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Oct. 3, 2022

In the trenches with Navy wife and Lawyer Michelle Mance

In the trenches with Navy wife and Lawyer Michelle Mance

It was my absolute pleasure to have fellow Navy spouse and lawyer Michelle Mance on the show today.

Michelle shares her path to becoming a lawyer and navigating that over time and moves and deployments.

We end up spending some time talking about Michelle's time as Ombudsman on her husband's ship during covid and a 9 month deployment.

The mental stress of deployments and reintegration that was only compounded by covid.

We talk about the emotional stages of deployment and allowing grace and space for what each of you have gone through during your time apart.

Then we dive into being a lawyer as a military spouse and the licensing and process of moving your business to a different state.

Michelle tells us about MSJDN or military spouse JD network (msjdn.org) an organization of military spouses all in the law field and all over the world.

She tells us about her practice specifically and why you might need more than Navy Legal or your branch equivalent to that.

We talk about special needs trusts and why they are needed and important.

Why estate planning is important when you are younger! When you have small children!

And finally taking the seasons to grow when you can.

It was such a blast getting to connect with Michelle and I hope you reach out to her as well! She is an absolute wealth of knowledge!

Michelle practices law in California and Washington, so if you are in those areas, reach out!


I so appreciate you listening to the show!

If you wouldn’t mind leaving a rating and review I would really appreciate it!!

To get in touch with Alison with questions or potential topics or guests please email


Follow us on IG @themilspousepodcast
 And please check out our brand spanking new website! www.themilspousepodcast.com


00:00:00] Today we are talking to Michelle Mans, and Michelle is a lawyer in San Diego, California and a military spouse, and we connected on Instagram, and I am really curious. We've been talking a lot beforehand, so I feel like I know her really well. But we're gonna talk online now and so let's just start off with you know, your association to the military and kind of what your military life has looked like so far.

[00:00:25] And then we'll just go from there. 

[00:00:26] Okay. So my husband is active, active duty Navy. He has been in for 13 years. He joined late in life. We've been married for almost 17 years now. And so he. We kind of made the decision together that he would go in. My son was two at the time. Okay. And so, yeah, he went and they told us we're from Tennessee originally, and they told us, Oh yeah, you're from the East coast.

[00:00:53] This is, you know, the first of many. Maybe falsehoods. What? 

[00:00:59] No. . 

[00:00:59] They're like, you'll stay on the East coast because you're from the East coast and you have dependence and that's normal. Right, Of course. Yeah, we went straight to San Diego Uhhuh out of, out of sea school, and so that was fine. Yeah.

[00:01:12] And. We're in San Diego, he went straight to an LHD at that time. We did two deployments during that tour. After his first deployment when my son, my son started kindergarten is when I decided to go to law school. And so he started kindergarten and I went to school and it was not easy, but it was what it was.

[00:01:32] Yeah, I had a huge. Huge group of people around me supporting me here. Not family, but my military family. Sure. Military family supporting me. Yeah. And so we did, during my third year of law school, he deployed again. And so that was, thankfully I only had the one, the one child at the time, . Because it would've been a lot.

[00:01:51] Mm-hmm. So that one, yeah, that he came home. I graduated three days after graduation, we moved to Whidby Island. And so that, I, I, and we talked before about my love for Woodby Island. When I first got to Woodby Island I cried for two hours sitting on the back porch. Cause I said I didn't have a job yet.

[00:02:09] I didn't know what I was gonna do. Mm-hmm. . And I was like, Where did you move me? Like, we're driving, driving, driving. We turned left and we drive out into an island and you turn left again and then you're there and you're like, Yeah, what is this place? Yeah. And so, It was, it was hard. But then thankfully right after we got there I got a job in Anacortes, so right across on the different island working for these wonderful people who, my boss was in the Navy for 20 years before.

[00:02:41] He became an attorney. And so he was, he appreciated our life. He knew what we were going through and yeah. Just gave me the flexibility I needed. And so after I worked there for a little while in the office, I got pregnant with my daughter. And so when we, by that point, we knew we were coming back here to San Diego and I, I just told my boss, I was like, I wanna hang out with her for a while.

[00:03:01] You know, I, I was home with my son for, for five years. I was like, I wanna be available to her too. And he was like, That's fine, just keep working from home. And I. Okay, so amazing. Can we have 

[00:03:12] more bosses like that please? Like, let's take notes. Everybody. , she was amazing and 

[00:03:17] he's so wonderful. Bring her in.

[00:03:18] So I would bring her into the office with me when I was still up there and we would just, they would hold the baby and I would do, I mean, it was just, it was such a great, so nice situation. Yeah. So I was remote before it was cool. So we had our whole situation. That you know, and I would, I would just do what I could do.

[00:03:33] And it was they were very, very, very flexible with me. And I, I don't know how I could have started in my career without them that way. I mean, it was just such a blessing to us. And so then we moved down here and about six months or so after we got here maybe a little longer than that my daughter got diagnosed with autism.

