JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

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phineasgage33

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JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby phineasgage33 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:19 pm

T-14 law school. Fine grades. I've narrowed down my post-grad employment to two offers: one V20 BigLaw firm and the other is Marine JAG. My "5-10 year plan" is to become an AUSA in a first or secondary market.

Any advice about which to select for the purposes of an AUSA position would be helpful -- thanks.

TheProsecutor

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby TheProsecutor » Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:13 pm

You should do JAG. Try to get detailed as a SAUSA in your district. After JAG four year commitment, clerk for a federal judge. Work for a firm for a year post clerkship. Then become an AUSA.

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zot1

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby zot1 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:13 pm

Jag.

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Dcc617

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby Dcc617 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:45 pm

Do you want to be in the military? Because it can suck. Also, I've seen a lot of JAG lawyers hate their lives.

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby umichman » Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:52 pm

Dcc617 wrote:Do you want to be in the military? Because it can suck. Also, I've seen a lot of JAG lawyers hate their lives.


Biglaw lawyers love theirs

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Dcc617

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby Dcc617 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:54 pm

umichman wrote:
Dcc617 wrote:Do you want to be in the military? Because it can suck. Also, I've seen a lot of JAG lawyers hate their lives.


Biglaw lawyers love theirs


No experience with biglaw lawyers. I just know JAG takes a certain kind of person. And the pay is alright, not the best.

phineasgage33

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby phineasgage33 » Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:37 am

I get that JAG doesn't pay as much. Also understand that some JAG hate their jobs. After all, it is work. However, I see JAG developing more substantive litigation experience than a traditional BigLaw junior associate. I'm willing to forgo $180K for some solid trial experience so long as it can get me in the door of an AUSA position.

Hintergedanke

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby Hintergedanke » Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:01 am

Current army officer looking to apply to flep possibly next year. Current 163 lsat with a 3.9 and want to do litigation but I am currently debating retaking for t14. Stuck between using flep or exit the military with gi Bill. Long term goal would be ausa from either option. Would love to hear more on your decision.

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2016 8:14 am

I don't think JAG gives you more substantive litigation experience. You'll get in the courtroom more, but mainly you'll be looking over service members' wills. None of the cases that you work on will be very complex. Biglaw associates work on big complex litigation matters and begin to learn how to run big cases.

Also, biglaw is a more tried and true path to AUSA. It can happen from JAG, but it is far far far from a sure bet.

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:29 am

I dont think you could make a bad decision but i would do biglaw and then do JAG (Air force or Army--not sure why you went with Marines--they start at 01 instead of 03). Not sure about your family background in terms on how much money they have, but dont overestimate how much money just even 2 years of biglaw can do for your life. I would get some money saved up and then go do JAG. Biglaw isnt that bad when you know you are leaving soon anyway.

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby Jchance » Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:44 am

JAG

Anonymous User wrote:biglaw is a more tried and true path to AUSA. It can happen from JAG, but it is far far far from a sure bet.


fixed that for you.
Last edited by Jchance on Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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usn26

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby usn26 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:45 am

If you've already made it through PLC/OCC, then I'm sure the Marines are a fine option (better than BL? idk). If you haven't been yet, I would take BigLaw. Even if you're a physical superstar (and especially if you're not), OCS is a lot to go through and you have to be committed. Even still, you could get injured, medically DQ'd, or dropped by the training staff. If you tear a rotator cuff on the O course or land the wrong way and break a leg it's going to be a lot of rehab to do it all again or a much more complicated path to BigLaw.

tl;dr: If you want to be a Marine, go JAG. If you want to be an AUSA, go BigLaw. JMHO.

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Dcc617

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby Dcc617 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:49 am

Hintergedanke wrote:Current army officer looking to apply to flep possibly next year. Current 163 lsat with a 3.9 and want to do litigation but I am currently debating retaking for t14. Stuck between using flep or exit the military with gi Bill. Long term goal would be ausa from either option. Would love to hear more on your decision.


Going to school on the GI bill is pretty sweet. Do you like the army? I think that's the key point for you, because FLEP basically means you're doing 20.

goodtogo27

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby goodtogo27 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:52 am

OP - What class year are you? I completed Marine OCS this past summer. Unlike the other JAG programs, Marine OCS is a gamble given that the attrition rate for law contracts was around 70%.

Hintergedanke

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby Hintergedanke » Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:16 pm

It is still fairly early in my military career. Currently an XO in my first assignment. I can leave the military at 26 to use the gi Bill or would be roughly 33 with flep and would be committed to 20 at that point. I agree that I need to narrow my focus on what I want. Doing 20 in the military from what I've seen thus far makes my stomach turn but it may get better with time.

