Duke Law students lunch with the Nation’s senior military lawyer, LTG Flora Darpino
Today Duke Law students, along with several friends of the Center (including Duke Law’s Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Lewis Hutchinson, Jr.), lunched with LTG Flora Darpino of the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps. General Darpino is the most senior uniformed lawyer in the armed forces, and supervises the Army’s almost 4,000 active duty, Reserve, and National Guard attorneys.
In response to a diverse range of questions, General Darpino – a “tell it like it is” person – discussed her military service, including several anecdotes from her wartime tour of duty in Iraq. She also discussed the qualities she looks for in a military lawyer beyond legal acumen, chief among them the desire to work as part of a team for a larger goal. The practical advice she shared with the lawyers-to-be included an explanation as to how she handled a situation where as a young attorney she had to deal with a difficult lawyer who tried to slough off work onto her.
General Darpino talked about the importance of building trust with clients, and the egalitarian nature of military service where, yes, even generals have to take their fitness tests as any other soldier is obliged to do. She also shared tips about balancing a demanding career with being a wife and a mother of two daughters.
This luncheon, in a private dining room at the impressive Washington Duke Inn, is part of the Center’s effort to provide students with the opportunity to personally meet key practitioners of national and international security law in a setting that facilitates candid discussion.
Upcoming events can be found on the Center’s website.