Erica Solosky is an associate general counsel in the Office of Legal Affairs and the director of ethics, policy and compliance. Her journey to UNC Charlotte is not a typical one – she is also a veteran who began her career as a Judge Advocate in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
Solosky didn’t have a lot of experience with the military growing up. Both of her grandfathers served in World War II, one served in the Pacific Theater while the other served in Europe. That all changed when she met her now husband, who served in the Navy and attended the U.S. Naval Academy, Solosky credits him and meeting several of his friends who served in the Navy with giving her the exposure and confidence to explore working in the military.
After her second year of law school, she completed an internship as a civilian with the Army JAG Corps at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina. While there, she rotated through the different legal divisions to gain a greater understanding of the different functions of the office, such as military justice and administrative law.
“As I met my husband and all of his friends, it made it feel much more attainable to me that this is something I could envision myself doing,” said Solosky. “Thankfully, the JAG Corps has such great programs like an internship for law students, which helped me see this is something I could do. Not only that I could do it, but it became something that I wanted to do.”
While in law school, Solosky applied for active duty. She graduated in May 2014, took the bar exam, and was commissioned into the JAG Corps as a First Lieutenant. After training, she was stationed in Germany for three years doing administrative and national security law. During that time, she had the opportunity to travel for conferences and research for her cases, and even deployed to Egypt for a few months.
“The work was fun and also really busy, but it was a great experience meeting and working with so many different people from different countries across the world,” said Sololsky.
After her time in Germany, Solosky was stationed at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where she advised its honor process and supervised the military justice division. Her greatest memories from that time were helping cadet candidates on their first day reciting their oath and providing a sense of comfort on a busy and stressful day.
“One of the goals I always had with being an attorney was that I just wanted to serve in some capacity. It was always really important to me that I was able to help people who could use the expertise of a lawyer, but just in a way that was humble and working with soldiers, you realize the impact you can have,” said Solosky.
Solosky left the military in 2020, but she is grateful for her time there. It led her to UNC Charlotte, which she described as her dream job. She collaborates with partners across campus on various compliance efforts and obligations and responds to ethics questions that faculty and staff have. She also advises on many of the public records requests, as well as answering immigration and international legal questions. She has the opportunity to interact with veterans across campus by serving on the military affairs committee, supporting the ROTC and military veterans on campus, and attending Veterans Day and Memorial Day events.
“My time in the military is something that is really similar here. Just having compassion for our community and being part of a mission-driven organization,” said Solosky. “Being in the military gives you that calling that you are working toward something bigger than yourself. I also had that with the Department of Homeland Security. And I feel like now at UNC Charlotte, it's the same thing where you can definitely feel like you're part of a mission that is noble and good and is bigger than just any one person."