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Messages - wjo9522

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Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: Military
« on: November 29, 2010, 03:19:14 AM »

Back on this site after the "trojan downloader" debacle.

Welcome back!

Take a look at military officer commissioning programs.  If full-time is a no-go for you, try the reserves or the guard.  Officers are thrust into leadership positions which command a great deal of respect from employers and LS.

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: Military
« on: October 03, 2010, 12:32:00 PM »
Active USAF here, 7 years in with 3 more to go and then a big decision on whether to do 20 or go guard/reserves and head into Law School.

You should be making that decision now.  Please take advantage of the great officer programs that the USAF has to offer before you leave 10 years on the table.  Be sure to consider another service or stay reserves if you can.  Don't let all that time go to waste. 


Thank you sir. 

I sent you an PM via this site.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.




Thanks for the vote of confidence.  I started this career as a M1A1 Tank Crewman, did a stint as an Embassy Guard, and now I am a CBRN Defense Officer...gas, gas, gas!  Anyway, I am glad to see people with similar experiences to mine are pursing the same goals.  Your example only motivates me to push harder in this endeavor.  I think it would be very easy to talk yourself out of going through the pain of pursuing a J.D. after reading some of the posts on "LSD." 

I may follow your lead and look to the ABA for accredited Legal Studies program; distance ed.  Thanks for the insightful post.

Semper Fidelis,


Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: Military
« on: September 22, 2010, 05:00:27 AM »
Active USMC CWO2 here w/18 yrs service.  I asked the site moderators for our own discussion area.  We'll have to see where that goes.

I am looking to do pretty much the same thing, although I am Air Force and haven't finished my undergrad yet.  Switched from Physics to Criminal Justice due to ops tempo making it impossible to attend class.  Sadly I am not smart enough for hard science online.  :-p


I understand the OPTEMPO and that will probably be my reason for retiring as soon as I am eligible.  3 x Iraq and 2 x Afghanistan with a family and four young children at home is getting to be a little difficult to justify.  I took a Warrant Officer appointment and a subsequent commission which allowed me to finish undergrad, but I owe time on the back end of that deal.  It was worth it to me, since I had been trying to do a class here and a class there since 1996.   

I am definitely curious about why you want to retire in December.  In the Air Force if I retire in Decemeber, I would have to start terminal and outprocessing as much as 8 months prior to that.  Short of an active duty service commitment, wouldn't it be better to start the process in January?  By then if you applied early, you should have the information on what school you are actually going to attend.

I am counting on having the military move my family and I to wherever I end up going to school and I am going to try to time it so that I have a full paycheck for as long as possible.  There is very little chance of finding work for 6 to 8 months with benefits that comes close to a military paycheck.

You make a very good point here.  My only issue will be what deployments I'll be looking at around that time.  If I am looking at another 1 yr stint in AFG, I'm punching out as soon as I can.  Otherwise, I would consider the same plan.  Thanks for the advice.

Do you still have you GI Bill benefits.  With the yellow ribbon program it might be worth looking at schools outside of Illinois.  Some of them end up being a full ride.  I am hopeful that those programs plus retirement will be enough to get me through law school with little or no debt and none of the scholarship worries that a lot of other students face.

I plan to supplement my retirement and IVG with the full time GI Bill rate.  Under the Montgomery (Not Post 9-11) plan, I'll get the full rate plus the buy-up.  I hadn't really considered schools outside Illinois, primarily based upon the IVG.  I'll have to look into the yellow ribbon program, but I'd have to see if converting my remaining benefit (22 Months) to Post 9-11 will be beneficial.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am working on a short term plan which is based on my retirement from the Marine Corps in late 2015.  I'll have 22 years of service at that point and look forward to drawing a small pension from Uncle Sam.  I'll be 40 years old in December 2015, but I think that is a great time to begin a new career in law.  Thanks to the dialogue of all of those nontraditional students who have gone before me, I have no fear in taking on this challenge. 

Just a couple questions:

1.  Since I have a few years to go before I become a 1L, what kinds of publications or courses should I be focused on now?  My undergrad was Criminology and Criminal Justice,  but I can see myself continuing to serve in public interest or environmental law. 

2.  Can someone recommend a Masters program or course of study that would give me a good foundation for law school? 

3.  If I retire in December and the 1L program does not begin until August, what are some options to gain legal experience in the "off time"? 

4.  I qualify for the Illinois Veteran's Grant for 120 SH of free tuition in any Illinois State funded university.  Add in the monthly GI Bill Benefit and I should be looking at leaving Law School with zero school debt.  (Dave Ramsey would love that.)  Currently looking at SIUC, U of I, then NIU.  I don't care about tiers and rankings at this point, just looking for the best quality of life for my family and the most indepth clinical experience.  Any ideas from the group on personal experiences at each university?   

5.  How is the job outlook for a 44 year old law grad with military service?  I'm not looking for special entitlements, but GPA and class standing aside, does that service count for anything?

Okay, so I have asked more than a few questions and I will appreciate any response provided.  Thank you for your time and assistance.



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