MSJDN members often encounter licensing difficulties throughout their careers. Most federal government attorneys are only required to be licensed and in good standing in any state, not the specific state where the office is located. Attorney positions with the federal government are therefore a good employment option for military spouse attorneys seeking employment as they move across licensing jurisdictions.
MSJDN spoke with Lyndsay Maier Lujan, an attorney with the Army’s Office of The Judge Advocate General, about employment opportunities that the Army JAG Corps offers military spouse attorneys.
Q: What is the Army JAG Corps’ Military Spouse Attorney Hiring Program?
A: Our Military Spouse Attorney Hiring Program utilizes excepted service hiring flexibilities to hire military spouse attorneys into vacant positions throughout the Army JAG Corps. The appointments are usually time-limited appointments and last 1 or 2 years.
Q: Who can be hired through the program?
A: The Program is open to all military spouse attorneys. If you are an attorney whose spouse is active duty in any branch, in any occupational specialty, you are eligible to be hired through the program.
Q: How can an attorney spouse register for the Hiring Program?
A: Send your resume and current orders to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If your resume matches the requirements for a vacant position near your spouse’s duty station, you may be contacted for an interview.
Q: How successful is the Army JAG Corps’ Military Spouse Attorney Hiring Program?
A: The Program was created in 2014. To date, the Program has offered employment to over 180 military spouse attorneys throughout the world. In fiscal year 2018, the Program offered employment to 46 attorneys and has already offered employment to 15 military spouse attorneys this fiscal year.
Q: What are the most common barriers to spouse attorney employment in the Army?
A: There are two barriers I often see spouse attorneys facing when seeking employment within the Army. The first barrier is subject matter expertise. Spouse attorneys often do not have the Army subject matter expertise in Army core legal areas such as administrative law, labor and employment law, or client services. The second barrier I see is the number of vacancies per installation. There may not be a vacancy at an installation while the spouse attorney is living in the area.
Q: What advice do you have for military spouse attorneys seeking employment in the Army?
A: If you can, volunteer in an Army JAG Client Services Office. This will allow you to earn practice time while gaining subject matter expertise in client services. Other benefits include learning about the Army and developing professional relationships that may be able to help you gain employment in the future.
Q: What are some resources spouses can access to help them familiarize themselves with the Army or Army processes?
A: I would recommend [Army Regulations] AR 25-50, AR 27-1, and AR 27-3. These documents will help you to build a foundation of knowledge about the Army’s Legal Services. Additionally, if you are interested in a particular practice area, contact me and I can direct you to more resources.
MSJDN thanks Lyndsay Maier Lujan for this helpful insight into the Army JAG Corps’ Military Spouse Attorney Hiring Program!