how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

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johnnyvaillan
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how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

Postby johnnyvaillan » Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:53 pm

I'm a 2L in the top 1/3 of my class and my school is ranked in the middle of the top 100, and i'm also on a journal. what are my chances of getting into jag? my top choice is air force, followed by navy, and then army.

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Adjudicator
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Re: how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

Postby Adjudicator » Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:06 pm

It's funny that you ask that; I was just reading about the judge advocate corps of the US Coast Guard and wondering the same thing. Seems like it could be pretty interesting work with lots of benefits.

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D-ROCCA
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Re: how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

Postby D-ROCCA » Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:12 pm

It's damn hard to get into, especially with the down economy. I've heard is about as competitive as Biglaw, and they take something like 10% of applicants. They like to see courtroom experience, so moot court is the way to go if you don't have law review.

transplantedbuckeye
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Re: how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

Postby transplantedbuckeye » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:08 pm

oddly enough, I was just on the website yesterday, and I remember seeing something like 3-4% of applicants are offered a commission

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wiseowl
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Re: how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

Postby wiseowl » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:09 pm

from what I've heard, the physical fitness/medical exam will ding a majority of applicants.

enigmaingr
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Re: how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

Postby enigmaingr » Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:26 pm

I've been actively looking in to Army JAG and from what I've learned, what the poster said about health and fitness eliminating a lot of competition is true. If you even give the appearance of being overweight or unfit, you should think twice about applying or ensure that you have a well-rehearsed answer to "what are you doing now to meet our fitness standards?".

I was in the active duty Army for five years and so I've had the chance to make a lot of contacts who say this. Grades matter but not like they would for firm jobs. A guy with a 3.0 GPA who has prior service and runs marathons on the weekends will get a commission over a dude with a 4.0 but is fat from eating donuts all night in the law review office. Also, prestige of school doesn't matter. The guy from Harvard gets the same type of work as the guy from Nova Southwestern. Yes, all services are getting a tremendous number of applicants because of the economy but they are pretty good at wading through those who really want to serve and those who are only applying as a back up. Moot court and any public service work helps a lot.

Anonymous User
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Re: how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:43 pm

im a lawyer with a year of family law experience under my belt. my grades in law school were unremarkable. I am slightly overweight but working on that. is it even worth my applying to army jag?

shastaca
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Re: how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

Postby shastaca » Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:57 pm

I've known Army, Air Force and Navy JAGs. They tend to come from law schools ranked 50-125 who did well in school. I've never met one who wasn't on a review, though they've told me they don't particularly care. They do care about your motivation and your courtroom experience. I've never met one who wasn't near the top of the class. My impression is the grades matter most.

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ResolutePear
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Re: how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

Postby ResolutePear » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:05 pm

I hear the chair force doesn't do that fitness thing.

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casper13
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Re: how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

Postby casper13 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:33 pm

ResolutePear wrote:I hear the chair force doesn't do that fitness thing.


Thats not true. Air Force now has a PRT

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/airforce/a/fitnesschanges.htm

enigmaingr
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Re: how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

Postby enigmaingr » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:im a lawyer with a year of family law experience under my belt. my grades in law school were unremarkable. I am slightly overweight but working on that. is it even worth my applying to army jag?


It's worth a shot. Since you're already practicing, have you considered being a reserve JAG? Being overweight isn't a deal breaker if you're working on it and can detail your plan if asked in the interview. You should also be prepared to answer "why the Army now?".

enigmaingr
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Re: how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

Postby enigmaingr » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:34 pm

shastaca wrote:I've known Army, Air Force and Navy JAGs. They tend to come from law schools ranked 50-125 who did well in school. I've never met one who wasn't on a review, though they've told me they don't particularly care. They do care about your motivation and your courtroom experience. I've never met one who wasn't near the top of the class. My impression is the grades matter most.


Pretty much spot on based on the JAGs I've met. I don't recall meeting a JAG with a JD from a T14, for sure. Everything that would make you a good candidate for any other firm will help for JAG but the interviewer's recommendation is most valuable.

