Biglaw to JAG

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Biglaw to JAG

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:55 am

I am in the Biglaw and would like to lateral to JAG in a year or two. What is the best way to position myself for this move?

citizenrobert

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Re: Biglaw to JAG

Postby citizenrobert » Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:51 pm

Perhaps a recruiter could tell you?

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jawsjawsjaws

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Re: Biglaw to JAG

Postby jawsjawsjaws » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:32 pm

http://m.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs/be ... ion.m.html

I think direct commission is the way to go.

andythefir

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Re: Biglaw to JAG

Postby andythefir » Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:47 am

I hope I'm wrong, but I'd imagine it would be essentially impossible catch on with the JAG out of a big firm. JAG turned me down 9 times while in law school, even though I was in the top 10% at a top 25 school, in good shape, leadership in military law student associations. They took people from the bottom 10%, though. Among law students, JAG seems to de-select for the usual prestige markers, and I'd imagein it's the same for attorneys.

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Re: Biglaw to JAG

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:45 pm

andythefir wrote:I hope I'm wrong, but I'd imagine it would be essentially impossible catch on with the JAG out of a big firm. JAG turned me down 9 times while in law school, even though I was in the top 10% at a top 25 school, in good shape, leadership in military law student associations. They took people from the bottom 10%, though. Among law students, JAG seems to de-select for the usual prestige markers, and I'd imagein it's the same for attorneys.


Yeah so i think this is probably wrong. I know several people who went from biglaw--JAG. Some HYS grads, some not. Go to the military law thread to get more information on how to make your app stronger etc... although i will admit that thread is a clusterfuck. You should know that for attorneys the Air Force and Army are the main game in town because i think the other branches mostly hire students or are small (Coast Guard takes like 5 attorneys).

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Re: Biglaw to JAG

Postby JackofLit » Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:52 pm

Former active duty JAG, current Army National Guard JAG here. Took a break in between, was a V30 Associate for a long time. Obvious questions: (1) Why do you want to do this, and how motivated are you? This makes a difference. (2) How old are you? If you have no prior service, you start to run into real age limitation problems at 35.

I do know some practicing attorneys who got into the active duty JAG as a second career, though they were few. I know it was a bit difficult for them to accept being brand new Ensigns despite their earlier successes. That's always true when you're starting over.

If the active services aren't keen on you, seriously consider the Guard. Advantages: You can keep your salary for awhile - big firms are subject to USERRA too, and they won't/can't fire you quickly after you join. You'll be gone for training for six months, then walk right back into your firm office. But don't delude yourself into thinking that your occasional absences won't affect your partnership prospects. Plan accordingly - look for something more sustainable on the civilian side long term, maybe DOJ or State/local government, or in-house at a very big corporation. The Guard and Reserves DO have high-speed units, and those units do have JAGs. There are Guard/Reserve JAGs who go to Airborne, Ranger, Pathfinder, Jumpmaster, etc. And there are deployment opportunities. So if you want to serve, this is an option. Disadvantage - it is unlikely to be your main career, and you have to find balance. But you will get the VA loan, GI bill (for your kids maybe if you're done with school yourself), retirement after 20 good years, etc.

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zot1

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Re: Biglaw to JAG

Postby zot1 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:56 pm

Honestly, it would be hard to do this. Selectivity aside, you will be older and lower ranked. It's not like you'll become a major just because of your biglaw experience. And the pay cut will be too substantial. I mean, not saying that you shouldn't do because serving your country is awesome, but just some things to consider.

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jawsjawsjaws

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Re: Biglaw to JAG

Postby jawsjawsjaws » Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:39 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't your career in biglaw count towards your seniority in the military? I was in dental, and some civilian dentists who joined via direct commission were higher in ranks

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zot1

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Re: Biglaw to JAG

Postby zot1 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:46 pm

That could be because it's a lot more difficult to get a dentist to join than lawyers.

Anyway, your promotion waiting time might be reduced, but there's no guarantee of that. Source: USMC and USAF current JAGs.

JackofLit

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Re: Biglaw to JAG

Postby JackofLit » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:24 pm

You don't get rank for civilian attorney time, period. You're an 0-3 within a year or two anyway though. With BAH and BAS it's not that bad, esp. if you're in your 20's.

redsox550

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Re: Biglaw to JAG

Postby redsox550 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:58 pm

JackofLit wrote:Former active duty JAG, current Army National Guard JAG here. Took a break in between, was a V30 Associate for a long time. Obvious questions: (1) Why do you want to do this, and how motivated are you? This makes a difference. (2) How old are you? If you have no prior service, you start to run into real age limitation problems at 35.