[00:03:55] Oh. And so, It was kind of like, Oh, okay, blessing in disguise. I have this remote job and now we're gonna be in therapy 20 hours a week. Here we go. Right? And so I was to still work and she had in-home therapy and we just still did the thing. And then in 2019, Because I didn't have enough to do. I thought it was a good idea to volunteer to be the ombudsman for my husband's ship, cuz he went back to an LHD when he came down here.

[00:04:27] Oh girl. A word. 

[00:04:30] And so then in February of 2020, I had a co budsman until February of 2020, and then she left. Her husband left the command, and so she resigned, of course, and my CMC says, Do you want me to find you somebody else? It's like, No, there's nothing happening. I'm bored. Like I have like two calls a month, like it's no big deal.

[00:04:50] Now, we were gearing up for deployment. We knew deployment was coming, but in February of 2020, I was naive and didn't know better , and so I was like, I said, No, it's fine. And so they went underway at the beginning of March for a week long underway that turned into a month and they were a clean ship from Covid.

[00:05:10] And had they were, they would have stayed out longer. If not for the fact that the USS kid had to be rescued because they had an outbreak and we had a hospital on board, and so we went and rescued the kid and so they were able to come home after a month that was not prepared for then, you know, things went weird.

[00:05:28] Yeah. With Covid. Yeah. And they, they went out again in July and there. Was the one that lost the nine Marines in the AAV accident. Oh man. So there was that. And then they went into sequester in September for their quarantine in a hotel and then had a really, really, really long nine month deployment where they didn't see a port until the very end.

[00:05:56] They stopped at Guam on the way home. Oh my word. So the mental, that has gotta 

[00:06:02] be like, I'm, I'm telling you like we talked a little bit. Ahead of time about you know, we, we were surface ships as well. We were small boys though. And the op tempo when they're deployed is straight up bananas. I mean, like in the civilian world, it's illegal.

[00:06:18] What the sailors do when they're, when they're underway, it's, I'm serious. The hours that they have them work is straight up crazy and the only, they don't get days. There's no Monday through Friday of the weekend. No, there's not. It is straight through every day's exactly the same as the next. There's no holidays, there's no breaks.

[00:06:37] That's it. There's no off their port 

[00:06:39] calls, the port calls they look forward to. It's the only time that you get down. That's the only time. 

[00:06:44] Yeah. And they didn't get anything for nine. I cannot imagine what that would do mentally, 

[00:06:50] because Oh, it was, it was from both sides. So you had my As the ombudsman and I, and I told my CEO after it was over, I said, You know, I, I feel like I'm a firm believer that like I'm meant to be where I'm meant to be when I'm there.

[00:07:03] Sure. And. I'm like, this would've just squished other spouses that maybe didn't have the background. You know, my first job, and we didn't cover this before, before my husband went in the Navy, he and I both were police officers. And so it's like, yeah. And now I'm an attorney, so it's like, yeah, my job, my job have prepared me for stressful situations.

[00:07:24] Sure, yeah, of course. Nothing prepared me for this, but you know, when our world shut down, and I think a lot of civilians don't realize All of our resources closed. Every resource that our, our families would have had during a deployment, during Underways was gone. And so we had this new world of, we didn't have the privilege of getting sick because we didn't have anywhere for our kids to go.

[00:07:52] I mean, if I got sick, I have a daughter with autism in a high schooler now, like, Yeah, my mom couldn't fly here. Like, no, I just would be sick. 

[00:08:00] Oh my God, I never even thought about that. Oh my gosh. 

[00:08:03] Yeah. All of my family was on the East coast. Yeah. And so, sure, my mom could drive here in three days, but it's like, no, we don't have anybody out here.

[00:08:11] And so we, they would call me . I had 1500 sailor families calling me . Oh. My phone rang off the hook all the time. And again, I'm equipped to deal with a certain level of it, but Sure. It was a lot. It was a lot. And it was very, It was just a, it was a lot. Yeah. But I was very thankful and it was so much for our, not only for our families, but for our sailors.

[00:08:36] Our sailors. We had, because we are a big ship, we had a psychologist on board, two chaplains and a drc. So a appointment deployment. The lady from Platon family to social worker Readiness 

[00:08:49] counselor. Is that what 

[00:08:49] it's Yeah, the counselor. Yeah. And I had many, I had several conversations with her of, she's like, I don't have a day off.

[00:08:56] I don't have time off. She said, My only goal is that everybody gets home alive. Mm-hmm. . And I was like, No, Pressure a, a boat. You're 

[00:09:08] taking responsibility for all their lives. Yeah. 

[00:09:10] That's a lot. I mean, and it was a constant thing. And our guys came home. I mean, they. They were different, They were shook. I mean, their, their mental health was, was challenged at the greatest level, at the highest level of, Yeah.

