JAG

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raferna3
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JAG

Postby raferna3 » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:04 pm

I have been giving some consideration to going Marine or Navy JAG post-law school. If I decided to do so, would mentioning this give me any kind of boost in the eyes of adcomms?

If so, how should I broach the subject? Include in PS? Addendum?

ETA: Yes, I would look to declare now(before law school) so I could complete OCS in Summer of 2014 and be credited with time-served during my 3 years of law school, that way I would begin my JAG years at a higher rank than those who waited.4

ETA #2: I am also interested in employment outcomes for JAGs after their service. Obviously, things could always go either way, but if anyone knows whether JAGs are highly regarded/sought after or just thrown in line with everyone else, that'd be helpful.
Last edited by raferna3 on Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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guano
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Re: JAG

Postby guano » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:11 pm

raferna3 wrote:I have been giving some consideration to going Marine or Navy JAG post-law school. If I decided to do so, would mentioning this give me any kind of boost in the eyes of adcomms?

If so, how should I broach the subject? Include in PS? Addendum?

ETA: Yes, I would look to declare now(before law school) so I could complete OCS in Summer of 2014 and be credited with time-served during my 3 years of law school, that way I would begin my JAG years at a higher rank than those who waited.

It's a nice soft. Absolutely put it in your PS. Won't help you outperform your numbers

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: JAG

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:12 pm

Isn't it difficult to get JAG? How would saying you want to go JAG different from saying "I want to clerk for SCOTUS" (or more realistically, "I want to be a PD" or "I want to work in biglaw")? It's not something you've actually done, it's just a goal.

Now, if you mean you're planning on joining the military pre-LS so you're in a better position for JAG, sure, tell schools, since the military is seen as a good soft. But I suspect in that case there's somewhere on school applications to indicate your service. You could also talk about your career goals in your PS. An addendum seems weird to me.

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raferna3
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Re: JAG

Postby raferna3 » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:16 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Isn't it difficult to get JAG? How would saying you want to go JAG different from saying "I want to clerk for SCOTUS" (or more realistically, "I want to be a PD" or "I want to work in biglaw")? It's not something you've actually done, it's just a goal.

Now, if you mean you're planning on joining the military pre-LS so you're in a better position for JAG, sure, tell schools, since the military is seen as a good soft. But I suspect in that case there's somewhere on school applications to indicate your service. You could also talk about your career goals in your PS. An addendum seems weird to me.


JAG is certainly very selective, but I spoke to a Marine recruiter and his Captain about a month ago and both thought I had a good shoot with my softs(lots of substantive leadership positions) as long as I got above a 155 LSAT(their minimum), which I did.

Certainly nothing concrete at the moment. But I was thinking of throwing my hat into the ring and seeing if they'd pick me up. Assuming(and hoping) that they did, I was just wondering if this would help my application out at all. Marines' selection committee meets in November.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: JAG

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:23 pm

Cool. I don't know a lot about how JAG works, I just know that there are a lot of people who go through the selection process three or four times. If you actually go through some sort of process that gets you into a program, certainly tell law schools about it. I didn't realize you could actually be accepted to the program this early in the process, hence my confusion.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: JAG

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:44 am

Do you have military experience?

If not, be very skeptical of stuff recruiters tell you. I'm not saying he's lying necessarily. I'm just saying balance out the recruiter spiel with other sources. The recruiter doesn't give a shit what ultimately happens to you. He gets judged on his ability to get people to sign the contract. If you join, and then don't get to do whatever cool thing you thought you were going to get to do, the recruiter gives no fucks. There have been a lot of people who have been induced to sign on the line because "once you're in, you can totally do x!" when really, once you're in, you can totally apply for x. And Marine OCS is HARD. A high percentage of people do not pass.

And seconding that putting down an aspiration is not a soft. It's interesting, and shows you have given some thought to what you might want to do with a JD besides "wear a nice suit, drive a nice car, bag lots of tail" but you really can't expect brownie points for something you haven't actually done.

