By Scott Liljegren,
Liljegren Law Group
Serving as an officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the United States Navy was a life-changing experience for me. First and foremost, it gave me the chance to start serving our country in the Armed Forces in my mid-to-late 20’s, which is later in life than a person would typically start a military career. By earning the Eagle Scout award and participating in philanthropic causes my entire life, I was already wired for public service. Yet, as I enrolled in law school, I was almost certain that my window for military service had opened and closed. That’s when a college buddy of mine told me about the JAG Corps. He said “don’t you remember ‘A Few Good Men’?” After some investigation, I figured out that the JAG Corps is not like the movie – it’s better. There was no money incentive, and the nationwide selection process was very competitive. As a result, I was able to work alongside some of the brightest law graduates in the country, who gave up lucrative jobs in major law firms to put on the uniform and help the U.S. Navy. That, alone, made a big impression on me.
Another way it changed my life was the close personal connection I developed with the people I helped. For nearly four years, I represented and/or advised at all levels. On one end, I worked to save the careers of junior enlisted sailors and marines (some as young as 18-19 yrs old). On the other end, I was a personal advisor to the three star admiral in charge of all Naval Aviation during and after the 9/11 terror attacks. These were my clients along the spectrum, and I could feel the genuine gratitude from each of them as we worked closely together. It made me realize that my passion is helping individuals and families, not necessarily corporations and larger entities.
The JAG experience further developed my heart for public service and gave me the confidence to become an entrepreneur in Southern California. I became comfortable here, met my wife here, and put down roots here. Our thriving and growing Liljegren Law Group is the result of all the many positive experiences we have had in San Diego, including the JAG Corps. Our hard work and success for our clients has also allowed me to continue my life in public service. Most recently, I have served as the Board Chairman for the Palomar Family YMCA, the President of my church, and as a board member on the Escondido Chamber of Commerce and the Escondido Rotary Club. I was recently announced as the next Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce. I enjoy membership in philanthropic organizations such as the Escondido Charitable Foundation, and I have been asked on a number of occasions to run for public office. I’m considering it.