Anybody Considering JAG (or other paths outside biglaw)?

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Anybody Considering JAG (or other paths outside biglaw)?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:32 pm

2L at T14 here. Decent grades. Secured a V-50 biglaw in non-NYC major market (LA/SF). Not the most prestigious firm, but still very happy with the outcome.

Now that I have a chance to kick back a little and think outside this race of an OCI, anybody having thoughts about alternative careers within law? From all I can gather, biglaw life can not only be brutal (hours, people, etc.), but largely unfulfilling, even at the top-of-the-sphere shops. In the end, we're all paper-pushers for the decision-makers. I guess it may be different for prestigious litigation shops in DC or whatever.

So long story short, I started doing some research on JAG. Pay doesn't seem that great, but great benefits (COLA, insurance, etc.). Most important, it seems like an interesting and fulfilling path, at least compared to generic biglaw --> in-house. I'm seriously considering doing it long-term (20 years --> retire --> maybe work as contractor?!). And no, it's not like I have no idea what military life is all about. I come from a military family (my dad served, my cousins are currently serving, etc.). It's certainly more 'blue-collarish' than biglaw, but anybody else thinking about this career path? Or any other that seems more interesting than biglaw?

Would love to hear some thoughts/perspective.

Anonymous User
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Re: Anybody Considering JAG (or other paths outside biglaw)?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:2L at T14 here. Decent grades. Secured a V-50 biglaw in non-NYC major market (LA/SF). Not the most prestigious firm, but still very happy with the outcome.

Now that I have a chance to kick back a little and think outside this race of an OCI, anybody having thoughts about alternative careers within law? From all I can gather, biglaw life can not only be brutal (hours, people, etc.), but largely unfulfilling, even at the top-of-the-sphere shops. In the end, we're all paper-pushers for the decision-makers. I guess it may be different for prestigious litigation shops in DC or whatever.

So long story short, I started doing some research on JAG. Pay doesn't seem that great, but great benefits (COLA, insurance, etc.). Most important, it seems like an interesting and fulfilling path, at least compared to generic biglaw --> in-house. I'm seriously considering doing it long-term (20 years --> retire --> maybe work as contractor?!). And no, it's not like I have no idea what military life is all about. I come from a military family (my dad served, my cousins are currently serving, etc.). It's certainly more 'blue-collarish' than biglaw, but anybody else thinking about this career path? Or any other that seems more interesting than biglaw?

Would love to hear some thoughts/perspective.


You have zero chance of becoming a JAG if your motivation for doing so is because you might find it more "interesting" or easier than biglaw. JAG (like public interest) isn't some fallback for people who don't get/don't like biglaw, it's for people with a genuine desire to serve the country in uniform.

edit: accidental anon

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Kratos

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Re: Anybody Considering JAG (or other paths outside biglaw)?

Postby Kratos » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2L at T14 here. Decent grades. Secured a V-50 biglaw in non-NYC major market (LA/SF). Not the most prestigious firm, but still very happy with the outcome.

Now that I have a chance to kick back a little and think outside this race of an OCI, anybody having thoughts about alternative careers within law? From all I can gather, biglaw life can not only be brutal (hours, people, etc.), but largely unfulfilling, even at the top-of-the-sphere shops. In the end, we're all paper-pushers for the decision-makers. I guess it may be different for prestigious litigation shops in DC or whatever.

So long story short, I started doing some research on JAG. Pay doesn't seem that great, but great benefits (COLA, insurance, etc.). Most important, it seems like an interesting and fulfilling path, at least compared to generic biglaw --> in-house. I'm seriously considering doing it long-term (20 years --> retire --> maybe work as contractor?!). And no, it's not like I have no idea what military life is all about. I come from a military family (my dad served, my cousins are currently serving, etc.). It's certainly more 'blue-collarish' than biglaw, but anybody else thinking about this career path? Or any other that seems more interesting than biglaw?

