Law School Discussion

military options

military options
« on: December 05, 2012, 05:58:47 PM »
hi this is my first post and i have no idea if this is where to post it haha.
I want to be in the military as a lawyer to represent those in the military. I wanted to know if any of the branches of the military offer to put me through college and law school and then bring me back to serve after my schooling is done. i want to be what i believe is a Jag Officer. i dont know if thats what its called, but i want to be an officer that does not go into combat but stays on base.
Any ideas??

Re: military options
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2012, 10:25:53 PM »
Welcome to the forum.

Let's see. You want the government (i.e., the taxpayers) to pay for your college education. Then you want them to pay for your law school education. In return, you want them to make you an officer so you don't have to swab the deck and clean the head. Then you want them to keep you tucked away somewhere nice and safe from bullets and other harm where you can have a comfortable job indoors representing veterans who are living with the black memories of having killed people and watched their best friends get their heads, hands and legs blown off before suffering some internal meltdown and going on a rampage.

I think you're going to need to bring a little more to the table. The JAG Corps is fiercely competitive and frankly, the government doesn't need to pay to put people through college and law school. They have a huge surplus of candidates who have already taken care of that themselves. I'm not saying don't try. But you have to be real about it. (I never realized how "real" the world was until I joined the Marines.) If you're serious, you might consider enlisting and taking your chances with combat. Your odds of surviving a tour intact are very good, statistically speaking. And if you think you're scared, how do you think those other people feel when the U.S. Army is coming to kill them? Serving would get you a bundle of money to apply to college when you got out - which is one way to get them to pay for your schooling. And you can also work on your degree at night while you serve. I did, anyway, when I wasn't deployed. An honorable tour of duty in any branch would look good on your JAG application later. Then get straight As in college and shoot for the best law school you can get into. Graduate in the top 5% of your class. Then maybe they'll agree that you have what it takes.

It's a pretty steep hill to climb. But you'll never know if you don't try. Good luck.

Re: military options
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2012, 02:35:05 PM »
One of my friends from law school was an officer, and hoped to get into JAG after graduation. He said that even with his background (years of active duty before law school) he wasn't guaranteed a spot, he'd still have to compete among a highly qualified pool of applicants. 

i dont know if thats what its called, but i want to be an officer that does not go into combat but stays on base.

As far as I know, JAG officers are routinely serving in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. I don't think the military has much interest in officers who seek to avoid combat.

Re: military options
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2012, 08:57:59 PM »
One of the lawyers my dad works for was a JAG officer in the Marines, but I don't think he ever served before that and he says they paid off his student loans, but this was years ago so things may have changed a lot since then. 

Re: military options
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2012, 09:41:21 PM »
JAG, regardless of the branch, is extremely competitive these days, and even if you don't deploy, the attitude that you want to will go far.

Unfortunately, none of the military branches will pay for college and law school ahead of time.

The question is: Are you more dedicated to becoming a military officer or an attorney? Remember, JAG officers are officers first.

If you're more interested in becoming an officer, ROTC during college is a great way to pay for it. If you've got good scores and a law school acceptance in hand you can apply for Educational Delay and go to law school, hoping to snag a JAG spot, but that won't be guaranteed. The other option is working for 2-4 years and then applying for the Funded Legal Education Program(FLEP, varies by branch). There's a small number of active duty officers selected to attend law school with a full ride from the government and continue to be paid while in school. It's a great deal if you can get it but you'd generally need to have a Tier 1 acceptance in hand to even be considered.

The bottom line is, there are many ways to serve and paths to becoming a Judge Advocate. Depending on your interests and branch, you have a few routes. But you absolutely have to be prepared to be an officer and serve in a combat zone.

Re: military options
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2012, 09:27:45 AM »
I'm currently an officer recruiter for the navy, so take heed to what I say:

There are two ways to become a JAG (actually 3):
Direct Accession (i.e. you have your J.D. and valuable experience)
JAG Student (you're a law student in good standing, great grades, good LSAT score, great letters of recommendation, and a plump resume)

The other is for active duty officers. It is a funded law program for officers not past their 6th anniversary as an officer. The army and the navy have one. I do not know if the AF offers a funded program for its officers.

With current active duty service, you do not qualify for the LEP (navy) FLEP (army) programs.

Applying for JAG student comes with no commitment...and no are simply chosen early on as a great officer candidate. When you graduate, complete medical/security qualification, you go to OCS in Newport, RI for 13 weeks (officer version of boot camp which is only 8 weeks) then to the Navy Justice School in Newport, RI. I don't know how long that is.

You graduate OCS as a LTJG and promote within 6 months to LT