[00:09:24] People who wouldn't normally seek help, were seeking help at very high levels. Mm-hmm. and it, Yeah. I mean, I really hope that it taught the Navy a lot. I, you know, I know how quickly the Navy adjusts to things mm-hmm. , and it's not quickly mm-hmm. , but I really hope that they. Learned something, but it was hard.

[00:09:45] It was a lot. And so we had a change of command when they came back and I said, De is a manager. . . I can't imagine why it's been real fun. But so they were, Well, I knew my husband was leaving, so my thank you goodness. They and their, the sat, the, and I told him the other day, cuz I still have a lot of friends on the ship.

[00:10:05] Sure. And they're getting ready to deploy again. Oh Jesus. Like they got home in May of 2021. And started a very high, high op tempo underway schedule from then till now the past couple of months have been three weeks at a time. And yeah, they're getting ready to go again. And it's like, I just sit, every time I see one of 'em post, I'm like, it's like I can't believe my husband's not on the ship.

[00:10:27] And it's like a little bit of like and so yeah, I'm very thankful he is at short duty being very bored and. Be bored and be happy with being bored because, and like please take the time to heal Yeah. And right. To be with your family. And, you know, we talked a little bit about your girls going high school before this and Yeah.

[00:10:46] My son is a sophomore and we will time it just right where he will go back to a ship in July of 2025 and my son will graduate in June. Yeah. And so I'm. Yeah, just be patient instead and just wait. And we are lucky, Lucky things. We're lucky for our strange, but yeah, because of my do my daughter's autism we are EF FMP Cat five, which means we're probably gonna stay here in San Diego, you know, which is.

[00:11:14] I love it. I'm not sad about it, but Sure. And is one of the big things that has helped my career. So I did I forget what we're talking about, . 

[00:11:22] No, it's fine. It's, No, it's, it's great. Yeah. We were, No, we were talking 

[00:11:25] about your 

[00:11:26] career and what you guys have done and we kind of like sat there, but I really appreciate you just a pause for just a second sharing that because I haven't talked to anybody about that.

[00:11:34] I, I don't know. We weren't attached to ships at the time. Yeah. We were attached to a base and what they, but like I can. I mean, I hadn't, I don't think people have any idea what that could possibly be like. I mean, you 

[00:11:46] know, which I've had to remind so many and like even I did a couple finally, right before they came home, we weren't really supposed to be meeting in person.

[00:11:56] Yeah. But I said I'm gonna be at a park. So you should come and see me 

[00:12:03] right. At some point you're like, We gotta do something. 

[00:12:06] Like, you know, my, my CO's wife, she was just, she still has one of my greatest friends, and yeah, she and I both were like, We have to, we have to, we need to bring these people out of their homes.

[00:12:17] A hundred percent. Make them, And we kind of just, were like, Listen, you have been traumatized. This has been trauma. Like you have gone through absurd amounts of. Things I can't even talk about, like crazy things. And, but on the other side, your sailors have also mm-hmm. and so the reintegration piece of this, Oh.

[00:12:40] What is normally kind of painful is gonna be like next level. So just be aware of that. Like put it in front of your eyeballs that they are not the same and you are not the same, and you need to be honest without it. And so I feel like that helped a lot to go, Whoa, Like you're right. They're not gonna understand, you know, our ship left during Covid and they experienced none of what we experienced.

[00:13:03] Yep. And so it's like, They didn't, they weren't home with their kids doing school while trying to work tr trying to order groceries and find toilet paper and all the weird things. Yes, they weren't hundred percent right. So it was, yeah, it was a lot of that. It was hard. It was. And then on the flip 

[00:13:21] side, they're in situations that we don't know about.

[00:13:24] Right. Can't talk about for extreme periods of time with no break with any, I mean, so the mental stress of that for them too. And you're, I got goosebumps because like, Oh, re reintegration is, It is. There's no joke. No freaking joke. And if you are not prepared as a military spouse for what to expect, and this is normal and it's okay.

[00:13:48] Right? Like you could 

[00:13:49] straight up lose your ish. Right. And we had a lot of very new, New sailers. New spouses. New spouses. Sure. First deployments of. I'm like, this is not like if this is your first deployment, this is not normal. Like I, I really, I was very, very, very blessed that my command trusted me because my CMC and my co they were like, Just do what you gotta do.

[00:14:13] Like, and so I would put out massive amounts of information on my, in my Facebook or my email, and they never, they weren't like, Well, you have to send it by us now. They just like, do it. We trust you. Right. And there was one point of it was right the day. The day before or the day after the AV accident, before the news had found out about it.