Would love to hear some thoughts/perspective.


You have zero chance of becoming a JAG if your motivation for doing so is because you might find it more "interesting" or easier than biglaw. JAG (like public interest) isn't some fallback for people who don't get/don't like biglaw, it's for people with a genuine desire to serve the country in uniform.

edit: accidental anon

I know people that successfully used it as a fallback

Anonymous User
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Re: Anybody Considering JAG (or other paths outside biglaw)?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:2L at T14 here. Decent grades. Secured a V-50 biglaw in non-NYC major market (LA/SF). Not the most prestigious firm, but still very happy with the outcome.

Now that I have a chance to kick back a little and think outside this race of an OCI, anybody having thoughts about alternative careers within law? From all I can gather, biglaw life can not only be brutal (hours, people, etc.), but largely unfulfilling, even at the top-of-the-sphere shops. In the end, we're all paper-pushers for the decision-makers. I guess it may be different for prestigious litigation shops in DC or whatever.

So long story short, I started doing some research on JAG. Pay doesn't seem that great, but great benefits (COLA, insurance, etc.). Most important, it seems like an interesting and fulfilling path, at least compared to generic biglaw --> in-house. I'm seriously considering doing it long-term (20 years --> retire --> maybe work as contractor?!). And no, it's not like I have no idea what military life is all about. I come from a military family (my dad served, my cousins are currently serving, etc.). It's certainly more 'blue-collarish' than biglaw, but anybody else thinking about this career path? Or any other that seems more interesting than biglaw?

Would love to hear some thoughts/perspective.


You have zero chance of becoming a JAG if your motivation for doing so is because you might find it more "interesting" or easier than biglaw. JAG (like public interest) isn't some fallback for people who don't get/don't like biglaw, it's for people with a genuine desire to serve the country in uniform.

edit: accidental anon


OP here. Yeah, I admit my interest might stem from wrong reasons, and from what I hear, JAG app process is very competitive. By no means was I insinuating that it would be a 'fallback' option for anyone. Having military members in my family, I have the utmost respect for those who served. It's just that as a know-nothing 2L, it's hard to get out of this prestige-chasing cycle, and career services at my school has much greater resources devoted to private sector employment (i.e. biglaw). I plan on reaching out to current/former JAGs and talk to my school's public services folks about this as well. I think that would be a good place to start - just wanted to hear from people who may be going through a similar thought process as I am as a law student - not just JAG, but just different career paths than generic biglaw.

Anonymous User
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Re: Anybody Considering JAG (or other paths outside biglaw)?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:04 am

I interned with a JAG office 1L summer, will be going to a v-10 for 2L summer, but will be applying to JAG and would probably accept it over the firm (with the caveat that I haven't had the firm experience yet, so I can't say with 100% certainty that I would prefer JAG). I think if you are considering it, you should try to extern during the year if you can. It is definitely a unique culture, and your application will have more weight if you have experienced it firsthand.

JAGs rotate between offices ever 2-3 years, so unlike biglaw, you are unlikely to become a specialist. The base pay is low compared to 180K, but the opportunity for PSLF, LRAP, and the benefits that come with being in the military make it a fair option (plus the job stability). Depending on the service, you will be able to live in interesting places, move around every couple of years, and try out different areas of the law. You will almost definitely get trial experience in your first year. In terms of exit options, being a JAG may give you a leg up with some government positions, but in general I don't think it would be any better than being at a firm would give you.

I think the decision comes down to what type of work/work environment you prefer, what you prioritize in life, and your long term goals.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Anybody Considering JAG (or other paths outside biglaw)?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 08, 2016 6:21 pm

JAG is a great deal. I am interviewing with the JAG corps in a week or so through my schools OCI. Something to note though is they ask if you have EVER done drugs, and I hear in order to advance to a certain level they polygraph you.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Anybody Considering JAG (or other paths outside biglaw)?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:03 pm

Are you looking at any branch in particular?



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