The Military Spouse JD Network is a volunteer-run organization dedicated to supporting military families in the legal profession. An active Board of Directors oversees all of MSJDN’s programs and engagements that are then put into action by our committee leadership. Our Board and Committee volunteers work hard to keep the organization moving forward, meeting the needs of our members, and improving the lives of military families. MSJDN is very pleased to introduce our new leadership for the 2019-2020 year!
President: Karen Scanlan
Karen is an attorney licensed in Illinois and is a native of Chicago. She is married to a (retired) Army Simulations Officer. Before becoming an Army wife, Karen practiced law with several small firms in and around Chicago. Karen has been involved with MSJDN since 2011 and is committed to its mission of improving the lives of military spouses in the legal profession. Most recently, Karen has served as the Co-State Director for Florida for MSJDN’s State Licensing Committee, overseeing the efforts to enact a military spouse attorney licensing rule in the Sunshine State. Most recently, Karen served as the State Licensing Director for the MSJDN Board, managing the MSJDN licensing initiative nationwide. She is also past board member with the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations, serving as Co-Chair of the Awards Committee (2017-2018). Karen and her husband cheer on the Chicago Cubs from their Virginia home with their four sons.
President-Elect: Dawn Gile
Dawn Gile has been a member of MSJDN since 2012 and most recently served as Membership Director. She also served on the Justice for Military Families committee, the pro bono initiative of the Military Spouse JD Network Foundation. Dawn has been in private practice for approximately eleven years and is presently a partner with MacDonald Law Group, LLC, where her practice focuses on complex civil litigation, toxic torts, and insurance defense. She is the proud spouse of an Army soldier, with whom she has two daughters. Originally from Illinois, she and her family now reside in Maryland. Dawn also volunteers her time by serving as a director on the Rockford University alumni association board. In addition, she serves as the leader of her husband’s unit’s family readiness group. Dawn is admitted to practice law in Illinois, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
Immediate Past President: Katherine Lee Goyette
Katherine Lee Goyette is an Associate Attorney at Fendley & Etson in Clarksville, Tennessee, practicing in the areas of criminal defense, family law, estates & trusts, and personal injury. Formerly, she prosecuted in southern Colorado as a Deputy District Attorney under a military spouse law license. Prior to that, Katherine worked as a legislative attorney for the Kansas Legislature for five years. Katherine has served as co-chair of the Diversity Committee of the Kansas Bar Association and is actively involved with MSJDN, having previously served on the board as Treasurer and helping with rule change efforts in Kansas, West Virginia, and New Mexico. In 2016, Katherine was awarded the A Community Organization for Victim Assistance Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Service on Behalf of Crime Victims and also named as the AFI Military Spouse of the Year Fort Carson. She married an Army field artilleryman, and is licensed in Kansas, D.C., SCOTUS, formerly Colorado, and Tennessee.
Treasurer: Kirsten Jones
Kristen Jones is a graduate of Dartmouth College and George Mason University Law School. She has been in private practice in four states and served as an Assistant Attorney General for the Wyoming Office of the Attorney General and as a Judicial Law Clerk for Fairfax Circuit Court, Virginia–good thing she loves to travel. Kristen lives in Dayton, Ohio, with her Air Force family, where she recently completed Master Recycler and Composting courses through the amazing MetroPark system.
Treasurer Elect: Sara Morgan
Sara practices commercial litigation at a firm in Nashville and works closely with a variety of companies, including hospitals and healthcare providers, on a range of litigation matters related to healthcare fraud and abuse, products liability, and general business litigation matters. Sara has been involved with MSJDN since 2017 and has previously assisted with the Homefront to Hired initiative. Currently, Sara and her husband are stationed at Fort Campbell, where they have been very lucky to have been stationed since 2013. Outside of work, Sara and her husband enjoy seeing concerts and trying all of Nashville’s newest restaurants.
Governance Director/Secretary: Brooke Geiger Nattkemper
Brooke is an attorney currently licensed in Florida, with a license pending in Kansas thanks to the recent rule changes in the Sunflower State. She was sworn into the United States Supreme Court in October 2017. Brooke was involved with the rule change efforts in Kansas early on, and it was during that time that she developed a deeper desire to serve MSJDN and the attorneys and families it impacts as much as she could. She has been a member of the Communications and Finance Committees for MSJDN. Brooke also volunteers as an advisor for the local Kappa Delta chapter at Kansas State University. She is married to an Army infantryman and has a toddler daughter, making the balancing act of military spouse life an interesting task at times. Brooke has a background in litigation, immigration, and dependency, but is excitedly expanding her knowledge base to include estate planning, commercial transactions, and property law. Brooke is a graduate of the University of North Florida and Stetson University College of Law.
Communications Director: Maria Campbell
Maria is a litigation attorney for Bone McAllester Norton PLLC in Nashville, Tennessee. She strives to do good work for her clients and the community. This California native received her undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California and her juris doctor from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. She previously worked for the firms DLA Piper and Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo. Maria left her Southern California roots for the first time last year to follow her husband who is a captain in the Army and a West Point graduate. They are currently stationed at Ft. Campbell and live in Clarksville, TN. Maria was one of the first to take advantage of Tennessee’s Military Spouse Licensing Law, enacted in early 2016, which grants a Tennessee law license to military spouses who are licensed in another state.
