The BBA is excited to welcome Jonathan Hayden, a veteran who served for four years as a Captain in the U.S. Army JAG Corps, to his new post as a co-chair of the BBA’s Active Duty Military, Family Members, and Veterans Committee.
Hayden joined Rackemann, Sawyer & Brewster as an associate last year. He concentrates his practice in real estate law, representing commercial mortgage lenders and assisting clients with development and permitting matters. He will serve alongside Harvard Law School Professor Daniel Nagin, who serves as Vice Dean for Experiential and Clinical Education and Faculty Director of the Veterans Legal Clinic of the WilmerHale Legal Services Center.
The committee’s charge is of personal importance to Hayden based on his military experience and his work as board member at Veterans Legal Services in Boston. As a co-chair, he hopes to expand the BBA’s existing work to connect veterans with legal assistance and support veterans in the legal profession.
“There are so many veterans in the legal community, and many have vastly different military experiences,” he said. “There are attorneys who enlisted in the military before they went to college and law school. We also have people more like me, who finished school, spent time in the military, and then moved to Boston for the next phase of their legal careers. Regardless of the differences in our military experiences, one thing I think we all share is a desire to help other veterans who have not been as fortunate. Studies show unmet legal needs are one of the root causes of veteran homelessness, and the committee’s work can do a lot for the local veteran population.”
From February of 2010 to March of 2014, Hayden served first on the staff at West Point and then as a prosecutor at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. By taking this unique path, Hayden said he was able to gain a lot of experience handling criminal cases straight out of school, an opportunity most attorneys don’t get.
“In my first four years as an attorney, I did a lot of things that my friends from law school did not get to do,” he said. “I’ve lost count of the number of jury trials I handled as a prosecutor. I advised high-ranking military officers. The confidence and attention to detail necessary for my work as a JAG attorney were great preparation for my legal career in Boston. I am lucky that I got to do it.”
Two years ago, Hayden discovered the BBA’s Active Duty Military, Family Members and Veterans Committee and was pleased to have the chance to network with other attorneys with military backgrounds. Hayden said for attorneys entering the legal field after serving in the military, the chance to speak with other veterans about how to best transition to a career in Boston can be a significant asset. At BBA luncheons veterans have the opportunity to reminisce about their military experiences, discuss challenges in the legal field, and learn about opportunities to serve the local veteran population.
“For those of us who are now settled into our careers in Boston, the opportunity to network with fellow veterans can be incredibly helpful as we move forward in our careers,” he said.
The BBA’s next Veterans Meet & Greet Luncheon is this Friday, and will feature remarks from guest speaker William Ferguson, Academic and Career Advisor for Suffolk University’s Veterans Upward Bound program.