What advice would you share with a new colleague?
My picture may say otherwise . . . but be nice. In an adversarial field like ours, my experience has been that “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” Moving every three years as a Marine Corps attorney, I have worked as both defense and trial counsel (prosecutor) in criminal cases; defended the government in civil law suits; and worked as a command lawyer providing advice on international and operational law, fiscal, administrative, and intelligence law; ethics; military justice; and more. No matter what my position or task, I always found that my success largely depended on relationships, especially in such a small organization. That is not to say there is never a time to go to battle, but generally speaking, I achieved a better outcome for my client or more assistance from others when I showed respect and courtesy.
As an attorney, how do you affect or make changes in the community?
Speaking to changes in the military community, specifically the Marine Corps, I plan to concentrate on making a difference for women in my Service by advocating for equal inclusion and opportunities. I love the Marine Corps, but recognize the Corps has the smallest percentage of women serving; and still carries the most restrictions on how and where women can serve. Women still fight stereotypes, discrimination, harassment, bullying, and other inequities. Eliminating these requires education throughout our ranks and strength among our leaders to speak out and be a part of actionable change for our Service. I want to use my position and experience to change the landscape for women serving; and help return all Marines to the civilian sector as more diverse and accepting citizens.
Do you have a motto and what is it?
Nothing original, but I like the saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” My family and my Marines are my team and I could not have survived, let alone succeeded, for over 26 years in the Corps without them.