, housing, etc. These connections are powerful and we’ve worked hard to make it easy for you to leverage them. All you have to do is ask!
MSJDN is also a powerful force on the licensing front. Last month, we reached a milestone of 30 jurisdictions with military spouse attorney licensing accommodations, with Nebraska, Hawai’i, and Nevada coming on board. State Licensing Director Karen Scanlan and her predecessors have laid the groundwork for the remaining states to join in this support for military families.
Lastly, we are fortunate to be part of a special profession that affords us the power to change lives. I’m a proud witness of the impact military spouse attorneys have made through their legal skills. I wrote previously about Heather Strickland and her staff, who handled the adoptions of nearly 600 children through the foster care system in 2016. We recently highlighted MSJDNer Anna Blanch Rabe, an Air Force Key Spouse Mentor and the founding lead for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Professional Network at Holloman AFB. She also provides out-of-hours (evenings and weekends) notary services to servicemembers. Our Justice for Military Families program serves Gold Star families by matching them with legal assistance. MSJDN’s Pro Bono Director Tricia Petek is exploring options to expand the platform to include caregiver spouses in the coming year. It’s a sacred power that we wield as attorneys, and military spouse attorneys wield that power effectively.
I encourage all MSJDNers to strike a pose and embrace your powerfulness, individually and as a member of this network! #MSJDNpower
Libby Jamison, firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. In case you haven’t seen the invitation, I’m hitting the road as we PCS from the East Coast to the West. Join me this month for one of our gatherings along the way!