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Author Topic: Seriously considering the $ at a T3 vs. admission at a T1 (JAG)  (Read 7402 times)

gratif

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Re: Seriously considering the $ at a T4 vs. admission at a T1 (JAG)
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2007, 09:27:24 PM »
[ You can take part in the summer clerk programs with the AF/USA as a civilian for your 1L/2L summers which will no doubt help your candidacy come your interview as a 3L. 


According to my guy, that isn't true.  What he does recommend is apply as a 1L to the graduate law program (AF & Navy are the only branches that have them).  If awarded the position (still competitive) you'll have weekly ROTC duties and a summer gig until graduation, but then you're in.  The ROTC training saves them a little training later on.

Army JAG has an LLM program as well.

Yes and no. Army JAG has the JAG School at UVA but it is open to all the service branches. Every branch generally sends senior captains/majors though the spots are hard to come by. You typically have to be willing to spend more than your initial 4 years in the service before you can get tapped for the free LLM.
I'm pretty sure the OP is aware of this based on his initial thread.

Actually, the "graduate law program" isn't an LLM.  It's where you sign up as a 1L.  The Navy even gives you 2 years service credit for this (if you're shooting for the pension.


But yeah, the army has a school where you can get an LLM in military law or operational law or whathaveyou.



jwd03

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Re: Seriously considering the $ at a T4 vs. admission at a T1 (JAG)
« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2007, 08:52:16 PM »
My question with JAG centers on the work experience that you would be able to accquire throughout the course of a career.  If you were to spend twenty years as a JAG what kind of law experience would you actually walk away with?  My understanding is that JAG puts an emphasis on breadth of experience rather than allowing its lawyers to specialize in any one field.  This makes me quite apprehensive when it comes to making a career as a JAG.  Getting a vast amount of experience in a vast number of legal fields sounds like a good way to be "experienced" without being a specialist.  How would this impact job opportunities after retirement from the military?

gratif

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Re: Seriously considering the $ at a T4 vs. admission at a T1 (JAG)
« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2007, 09:03:49 PM »
My question with JAG centers on the work experience that you would be able to accquire throughout the course of a career.  If you were to spend twenty years as a JAG what kind of law experience would you actually walk away with?  My understanding is that JAG puts an emphasis on breadth of experience rather than allowing its lawyers to specialize in any one field.  This makes me quite apprehensive when it comes to making a career as a JAG.  Getting a vast amount of experience in a vast number of legal fields sounds like a good way to be "experienced" without being a specialist.  How would this impact job opportunities after retirement from the military?

You're right on that breadth over depth thing.  Odds of JAG --> biglaw are slim to nil.  You certainly wouldn't be the least employable person in the world, but money wise you'd be better served exceling in a single career path.

...then again, by that time you'd have a pension of 50K or so and perhaps money would be less of a concern.  It'll definately make my professor aspirations livable.

jwd03

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Re: Seriously considering the $ at a T4 vs. admission at a T1 (JAG)
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2007, 09:35:12 PM »
I am not sure that Biglaw chances are as grim as you make them out to be but I certainly think that chances at making partner at a biglaw firm are remote but I understand that getting hired as outside counsel is not a reach by any means.

I am in a bit of a different situation as I am already in the military and am considering a transfer to JAG.  If I do have them pay for my law school then I will be committed to making a career out of it.  I am just trying to gauge whether or not I will enjoy practicing law as a JAG.

Butters Stotch

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Re: Seriously considering the $ at a T4 vs. admission at a T1 (JAG)
« Reply #24 on: March 27, 2007, 10:26:16 PM »
to the OP, I would choose Indiana or at least DePaul.  If you don't make JAG, who knows you may even develop a health problem or be in an accident leading to disqualification, I would definatly go for at least a T2 to fall back on, since you have the opportunity.  Going to a t4 over a t2 for a difference of ~30k I think is putting too many eggs in your basket.

This is good advice.  This happened to a high school friend of mine.  He blew out his knee while still in training (playing flag football no less).  He wound up not being able to complete the course and never made it into the JAG Corps.
I don't want to do it if it hurts or if it makes you get all sticky.

gratif

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Re: Seriously considering the $ at a T4 vs. admission at a T1 (JAG)
« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2007, 04:32:15 PM »
EDIT: TRYING TO POST A LARGE PICTURE, AND FAILING



gah, why won't it let me?  Is there a maximum image size?

ptown

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Re: Seriously considering the $ at a T4 vs. admission at a T1 (JAG)
« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2007, 04:48:38 PM »
wow...
Missouri 1L

"I was discriminated against during the college-testing process because I come from a culture that is opposed to filling in circles completely and with firm pressure."

