How difficult to get into JAG?

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Horchata
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How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby Horchata » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:24 pm

Hey all, how hard is it to do the JAG program after law school? They say on the website it's a competitive process (but of course they're not going to say, "ya, everyone can do it").

Secondly, when exiting the Navy, how would one be viewed by employers? It seems they would get hands on training from the get go.

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MTal
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby MTal » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:31 pm

More competitive than Biglaw.

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Horchata
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby Horchata » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:36 pm

had a feeling that was the case

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bgdddymtty
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby bgdddymtty » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:36 pm

It's extremely competitive, as in single-digit acceptance rates.

If you want to pursue this more seriously, I'd suggest taking the time to read the Military Law forum. It'll take a while, but you'll get a lot of valuable perspective/information.

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Horchata
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby Horchata » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:49 pm

bgdddymtty wrote:It's extremely competitive, as in single-digit acceptance rates.

If you want to pursue this more seriously, I'd suggest taking the time to read the Military Law forum. It'll take a while, but you'll get a lot of valuable perspective/information.


thanks

armyparalegalnco
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby armyparalegalnco » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:42 am

In order of precedence (hardest to easiest) this is the order of JAG difficulty based on pure size of the branches.

1. Coast Guard (Sometimes they only take 3 a year)
2. Air Force (They are just straight picky)
3. Marine Corps
4. Navy
5. Army

6. Any reserve componet

Keep in mind that in Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast guard while you are a JAG officer, you are also considered a line officer. Which means technically you could be a tank commander or something along those lines; In the Army and Navy you will only ever be a lawyer as you are different from other officers.

As far as difficulty getting in, if you are rejected by the Army you can probably forget it, but if rejected by the others you still have a shot with Army.

During the wars you could get in a lot easier, but things have slowed tremedously.

mikeditkaisgod
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby mikeditkaisgod » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:00 am

During the wars you could get in a lot easier, but things have slowed tremedously


Coverage of the wars has slowed tremendously. We're still fighting a war in Afghanistan, but nobody cares anymore.

armyparalegalnco
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby armyparalegalnco » Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:28 pm

mikeditkaisgod wrote:
During the wars you could get in a lot easier, but things have slowed tremedously


Coverage of the wars has slowed tremendously. We're still fighting a war in Afghanistan, but nobody cares anymore.


No hero, the overall NEED and numbers game of boots on the ground has slowed tremendously. Every component is down sizing, and its much harder to join now then 5 years ago because we are oversized.

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MarineLaw
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby MarineLaw » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:03 pm

armyparalegalnco wrote:
mikeditkaisgod wrote:
During the wars you could get in a lot easier, but things have slowed tremedously


Coverage of the wars has slowed tremendously. We're still fighting a war in Afghanistan, but nobody cares anymore.


No hero, the overall NEED and numbers game of boots on the ground has slowed tremendously. Every component is down sizing, and its much harder to join now then 5 years ago because we are oversized.


The downsize is a direct result of the economy tanking, it's just taken 2.5 years to catch up to military end-strength. The need for boots on the ground has not decreased significantly enough to alone merit such a reduction of forces. the economy is the most pertinent issue.

The boots-on-the-ground levels are definitely controversial because they do not necessarily correlate completely with what is needed, the politicians make the call on troop levels, which in turn includes politicking "issues" that typically are extraneous to the needs/wants of the ground commander trying to accomplish a mission.

And yes, coverage has indeed decreased at a rate higher than the decrease in combat activity.

JAG is competitive, but not impossible. The Navy I believe is around 9% selection, the Marine Corps a bit higher (especially for URM and females). One thing to consider with the Marine Corps is that you'll spend 6 months in the woods of Northern VA learnign to be a rifle platoon commander. However, even though an above poster mentioned being a "tank commander"...If we EVER get to the point were we are making JAGs combat arms officers, we are in some serious serious shit that will be unlikely to not include you even if you aren't in the military (Selective service and food rationing time.

Journeybound
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby Journeybound » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:23 pm

I'm doing an internship with Air Force JAG right now. One of the Lieutenants that I work with said that the acceptance rate was 3.6% during her cycle last year for direct appointment. I think that it's averaging around 4-5% selection rate right now. Extremely competitive, and grades aren't the only thing that they look at.

