The Recorder

Across Big Law, lawyers are doing what they can to help their clients, coworkers and communities navigate the realities of the coronavirus pandemic, which has left hundreds of thousands sick, shut down most of the country and hurt the economy.

Related Professionals: Jesse L. Miller

For Reed Smith’s Jesse Miller, a San Francisco-based litigator and partner in the firm’s global commercial disputes group, the contributions have been more boots on the ground. Miller is also a decorated colonel in the Army National Guard. After being deployed March 17, he and his unit have spent the last two months helping vulnerable Californians at food banks, nursing homes and more.

Via email, The Recorder caught up with Miller, who also leads Reed Smith’s veteran inclusion group, to learn more about what his past few months have looked like and how his firm has been supporting him during his time away from his practice. The following has been edited for clarity and length.

You’ve been deployed for more than two months now, and I imagine your life is looking pretty different lately. Can you talk about what your average day looks like now?

No day is really the same, and my leadership role has evolved over time and with the mission. What has been consistent is how special and rewarding this mission is. We are working side-by-side with our interagency partners, counties and neighbors to protect Californians in the fight against COVID; we are saving lives and mitigating broader harms. It’s truly been the most important mission of my military career.

Our first missions focused on supporting food banks to ensure the food supply chain was not disrupted and to protect California’s most vulnerable population, providing critical medical support to COVID isolation hospitals and medical sites. Over the first 10 days of the operation, our operations expanded to include more than 10 food banks, multiple medical sites, medical warehouse support for [the Emergency Medical Services Authority] and medical screening and homeless shelter support. We established multiple federal medical stations in at-risk communities, which was accomplished by flying Air National Guard teams around the state in C130 aircraft.

Download the PDF below to read the full article, written by Samantha Stokes.