I recently asked an Army JAG about just how competitive it is right now. His take was that in the average law school, easily 50% of the students won't qualify for JAG for physical / mental / or moral reasons (asthma / overweight / homosexual / age / having children being the most likely culprits). Now you are dealing with less than 50% of your classmates, which may or may not be reflective of the grade distribution. Depending on the school, those disqualified for the above reasons may be at the top or bottom of the class. The point is that where you stand in relation to them grade-wise doesn't matter because they aren't competing. A whole lot of those who are qualified won't put their all into the application process because they view it as just a backup. So, if you qualify and really want to be a JAG, you actually have a fairly good chance. Even if you land on the alternate list (Army), you have a real good chance of getting an offer because a lot of candidates initially selected won't accept. That is a key thing to remember because the selection rates that are put out actually only reflect those initially accepted. And definitely apply more than once if you don't get selected the first time. Your odds of being selected actually increase the second time.

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romothesavior
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Re: how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

Postby romothesavior » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:43 pm

The answer to your immediate question is that they are more competitive than people think.

For any and all military law related questions, I'd check out this thread:
http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=31543
. It is a behemoth of a thread and reading it in its entirety is tough, but it does have a lot of great info.

BeautifulSW
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Re: how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

Postby BeautifulSW » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:52 pm

Don't know about the other services, but Navy JAG has been pretty competitive for a long time. I was unable to change designator to JAG as a young reserve Lieutenant (SC) and that was in 1987. (T2 top 1/3rd.) Of course, changing designators is a different thing than applying from civilian life; On the one hand, I was already commissioned and had served several years on active duty so I met the basic requirements but on the other hand the Navy might well have decided that I was needed more in the Supply Corps. The Marines had less interest in me than I had in them which wasn't much, admittedly, but man, their recruiters didn't even offer me a lousy BROCHURE!

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SteelReserve
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Re: how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

Postby SteelReserve » Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:09 pm

Recent boards aside from marine corps have selection rates around 5%. Please also note if navy is one of your goals u need to get in for your 2L summer because the 3L and graduate direct appointment program is extremely small, I think it may even be single digits. Army offers 60k loan repayment and air force is phasing in or has phased in the same program...pretty good deal, hard to find a better pay package in entry level law aside from biglaw

Anonymous User
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Re: how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:17 pm

Air Force already phased in the 60k repayment thing. Also, just thought I'd mention that I met the TJAG of the Air Force today. It was pretty cool.

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Re: how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:37 pm

This is an old post but I just stumbled on it; so, I assume others will too. I go to a Tier IV school...BUT I'm ranked 4th in my class with Law Review, Moot Court, Pro Bono Honors, & experience working for: a private defense practitioner, a state attorneys office, a state supreme court, & a national law firm. Just because you don't go to a Tier I, II, or even III school doesn't mean you don't have a shot. I just got a call from a Captain offering me a position with Army Jag last weekend. I graduate in a month. Work hard & best luck!

darkknight2000
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Re: how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

Postby darkknight2000 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:09 am

I just recently got accepted into Air Force JAG's 2L One Year College Program. Anybody with questions on the application process and tips to get in for this can either ask questions on this thread or PM me for specifics.

duckmoney
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Re: how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

Postby duckmoney » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:33 am

So why are jags underrepresented from top schools? I'm headed to CCN next year and thinking about applying for JAG (excellent LRAP would mean free legal education after 10 year commitment.) Would I be at any kind of disadvantage coming from a top school or is it all about self selection?

darkknight2000
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Re: how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

Postby darkknight2000 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:57 am

duckmoney wrote:So why are jags underrepresented from top schools? I'm headed to CCN next year and thinking about applying for JAG (excellent LRAP would mean free legal education after 10 year commitment.) Would I be at any kind of disadvantage coming from a top school or is it all about self selection?


Not at all. In fact it will be viewed as more of a positive. In Navy JAG for example, I know of the results of the 2L Student Program in the New England region and out of the 3 selected from that region, 2 were from Harvard (the other from BC). In my case, I got into Air Force JAG from ND. Overall, while they do the whole person review and school prestige/class rank are far from the only factors, going to a top school is certainly not a disadvantage.

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mpj_3050
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Re: how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

Postby mpj_3050 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:17 am

I know/knew people from Marine and Air Force that did JAG. Prior military experience, even in a reserve or national guard capacity does help out. As someone else noted, the physical demands are going to wash out a good number of the people before they can even attempt officer candidate school.

I would guess the Marine Corps would be the hardest to fill because of higher physical fitness standards but this is just my opinion. I've been to Marine boot camp as well as the officer training, where I encountered JAG people.

tothePAIN
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Re: how competitive are navy/AF/army jags?

Postby tothePAIN » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:05 am

Leaving Marine Corps OCS I met Lieutenants in the PLC-Law program from Harvard and Stanford.




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