CoxlessPair

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Re: Seriously considering the $ at a T4 vs. admission at a T1 (JAG)
« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2007, 04:53:39 PM »
First, I disagree that JAG is like a clover of garlic to the vampire that is BigLaw. I think it is an excellent springboard to litigation work. Being thrown to the trial court wolves (I'm having a weird metaphor day, forgive me) early on as a JAG gives you an incredible amount of experience, much more so than any junior biglaw associate would gain. While going to trial is being less and less common, the fundamental skills translate easily all the ADR options. Further, as soon as you are commissioned, you are actively practicing law as a JAG. Though you are working in a variety of fields, you are not doing document review or merely writing memos. I would think that while you are less specialized  after 4 years in JAG, you are a more effective practitioner when compared to 4 years of BigLaw.

I had the opportunity to spend time with Gary Shapiro, the First Assistant US Attorney for the NDIL, over my christmas break. AUSAs are rarely hired straight out of law school and he said that JAG tends to be one of their biggest recruitment pools, trial experience being one of the primary reasons. So, while AUSA is not BigLaw, it's still PrestigiousLaw, and OptionsAfterJAGLaw.

If you are hoping for corporate transactional work, I will readily concede that JAG might not be the best idea in the world. However, as a Chicago boy, I've been eying Boeing's in-house counsel office as a possibility. Nothing to back this up with. I just figure AF has airlines, Boeing makes airplanes, and knowing what I know of DoD staffers lateraling into defense contracting firms, might be a possible lateral option.

Second, to the OP, you seem to have this pretty well figured out. I love the flow chart (I laughed my ass off, bringing glares from my law library table mates) and you know the pros and cons of the decision. Some people looking at JAG seem to be inspired by Lt. Kaffe/Capt. Harman Rab or are in the bottom of their class and figure the military will be an easy employment option. I'd suggest, barring your Wisco admit, to rock out St. Thomas if you are truly concerned about the debt issue. Worrying about future injuries is just absurd. You may get hit by a bus tomorrow as well but I doubt that is guiding your decision with all of this. 
Speaking to the debt issue, I'm at Illinois with no scholarship (though in-state) and will come out about $80K in the hole. Having worked out projected expenses, projected income, etc, your/my 0-2/0-3 salary can accommodate loan repayments with a solid standard of living. It will be much easier coming out with no debt, but it is also totally do-able to go T1.
Additionally, I would think that if you wanted JAG -> BigLaw, having T1 credentials would make that far easier. 
Air Force JAG Corps

ptown

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Re: Seriously considering the $ at a T4 vs. admission at a T1 (JAG)
« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2007, 05:02:15 PM »
Worrying about future injuries is just absurd. You may get hit by a bus tomorrow as well but I doubt that is guiding your decision with all of this. 


Worrying about it is absurd, yes, but I think it is important to note that such a thing could eliminate any chance of JAG.  My point in saying that before was just that one certainly cannot count on making it, there are things which are beyond your control that may prevent it.

It would be pretty sweet to get hit by a bus, since student loans are dischargeable on death.  Way better than tearing a ligament playing frisbee golf and not being able to go JAG when you didn't hedge your bets when you could have.
Missouri 1L

"I was discriminated against during the college-testing process because I come from a culture that is opposed to filling in circles completely and with firm pressure."

gratif

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Re: Seriously considering the $ at a T4 vs. admission at a T1 (JAG)
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2007, 05:09:05 PM »
St. Thomas is affiliated with both Navy and Air Force ROTC detachments, which, convieniently, are the two branches that offer commision as a 1L.  *IF* I make it. 

At that point, 1 year of debt at St. Thomas would be about 7 grand.  (I've got no undergrad debt... worked my ass off, plus scholarships.)  7 grand isn't much, and dropping out could be a very legitimate option.

Else, if I'm really kicking ass, I hopefully could transfer to a big name school (I know, don't count on it), or apply to the Army and Coast Gaurd after graduation, or shoot for an LLM to obtain a pretty looking degree from a big-name school on my resume.

I know that Indiana leaves me with a lot more options should the JAG thing not work out (including more hope at transfering to Wisco), but you gotta take a shot, right?