Op has two amazing options that I would love to have on the table if I attend law school and just wanted more insight to the thought process behind what are fairly different routes to a extremely competitive exit career that I'm interested in.

Most of the above comments are the some of the things I have heard from current JAGs and most advice points toward retaking and getting out. Big law with no debt does sound doable for a couple of years and honestly would like that experience short term.

I apologize for taking away from the original post. I commissioned through army OCS which is easier physically than the marine OCS but if I can offer any advice on that segment please shoot me a pm. You probably don't need it though

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Yukos

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby Yukos » Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:02 pm

So is Marines JAG training the real deal? I've heard AF JAG training is pretty chill.

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby goodtogo27 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:35 pm

Depends on what you mean by the "real deal." All Marine officers go through the same training (like Full Metal Jacket, haha), unlike the other branches which have specialized officer courses for medical doctors, lawyers, chaplains, etc.

Also, Marine lawyers are called JA's (judge advocates) and not JAG's. There is no such thing as Marine JAG :D

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Yukos

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby Yukos » Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:12 pm

goodtogo27 wrote:Depends on what you mean by the "real deal." All Marine officers go through the same training (like Full Metal Jacket, haha), unlike the other branches which have specialized officer courses for medical doctors, lawyers, chaplains, etc.

Also, Marine lawyers are called JA's (judge advocates) and not JAG's. There is no such thing as Marine JAG :D


Yeah, that's pretty much what I meant by the real deal.

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby BNA » Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:39 pm

Hintergedanke wrote:Current army officer looking to apply to flep possibly next year. Current 163 lsat with a 3.9 and want to do litigation but I am currently debating retaking for t14. Stuck between using flep or exit the military with gi Bill. Long term goal would be ausa from either option. Would love to hear more on your decision.


I left to use the gib and count the days until I get back. Civilians are the worst.

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby andythefir » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:02 pm

goodtogo27 wrote:OP - What class year are you? I completed Marine OCS this past summer. Unlike the other JAG programs, Marine OCS is a gamble given that the attrition rate for law contracts was around 70%.


People get bounced from JAG, especially the Marines, all the time. I'd say you have a 70% chance of even making it to OCS due to medical check concerns, then a 30% chance of making it though. Unless/until you get through OCS, I'd go with the bird in the hand.

goodtogo27

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby goodtogo27 » Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:09 am

I'd say you have a 70% chance of even making it to OCS due to medical check concerns, then a 30% chance of making it though.


Agreed, but if OP is in good enough shape to obtain a 290/295 PFT, he/she would basically be an auto-select. Most medical concerns are waivable and the Marine Corps would really like a law contract with a sterling PFT score.

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby andythefir » Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:19 am

goodtogo27 wrote:
I'd say you have a 70% chance of even making it to OCS due to medical check concerns, then a 30% chance of making it though.


Agreed, but if OP is in good enough shape to obtain a 290/295 PFT, he/she would basically be an auto-select. Most medical concerns are waivable and the Marine Corps would really like a law contract with a sterling PFT score.


A dear friend got kicked out because someone incorrectly diagnosed a potential for a auto-DQ diagnosis when he was a kid, and the waiver got appealed all the way up to a colonel, who also said no. #1 PT scores in the ROTC unit, airtight on the personal side. Probably depends on how desperate they are for JAGs, which exact issue, and so on, but it's still far from a sure thing.

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:41 pm

People are quick to assume that all JAGs get tons of litigation experience. I was in the Army JAG Corps for six years and saw ONE trial. Nearly everything is "transactional" (e.g., contracts, wills, POAs, Operational Law, RoEs, assisting with investigations). Do not think that going JAG will guarantee you getting even close to litigation.

And for all the naysayers that will disagree, nearly all potential court-martials are handled via non-judicial punishment by a commanding officer or result in a deal to include the service member being discharged to avoid going to trial.

The only benefit I can see of going JAG is that you will build federal service and that will shorten your years of service towards retirement as an AUSA and give you more leave (vacation days for all you civilians) per year when you're an AUSA.

Other than that, big law all the way. You'll most likely make 2-3x more money (depending on bonus) and control where you live. You can also ensure you'll be in a litigation practice group.

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:07 pm

Have you already been selected for OCS? I applied a few years ago during my 1L year with a 300 PFT, good lsat, college athlete, etc and didn't get seleceted because the Marines werent taking any law contracts that summer.

Its a risk going to OCS, but if you have solid stats you could still get a biglaw job during 3L year if you didn't make it though the summer.

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Re: JAG or BigLaw for AUSA job?

Postby whysoseriousbiglaw » Tue Sep 27, 2016 2:21 pm

I'd do JAG over biglaw any day.



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