Posted on February 1, 2015 by MG (USA, Ret.) Dan Wright  |   Twitter Facebook Email AddThis


While the Nation wrestles with multiple threats posed by various armed groups in the Levant, the Arabian Gulf, parts of Africa, and the Afghanistan/Pakistan areas of Asia we note a re-opening of the discussion of what to call these groups – terrorists, insurgents, incipient nation states, or criminals – to name just a few options.  Military legal professionals, Judge Advocates, know that it makes a difference, or should make a difference, in how these adversaries and their supporters are targeted, the implications of our military efforts, and how the “armed group” is treated if and when they come under American control.

I recently read an article by retired Army Lieutenant General Jim Dubik in the February 2015 Army Magazine, “No Avoiding the Moral Responsibility of War.”  It is a good article and I commend it to you.  His focus is on the decisions senior leaders at the highest level of our military must make when confronted with moral issues – particularly whether a senior leader can or should resign in certain circumstances.  It brought to mind a slightly different but subpart of his article – which is the performance of the American Army as LTG Dubik described it, when it is “between a rock and a hard place.”  We know that following the Law of Armed Conflict can be a large part of helping Soldiers make those tough choices.  We also know, as LTG Dubik says, that it is not all of it.

Still, Judge Advocates know how important a role they have in ensuring American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines conduct operations while adhering to the Law of War.  We all know, and have seen from the last decade-plus of difficult combat, the importance of creating, maintaining, and operationally employing a disciplined military force and the long term impact that structure has on the people in our military and, indeed, on our Nation.  Despite changing environments, differing administrations, differing approaches within administrations, or changing diplomatic aims and political goals, the Judge Advocate must always focus an approach that ensures the Military can accomplish National goals while not sacrificing its core standards and values regarding the import and impact that the role Discipline, Justice, the Law of War, and ultimately the Rule of Law, all have on our Military and our Nation.

The role of a Judge Advocate, regardless of where or at what level he or she is assigned, is ultimately to give credence, meaning, and strength to the concept of a “disciplined military force” – the only way we want the American Military to be.  Judge Advocates help commanders and leaders infuse that discipline by adherence to the Rule of Law – by Judge Advocate participation and oversight in the Military Justice system, by the strict application of the Law of War in operations, by the administration of routine rules and regulations – whether in government contracts, employment issues, environmental laws, and the like – and by the overall conduct of the American Military in all circumstances, in both peace and war.

It is a tall order.

America is fortunate to have the dedicated Judge Advocates of all services who have served our Nation so well in trying times, going back to the founding of your Association during World War II.  The JAA will continue to act to give Judge Advocates a voice and to support them as they provide advice and assistance on “Moral Decisions” – whether made by the Private in the field or the Four-Star at the Pentagon.

Thanks for your continuing interest and support of the Judge Advocates Association!

Dan Wright

Major General, U.S. Army (Ret)


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University of Notre Dame
Legal Counsel, Investment Office:

The University of Notre Dame’s Investment Office (NDIO) is seeking to hire a new mid-level attorney to join its operations team. The new legal counsel will work with Investment Team to execute the legal work associated with investments on behalf of the University. University of Notre Dame is a private, Catholic university with over 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The Investment Office is charged with responsibility for the assets of the University’s multi-billion dollar endowment. Notre Dame’s endowment is the 8th largest of any college or university in the U.S., and the largest of any Catholic institution.

Driven by our commitment to the Catholic mission of the University, the Investment Office aims to further the teaching and research mission of the University through the stewardship of its endowment, which enables the University to provide financial aid to over 70% of its students. We welcome the addition of a new attorney to help further this mission. The successful candidate will meet the criteria below and join a very fast-paced investment environment!

The Investment Office, a department within the University, has a staff of approximately 40 full-time professionals in the investment, accounting, analytics, technology, legal and administrative fields. We are dynamic and on the cutting edge of technology in our investment practice. The successful candidate will be one of two dedicated attorneys on staff, including the Director of Investment Legal Affairs, to whom this person would report. The legal team works within the broader operations team of accounting, analytics and technology professionals.


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Work with the Investment Team to execute investment plans through preparation of all related legal documentation, under strict deadlines

Review, analyze and negotiate key legal documents related to asset class investments (offering memoranda, limited partnership agreements, subscription documents, side letters, etc.)

Delegate and supervise legal work to outside counsel, as needed

Conduct operational due diligence with new and existing managers

Update relational databases for legal data inputs and document storage, and supervise legal assistant and intern regarding same

Work with legal assistant on all compliance requests by banks, regulators and fund managers

Review certain SEC filings using daily monitoring system

Help supervise legal assistant and legal intern, as needed

Perform special assignments for the benefit of NDIO overall, as requested
Be a strong member of the operations team as a whole


Juris Doctor (J.D.) from ABA-accredited law
At least 4 years of experience as a transactional, corporate/securities attorney
Knowledge of corporate and federal securities laws
Ability to work independently on a small team to meet strict deadlines
Strong work ethic and professional demeanor
Comfortable with using technology for legal work (all necessary training provided)
Emotional intelligence assessment test, required (administered by ND human resources)
Admitted to the Bar in at least one state (will not need to take Indiana bar for this position)
Willing to relocate to South Bend, Indiana area, as position is 100% in-person (relocation expenses provided)

Experience in law firm or a financial services firm
Knowledge of public equity, real estate, hedge, private equity or venture capital funds
Notre Dame alumni, preferred but not required

Will pay competitive salary and relocation expenses