WMU-Cooley, as a Military friendly and designated Yellow Ribbon School, talks to its military students, faculty and graduates about their journey from the military to law school and about their career goals. WMU-Cooley 2L student Angela Tormey is the first in a monthly series featuring those in our WMU-Cooley military family who have served or are stilling serving our country.
Military rank and title: Master Sergeant (E7), United States Air Force.
Why did you decide to go to law school and why did you choose WMU-Cooley: When I was contemplating my post-military-retirement plans, heading back to school was a very attractive option for me. I knew I would be able to use my Post-9/11 GI Bill to pay for some or all of my tuition, as well as a housing stipend, so long as I was a full-time student. I also knew that the job market for the skill set I obtained while on active duty was highly competitive. It was going to be a challenge to find full-time, meaningful employment, especially since I was new to the area. In the interim, I thought that going to school would allow me to earn an income to help support my family while I waited for the military pay system to catch up with my new status as a retiree. When researching schools, law school never really occurred to me until I one day I noticed that a law school opened up near my home in Florida. I also learned after speaking to the folks at WMU-Cooley that they were very familiar with the ins and outs of billing and reporting with Veterans Affairs (the people who maintain the GI Bill funds). I figured it was worth a shot to see if I qualified. Brianne Myers was the first person I met at Cooley, and my first impression of Cooley and law school. For anyone who hasn’t met her, she is the perfect person for her position. She is extremely patient, genuine, kind, and goes out of her way to make sure you get answers to your questions. She gave me a tour of the Tampa Bay campus and by the end of the tour, I wanted to go to Cooley, and only Cooley. In fact, I only applied to Cooley. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that not only did I qualify to attend Cooley, I was also eligible for a scholarship. From there, the rest is history. Cooley gave me an opportunity I never knew existed and I am forever grateful.
Career Description: I was active duty Air Force. Early in my career, I worked in Satellite Communications where I ultimately became an executive travel communicator for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. It was a pretty awesome assignment. My military travels have taken me all over the United States and overseas. I have been stationed in Korea, as well as deployed to several locations in the Middle East. I eventually re-trained into Public Health. When I was offered the option to retire early as part of a force tailoring initiative, I jumped on the opportunity and retired in 2014.
Career goals: Law is a second career for me. One of the benefits of being in the service (military) is that we are taught early on to live by the phrase “Semper Gumby”… it means, “always flexible.” So, presently, my career aspirations regularly change, which is common for many of my colleagues, but I’m not worried. While I would love the opportunity to work with the military as a civilian, or assist former military in routine matters, I don’t feel a strong need to go in one direction. I learned early on in my military career that a person should be willing to grow where you’re planted. I know, no matter what, everything will work out just fine!
Tell us a little about you: This is actually a hard question for me. What do I say? I was born in Georgia. I have three step-sisters, two step-brothers, two half-brothers, and two half-sisters. It has often been said that I left home, just to get some space. Although that may be true, to a degree, I am happy with my life. I’m married to my best friend, Tommy, and we have two children and a big ol’ dog. We enjoy running, working out, and cooking (more cooking now that I discovered Pinterest!). Ultimately, I am just a small town country girl looking to make my mark on the world.