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Ex Cearulo
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Re: JAG

Postby Ex Cearulo » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:02 am

If the only thing you want to do in the military is be in the JAG Corps (nothing wrong with that), do not join the military with the "plan" of getting into JAG down the road. But it doesn't really sound like that is what you're talking about. Nothing wrong with including "I want to join JAG after graduation," but realize there's probably a difference between just saying it and giving a compelling, heartfelt reason WHY you want to join JAG. That all being said, don't expect any kind of bump outside of the AdComm liking that you have a legit, well thought reason for wanting to attend law school and become a lawyer.

20141023
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Re: JAG

Postby 20141023 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:51 am

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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raferna3
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Re: JAG

Postby raferna3 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:25 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:Yeah... if you haven't done something yet, definitely don't write an addendum for it. At most, add a few lines to your personal statement about why you would want to become a JAG. Adcomms don't care as much about what you want to do; they are more interested in reading about what you have done on your application. (Past versus future tense.) If you only talk about things you plan to do in the future, you will sound cocky. If you sound cocky, then you might come across like this guy. And you don't want to sound like that guy...



Lol, that was a good read, thank you for that, and the sound advice as well.

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raferna3
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Re: JAG

Postby raferna3 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:28 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:Do you have military experience?

If not, be very skeptical of stuff recruiters tell you. I'm not saying he's lying necessarily. I'm just saying balance out the recruiter spiel with other sources. The recruiter doesn't give a shit what ultimately happens to you. He gets judged on his ability to get people to sign the contract. If you join, and then don't get to do whatever cool thing you thought you were going to get to do, the recruiter gives no fucks. There have been a lot of people who have been induced to sign on the line because "once you're in, you can totally do x!" when really, once you're in, you can totally apply for x. And Marine OCS is HARD. A high percentage of people do not pass.

And seconding that putting down an aspiration is not a soft. It's interesting, and shows you have given some thought to what you might want to do with a JD besides "wear a nice suit, drive a nice car, bag lots of tail" but you really can't expect brownie points for something you haven't actually done.



I have no military experience but if I were to sign up it would be specifically for the JAG program. Though they can do what they want with you once you're in(especially in the Marines, where you're a Marine first, lawyer second), I would be guaranteed OCS, TBS, and the subsequent JAG training school(dont remember the acronym for that one). So long story short it would be a sure thing, if I was accepted. I agree with you on the other stuff though. Love the 'League' avatar, btw. Lol. Great show.

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raferna3
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Re: JAG

Postby raferna3 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:29 pm

HawgDriver wrote:If the only thing you want to do in the military is be in the JAG Corps (nothing wrong with that), do not join the military with the "plan" of getting into JAG down the road. But it doesn't really sound like that is what you're talking about. Nothing wrong with including "I want to join JAG after graduation," but realize there's probably a difference between just saying it and giving a compelling, heartfelt reason WHY you want to join JAG. That all being said, don't expect any kind of bump outside of the AdComm liking that you have a legit, well thought reason for wanting to attend law school and become a lawyer.



I agree, I may mention it if I can find a way to tie it in to my personal statement but otherwise I will probably steer clear of it unless I am accepted into JAG this November, if I choose to apply. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: JAG

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:04 pm

I guess I'm still confused. I can't find anything that says you can be accepted into JAG before you've been accepted into law school (or completed one year of law school)? Is that possible?

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rinkrat19
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Re: JAG

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:13 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I guess I'm still confused. I can't find anything that says you can be accepted into JAG before you've been accepted into law school (or completed one year of law school)? Is that possible?

I was under this impression as well. I know someone who interviewed for JAG this year (1L) and decided not to do it because they require such a strict committment during your law school summers that you basically have no other employment options left open...except there's a very good chance (well over 50%) you won't even get selected into the JAG program after graduation.

But I'm no expert; maybe there's another route in.

