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Author Topic: Military Judge Advocate JAG  (Read 2525 times)

Anti_Ivy

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Military Judge Advocate JAG
« on: April 07, 2004, 04:27:24 PM »
Has anyone here considered joining the military JAG Corps before/during/after law school?  I am curious about the requirements: if one were to join JAG Corps would s/he be sent to serve in Iraq?  Is that possible, or does the person just serve in the legal sector?

ajlynnette

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Re: Military Judge Advocate JAG
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2004, 11:18:30 PM »
i've always wondered about JAG as well. not because of the show, but does anybody know if they try more than just criminal cases? does anybody know if they go thru the same 'training' as everybody else? would the website also tell what kind of 'rank' you'd be at if you were at all? i also wonder if you'd go thru OCS as well...hmm. lot to think about.

any thoughts?

dojotony

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Re: Military Judge Advocate JAG
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2004, 11:26:51 PM »
I believe they have to go through 6 week or so program to indoctrinate people into military policy and military law.  Once you're out, you're an O-3 (a captain in the army, for example). 

It's not all just criminal law, you can also do stuff like work on SOFAs, which is what I'd be really interested in. 

I'm not sure on all the specifics above, though -- the best thing to do would be to check each branch's website.  It might vary a bit.  I do know, though, that Air Force and Navy give about 60k for loans for your first four years of service...not sure about army and marines. 

fungoking

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Re: Military Judge Advocate JAG
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2004, 01:59:27 AM »
Hey All--

  I'm looking into JAG myself and have been well-acquainted with the process, etc.

  There aren't many tuition benefits by joining up during law school.  The Army is the only branch that accepts law students into ROTC, and you have to go to a school with or promixmate to an Army ROTC Unit. Most civilians, however, get into Army JAG via Direct Commission.

  The Air Force has a program to which you apply during your first year.  If accepted, you go to summer training after 1L and 2L, then you are guaranteed a slot in the Air Force JAG.  Other than summer training, there is no drill or anytihng like that during the school year. Again, no substantial tuition benefits.  AF also accepts JAGs via direct commission.

  The Navy and Coast Guard, to my knowledge, only take civilians via direct commissions, i.e., you interview and apply for a commission just as you would apply for an associate's position at a civilian law firm. This happens during 3L year.

  The Marines, contrary to public belief, have their own JAGs, but their process is different.  The Corps mentality is that you have to be a Marine like the rest of the Corps, so they make you go to Officer Candidate School in Quantico for two summers (5 wks. a hit) or for one 11 week summer.  After you grad. from law school and become commissioned, you go to a 6 (I think) month gig called The Basic School, where you learn tactics and such, right alongside the Infantry Officers.

 Commissions last between 3-4 years.  If you stay in past the first 3-4 years, they help with loan repayments.  You get credit for the time you spend in training during school, which counts when it comes time for retirement and promotions (if you stay in)  You're also commissioned as a first lieutenant(Lieutenant Junior Grade in the Navy/CG) and all branches JAGs seem to expereince a  rapid promotion to Captain (Full Lieutenant in the Navy/CG) Usually, as a staff officer, you are partially immune to the doggedness a lot of junior officers experience.

  Assignments are worldwide.  Usually, each installation has a Staff Judge Advocate.  I think every command has one as well.  This means if you join Navy JAG, and you get a billet on a carrier group, its ships ahoy for six months on an aircraft carrier or destroyer. If you get assigned to a Marine Expeditionary Unit, you get to be on a ship AND travel with the Marines if they get deployed in combat.  There are JAGs right now in Iraq.  Even though they're non-combatants, they are still in harm's way sometimes.

  As a new Judge Advocate,your time is spent arguing both sides of mostly criminal trials and doing small firm work for servicepersons and their families--wills, contract disputes, custody battles.  As you get noticed/get good/get promoted, you could potentially move into specialized litigation and stuff like international law, but civilian attorneys--employed by DoD--do a lot of that stuff.

The services-except the Marines-- all offer internships during the summer.

Once you get commissioned, the Services all take their new JAGs and put 'em through watered down basic training periods-- 4 to 6 weeks, then 2-8 months of legal training. The Marines are the only ones that don't-they make you go to full blown Officer's Boot Camp instead.  After that, if you stay on, they pay for LL M's (The army JAG school on UVA's campus is ABA accredited and awards LLMs) and I have heard that its easy for JAG's to crossover to GS positions (AUSA, Staff Counsel at State, Energy, etc.) I dunno about that one for sure, though.

I got fed a bad beef by a recruiter in high school and started out college as a scholarship ROT-C mid.  While its possible for ROTC folks and Academy grads to go straight from ugrad to law, you gotta be shithot--good grades, LSAT, the works.  After a year, when my buddies all wanted to drive ships and fly jetplanes and I still wanted to be a lawyer, I dropped my scholarship.  Hopefully I'll find a niche in a JAG outfit.  I figure it will be good practical trial experience, the med/PX/Space-A benefits are hard to beat, and It'll satisfy my travellin' jones.  It's a little more 9-to5ish, too, and you're sometimes helping folks out that go through a lot of gruff.

rudy

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Re: Military Judge Advocate JAG
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2004, 01:17:50 AM »
I am not sure. But I believe the Coast Guard is a dissimilar setup to the others.

fungoking

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Re: Military Judge Advocate JAG
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2004, 02:55:20 AM »
Pchan--

    I would think rank and gpa are most important--Also, doing internships, because its a burreaucratic undertaking--might be the best way of getting your foot in the door. The websites actually say that internship/clerkship experience within JAG is very helpful when the selection process occurs.  But as far as reputation, all they care about is ABA approval and that you passed a bar.  In fact, the only flesh and blood Active Duty JAG I know gradded from Cooley.

   To be sure, I would get in contact with the respecitve services' JAG commands and ask them if reputation plays a part.  All the serivces need lawyers, and they should be very forthright.  Especially if you tell them, even as a rising 1L, you're stoked about becoming the best candidate possible, and you want to know if reputation trumps or foritfies a standout class rank.

  I won't have the luxury of reputation problems--In at Tulsa (4th Tier) on the wait-list at Dickinson (3rd Tier) and waiting on a decision from U of SC (#80-something) after a very aggressive lobby.  My plan of action is to get tough and hope I do good first semester, then apply for an internship in all but the Marines, and apply for the Air Force program.  Rather than wait until 3L, I'm gonna do all I can, starting post 1L summer.  At least that's the plan.

ModocMark

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Re: Military Judge Advocate JAG
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2004, 03:31:18 PM »
Currently I am waiting for Navy Boot Camp in October...because my goal is to join Navy JAG I am done some extensive research into this.

I am 31 so by the time I pass the bar I may be to old.  You must pass the bar and apply PRIOR to your 35th birthday.  Also you must be in the top 25% of your class, attend an ABA law school and score a minimum of 165 on the LSAT.  When commissioned you are an O-2 LtJG.

The only way around the age requirement is to join the Coast Guard which DOES NOT have a JAG Corp...they have legal specialist which are commissioned at O-3s.

Additionally, JAG officers do not spend a majority of the time in 'criminal court' for the most part they are in the field assigned to a battle group deciding if the skipper's decision violates law, UCMJ, International, making target recommendations, etc.

If assigned to a legal office on shore, they mostly work with wills, trusts, land and federal tort claims.