Lt. Colonel (P) Johanna P. Clyborne, Esq.
Attorney, Brekke, Clyborne & Ribich, L.L.C.
United Stated Army War College Fellow
One’s actions show the world his or her commitment to the tenets of the UST Law School mission: integrating faith and reason in a search for truth, social justice and morality. Sometimes, I do not feel like the mission of UST Law resonates with me, but then I am reminded that nowhere in the mission does it say GOD or CATHOLIC. Reflecting on my own actions and the lives of those surrounding me, I see the myopic lens enlarge and understand that I live the Mission in Action.
After law school, I chose a work setting that allowed me to help others achieve justice and legal process while remaining true to my vocations of wife, mother and a Soldier. I will not become rich, but I practice law with my best friends, not mere colleagues, who share similar values. Through my law practice, I am committed to help people find resolutions to difficult life issues. It is more than just practicing law. It is about providing hope, comfort, guidance and every now and then a swift kick in the pants. I am more than a legal technician; I follow my moral compass to counsel people on how to improve their situation and head in a more positive direction. Sometimes a client just needs a little encouragement to take “baby steps” or the simple affirmation of “you can do it.”
My practice provides me flexibility to be present for my daughter, to provide her a solid foundation in life, and to support my wonderful husband. It has also allowed me to devote myself to the health of our country for the last 23 years as a Soldier. It has not been easy and it has required sacrifice. Through my role of military service, I hope that justice, truth and morality are reflected in my “soldier” work. I have high standards, in and out of uniform, and I expect others to meet those standards – our Nation and its citizen’s deserve no less.
I know however, that I did not get where I am through my own efforts. If I shine, in any aspect of my life, it is because so many bright stars surround me. Numerous mentors, caring lawyers, and friends have reached out to teach, support, and guide me. Now that I have the ability to pass on what I know to others, I give back to the profession by guiding others on legal issues related to family law and service members. I believe that I must be as generous as I can to other lawyers – both new and old. If I want to be a member of a collegial and civil bar then I must start with my own actions. Lastly, it is my faith in God and my belief that I was placed here to make the world a better place. My purpose, exemplified by UST’s mission, is what drives me to be a compassionate attorney, a generous colleague, a committed Soldier and a devoted wife and mother.