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raferna3
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Re: JAG

Postby raferna3 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:19 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I guess I'm still confused. I can't find anything that says you can be accepted into JAG before you've been accepted into law school (or completed one year of law school)? Is that possible?


Just as with their other programs, each branch is different. I have only discussed it extensively with the Marine recruiter, and he blueprinted a route out for me which would include my going to OCS in Summer of '14, beginning law school Fall '14, and completing law school like any other student while only having to periodically check in with the recruiter to make sure I was still alive and in some kind of shape. Though you would have the OPTION, of doing military law internships during Summers if you chose to. Then, after graduating, I would go to Basic, and upon successful completion, their JAG training school.

The benefit of declaring early is that I would begin my JAG career as someone who has already been a Marine officer for 3 years(higher pay, rank, etc.), as they would count the time in law school as time served toward those ends, just not as time served toward your dedicated enlistment(or whatever it's called).

Like I said, each branch is different but that is how the Marine recruiter(and his commanding officer) laid it out for me.

Hope this helps clear some of your questions up. A bit confusing, I know... If any of you are interested I would definitely recommend contacting the local recruiter/s from the branch/es you're interested in.

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raferna3
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Re: JAG

Postby raferna3 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:21 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I guess I'm still confused. I can't find anything that says you can be accepted into JAG before you've been accepted into law school (or completed one year of law school)? Is that possible?


After re-reading your question, I believe that yes, you have to be accepted into a law school, but you do not have to BEGIN law school before signing up. You can go to OCS the Summer before you begin law school, at least as it pertains to Marine JAG.

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rinkrat19
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Re: JAG

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:23 pm

raferna3 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I guess I'm still confused. I can't find anything that says you can be accepted into JAG before you've been accepted into law school (or completed one year of law school)? Is that possible?


Just as with their other programs, each branch is different. I have only discussed it extensively with the Marine recruiter, and he blueprinted a route out for me which would include my going to OCS in Summer of '14, beginning law school Fall '14, and completing law school like any other student while only having to periodically check in with the recruiter to make sure I was still alive and in some kind of shape. Though you would have the OPTION, of doing military law internships during Summers if you chose to. Then, after graduating, I would go to Basic, and upon successful completion, their JAG training school.

The benefit of declaring early is that I would begin my JAG career as someone who has already been a Marine officer for 3 years(higher pay, rank, etc.), as they would count the time in law school as time served toward those ends, just not as time served toward your dedicated enlistment(or whatever it's called).

Like I said, each branch is different but that is how the Marine recruiter(and his commanding officer) laid it out for me.

Hope this helps clear some of your questions up. A bit confusing, I know... If any of you are interested I would definitely recommend contacting the local recruiter/s from the branch/es you're interested in.

Does everyone who signs up get in? I was under the impression that it's pretty selective. And is the culling done at signup (which would make it more of an application) or at the Basic/JAG school end of the process?

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dr123
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Re: JAG

Postby dr123 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:25 pm

I dont think wanting to do so something is a soft. Softs are typically things you have actually done (WE, Awards, etc.)

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raferna3
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Re: JAG

Postby raferna3 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:29 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:
raferna3 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I guess I'm still confused. I can't find anything that says you can be accepted into JAG before you've been accepted into law school (or completed one year of law school)? Is that possible?


Just as with their other programs, each branch is different. I have only discussed it extensively with the Marine recruiter, and he blueprinted a route out for me which would include my going to OCS in Summer of '14, beginning law school Fall '14, and completing law school like any other student while only having to periodically check in with the recruiter to make sure I was still alive and in some kind of shape. Though you would have the OPTION, of doing military law internships during Summers if you chose to. Then, after graduating, I would go to Basic, and upon successful completion, their JAG training school.

The benefit of declaring early is that I would begin my JAG career as someone who has already been a Marine officer for 3 years(higher pay, rank, etc.), as they would count the time in law school as time served toward those ends, just not as time served toward your dedicated enlistment(or whatever it's called).

Like I said, each branch is different but that is how the Marine recruiter(and his commanding officer) laid it out for me.

