Our members

MSJDN members are from all ranks and branches; active duty, reserve, guard, veteran, and retired spouses; many different career fields, bases and posts; and are stationed around the world. They routinely report that their legal careers are directly impacted by their spouse’s military career. It is not unusual for our members to have taken three or four different bar examinations. Less than 1/3 of MSJDN members have full-time legal employment. 1/2 of MSJDN members are unemployed and actively looking for work, under-employed in non-attorney positions, or can only find part-time work. MSJDN members report that the biggest challenge to finding and keeping employment is frequent moves and lack of portable employment opportunities.
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I thought I was the only one!

Marine Spouse

Since I can’t spend more than a couple of years at a time at a job, I have a hard time accumulating the experience needed for future job-growth. I am forever applying for entry level attorney positions because I only have 1-3 years of experience in any given area.

Navy Spouse

Finding work when you have to transfer every three years as well as having to consider whether to take the bar when transferring to a new state. Our last assignment was in the UK where taking the bar was not an option. This has also had a huge impact on my career as I was not able to practice

Air Force Spouse

The most difficult and most frustrating challenge in being a military spouse with a law degree is knowing that sitting for one bar exam, let alone passing one exam, may not be enough to maintain a successful and satisfying legal career.

Navy Spouse

…we are increasingly dreading the possibility of a forced move and the range of various unpalatable options that I face in order to be able to continue working. The cost of bar prep, the stress and expense of a new bar exam, the lengthy delays in actually being admitted — and this all assumes that one is even able to successfully find a new position in the current job environment.

Air Force Spouse

The biggest current challenge is my lack of network in our new location. We transferred over 3,000 miles right after I graduated from law school. I had to delay taking the bar because of the move. Now that I have taken and passed the bar, looking for work is challenging because I do not know any lawyers in our new state.

Coast Guard Spouse