Our Members

As of January 2013, MSJDN has over 650 members. The military spouses that we represent are from all ranks, all branches, many different career fields, from bases and posts, and are currently stationed around the world. Our members routinely report that their legal career was 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 one-third of MSJDN members have full-time legal employment. Half of MSJDN members are unemployed and actively looking for work, under-employed in non-attorney positions as paralegals/secretaries, or can only find part-time work. MSJDN members report that the biggest challenge to finding and keeping employment is frequent moves and lack or portable employment opportunities.

“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

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