I do know some practicing attorneys who got into the active duty JAG as a second career, though they were few. I know it was a bit difficult for them to accept being brand new Ensigns despite their earlier successes. That's always true when you're starting over.

If the active services aren't keen on you, seriously consider the Guard. Advantages: You can keep your salary for awhile - big firms are subject to USERRA too, and they won't/can't fire you quickly after you join. You'll be gone for training for six months, then walk right back into your firm office. But don't delude yourself into thinking that your occasional absences won't affect your partnership prospects. Plan accordingly - look for something more sustainable on the civilian side long term, maybe DOJ or State/local government, or in-house at a very big corporation. The Guard and Reserves DO have high-speed units, and those units do have JAGs. There are Guard/Reserve JAGs who go to Airborne, Ranger, Pathfinder, Jumpmaster, etc. And there are deployment opportunities. So if you want to serve, this is an option. Disadvantage - it is unlikely to be your main career, and you have to find balance. But you will get the VA loan, GI bill (for your kids maybe if you're done with school yourself), retirement after 20 good years, etc.


Can you talk about this more please. You have 6 months training but you still get paid biglaw? You arnt full time Gaurd?

Many thanks

JackofLit

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Re: Biglaw to JAG

Postby JackofLit » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:20 pm

Most Guard are part time. I drill once a month, with at least one long training or exercise annually. Maybe three weeks. My employer gives 3 weeks military leave so that's double pay time. Longer trainings/exercises available if I want more. Eventually you will likely deploy, and of course that's full time for as long as the deployment lasts. But I have a full-time civilian job.

Guard is maybe not so great if you're after the JAG trial experience. You'd need to get called up to full time duty for that.

Happy to answer your questions, just ask.

JackofLit

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Re: Biglaw to JAG

Postby JackofLit » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:25 pm

Initial training takes a while. You won't get paid by your firm during that time, and you'll have to tell them "see you in six months". But they are legally obligated to reemploy you when you're done.

I'm not telling you they're going to elect you partner though. Reactions are varied.

Btw, partners (actual shareholders) don't have reemployment rights like employees do.

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Re: Biglaw to JAG

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:27 pm

Has anyone heard of any successful age waivers for folks > 35 (but say, younger than 40) for the Army National Guard?

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zot1

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Re: Biglaw to JAG

Postby zot1 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone heard of any successful age waivers for folks > 35 (but say, younger than 40) for the Army National Guard?


If Army is 42, I'm surprised the guard is different. You can also look into navy and coasties.

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Re: Biglaw to JAG

Postby JackofLit » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:49 pm

I had no problem with a waiver at 36. But I was prior service. I also retained my old rank.

redsox550

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Re: Biglaw to JAG

Postby redsox550 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:50 am

JackofLit wrote:Initial training takes a while. You won't get paid by your firm during that time, and you'll have to tell them "see you in six months". But they are legally obligated to reemploy you when you're done.

I'm not telling you they're going to elect you partner though. Reactions are varied.

Btw, partners (actual shareholders) don't have reemployment rights like employees do.


So is Guard more likely to be deployed / and:or actually fight that lets say an Air Force Jag?
Is the national guard easier to get than regular JAG? If not trial experience what do they mostly do?

JackofLit

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Re: Biglaw to JAG

Postby JackofLit » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:18 am

Two different questions. Air Force does "deploy" but usually to positions that are not as far "forward." Army JAGs are much more likely to find themselves in a combat zone if/when they do deploy (Marine Corps JAGs even more so, Navy less but still more than Air Force). I have a friend who is 10+ years as an Air Force JAG; he loves it and has lots of interesting experience but is not exactly a meat-eating "military guy."

Guard deployments depend heavily on what's going on internationally. When Iraq and Afghanistan were hot, most Guard divisions did deploy involuntarily at a brisk pace. Today eventual deployments are likely, but there's a lot more flexibility. There's enough going on that if you WANT to get overseas, you probably can. A mandatory deployment will come eventually but won't be a regular fixture of life. Until the next crisis, of course.

Because Court-Martial work takes time, it doesn't lend itself to folks who are drilling. But JAGs do a lot of other stuff - lower end military justice matters (Article 15 and Administrative Separations); Operational Law/Rules of Engagement/Law of Armed Conflict; Fiscal Law; Legal Assistance (drafting wills, trusts, powers of attorney for Soldiers/Sailors/etc., giving legal advice about problems); Detainee Operations; Claims; etcetc......it's a long list.



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