Hope this helps clear some of your questions up. A bit confusing, I know... If any of you are interested I would definitely recommend contacting the local recruiter/s from the branch/es you're interested in.

Does everyone who signs up get in? I was under the impression that it's pretty selective. And is the culling done at signup (which would make it more of an application) or at the Basic/JAG school end of the process?


My understanding is that it is extremely selective, but fortunately for those of us who are interested, most 180/4.0 guys just want to go to Harvard and just chase the money. But Marine JAG selection committee meets twice per year, once in November, and once in April, and makes their selections during those two meetings. It is selective, but if interested, it doesn't hurt to throw your hat in the ring and give it a shot.

However, at least as it pertains to Marine JAG, the physical fitness requirements are pretty extreme. 20 pull-ups/100 sit-ups and an 18:00 THREE mile run are what is required for a perfect 300 Personal Fitness Test. Luckily for me I am an ex football player who has stayed in shape, but for some of the academic types I imagine this is quite a barrier to entry.

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tyler.durden
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Re: JAG

Postby tyler.durden » Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:51 pm

I can only speak to the Marine Corps programs but this is what I know:

There are 2 tracks that take you from civilian to Marine Corps JAG (Usually called Staff Judge Advocate or "SJA" in the Marines):

Path 1: PLC-Law You are a college senior with an acceptance letter to an ABA accredited law school. You apply to Platoon Leaders Course Law program which consists of a selection board that stacks you up against your peers from your recruiting district. You are evaluated on -

Academics: Undergrad GPA, ACT or SAT score (must be above 22 or 1000 respectively), LSAT score (must be above 150), and in some cases the ASVAB (above a 74) can substitute for the SAT/ACT scores.

Physical Fitness: Pull-ups, crunches, and a 3-mile run. To be seriously considered you'll need to do pretty well on this

Moral History: Drug use, arrests, citations, and to a certain extent tattoos all can cause issues. Waivers exist for most but some are harder to get than others.

Medical Readiness: Finally you must be medically qualified. This means no asthma past age 12, history of ADD/ADHD/Depression, and significant medical events in your history can all slow or stop the process.

The boards meet throughout the year, usually twice per fiscal year, it is dependent on which of the Marine Corps Recruiting Districts you fall under, talk to your local Officer Selection Officer (usually a captain) for specific dates. If you are selected on the board, you attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Quantico, VA for 10 weeks the summer between senior year and 1L. If you graduate from OCS you are commissioned as a 2ndLt at Quantico, and placed into a reserve status called Individual Ready Reserve where you are not paid a salary, but do accrue time in service toward promotion while you go to law school. You will likely be eligible for financial aid and/or tuition assistance but it will be a drop in the bucket compared to law school tuition. During the summers you are eligible to activate and do some hands on "sumer fun" at a major Marine Corps installation's legal center. When you graduate from law school and pass the bar, you are assigned to a TBS class and start your 4 year active duty commitment.

This entire selection process can be initiated during your 1L year or your 2L year as well, the timeline and qualifications are the same, you just have fewer years of service accrued by the time you go to TBS and begin active duty.

Path 2: OCC-Law You have graduated from an ABA accredited law school and passed the bar and you apply through your local Officer Selection Officer for the Officer Candidate Course Law program. The qualifications are the same but the competition level tends to be a bit stiffer. This means you'll need higher PFT scores, GPA (at this point both UGPA and law school GPA are considered), and waivers are even more frowned upon. OCS is exactly the same, where this path diverges from PLC-Law is after OCS, you are commissioned and immediately assigned to TBS and thus your active duty time starts then.


So essentially, if you are selected under either path, you are guaranteed to practice law in the Marine Corps as long as you pass the bar and OCS. If you do not pass OCS, the deal is off and you go back to being a civilian. The only way you could get "screwed" into a different career path is If you cannot pass the bar under the PLC program. In this scenario, you are already a commissioned officer and have a 4 year obligation. This happens rarely (I only know one person who had this happen to them) and usually they'll work with you for a second retake. The person I knew just never told anyone and at the end of TBS as she was headed to Naval Justice School, they found out and made him/her an adjutant. You can imagine there were a series of administrative mistakes made on multiple levels for this to have happened.

