MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Women Lawyer Division (WLD) of the National Bar Association (NBA) presented the outstanding public service award to a U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) lawyer during its 97th convention and gala held in Memphis, from July 24-29.
Bronte Montgomery, a supervisory administrative law attorney at INSCOM's headquarters on Fort Belvoir, Virginia, received the award given annually to recognize women lawyers whose work on behalf of the public has had significant impact or who have exemplified throughout their career a dedication and commitment to exemplary public service.
The National Bar Association was founded in 1925 and is the nation’s oldest and largest national network of predominantly African-American attorneys and judges. It represents the interests of approximately 65,000 lawyers, judges, law professors, and law students.
The WLD's chairman informed Montgomery of her nomination in the spring of this year, but Montgomery didn’t know she won until the day of the event. The WLD announced the winners during a breakfast event celebrating the WLD’s 50th anniversary.
“I was excited to be recognized by an outstanding group of women, and along with other amazing women lawyers,” Montgomery said. “I was humbled to be honored during the historic event and also reminded of how the legal profession has changed for women over the past 50 years.”
Judge Paulette Burton, veterans’ law judge, Board of Veterans’ Appeals, nominated Montgomery for the award.
“Ms. Montgomery has always been a leader. During her career, Bronte has served as a role model and mentor," Burton said. “She is a staunch advocate for education as evidenced by volunteer work.”
A founding member and treasurer for a non-profit organization that provides direct financial support to breast cancer patients, Montgomery also volunteers on several committees supporting high school and college students with their college readiness and educational opportunities.
Montgomery believes her biggest contribution to the career field has been working on initiatives to help diversify the profession while helping students through law school.
“The highlight of my career as a lawyer has been working on initiatives to increase diversity in the profession, assisting students on their journey to and through law school, and ensuring there is a pipeline of young bright attorneys, from all walks of life," Montgomery added.
A graduate of the Rutgers School of Law – Camden, Montgomery has been a lawyer for 31 years with just over two decades of that time serving in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. She served in the INSCOM Staff Judge Advocate Office from 2011 to 2013 while on active duty and has been with INSCOM as an Army civilian since 2014.
INSCOM's senior military lawyer said Montgomery is the moral and morale compass of the command's office of the staff judge advocate (OSJA) and the type of colleague everyone wants to work with.
“Daily, Ms. Montgomery ensures we all maintain a proper perspective about the importance of our work and the importance of having a good work-life balance,” said Col. P.J. Perrone, INSCOM staff judge advocate and Montgomery's supervisor. “Ms. Montgomery is the type of colleague and co-worker everyone wants in their office; self-less, collaborative, always positive and proactive.”
Perrone noted that it is a superb strategic-level acknowledgement of all Ms. Montgomery has done for the legal community and looks forward to all the exceptional things she will undoubtedly continue in the future.
“I am, as everyone in the INSCOM OSJA is, very happy Ms. Montgomery was recognized by the NBA's WLD as the Outstanding Public Service Attorney,” Perrone stated. “She is indeed a superstar, and we are lucky to have her as part of the INSCOM OSJA Team.”
Montgomery shared advice for younger Army lawyers.
“Don't sell yourself short when it comes to understanding your worth and following your passion in the profession," Montgomery said. "Too often individuals suffer from impostor syndrome and never realize their full potential. Don't allow others to define your value in the profession.”
Headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, INSCOM executes mission command of operational intelligence and security forces; conducts, synchronizes, and integrates worldwide multi-discipline and all-source intelligence and security operations; and delivers linguist support and intelligence related advanced skills training, acquisition support, logistics, communications, and other specialized capabilities in support of Army, Joint, and Coalition commands and the U.S. Intelligence Community.