Editors’ Note: As part of our ongoing Faces of MoFo series and in honor of Veterans Week, Marcelo Pendleton-Moreno, an attorney in the firm’s Litigation Department, discusses how the skills he learned in the Army Judge Advocate Corps help him better serve his clients at MoFo.
My journey to MoFo was unconventional. After graduating from law school, I commissioned into the United States Army Judge Advocate Corps. As a Judge Advocate, I advocated for soldiers on both military and civilian matters in legal assistance. I advised commanders on civilian labor and employment disputes. I provided legal analysis on the Army’s environmental impact on Native American lands. I held a special appointment as a Part-Time Military Magistrate. In this role, I issued law enforcement search-and-seizure warrants and held pre-trial confinement hearings.
I developed dozens of skills and traits while serving in the military. The military taught me adaptability. I was constantly introduced to new practices of law with which I had little-to-no experience. In fact, the Judge Advocate career model requires one to be “broadly skilled” early in one’s career. When I wasn’t changing practice areas, I was being reassigned to a new geographical location, through a permanent change of station or deployment.
The military also taught me decisiveness. My commander looked to me for swift and sound legal advice. Often I was asked whether a case should settle or litigate.
Most notably, the military taught me strong collaboration skills while working across multidisciplinary teams like intelligence, logistics, and civil-military operations to advance the Army’s military objectives.
Outside of work, I perform videography at my church in Brooklyn and do community service with my fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. I love traveling, trying new foods, seeing performances on Broadway, and rooting for “America’s Team,” the Dallas Cowboys. You can also find me exploring New York City with my family and taking random photos like the one below.
Working at MoFo provides the opportunity to sharpen those soft skills I acquired in the military by now zealously advocating for clients in a commercial space. MoFo’s strong sense of collaboration and opportunities for leadership and responsibility earlier in one’s career make the firm a unique place. At MoFo, one can bring one’s authentic self to work, and diversity and inclusion are celebrated. I am a proud Army veteran and a proud face of MoFo.