Community and Events Director: Michelle Richart
Michelle is a native of Nebraska and a proud Cornhusker. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Law and is licensed in the State of Texas. Michelle works as corporate counsel for a software company and also practices immigration law, leveraging technology to work remotely for nearly a decade. Michelle was recently selected to become a member of the Air Force Reserves JAG Corp and is looking forward to a new challenge and serving in another capacity. She is a fierce advocate for military spouses and helped pass licensing accommodations for military spouse attorneys in Nevada in 2018. Michelle’s husband is a pilot in the Air Force and they are currently based at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Together they have two children, Piper and Pierce. In her free time, Michelle enjoys traveling, yoga, and roller derby.
Homefront to Hired Director: Mariya Volzhskaya
Mariya is an attorney in a federal agency where her work involves government-trusteed pension funds and ERISA regulations. She graduated from Georgia State University in 2005 and Tulane Law School in 2012. Mariya began her legal career as a civil litigator in Chicago and moved on to launching her own education and family advocacy practice after a PCS to Rota, Spain. Now in Washington, DC, Mariya is relishing returning to full time employment in a real office. From the beginning of her professional career, MSJDN has been a rich resource of professional support and connection and Mariya is thrilled to be serving her fellow military spouse attorneys as the Homefront to Hired director. Originally from Russia, Mariya has lived and traveled throughout Europe and Asia, is married to a Navy JAG, and has two kids. Her hobbies include cooking, working with yarn, and ballroom dance.
Membership Director: Maureen Lavery
Maureen Lavery graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law and has worked at Littler Mendelson, P.C. as Knowledge Management Counsel since 2013. Littler is a national law firm specializing in labor and employment law, and was the 2018 recipient of the MSJDN Members’ Choice Award for the firm’s support of military spouse attorneys in the workplace. Maureen is a native of San Diego, California and the spouse of an active duty Navy explosive ordnance disposal officer, and has lived on three continents and completed eight PCS moves since getting married in 2006. Maureen currently lives in Memphis, Tennessee with her husband and three kids, and will PCS to parts unknown sometime in 2020. She has been involved with MSJDN since 2011 and is passionate about networking with other military spouse attorneys, helping connect them with potential professional opportunities, and sharing advice and experience on finding portable employment. In her free time, Maureen enjoys Orangetheory Fitness, watching her kids play sports, and online shopping.
Pro Bono Director: Megan Kelley Howard
Megan is an alumni of the University of Georgia and Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville and is licensed to practice law in Florida (since 2014), Georgia (since 2016), and now Colorado (2019) under Military Spouse Licensure. She is a former prosecutor and journalist for Ms. JD. She currently resides in Colorado Springs with her husband and their two Bullmastiffs. In her spare time, Megan enjoys volunteering, working with animals, and spending time outdoors with her husband.
State Licensing Director: Karl Gerner
Karl is an attorney licensed in the District of Columbia, originally from Saratoga, New York. His practice focuses on privacy and telecommunications, with a background in commercial litigation. He is married to a Submarine Officer stationed in Washington, D.C. Karl has been involved with MSJDN since 2015 and is committed to educating the legal profession about the unique and desirable skills military spouse attorneys possess. Most recently, Karl served as the State Director for Utah for MSJDN’s State Licensing Committee, overseeing the efforts to enact a military spouse attorney licensing rule in the Beehive State. He is also a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals and the Federal Communications Bar Association.
At Large Director: Lyndsay Lujan
Lyndsay Lujan is currently a labor attorney for the Army Office of The Judge Advocate General. From August of 2017 to April of 2019 she was the program manager for the Army JAG Corps’ Military Spouse Attorney Hiring Program and one of the assistant chiefs for the Army Legal Career Program. Prior to joining the Office of The Judge Advocate General, Lyndsay was a domestic violence prosecutor and served as an assistant commonwealth’s attorney for Albemarle County and the City of Chesapeake in Virginia. Lyndsay received her JD from William & Mary Law School and her BA in political science from the University of California, San Diego. Lyndsay is married to an Army active-duty Judge Advocate and his career has taken them to Virginia, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Washington state.
Development Director: Josie Beets
Josie is a licensed attorney, a nonprofit executive, a wife and a mom. She has presented on military spouse employment issues to the Department of Defense, the White House, the American Bar Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She currently serves as Senior Director for SAFE Project, fulfilling their mission to contribute in a tangible way to overcoming the addiction epidemic, and previously served as the Senior Advisor to the President’s Management Council. Josie served as the 2016-2017 MSJDN President and has been involved with MSJDN since 2011. She was the founder of MSJDN’s pro bono program, Justice for Military Families, the first national military program to serve not just the servicemember but the families as well. Her karaoke go-to song is “Fancy” by Reba McEntire, with “We Belong” by Pat Benatar in a close second.
MSJDN proudly welcomes this new Board of Directors to lead our many efforts into the next year. If you are a member interested in volunteering, please visit the committees page for more information and then reach out to the committee leader to get started. Our successes are only possible thanks to volunteer power!