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Kabuo
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby Kabuo » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:35 pm

Who is the competition, and what are the other things they look at? I mean, I assume you're not competing with exclusively T14 grads, right? Wouldn't tons of unemployed TTT grads be at least giving it a shot? Also, is coming from a Navy family at all relevant? Would my dad being an O6 do anything at all, assuming I go to at least a T20 and am above median?

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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby Journeybound » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:23 pm

The Air Force is pushing for this whole "meritocracy" thing, so they don't focus so much on the type of school or your "connections". Maybe if your you had connections to the interviewer (usually done by the the local SJA, an 06) that might help? I go to a T10. When I first started the internship, the 06 met with me and told me that the "Ivy type grads are a dime a dozen in this economy." He said that he interviewed about 15 students last year, and he gave recommendations to the selection board for those with solid work experience, maturity, grades, and leadership/team working skills. So while grades and school are important, they will look at everything.

But, it's interesting to note that most of the attorneys in my office (there are 13 at my base right now, which is a lot!!) went to T2 or T3 type schools. This might be because they applied when the economy was better, or because they had stellar grades; I'm not sure. But it looks like they are now getting a lot more applicants from top schools because of the economy.

tothePAIN
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby tothePAIN » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:39 pm

Honestly, your PT counts as much as your grades+school.

armyparalegalnco
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby armyparalegalnco » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:55 pm

Kabuo wrote:Who is the competition, and what are the other things they look at? I mean, I assume you're not competing with exclusively T14 grads, right? Wouldn't tons of unemployed TTT grads be at least giving it a shot? Also, is coming from a Navy family at all relevant? Would my dad being an O6 do anything at all, assuming I go to at least a T20 and am above median?


First and foremost you have to qualify for military service in general. Medical and Criminal histories, number of dependants, age, hegiht/weight, all come into play. 2/3 people generally do not qualify to join the military just off the basics.

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Kabuo
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby Kabuo » Sat Jun 04, 2011 12:03 am

Journeybound wrote:The Air Force is pushing for this whole "meritocracy" thing, so they don't focus so much on the type of school or your "connections". Maybe if your you had connections to the interviewer (usually done by the the local SJA, an 06) that might help? I go to a T10. When I first started the internship, the 06 met with me and told me that the "Ivy type grads are a dime a dozen in this economy."


I don't mention my dad because I expect him to make calls on my behalf so much as because I wasn't sure if it counted as a "soft" of sorts to have grown up on bases and around the military.

armyparalegalnco wrote:First and foremost you have to qualify for military service in general. Medical and Criminal histories, number of dependants, age, hegiht/weight, all come into play. 2/3 people generally do not qualify to join the military just off the basics.


Thanks. I'm fairly sure I qualify for this. Is this already accounted for in the figures thrown out earlier about how selective it is, or is that level of selectivity true for after this 2/3 has already been weeded out?
Last edited by Kabuo on Sat Jun 04, 2011 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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bgdddymtty
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby bgdddymtty » Sat Jun 04, 2011 12:06 am

armyparalegalnco wrote:
Kabuo wrote:Who is the competition, and what are the other things they look at? I mean, I assume you're not competing with exclusively T14 grads, right? Wouldn't tons of unemployed TTT grads be at least giving it a shot? Also, is coming from a Navy family at all relevant? Would my dad being an O6 do anything at all, assuming I go to at least a T20 and am above median?


First and foremost you have to qualify for military service in general. Medical and Criminal histories, number of dependants, age, hegiht/weight, all come into play. 2/3 people generally do not qualify to join the military just off the basics.
Number of dependents?

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Kabuo
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby Kabuo » Sat Jun 04, 2011 12:28 am

bgdddymtty wrote:Number of dependents?


I obviously don't know for sure, but I assume fewer is better.

Journeybound
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby Journeybound » Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:02 am

PT is not taken into consideration for AF JAG boards. You have to pass once you are commissioned. But I think that the first test is at Commissioned Officer Training, and COT is pretty easy compared to what goes on in ROTC field training or at the Academy. At least that's what they are telling me...

tothePAIN
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby tothePAIN » Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:13 am

Ah well, for the Marine Corps, PT matters just as much as the other trash.

