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Joining the military - last resort or smart consideration?

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I am currently a 3L about to graduate in a month or so. I will be taking the dual-state NJ/PA bar exams, and I am scared out of my wits about finding a job. I do not attend a first or second tier law school. I am also not on law review. I have clerked for an Appellate Judge (state) and I have clerked in a small domestic relations firm.  Currently, I am working in the Law Clinic as a defender for juveniles.

Quite honestly, my loan amount is above $150K. I am extremely worried about finding a job, and I have been seriously considering all avenues, including the military. I have attended meetings with the Air Force and Marine JAG representatives, so I know a little bit about the programs. However, I wanted to see what other people thought. Joining the service pretty much guarantees a job in today's economy. It also guarantees a pay grade. Am I considering this option way too soon? Should this be an "end of my ropes" option or a serious option to consider while applying to the 9000+ firms?

I apologize if this is somewhat of a repeat post, but I am new to this website and it seems as though it sort of died out. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated  8)

Look into all options. See what works out best.

Remember that most law schools grads will NOT qualify for military service (too fat, short, lazy, ADD meds,etc)
Also, remember that even if JAG says no, there are other options too in the service if you wanted to be a reservist and get loans paid off or forgiven (depending on branch of service) while still doing your main job during the week.

It is a bit surprising that we still see this attitude these days.

No, military JAG is hardly a last resort.  In fact, a lot of folks who thought of this as an act of desperation are going to get a cold slap in the face when they get their rejection letters.  The military may not be hiring the top 10% out of Harvard, but they absolutely are competitive.

As the other poster pointed out, look around your law school class.  Many of them are too fat, or have some health condition that would preclude them from serving. 

If anybody looks at a career that involves around 80,000 a year to start, plus a 20 year retirement, 30 days paid vacation a year and world-class benefits as "last resort", sorry, but to be blunt, that person is too stupid to practice law anywhere. 

For a select few, there are better offers out there.  For those outside the top tier and outside the top 10% of the 2nd tier and below, this is not just a good option, but probably one of the best ones you could possibly find.

If I were in this situation, I'd apply to more firms and yeah, use the military as a very last resort. In the end, I presume you want to work in the law field, right?

The military is an option to be seriously considered by anybody with a college degree and a J.D., whether you're accepted into the J.A.G. program or not. Your education will make you an immediate officer candidate, and they are not likely to throw you in front of a lot of flying bullets in a first-wave assault on Hamburger Hill with that kind of pedigree. You can live in the officer's quarters while you repay your student loans and serve the country at the same time. It's easy to save money or repay debts while serving, and it will give your resume an excellent boost. That said, you need to have what it takes to be an officer. There's a long road to travel between officer candidate and second lieutenant.


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