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Jayhawks in the JAG

CAPT Anne Bloomfield Fischer, L’92 Navy captain’s international education missions strengthen appreciation for American way of life

T It was gratifying to get to know military personnel in these countries. My experiences reinforced the concept that most people in this world want the same things.”

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he Navy was not on Capt. Anne Fischer’s radar until her third year of law school, when she noticed a sign-up sheet in Green Hall announcing a visit from a JAG recruiter. “This was before the movie ‘A Few Good Men’ and before the TV show ‘JAG,’” Fischer said. “I didn’t realize the Navy had lawyers. I thought I’d sign up and see what they had to say.” Fischer found the presentation compelling. “It was a three-year commitment at the time. I thought it would be a fun few years to see the world and do a bunch of different things, then I would have real-world experience and could do something different afterward if I didn’t love it.” Twenty-two years later, Fischer is still loving it and still serving. After finishing law school and passing the bar examination, Fischer completed Navy officer and legal training in Newport, Rhode Island, then reported for duty at the Navy’s legal services office in San Diego. “When I reported, I got a stack of files and started seeing clients very soon,” Fischer said. “That was one of the big selling points — they give you immediate responsibility. I also loved living and working near the ocean.” Fischer started off processing administrative cases and quickly progressed to more serious issues, prosecuting rape, assault and child sexual abuse cases. “I was doing that within the first couple years out of law school, and I was the lead in these cases,” Fischer said. “It was a lot of responsibility

BRANCH: U.S. NAVY Washington Navy Yard Washington, D.C. Fischer serves as Admiralty Counsel in the Admiralty and Maritime Law Division, Office of the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General.

and hard work, but very rewarding.” One of Fischer’s biggest cases early in her career involved a date rape. “It’s the typical story,” Fischer said. “She said she didn’t want to have sex, he said he thought she did, so it was a contested rape trial. The evidence showed that she did not consent, and I got a conviction. That was a very satisfying experience.” While teaching at the Naval Justice School, Fischer also served on the Defense Institute of International Legal Studies (DIILS) mobile education teams. Composed of members of all branches of the military, the teams work with partner nations to build capacity and implement democratic rule of law and equitable military justice systems. Fischer served on a team deployed to Moldova shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union. “The folks in Moldova had just gained independence,” she said. “They were operating under the Soviet system and were very interested in how we ran our military justice system. They found it interesting that if a sailor got in trouble, he or she could go to a legal services office and have a Navy

KU Law Magazine | Spring 2015  

A magazine for alumni and friends of the University of Kansas School of Law. KU Law boasts a strong and enduring tradition of producing mi...