Chapman University 2021 alumna Captain Marlyss Maxham serves in the Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG).

Chapman University Alumna Captain Marlyss Maxham is a “Soldier First, Lawyer Always”

“I never wanted to count billable hours,” says Marlyss Maxham (JD ’21), about how she saw her legal career unfolding. Now Captain Maxham, the Fowler School of Law alumna is stationed on the tropical paradise of Oahu, Hawaii and serving in the Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG).

“More than anything, I wanted work-life balance and to avoid the corporate rat race,” Maxham says.

Maxham aspired to build a career of service instead of securing a corner office in the corporate high-rise and a fancy title. Her ambitions led her to apply for the Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG), where she continued learning in a supportive environment for her law career.

“The JAG Corps motto is ‘Soldier first, lawyer always,’” Maxham says.

Maxham, who is working through cases in administration law, says the advantages of a role in JAG is the flexibility and range of education practicing lawyers receive. She says there is space for a generalist where, “you need to know a little bit of everything,” as well as space for a specialized focus that draws on particular disciplines and specialties.

When asked about barriers in traditionally male-dominated spaces in the Army, Maxham says the military has become more accommodating to its female personnel.

“Most of the barriers had been broken long before I got here,” says Maxham, “I’m not paving the way forward as much as benefitting from the efforts of the pioneering women who came before me.”

About Chapman University
Founded in 1861, Chapman University is a nationally ranked private university located in Southern California. Chapman is categorized by the Carnegie Classification as an R2 “high research activity” institution and offers personalized education to more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The campus has produced a Rhodes Scholar, been named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, and hosts a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. Based in the city of Orange, Chapman also includes the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine. In 2019, the university opened its 11th college, Fowler School of Engineering, in its newest facility, Keck Center for Science and Engineering. Learn more about Chapman University:



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Photo caption: 

Chapman University 2021 alumna Captain Marlyss Maxham serves in the Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG).

Paul Pe