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Campus News / News

Dawn Gile, J.D., ’02 Uses Liberal Arts Degree to Advocate for Military Families

06/29/2021 1:20 pm

Dawn Gile, J.D., ’02 is passionate about serving others and has made a career out of it as a complex litigation lawyer and through her work as president of the Military Spouse JD Network (MSJDN).

Gile graduated from Rockford University with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and a minor in French before continuing on to law school.

“I very much value my liberal arts education as it provides necessary critical thinking skills, which is important, especially, for legal practice,” said Gile. “Moreover, it’s made me become a lifelong learner with a passion for constantly reading and trying to understand the world around me.”

After living and working for several years in Chicago, she relocated to Maryland in 2007 due to her husband’s military service. Wanting to give back to her various communities, she became a member of the Rockford University Alumni Board and joined MSJDN, an organization that supports military spouses in the legal profession by advocating for licensing and other work-related accommodations. The organization also provides pro bono legal services to families of deceased service members through a partnership with Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

“I think my psychology background has provided deeper empathy and communication skills, which are important when working on a team, whether it be in a nonprofit leadership setting or in my legal career, as well as when serving clients and the military family community,” said Gile.

Since becoming involved with MSJDN, Gile has served on the board and most recently served as president. In August 2020, she joined the Rockford University Board of Trustees as Alumni Trustee.

“I like being an advocate – both for my clients in my career and for military families in my nonprofit work,” said Gile. “I also enjoy serving on the Rockford University Board of Trustees and remaining connected to the university.”

Most recently, Gile has been accepted to the second cohort for the LBJ Women’s Campaign School at the University of Texas at Austin, which seeks to increase the number of women in elected office and campaign senior staff positions. Gile is one of 70 women– including veterans, nonprofit leaders, business executives, teachers, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and community activists – from more than 13 states who seek to serve their community in the political arena.