[00:14:34] And I f like he, my CMC called me and was like, This is what's happening. And I said, Okay. And I was up at like four in the morning because I was like, I know that when this hits the news. Yep. So I sent him an email. I was like, Fill in these three blanks. This is what I'm sending to our families. Just send it back to me,

[00:14:51] And he did. And he was like, ok, fine. Here. Yeah. Why 

[00:14:54] in the morning? I said, 

[00:14:55] I know what's about happen. Like, I, they're not gonna be okay with this. So it is yeah, they, they tr they trusted me. Very much to just, I knew what not to put out. I knew what to put out. But I, I put out as much about reintegration, about where you are on the scope of the The levels of deployment, the mental levels of deployment.

[00:15:18] Mm-hmm. it, I, I wanna think that it helped. Yeah. 

[00:15:23] I mean, I, I don't know that, I mean, more information is better I think. More 

[00:15:27] information. It 

[00:15:28] can't better No, at not at all. I just think that in that situation, it's just being aware. Like if I hadn't have gone to the pre-deployment briefs and stuff and heard the stages, the emotional stages of deployment and blah, blah, I would've been like, cuz I, I remember specifically.

[00:15:43] Being in a hotel before, cuz we weren't living there yet. We hadn't gotten there. He was, he was leaving on deployment. He reported to the ship the day after he reported the ship. It left on deployment. Yay. Navy. He's like, and he's like, This is like, I feel like, I don't know, I'm just, I feel like we're just growing apart, blah, blah.

[00:16:01] And I'm like, No, no, no. It's because we are, Yeah. We are pulling ourselves away from each other. Yeah. As a defense mechanism because you are leaving for six months and I still have to handle all this stuff and you have to go do your job like we're gonna be okay. It's gonna be fine. 

[00:16:15] When you know about it, it's weird because you can see it coming.

[00:16:18] You're like, Yes. Oh, here we are. Like, do you need the graph? Cause here we are right here. We're living right here. Just though it's normal. Like I'm about to have like a meltdown in about three. Yes. Be ready for it. And yeah, it, it is so bizarre. But when you dunno. When you dunno. Yeah. When we can't get together, like, and that was the one thing that I was just so I try to stay so conscious of, is like, we can't get together at, you know, FRG meetings.

[00:16:45] We can't get together at all to know. And all of these people are just sitting in their houses. I know. Going, am I normal? Am I crazy? Is it okay? I, I don't know. And yeah, it was, It was an experience. Yeah. Oh, my experience. Holy cow. Yeah, for sure. It was. I said I feel like I have, I keep like everything since the beginning of time, like documents.

[00:17:09] I keep everything and at some point, and I don't have any recollection of when this is. I deleted the folder off my computer of all of my Ombudsman staff. I said, Apparently, I don't wanna do that again. , it's gone. I can't do it. I'm sorry. Information. So, yeah, some, Somebody asked me for something the other day and I was like, Where did all of that stuff?

[00:17:33] I, No, no, I don't remember deleting it. I don't know where when. I mean, I literally have things from 20 years ago. I. It's gone. The universe saying was, I was gonna say, 

[00:17:44] that's it. You did. You did your part. Thank you for your service. And you're not doing 

[00:17:48] this again. Yeah. No more. No more. 

[00:17:50] Yeah. Oh my goodness.

[00:17:52] That's crazy. Oh my gosh. Okay, so then let's switch gears just a little bit. So how did you navigate your, So, okay, so you went to law school initially in San Diego, and then you went up to Washington State and you found this amazing firm that you were able to work with, and then you continued to work for them even when you went back to San.

[00:18:11] I did. Yeah. They let me keep, And so I was, I, I got my Washington license right away up there, and then yeah, I just kept working. Yeah. And I was going to get my California license right when we came back, and then my daughter got her diagnosis and I said, Well, I said maybe that was like, meant to be there, that it's just not time.

[00:18:29] It's not, it's not my time to do this. It's not my time. It's just she needs me and that's fine. Right, right. And so I just, yeah, I just kept working. They, they. Had no. And then Covid hit and I was like, Well, I'm, we, we never stopped like we were already, right? Because I was already set up remote. They were able to easily remote everybody else in the same way.

[00:18:47] That's amazing. And so we just kept working. Yeah. And so my sweet, sweet boss, he needs to retire. He's 73. Oh geez. And so, Yeah, Like it's tied home and be, I was gonna say , like go enjoy your life. But and so that was like, I knew, I know that's coming eventually. And so I took once my husband got his new orders to stay here, I said, Okay.

[00:19:12] My daughter's going to kindergarten. Yeah, my son's in high school. I'm like, I have time. And so I took the California bar and I passed. Which, 

[00:19:21] so let's pause there for just a second. So, as a lawyer, if you move to a new state, you have to take the bar exam again in that state. Okay. So I don't, I've never taken the bar exam, but.

[00:19:32] I think everybody knows that it is like, no, it's not like it is. Its a big freaking deal. Like it is a 

[00:19:38] big's deal. It's very expensive. Lawyer's very expensive. They all assume that you're gonna make a bunch of money. So like you can say a bunch, but it's not . Yeah, no, the, So it depends in California, because it's, California is special.

