I graduated from MHSL June of 2021 and passed the February 2022 Minnesota Bar Exam. While I was studying, I was working as a Senior Law Clerk at Washington County Attorney’s Office and then at Eckberg Lammers P.C. in their prosecution division. While I was in law school, I had applied and was selected for the United States Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps – the legal office of the Air Force. When I got my Bar passage results in April, the ball started rolling on the JAG Corps! I was notified that I was in good standing and ready to participate in the 5-week Officer Training School (OTS) starting June 2022 in Montgomery, AL. Within two weeks of finding out I passed the Bar, I had a new title, a new job, relocation orders to Albuquerque, NM, and a future in the USAF JAG Corps! I left for OTS mid-June, graduated, and got to Albuquerque mid-July, and I’ve been here since then.
My title within the legal office here on base is Chief of Administrative Separations. I work on ensuring Airmen that are separating from the USAF and their units are following proper protocols when it comes to separating, they have the correct separation characterization (which can affect benefits), and the chain of command is in the know about what is happening. It’s a demanding position, but I have an amazing team and I’m loving it so far!
When did you realize you wanted a career in law?
My sophomore year of undergrad, I took a medical ethics class. It was catered to pre-med/pre-phys. students (as I was at the time) and figured it would be interesting and good to talk about considering all of the technological advances that are occurring in our world. Pretty quickly thereafter I realized I was engaging in the discussions with a public health and policy mindset, saying what rules and regulations can we change in the hospitals and clinics, rather than thinking about it from a medical perspective. My professor had me come into his office and asked me what I thought about Health Law rather than Health Care. The rest is history!
How did the Health Law Institute help prepare you for the work you do now?
While the work I am doing in the Military Justice division at my legal office are not health law-related, the real-world skills I learned from the Health Law Institute largely prepared me for my role as a 1st Lt in the Air Force. The various projects, whether they were group projects or individual, really helped me with leadership and followership, both important skills to have when I’m working as the newest attorney in the office but still have enlisted paralegals that are looking to me for answers and guidance.
What inspires you?
My family, specifically my parents, inspires me. Being the child of immigrants, I was afforded opportunities and options that my parents could never have even imagined, and law school was one of them. I was lucky enough to walk at graduation on my mom’s birthday in 2021, and the endless sacrifices my parents have made for my siblings and me to have a better future is what inspires me to work hard and persevere.