Journeybound
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby Journeybound » Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:15 am

Yeah, the Marine Corps is an entirely different game! Haha.

armyparalegalnco
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby armyparalegalnco » Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:56 pm

bgdddymtty wrote:
armyparalegalnco wrote:
Kabuo wrote:Who is the competition, and what are the other things they look at? I mean, I assume you're not competing with exclusively T14 grads, right? Wouldn't tons of unemployed TTT grads be at least giving it a shot? Also, is coming from a Navy family at all relevant? Would my dad being an O6 do anything at all, assuming I go to at least a T20 and am above median?


First and foremost you have to qualify for military service in general. Medical and Criminal histories, number of dependants, age, hegiht/weight, all come into play. 2/3 people generally do not qualify to join the military just off the basics.
Number of dependents?


Yes number of dependants. The military will not let you join in a situation where you cannot support your kids on what you make. Each branch has different stipulations but if you are a single parent and have 6 kids forget it, you will not be able to afford paying your bills on a LT salary in the eyes of the military.

Also, if you are a single parent, or by you joining JAG you would become dual military parents (your wife or husband is already in the military) and cannot provide an acceptable family care plan (if you sent overseas who watches your kid) then forget it.

armyparalegalnco
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby armyparalegalnco » Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:58 pm

Kabuo wrote:
Journeybound wrote:The Air Force is pushing for this whole "meritocracy" thing, so they don't focus so much on the type of school or your "connections". Maybe if your you had connections to the interviewer (usually done by the the local SJA, an 06) that might help? I go to a T10. When I first started the internship, the 06 met with me and told me that the "Ivy type grads are a dime a dozen in this economy."


I don't mention my dad because I expect him to make calls on my behalf so much as because I wasn't sure if it counted as a "soft" of sorts to have grown up on bases and around the military.

armyparalegalnco wrote:First and foremost you have to qualify for military service in general. Medical and Criminal histories, number of dependants, age, hegiht/weight, all come into play. 2/3 people generally do not qualify to join the military just off the basics.


Thanks. I'm fairly sure I qualify for this. Is this already accounted for in the figures thrown out earlier about how selective it is, or is that level of selectivity true for after this 2/3 has already been weeded out?


My 2/3 example is talking about military service in general. Many people just don't realize how many things can DQ you.

Sean1269
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby Sean1269 » Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:13 pm

If you're interested in JAG, you may want to look into your state's national guard program. The competition is typically less competitive and you will have opportunities to work full time for the guard, plus any loan repayment programs your state has. You are still available for worldwide deployment for up to a year, and you will owe a six year "drilling" commitment at the least, but if you cannot get into one of the other branches and still want to serve as a lawyer, the NG is not a bad choice, or if you want to have a civilian life as well.

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shepdawg
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby shepdawg » Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:40 pm

armyparalegalnco wrote:In order of precedence (hardest to easiest) this is the order of JAG difficulty based on pure size of the branches.

1. Coast Guard (Sometimes they only take 3 a year)
2. Air Force (They are just straight picky)
3. Marine Corps
4. Navy
5. Army

6. Any reserve componet


Disagree. Marines are enlisting 0L's as JAGs. There are guys from teh bottom 10% of my school doing boot camp with them this summer, thus ensuring guaranteed employment upon graduation.

tothePAIN
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Re: How difficult to get into JAG?

Postby tothePAIN » Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:46 pm

shepdawg wrote:
armyparalegalnco wrote:In order of precedence (hardest to easiest) this is the order of JAG difficulty based on pure size of the branches.

1. Coast Guard (Sometimes they only take 3 a year)
2. Air Force (They are just straight picky)
3. Marine Corps
4. Navy
5. Army

6. Any reserve componet


Disagree. Marines are enlisting 0L's as JAGs. There are guys from teh bottom 10% of my school doing boot camp with them this summer, thus ensuring guaranteed employment upon graduation.


This response ignores the fact that being a Marine JAG is more competitive in some ways because of qualifications more related to being a Marine than being a JAG.

Edit: There's also a shit ton of ignorance in the above post.

1. Officers don't enlist, they accept a commission.
2. Its Officer Candidate School, not boot camp.
3. As noted above, being a Marine JAG involves more than being just a JAG, it also involves being a Marine Officer. Following Marine Corps philosophy, "Every Marine a rifleman", every officer, including JAGs, have to go through 6 months of infantry centric training to be a rifle platoon commander. Marine JAG is competitive, but not for the same reasons as say, biglaw.




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