[00:19:55] Yeah. Yes. There. So Washington along with 33 other states. So Colorado is one of 'em. Um-huh. have what's called the ube. It's the Universal Bar Exam. Okay. I think that's what it's called. And if I wanted to wave into those other states, I, during a certain amount of time, I think my time's passed, cuz I've been in practice for so long, But I could wave those scores in.

[00:20:18] Oh, some states do offer reciprocity to where, because I've been practice for eight years that I could wave in. California is not one of those places. Of course. You know, and they say you not only have like, we have to, you have to do California law and federal law and all those other stuff. Nonsense. Geez.

[00:20:37] But they, that was, so I mentioned when we were talking beforehand I am not as uncommon as you would think in this world of military life that there is a group called the Ms. Jdn, which is military spouse, JD Network, and it is a group of amazing human beings military spouse attorneys from all over the world, like literally the world because of our life.

[00:20:58] Yeah. And one of their big drives. Trying to get states to pass military spouse exceptions. Yes. Military spouse rules to let us, if we are in on orders, don't make us take 500 different bar exams. Yeah. Let us, you know, if we qualify, and a lot of states are still, they're like, Yeah, you can come in, but you have to be supervised.

[00:21:24] Okay. So like they're work, they're working extremely hard on, and we've passed in a lot of states that we can wave in now, and it's like a temporary license while we're there to work. Mm-hmm. . But some of these women, men, women have. Five or six different bar licenses, 

[00:21:41] and that's insane. 

[00:21:42] You have to do continuing legal education for most all of them.

[00:21:47] That's like a full time job in and of itself. Right. Oh my word, uhhuh. And every year you have to pay hundreds of dollars in licensing fees. Yeah, it's, It's ridiculous. Yeah. And so I told my husband, I said, If you move me out of Washington or California, I'm just gonna go work at Starbucks or something because I don't, I don't wanna seriously 

[00:22:04] wanna do them anymore, so, So it's, I ha cuz I haven't talked to any other wifes yet that have a licensure.

[00:22:09] Right. Cause there's, cuz nursing, you know, like healthcare field is the same way and then other thing, but then there's also business owners that have LLCs and things like that. And what you have to do to establish that in a new state as well. I mean, it's like, it's, there's just so many things that just like knock you back and on top.

[00:22:25] All of the other military life crap you gotta go with right here. Let's just add some more stuff on top. Like, I mean it's just, it's 

[00:22:32] brutal. And that is, it's funny you mentioned that because, so you know, I worked there for about seven years with that firm and then I opened my own firm here. So I've opened, opened my own firm in May here in San Diego.

[00:22:42] But that is, I finally was able to find a cpa cuz I was like, listen. Our home of record is Tennessee. Right. I opened my business in California. I'm ans corp, so I pay myself, but I also still do some work in Washington. But I'm, I'm like, Can you handle this, Handle this. Any idea what this is supposed to look like?

[00:23:06] Like I don't know where, I don't know what I gotta pay to California. I don't know. Right. Yeah. I need somebody else deal with this for me. Yeah. And so I, thankfully through Ms. Jdn, I was. I, every single CPA I talked to here in California, they were like, I have no idea how the military spouse roles affect that.

[00:23:23] I was like, Well, not, And I was able to find, yeah, they recommended somebody here in San Diego and I was like, and he and I talked and he is amazing, and I was so excited. I was like, Yay, you're. Help me . Yay. Yay. I've no idea what I'm doing because this is way the odd my 

[00:23:41] Yeah, but that's, I mean, but that's the reality of, of the military spouse life in a business like, like yours, you know what I mean?

[00:23:49] Like, it's just, there's just boggles your mind. It's so crazy. Okay. So so are, so you, so you were wor you were still doing remote for the firm up in Washington and then you decided to open up your own firm. So what, how did that all come? 

[00:24:04] Well, like I said, I knew he was gonna, my boss was gonna retire.

[00:24:06] He's, he's probably, he probably got about another year and a half in him. Yeah. But it's like, I'm ready, I'm ready. I'm just ready. They were flexible and I wanted even more flexibility. I wanted to be able to kind of control the types of law that I did because they are a small firm in a small town, and so Sure.

[00:24:22] It was very much. As long as it wasn't criminal law or personal injury. Like if you come in, we'll help you. Like we will try to find and I don't wanna do a lot of the things he did. I don't, he did a lot of construction litigation, which Oh, yeah. Yeah. Not, not so much. I don't wanna, I don't wanna fight over your doors, like, I don't Sure.

[00:24:42] And so I wanted to do, I wanted to focus on estate planning. Okay. Special needs planning. a lot because of my daughter and what I've kind of seen through her and how there's this, you don't know what you don't know and so mm-hmm. , when you are tossed into the world of special needs, extra needs disabilities.