Hope this is helpful!

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: JAG

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:59 pm

So my point here is that if you have to get a letter of acceptance to law school to be accepted to JAG via the PLC route, you can't also use acceptance to JAG as a soft when applying to law school. It will still only be aspirational - something you're going to apply for. No matter how likely your chances of acceptance, it's not the same as saying you're in the program. (People can say they're going to do all sorts of things on an application). So again, it may be of some interest to law schools, but only as part of a statement about your goals, not as an accomplishment.

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tyler.durden
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Re: JAG

Postby tyler.durden » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:01 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:So my point here is that if you have to get a letter of acceptance to law school to be accepted to JAG via the PLC route, you can't also use acceptance to JAG as a soft when applying to law school. It will still only be aspirational - something you're going to apply for. No matter how likely your chances of acceptance, it's not the same as saying you're in the program. (People can say they're going to do all sorts of things on an application). So again, it may be of some interest to law schools, but only as part of a statement about your goals, not as an accomplishment.


Yep, that seems like the right answer to me.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: JAG

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:26 pm

I'm more familiar with the Army than the Marines, but from what I hear from my Marine friends:

Keep in mind the standards to actually be competitive are a good deal stiffer than the standards to apply. So, yeah, the standards to apply might be a 150 LSAT and a 3.0 GPA, but unless you have a 3.6/165 LSAT your chances of actually getting picked are remote. I just pulled those numbers out of my ass, but you get the idea.

This is what I've heard about Marine OCS in general, where people get turned away for not having a 3.5+ GPA/290+ PFT. Not sure how much of it applies to the JAG specific world. Just be mindful that with all things military the standards to submit an application may be much, much lower than the standards to be a serious candidate.

Also, not trying to be a bummer at all. If you're interested you should pursue it by all means. Just stuff to bear in mind. Read through the Military Law thread if you haven't already.

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rinkrat19
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Re: JAG

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:40 pm

tyler.durden wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:So my point here is that if you have to get a letter of acceptance to law school to be accepted to JAG via the PLC route, you can't also use acceptance to JAG as a soft when applying to law school. It will still only be aspirational - something you're going to apply for. No matter how likely your chances of acceptance, it's not the same as saying you're in the program. (People can say they're going to do all sorts of things on an application). So again, it may be of some interest to law schools, but only as part of a statement about your goals, not as an accomplishment.


Yep, that seems like the right answer to me.

All the ancillary confusion about the selection process aside, this seems like the answer to the original question.

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twenty
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Re: JAG

Postby twenty » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:00 pm

I'd imagine PLC-Law is one of the best options out there for pre-law outside of maybe SEO for minority students. Going into law school knowing you have a guaranteed job no matter how you do, which means you're probably best off taking a ton of money from a low-ranked school. And if OCS doesn't work out for you, then no real harm done.

I wouldn't do PLC-Law during 2L or even 1L though, unless you're cool with a 30% "no offer" rate.

EDIT> For Direct Commissioning, do you get time in service credit for law school? I know you'd start off as an O-2 with a few months to O-3, but does that factor in towards promotions/pay?

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Young Marino
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Re: JAG

Postby Young Marino » Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:21 pm

I don't know much about how USMC operates but I can tell you the Air Force has a similar program called the GLP in which 1Ls are selected based on an array of factors. LSAT score is not taken into account but it's nice to have a strong GPA and some nice softs preferably in the public sector. In a few weeks, I plan to begin volunteering at the closest base to me helping out the SJA. It'll be an hour and a half commute, I may even move down there just for the opportunity but it's an awesome resume boost and can REALLY open doors so I'm told. Maybe you want to try something like that? Depending on the nearest base location of course




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