Shortbursts: LENS 2023 agenda; careers session; Duke grad becomes officer…and much more!

Shortbursts are an occasional feature of Lawfire® designed to provide quick updates on a variety of matters…

28th Annual National Security Law Conference Agenda

The Center on Law, Ethics and National Security (LENS) will present its 28th Annual National Security Law conference in-person at Duke Law on Friday, Feb 24th and Saturday morning, Feb 25th.   Because of some technical glitches, the registration portal is not yet ready to go, but I wanted to share with you the agenda which is found hereI think you’ll agree it really is one of our best ever!

Stay tuned for the announcement of the opening of the registration portal (which we expect this week).  We’ll also tell you more about what to expect at LENS 2023!

I’m especially excited to tell you that we’ve regenerated the LENS Scholar Program with the selection of over 40 students from 16 institutions who will attend the conference.  [Candidly, we’d like to extend this opportunity to some more students from around the country, so if you’d like to help, see here.}

(BTW, Pennsylvania has approved the conference for 12 hours of CLE, including one hour of ethics.  We’ve made application to NC for CLE credit.  Sometimes the approvals in those states enable attendees to apply for and receive CLE credit in other jurisdictions.)

Early arrival event

On Thursday, Feb 23rd we’ll have what we call an “Early Arrival Event” which is associated with the conference but does not require conference registration. This year we’ll be discussing “Careers in National Security Law.”

You may notice that the panelists come from a variety of settings: RADM Melissa Bert, the Coast Guard’s Judge Advocate General; Ms. Michele Pearce, Of Counsel at Covington & Burling;  Mr. Phil Carter, Senior director, corporate counsel, at Salesforce; and Ms. Genelle Francis, Assistant General Counsel and Acting Unit Chief in the National Security and Cyber Law Branch at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The aim is to show students and young lawyers with an interest in national security that different ways exist to practice law in that space: in the military; in ‘big law’; in companies; and in the civilian side of government.

Duke Law grad starts his military career!

Just after New Year’s I was honored to don my uniform to administer the oath of office to John Schwarcz, Duke Law Class of 2022.  John, now an Air Force first lieutenant,  is on his way to becoming a military lawyer (called a “Judge Advocate” or “JAG”).    

When he stopped by, John was enroute to Maxwell Air Force Base (AFB) in Alabama for his initial training.  Once that training is complete, he’ll go to McConnell AFB, Kansas as his first assignment. I’m looking forward to hearing great things about John in the coming years.

The long-term benefit of a military career…!

Marie Scheimer, Joe Scheimer, Steve Smith, Charlie Dunlap, Roger Jones, and Lin Jones, 2023

Since we’re talking about military careers, I had the opportunity to catch up with some longtime friends when we met in Las Vegas last week to have dinner with Brig Gen. Roger A. Jones, USAF (Ret.) and his lovely wife Lin with whom we were stationed at RAF Upper Heyford, UK, in the late 1970s.  Gen. Jones was the staff judge advocate for whom I worked, as did Colonel (ret.) Steve Smith who was also at the dinner at Vegas’ Sinatra Restaurant. 

General Jones and Lin had a wonderful Air Force career!  Among his many tours of duty, one of his most important and challenging was as the JAG Corps’ assignment officer where he mentored literally hundreds of JAGs.  He also held many other key jobs, including service as the senior military lawyer for U.S. Strategic Command, before retiring to Las Vegas in 1992.

Steve and I at a pub lunch, Oxfordshire, UK

Lawfire readers may recall I spoke about re-connecting with Steve Smith recently.  He and I were stationed together as captains at Osan Air Base, Korea, and later at  Upper Heyford.  I learned a lot from Steve, and I’m very grateful for all his mentorship and friendship, especially during those formative years.

Steve left active duty and had an extremely successful career in private practice, but continued to serve in the Reserves until his military retirement.  He became an expert in tax and, particularly, complex retirement plans – and is still working!

Joe Scheimer, Southeast Asia, circa 1970

Colonel (Ret.) Joe Scheimer and his lovely wife Marie also joined us.  Joe was not a JAG but rather a commander at Upper Heyford with whom we worked a lot of cases.  Joe is a pilot, and also an authentic hero from the Vietnam War. 

Take a few minutes to hear about his exploits with the Ravens in the short PBS video, My Vietnam War Story, found here – you won’t be sorry; it’s truly fascinating!  He continues to serve today as he works as the Chair of his district’s Rotary Foundation Committee.

Unfortunately, Steve’s wife (Jan), and mine (Joy) could not make the trip to join Lin and Marie, but I think we would all agree that our wives were our secret weapons throughout our careers!

As you might imagine, the weekend was quite a trip down memory lane as plenty of great stories were told!  The late General Colin Powell observed in the 2011 article, Why We Serve“, that military service is a “form of bonding you can’t find anywhere else.”  So true!

Air Force vets…and friends, 2023

Despite not having all been together for decades, all that time simply melted away.  In fact, in so many ways it seemed like the intervening years never happened.

The military life certainly isn’t for everybody, but it can the source of unique and lasting friendships.  I would not trade mine for anything!

In case you missed them…

Because of a technical glitch (yes, another one!) notices about two recent Lawfire posts did not get sent to blog subscribers.  In case you missed the essays, here they are:

There’s still time to support the Center on Law, Ethics and National Security with a donation this year!  (30 Dec 2022)

ICYMI: Top Lawfire posts for 2022  (5 Jan 2023)





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