[00:25:06] Sure. Yeah. You don't. It's extraordinarily overwhelming and they don't give you a guide Right. They just start talking at you in acronyms. And as military spouses, we can understand how that is, but it's new and different acronyms. Sure. Like, I don't know what any of this means, but Yeah. And I don't do, so I don't do education law.

[00:25:24] I don't do IEPs. I can barely handle my own iep. Mm-hmm. , but I can do the planning. So special needs trusts, Conservatorships, they're called guardianships in other places. Mm-hmm. Those types of things. And it's to help take away the fear that I, if 

[00:25:41] something happens to you, what is gonna happen 

[00:25:43] to special needs child?

[00:25:44] Yes. Yes. Yeah. And so I was like, I want to make that a bigger part of my practice. And so I still do estate, I love estate planning, estate planning and probate. And a little bit of trust litigation, but I'd much rather do the planning part. Yeah. And yeah, I just, I feel like that is where I want to be and I need to be, and it just means it's, it's kind of where my passion lies.

[00:26:08] Yeah. And so that's, yeah. So I said I'm gonna just do it. I'm gonna start, start my own thing and it's going okay. So far going slow and steady. Yeah. I mean, it was not a good idea. So the kids just went back to school. What, last month? What month is it? September? Yeah, it's the last month. Yeah. Yeah. And.

[00:26:26] I actually opened this summer, which is a horrible idea. having two children home. But timing, huh? Well, and I didn't, I really didn't mean to, I'll be honest, I didn't mean to, but people were like, I had friends calling, going, Are you ready? Like, I need help with my state plan. I was like, Well, I'm not gonna tell you no.

[00:26:44] Yeah, And so then it just kind of like started spiraling and I went, Okay. Here we go. We're doing this. Yeah. Yeah. I was really happy when school started. There were no tears. First day of kindergarten, I was like, Sure, you're day. See you later.

[00:27:06] Yeah. So that was a bad idea, but it's okay. It's working. We're going, It's, they're in school. Yeah. Time is mine now and yeah. That's amazing. 

[00:27:14] Yeah. I love that. Okay, so then let's, let's dive off of that just a little bit if you like. What are, so what are some of, do you. Do you like, who's your ideal client?

[00:27:25] Are you like working for everybody? Do you try to lean towards more of the military side? Like what kind of business plan or what does that look 

[00:27:34] like for you? So, yes. Right now, especially the new business, like, yes, everyone please come and me. Right. I ideally, I would like to fill the gap that navy legal leaves.

[00:27:46] Okay. So Navy legal will only. Help you to an extent, right? Yeah. They'll give you their form wills, their form, powers of attorney. Right. Especially in the state of California, you need more than that. Mm-hmm. . If you own so property, or I'm sorry, probate is the court process that happens when somebody passes away and you have to deal with all your stuff.

[00:28:06] Right. In the state of California, if you die, a resident of the state of California and resident is a loose term for us, but mm-hmm. . Yeah. If you die here mm-hmm. and you have property. The cost of your probate is based on the size of your estate. Mm-hmm. . And so, as we know, houses in this beautiful city that I live insane.

[00:28:28] Yeah. Are ridiculous. Yeah. Yeah. And so you're talking thousands and thousands of dollars in attorney fees, thousands of dollars in executor fees, which as an attorney. Yeah. I'm not sad about Right. But as a person, you should worry about , right? Yeah. Yeah. It's outta your children or outta your, you know, from where you're coming after you.

[00:28:50] Yeah. Yeah. And so having a trust in place or putting some plan in place to help you avoid that Yeah. Is more that navy, they, Navy legal will not go that far. They're gonna be like, here, you know, go to you mm-hmm. Which is fine. They, they serve a great purpose. And, and good on. But so yeah. Mm-hmm.

[00:29:10] I, I, a lot of estate planners focus on the older generation because those are the people who are generally planning mm-hmm. and that's understandable. I would prefer, and while I love, I love the older generation cuz they are the people that plan.

[00:29:25] I would prefer to market towards families with small children, families, because those people that forget, they need to do things, they need to plan. You need to name guardians for your children. You need, you know, unless you want your crazy Aunt Betty coming in and fighting for custody. Mm-hmm. , no . Mm-hmm

[00:29:43] You need to make these plans. You need to think about the fact. Yeah. Especially, you never know military. Sure. You never know. Yeah. You know, no, it is not just your service member that needs a will. No. It is not just your service member that needs to think about these things. Mm-hmm. . And so yeah, if I can fill a gap there to help a hundred percent, you know, I, I am very passionate about our military families of Yeah, of course.

[00:30:07] Clearly everything that you've done, right. Yeah. They and I, I just feel like it's, it. If I can use my brain to give back to them, then that is, I've done my job. Like that is great. And so, yeah, of course I'll help anybody, anybody that comes in my door, I'll help you. But I would love to educate and to bring awareness that people our age need to think about these things and we need to plan, and you need to make sure that you are prepared.

