Bernstein Shur is First Maine Company to Support Military Veterans through National Internship Program
This past month marked a milestone for Amanda Violette: a lieutenant colonel retiring from active duty, Amanda recently completed a three-month paralegal internship at Bernstein Shur through the Hiring Our Heroes Program. Bernstein Shur is the first company to offer the fellowship opportunity in Maine, and Amanda is the first to complete it, as she pursues her next chapter in the field of law.
Hiring Our Heroes, facilitated through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation as a part of the Department of Defense Skillbridge program, is offered nationwide to connect the military community with American businesses to create economic opportunity and a strong and diversified workforce. As veterans, service members, and military spouses look to pursue new career opportunities, Hiring Our Heroes helps by providing training and connecting them to opportunities—essential support that helps with successful career transitions.
Bernstein Shur has long valued hiring veterans, with 11 colleagues currently having served in the military. The opportunity to participate in the Hiring Our Heroes Program came from Amanda’s interest in returning to Maine—her home state—and her advocacy to the right connections, which ultimately led her to an interview with Bernstein Shur CEO, Joan Fortin. Amanda quickly impressed—it was an easy decision, and helped the firm formalize a longstanding interest in supporting the military community, while providing the chance to lead and establish an important connection to Hiring Our Heroes in Maine.
“It’s no question that Amanda’s impressive experience, global perspective, poise, and dedication to learning are adding unique value,” said Joan. “But beyond that, Amanda has helped us understand the opportunities that programs like Hiring Our Heroes provide for the military community and the critical role companies play in bringing these opportunities to life. I hope her story can help inspire other Maine companies and law firms to join the program.”
Originally from Nobleboro, Maine, Amanda’s military career spanned over two decades and brought her to several cities and countries. She served three deployments in Iraq, two tours to Korea, and a three-year NATO tour in France. With a master’s degree in strategic intelligence from the National Intelligence University, Amanda also completed two assignments on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, most recently serving as the Intelligence Strategy Branch Chief. She learned Russian and how to fly a helicopter. And today, she’s ready for her next career challenge: law school.
“I am proud to look back on my 24 active-duty Army years serving our country,” said Amanda. “I reached a point where it was the right time to move on from a military career in intelligence and reconnect with my family. I look forward to investing in a new community and at the same time pursuing another challenging career path working alongside brilliant colleagues in the field of law.”
With the Hiring Our Heroes Fellowship ending, Amanda will now join Bernstein Shur in an official capacity as part of the firm’s pre-law paralegal program, where she will work as a paralegal while applying to law school in Maine.
“Many people don’t know how robust the process is to transition out of the military into a new career path,” Amanda reflected. “I am eternally grateful to Bernstein Shur and the Hiring Our Heroes Program for providing this opportunity and supporting my goals.”