United States Marine Corps Officer, Judge Advocate General, Prosecutor, Victim Legal Counsel
New Orleans, LA
Law school, being very physically fit, have a desire to lead Marines in combat, being a mentor and leader. I myself have not seen combat, nor have I been deployed. But that is because our deployment cycles have been drawing down significantly since 2010. Lawyers in general do deploy on a regular basis, and while I was not picked to go yet, I am subject to being sent on deployments virtually any time. The military did not pay for my law school degree. I am still in mounds of debt. But they do provide some faster pay raises for lawyers in order to help us pay off our loans.The only time someone will get their law school paid for is if they were already a Marine officer, applied for the program, were accepted, and attended while they were on active duty. But I became a lawyer before I commissioned as an officer, so that did not apply to me. I have been commissioned since 2007. I was obligated until approximately 2012, but then signed up for another 5 years at that time.
Law school, a year of rigorous military skills and field training, strenuous physical training. Military skills involve learning how to operate different weapons systems, from pistols and rifles to heavy machine guns and artillery. During training stages, we do long marches where we're carrying about 80lbs of equipment for up to 15 miles at a time. We have to use a basic compass and map and pencil (no GPS allowed) in order to navigate through 24 km of nothing but woods, looking for red mail box stations for 8 hours at a time. We have to be physically fit, run through a number of endurance obstacle courses, run fast in general, and always stay under a certain weight category for our height. We have to learn how to command and lead Marines into battle, by learning tactics and staying motivated under strenuous and stressful conditions, such as when the enemy is shooting at us.
As a lawyer in the Marine Corps, you're going to do a number of different jobs at any time, for about a year or so at a time until you rotate. So far, I have been a family law, tenant law, consumer law, estate law, and tax attorney, and a prosecutor. Currently my title is Victims' Legal Counsel, which is a totally new job description that was created in each branch of the services as a result of Congress receiving thousands of complaints of sexual assault victims in recent years not feeling that their rights were advocated for or privacy protected. I'm the first one doing this job, and it's actually a lot of fun. I can definitely say that Barnard helped me become a stark advocate for victims' rights, esp since 95% of my victim clients happen to be women. Remember Take Back The Night on campus? That's basically what I deal with now every single day. Additionally, in my free time, I am a Girl Scout Troop leader for 8 girls aged 9-11. Currently, it is cookie season, and we are selling hundreds of boxes. I obviously enjoy empowering young women, and I get to do that now in both my job and my volunteer time.
Deadlines, speaking to people of higher rank, remaining credible in a virtually all-male environment.
The people I get to work with, the camaraderie.
That Marines are just a bunch of meatheads who want to run around with guns. They are actually very hard-working and talented individuals, with high ethics, and high standards.
Very professional, but because of the camaraderie, it is also very friendly and interactive, during times of low-stress.
If you want to serve your country, and you want a very difficult challenge, this is a phenomenal opportunity to learn about yourself and the military's place in the world.
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique.
Martha Graham, choreographer
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