[00:30:36] Mm-hmm. um, For every, and that is one thing that, that horrible deployment and covid kind of even. I mean, I always knew you needed to be prepared. Of course. That's part of my job. Right. But like, you need to be prepared. You need to take it a step further. Like what is now our worst case scenario just got worse.

[00:30:53] , what happens when our family care plans fail? Mm-hmm. , do you have a backup to that? Mm-hmm. , do you have, you know, a special power of attorney in place for your best friend, neighbor? To be able to care for your kids if you're put in the ICU while your husband's deployed, Like, you know, I mean, it goes further.

[00:31:13] It goes so much further than just, And that's h nobody wants to think about it. No, it's not fun, but 

[00:31:19] honest. But that has become our reality. Like you have to, you have, 

[00:31:23] you have think about. And once you think about it, and if that's the great, great, great thing, once you think about it and it's in place, you can stop thinking about it.

[00:31:31] You don't have to think about it again because you've made your plan. You're prepared. Yeah. And it is, Yeah. You just, you've gotta take it a step. What if you know your mom can't get on a plane from the east coast to help you? Right? Yeah. What do you do? Right. And so it is yeah, it's important to think about.

[00:31:52] It's important to take the steps now, so. You just don't have to worry about it. You don't have to think about it. And it's not just in death. I mean, it's in life too that you, you need to plan and be prepared. And so yeah, that is, that's kind of who I'd like to see come through my door more. Yeah. And I actually have, I have a lot of military spouses that have come to me just going, Okay, I need more than Navy legal can give me or Right.

[00:32:16] What happens here a lot is I can't get into see Navy legal cuz they're never open or they don't have any appointments or, Yeah, my husband is deploying in three days and didn't do any of his documents. Yeah, . I'll get to that in three. 

[00:32:30] Like, you understand, you know what that looks like. You know what you need.

[00:32:34] Yeah. So that's a great, Yeah, that's a great resource to have. Okay, so you are in San Diego, so if anybody is in the greater San Diego area, tell, tell us how we can get 

[00:32:45] in touch with you and work with you. So, I am virtual. Okay. And so if you are. San Diego, or I'm sorry, in California or Washington State, I can help you.

[00:32:55] I am licensed in both places. I can do things through email, I can do things through Dropbox, We can do things through Zoom. We, you know, covid blessings, as I call them, have lended to lots of things can 

[00:33:08] be done virtually now, right? 

[00:33:10] Yeah. Virtual's. Okay. And for estate planning documents especially, you can find a notary where you are to stamp your documents for you, and I will explain to you.

[00:33:18] How to go about, I'll draft and send em to you and tell you how to sign 'em. So yeah, so you can go to my website. It's man, m a n c law pc.com. Mm-hmm. . My phone number is six one nine three six nine five seven six oh. You can also just email me michelle@manlawpc.com. It's just, My firm is me.

[00:33:38] And so anyway, and, and I like it that way because you're gonna get a level of care for me. I'm not gonna throw one day I want a paralegal cuz they're very helpful and useful. But I'm like, sure, right now you just get me and I'm gonna take really good care of you. And it is, if you reach out to me in any of those manners, it's me.

[00:33:56] So and we'll get you, and you can make an appointment through my website. I have it set up to where you can just agree for, you know, I. I do free first meetings so that we can just kind of talk about what you need. Yeah. And just yeah, it is, I'm very, very flexible. Mm-hmm. , because I recognize, especially in our space, 

[00:34:17] Sure.

[00:34:17] Space. 

[00:34:17] Yeah. That is important. If you need to meet on a Saturday, let's meet on a Saturday. If you need to wait until you know, your husband gets off of work or your wife gets off of, I'm okay with that. If I need to come over to the base and sit on the pier and stamp powers of attorneys, I can do that.

[00:34:32] Like . I'm 

[00:34:33] sure that that will happen and it won't happen one time. It'll , Wait a 

[00:34:38] minute. I need what? I can come to the ship and like Yeah. Bring me your, bring me your notary. I'll take care. We will take care. I, yeah, I just, I, I just have such, I mean, I have an understanding of our lives. Mm-hmm. and I will, I will bend and adjust and I can do that right with my husband's boring job that he has right now,

[00:34:59] And we've had that conversation of like, Listen, it's my time now, you know? Yeah. We don't get a chance to go. I get to have time too. And it is, You are miserably boring at your silly little job right now. Yeah. But I have three years to build what I need to build before you deploy again. Yeah. And because of our EFMP category, we'll stay here, which is a blessing in disguise for us.

[00:35:22] I can build it and we can make it happen. Yeah. Yeah. And then when he leaves again, it'll be, Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:35:29] So, yeah. Good for you. That's true. That's so true. Because I feel like, you know, as a military spouse, a lot of times we just kind of put ourselves on the back burner. Our careers on the back burner. Yeah.

