by Mariya Volzhskaya
Editor’s Note: Military spouse attorneys often have to place their own careers on hold as they constantly move around the globe to accompany their servicemember on their military assignments. Too often, dreams of a career in the legal profession are sacrificed when they find themselves in locations that offer few job opportunities for attorneys, or because their frequent moves create resumé gaps that are red flags to hiring managers. To help remedy this situation, the Military Spouse JD Network (MSJDN) created the Homefront to Hired program to connect supportive employers with military spouse attorneys.
Each year at the Annual Reception, MSJDN recognizes an entity making a meaningful difference in the workplace for military spouse attorneys and their families by presenting the Homefront to Hired Award to a dedicated hiring partner. This year, the Homefront to Hired Award goes to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), a small federal agency that insures the nation’s defined benefit pensions.
William F. Condron Jr., Manager of the Appeals Division of PBGC, has been an active force for military spouses and has found excellent candidates for his 17-person Appeals Division by reaching out to MSJDN and other DOD contacts. His supervisor, the PBGC General Counsel, Judith R. Starr, a Harvard Law School graduate, is also a big supporter of hiring military spouses. As the daughter of a career Army Judge Advocate, she observed first-hand the difficulty her college-educated mother had gaining meaningful employment as a military spouse.
Colonel Condron, retired Army Judge Advocate, and a graduate of West Point and University of Virginia Law School, says that the PBGC has greatly benefited from their outreach efforts and hiring of military spouse attorneys. Through the federal government’s special hiring authority for military spouses moving to a new duty location, Condron was able to seek out qualified military spouse attorneys for positions at PBGC. “Military spouses are awesome,” he says, “they are smart, mature, and excel in a collaborative work environment.”
In the last two years, Colonel Condron has hired four military spouse attorneys for his Appeals Division team, as well as a non-lawyer military spouse in an administrative role. His team’s orientation and mentorship program for each new hire ensures their successful transition into the unique field of federal pension law. In the last year, Ms. Starr has selected two of these military spouse attorneys to fill critical vacancies in the OGC legal divisions.
MSJDN is pleased to recognize the efforts of PBGC to enrich and benefit the military community by providing unique and meaningful opportunities for military spouse attorneys and other military spouse professionals.
Please join us for the Annual Reception on May 10, for the presentation of the Homefront to Hired Award and other 2017 MSJDN honors.