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Fendley & Etson nominated for National MSJDN Military Spouse Attorney Employer Award


Written by Katherine Lee Goyette
Associate Attorney, Fendley & Etson, Attorneys at Law

Fendley & Etson, Attorneys at LawClarksville, TN – Fendley & Etson is a family run law firm located downtown in the historic Poston Building. The firm handles a wide variety of legal matters, including personal injury, bankruptcy, criminal defense, social security disability, consumer law, family law and estate planning.

Fendley & Etson was recently nominated by the Military Spouse J.D. Network’s Member’s Choice Award, which is a national award recognizing employers that go the extra mile to support military spouse attorneys as they build careers in the legal profession.

Fendley & Etson, Attorneys at Law

Fendley & Etson, Attorneys at Law

The Military Spouse J.D. Network is a military spouse bar association, with military spouse attorney members stationed nationwide and overseas.

It advocates for military spouse law licensing accommodations, provides professional development and networking opportunities for military spouse attorneys, and has a 501(c)(3) foundation that provides pro bono legal services for Gold Star Families in partnership with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).

Fendley & Etson is a proud employer of an Operation Iraqi Freedom USMC veteran and partner Joshua Etson, and five military spouses. Military Spouse J.D. Network President-Elect Katherine Lee Goyette is especially grateful to Fendley & Etson’s willingness to hire her as a military spouse attorney, especially in a local community that has historically provided an unwelcoming atmosphere to military spouse attorneys.

The Montgomery County Bar Association submitted comment to the Supreme Court of Tennessee on July 27th, 2015, with concern that military spouse attorneys stationed at Fort Campbell, KY would “detrimentally effect the high standards of the legal community within our state” if such attorneys were allowed to practice law in Tennessee without supervision. Despite the Montgomery County Bar “…urge[ing] rejection of the proposed rule” providing for licensure of military spouse attorneys, the rule was adopted by the Supreme Court of Tennessee on December 22nd, 2015.

According to a survey conducted by MSJDN last year, 87% of military spouse attorney report that their spouses’ service has impacted the progress of their careers, and based on responses, military affiliation is frequently a reason employers choose not to hire milspouse attorneys.

Other reasons that employers have provided to milspouses as to their reasons for not hiring them include multiple PCS (permanent change of duty station) moves, the concern that deployments will interfere with work performance, the existence of gap periods in resumes and the perception that the military spouse is looking for a job instead of a career.

Founding partner Mart Fendley has been a board-certified civil trial lawyer since 1994, when certification as a specialist first became available to Tennessee attorneys. He is AV preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review rating system, the highest available rating. He is joined by attorneys Jacob Fendley, Elizabeth Fendley, Joshua Etson, T. Blaine Dixon and Katherine Lee Goyette.

The firm has more than 45 years of combined experience, including extensive trial experience. As a family-run law firm that supports the military community, Fendley & Etson remains dedicated to serving Clarksville, Fort Campbell, and surrounding areas with the most effective representation it can provide for its clients.

The MSJDN Member’s Choice Award recipient will be announced at MSJDN’s Annual Reception in Washington, D.C. on May 17th, 2018. More information about MSJDN can be found at

Fendley & Etson, Attorneys at Law office is located at The Poston Building, 128 Public Square in Clarksville. For more information, visit




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