[00:35:38] Are everything because we are, We're the constant. We're the solid. And because their schedules, whatever, you know. So good for you for saying, Hey, look, Look buddy . Yeah, sure. It's, it's my turn for you to work around my schedule. Let's do that. For a few years he started saying 

[00:35:54] crazy things of like, because he was just miser.

[00:35:57] Like he's, he's a shit 

[00:35:58] guy. He's used to that. I get it. I get my husband's the same way. I totally get it. Oh, and he, they, 

[00:36:05] they put out it has been a, a month or two ago, they were wanting E 70 nines to come to like the Lincoln or it was some sort of special, but they're like, Oh, if you go to these commands, it's automatic promotion to senior chief or master chief.

[00:36:20] And I went, 

[00:36:21] Have you lost your mind? Like for one, whatever carrier it was was in 

[00:36:28] Virginia. Oh, , 

[00:36:31] it might kill 

[00:36:32] you. Yeah, right. Yeah. And I said, No. Just be that, that's, that's when we had that conversation. I said, I am, we're gonna be home. Your, your son's gonna graduate high school before you have to leave this command.

[00:36:46] I wanna build a business. Like, Yeah. And he was like, Good. Yeah. Finally got his mind right, like, Yes am Say it again. Yeah. And, but man, yeah, it was, you lost.

[00:37:04] All right, Michelle. So I appreciate you bringing, Okay. Can you say again, what is that organization? That is all military male spouse 

[00:37:11] attorneys. What is that again? Ms. Ms Jdn. Ms jdn.org is their website and military spouse JD network. Okay. And if you are, if you are an attorney, if you are like, Law students are allowed in.

[00:37:25] I think even people who are thinking about going to law school, they are like, Please come. Some of the best mentors I have had and friends out of there, just, they get it. They get it in a way that, I mean I have some pretty good lawyer mentors here in San Diego cuz the legal community here is really Sure.

[00:37:42] Just amazing. Yeah. But they just, it's that like extra piece of like, Yeah, but they get it. They get a little bit more, They get it just 

[00:37:51] a little bit more. Yeah, it is. And then, and then I think, So if you are in the, in the legal space, that's a great resource to have. But then also as a military spouse, like, I wanna work with other military spouses, You 

[00:38:02] know what I mean?

[00:38:02] Well, and they do. So you can search for attorneys in your area through their website? Yeah. By, by practice area. Mm-hmm. , they also offer Gold star service. So if ever you need, if you are a family, a gold star family that needs a pro bono or low bono attorney they will find one for you. I also do that.

[00:38:25] I have that if, if there is ever a gold star family that needs help with a probate of a service member, I will do it pro bono, like, don't even. Mm-hmm. don't even pretend like, No way. Yeah. Yeah. And so it. They are a great resource just for military spouses in general because yeah, you can find somebody who is in your area and a lot of, a lot and not a lot kind of, I would say about half and half are like me that own their own, own their own practices because we kind of had to Sure.

[00:38:55] Others have found just really interesting jobs that have helped them keep going and so yeah, there's across the board all kinds of very awesome. So if you ever need, I would reach out to them first before I reached out to anybody else to find, to find an. Okay. 

[00:39:12] Cool. Awesome. Well, thank you Michelle. I really appreciate your time.

[00:39:15] It was, it was, it was really awesome getting to to talk to you and I'm, This is one of the things that I love so much about talking to other military spouses and how I like to do my, my show is like, it's just a conversation like, who knew we were 

[00:39:28] gonna talk about? Covid , 

[00:39:31] were like, you know, who do that one's gonna happen.

[00:39:33] But, you know, it's, it's part of our life and I think that it's important to, to, you know, touch on those topics. So I appreciate you sharing your experience with all that as well. And absolutely wish you continued success with Thank you. Your appreciate and thank you for coming on and sharing all of your resources and, and you know, you don't have to.

[00:39:53] Limit your dreams and what you wanna do. Like it just might have to take a little convoluted route. Right. But you can still, That's exactly right. Yeah. Your, 

[00:40:02] your season will come along. You know, they always talk about seasons and things. Sure. It's true. It's like, yeah, you might have to wait, but if you have a kid going to kindergarten and you're like, Okay, I have some free.

[00:40:13] Go get your degree or go follow your passions and yeah. You know, it may then take another backseat if your life does, It's our lives. Sure. Right. But there are ways to fill it into those gaps and to build and to work towards. Whatever, its, you wanna do whatever it is and if, if whatever it is you wanna do is just to hang out with your super cool kids, I'm all about that too.

[00:40:37] Sure. I love my super cool kids, so it is but there's, there's space for you to do that too, as a military spouse and you just have to, just have to kind of be flexible with it and, Yeah. And to. To find a path where you can, It's there. You can do it. Yeah, yeah, 

[00:40:55] yeah. For sure. Okay. All right, Michelle. Thank you so much for your time.

[00:40:58] Thank you, Allison. .