Shortbursts: A cyberlaw opportunity; TJAG retirement; Alumni weekend; new NSL Society leadership; and more!

“Shorbursts” is a Lawfire® occasional feature that aims to give you a quick volley of info on a number of items:

NSA Opportunity

Duke Law grad (and LENS conference speaker!) Ben Kastan wants us to know about a fantastic opportunity at the National Security Agency for the right lawyer (but you need to act quickly!).  Here ‘s a lightly edited version of his note to me:

Also, in case you know of any former students or others (>3 years out of school) who might be interested, I wanted to let you know NSA OGC is looking for a few experienced attorneys to fill slots across the office, including in the Cybersecurity Practice Group I lead. The current ad closes 30 April. 

Link to the ad

Background on the OGC Cybersecurity Group:

The Cybersecurity Group is a team of civilian and military attorneys who advise the NSA’s Cybersecurity Directorate on the full range of its operational activities, including incident response, cryptography (keys and codes for DoD/IC and other National Security Systems), industry engagement, DIB cybersecurity, and the production of signals intelligence on foreign cyber threats. We also advise on operational and intelligence law issues relating to NSA’s relationship with and support to US Cyber Command.

Air Force TJAG Retirement

Lt. Gen. Jack Rives, Marybeth Rockwell, Lt. Gen. Rockwell

I had the privilege of attending the retirement dinner for Lt. Gen. Jeff Rockwell, the Air Force’s Judge Advocate General (TJAG) on 1 April.  At the photo on the right, you’ll see my former boss, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jack Rives (now the executive director of the American Bar Association), Mrs. Marybeth Rockwell, Lt. Gen. Jeff Rockwell, and myself.

Gen. Rockwell had an amazing career spanning nearly 35 years, and reflected on it in his Message to the Corps.  Here’s part of it:

During my career, I learned from some great teachers, in both professions. Commanders, JAGs, paralegals and civilians across the board. On reflection, one theme stands out: What we do as a JAG Corps has not changed in 35 years. What has
changed, and must continue to change, is how we do it.

You must be the catalyst for that change. We will teach you what we do as a Corps, you have to teach us how to do it better
and faster. You bring new ideas, discussions and debate to the fight.

Let me take the first part first the timeless nature of what we do as a JAG Corps. Here is what is timeless in what we do:

We are charged with being objective when all around you are being subjective.
We let facts drive our critical analysis under the law. We drive decision making, not narratives.
We do not argue facts (narratives) that are not evidence or are speculative in nature.
We defend those who cannot defend themselves.
We develop the courage to speak up, regardless of how uncomfortable that may be.
We teach our young JAGs and paralegals to think and analyze issues critically. We do not tell you what to think.

It was also wonderful to see other JAG friends, including those who have risen to key leadership positions.  In the photo at the right, you’ll see (L-R) Brig. Gen. Rebecca Vernon, Brig. Gen. Gail Crawford, and Colonel Jennifer Hyzer – all super JAGs!

Duke Law Alumni weekend

The Law School’s Alumni Weekend was 8-10 April and, wow, what a thrill it was to see former students and other Duke Law alumni in personIt was a lot of fun to hear about how their careers are soaring!

Capt Joe Olson, circa 1973

It was a special treat to meet Duke Law grad and former Air Force JAG, Joe OlsonAfter completing his military service, he spent several decades teaching tax and business law at what is now Mitchell Hamline School of Law where he is currently emeritus.   Although we did not know each other on active duty, we did share a terrific mentor, the late Lt. Col Ken Dekat.

National Security Law Society leadership transition at Duke Law

Kayla Fries and Mike Moserwitz, the graduating co-presidents of Duke Law’s National Security Law Society (NSLS), announced a new leadership team for the organization:

NSLS President – Nicole De Brigard (Rising 3L)

NSLS Co-Directors of Student Outreach – Riley Flewelling (Rising 2L) and Maddie Cash (Rising 2L)

The incoming team is coming to their new responsibilities with great energy and enthusiasm.

Kayla and Mike really deserve our deepest thanks as they did a truly terrific job.  Navigating the challenges COVID restrictions placed on the NSLS (and all student organizations) the past two years was no easy feat.  I know we will hear more fantastic things about them in the coming years! 

Final seminar for Readings in the Ethical Issues of the Practice of National Security Law

My Readings in the Ethical Issues of the Practice of National Security Law usually takes place in my home with my wife Joy as the welcoming hostess (she also makes sure there is no shortage of snacks and refreshments!)  

We discuss several assigned books (Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of WarBurn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution, and Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead)  as well as other readings, and we spend a session watching and discussing the movie Eye in the SkyYet perhaps the most enjoyable part of the seminar are the wide-ranging discussions about the practice of law.

All these seminars have been great, but this year’s was particularly special as we were all so glad to connect in person outdoors. Since all participants were 3Ls this year and most had taken a number of national security law-related courses, the dialogue was especially rich and interesting.  More than just being super-smart and talented, they were all genuinely nice persons who I’m convinced have great careers ahead of them. Joy and I will miss them even as we celebrate their moving on to the next phase of their lives! 

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