Military Law

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Chiglaw
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Re: Military Law

Postby Chiglaw » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:47 pm

Eagle wrote:
joemoviebuff wrote:Do you guys know if the military will still pay for your education if you join after law school? The work itself appeals to me, but this is a question I've pondered for a while.


My understanding is that Active Duty Army and Air Force now have 65K loan repayment programs that are paid out directly to law school lenders during the first tour. Navy does not have such a program, but does offer a 60K bonus to JAGs who agree to an additional four years after the initial four year service commitment.

I think your eligibility for the loan repayment for both Army and Air Force depends on when you receive your commission as opposed to when you finished law school. That said, I think it is much more difficult to get accepted into JAG as a practicing attorney than as a law student.


Has this recently changed? From the Air Force JAG website:

"Q: Do you have a student loan repayment program?
A: The Air Force does not have a tuition reimbursement program for JAG officers but there is a retention program that allows the service to pay up to $60,000 after you complete your initial service obligation to remain on active duty for an additional time period. The details are that after your initial four-year commitment, you sign up for another two years and you receive $20,000; then at the six-year point you can sign up for four more years and receive another $40,000. I note that you can use the money for whatever you want, i.e. loans, car, house, investments, etc. While we expect this robust retention program to remain for years to come, it is contingent on annual Congressional approval"

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:46 pm

Chiglaw wrote:
Eagle wrote:
joemoviebuff wrote:Do you guys know if the military will still pay for your education if you join after law school? The work itself appeals to me, but this is a question I've pondered for a while.


My understanding is that Active Duty Army and Air Force now have 65K loan repayment programs that are paid out directly to law school lenders during the first tour. Navy does not have such a program, but does offer a 60K bonus to JAGs who agree to an additional four years after the initial four year service commitment.

I think your eligibility for the loan repayment for both Army and Air Force depends on when you receive your commission as opposed to when you finished law school. That said, I think it is much more difficult to get accepted into JAG as a practicing attorney than as a law student.


Has this recently changed? From the Air Force JAG website:

"Q: Do you have a student loan repayment program?
A: The Air Force does not have a tuition reimbursement program for JAG officers but there is a retention program that allows the service to pay up to $60,000 after you complete your initial service obligation to remain on active duty for an additional time period. The details are that after your initial four-year commitment, you sign up for another two years and you receive $20,000; then at the six-year point you can sign up for four more years and receive another $40,000. I note that you can use the money for whatever you want, i.e. loans, car, house, investments, etc. While we expect this robust retention program to remain for years to come, it is contingent on annual Congressional approval"


Yes, this will change very soon. It will mirror the Army's repayment program but there are no firm details yet available. I will post whenever more information becomes available.

BHL
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Re: Military Law

Postby BHL » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:56 am

Patrick Bateman wrote:
Chiglaw wrote:
Eagle wrote:
joemoviebuff wrote:Do you guys know if the military will still pay for your education if you join after law school? The work itself appeals to me, but this is a question I've pondered for a while.


My understanding is that Active Duty Army and Air Force now have 65K loan repayment programs that are paid out directly to law school lenders during the first tour. Navy does not have such a program, but does offer a 60K bonus to JAGs who agree to an additional four years after the initial four year service commitment.

I think your eligibility for the loan repayment for both Army and Air Force depends on when you receive your commission as opposed to when you finished law school. That said, I think it is much more difficult to get accepted into JAG as a practicing attorney than as a law student.


Has this recently changed? From the Air Force JAG website:

"Q: Do you have a student loan repayment program?
A: The Air Force does not have a tuition reimbursement program for JAG officers but there is a retention program that allows the service to pay up to $60,000 after you complete your initial service obligation to remain on active duty for an additional time period. The details are that after your initial four-year commitment, you sign up for another two years and you receive $20,000; then at the six-year point you can sign up for four more years and receive another $40,000. I note that you can use the money for whatever you want, i.e. loans, car, house, investments, etc. While we expect this robust retention program to remain for years to come, it is contingent on annual Congressional approval"


Yes, this will change very soon. It will mirror the Army's repayment program but there are no firm details yet available. I will post whenever more information becomes available.

Last I heard was that they're waiting for approval of funding. Some budget cutting caused everything to stall. They were also saying that people who recently finished training might not be eligible for the $65k, but are likely the oldest class to receive any benefit (if they receive anything) since the program is geared towards attracting applicants rather than benefiting those who already accepted the offer.

lukeatomic
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Re: Military Law

Postby lukeatomic » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:02 am

Do they do signing bonuses for JAGs? Or is the SLRP the big incentive?

FeuerFrei
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Re: Military Law

Postby FeuerFrei » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:49 am

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Last edited by FeuerFrei on Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Rocky Estoppel
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Re: Military Law

Postby Rocky Estoppel » Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:22 am

FeuerFrei wrote:
lukeatomic wrote:Do they do signing bonuses for JAGs? Or is the SLRP the big incentive?


Isn't the SLRP kind of stupid now that there's IBR
Not if you could pay off your loans in 3-4 years instead of 10 (even with the lower payment)

It puts more money in your pocket. Plus you can use both programs. It can keep your payment low and they pay 65k towards your loan over 3 years. For someone like me, that will basically pay all of my debt.

FeuerFrei
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Re: Military Law

Postby FeuerFrei » Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:43 am

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Last edited by FeuerFrei on Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TBJAG
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Re: Military Law

Postby TBJAG » Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:51 pm

Don't forget to save some money up if you use the 65K LRP. That money will probably be taxable income.

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Eagle
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Re: Military Law

Postby Eagle » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:24 pm

TBJAG wrote:Don't forget to save some money up if you use the 65K LRP. That money will probably be taxable income.


I was actually talking to a buddy of mine about this last night. Yes, that money is taxable income. However, since it gets distributed over three years, it will be taxed at a relatively low rate (because our taxable income will only consist of our base pay and the 22K that gets distributed over the first three years).

I for one will graduate with over 100K of law school debt. I was thinking that if I lived frugally for four years, I could probably pay off all of my law school in the first tour. This is probably not the best approach though.

My buddy said that I'd be better off if I consolidated my loans, made minimum monthly payments, and invested the rest of my income in a higher interest yielding investment such as real estate or a mutual fund. This makes a lot of sense, although there is something to be said for having no law school debt after only four years.

AFBRAT
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Re: Military Law

Postby AFBRAT » Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:48 pm

I was told that they are taking taxes out before they pay the lenders.

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Eagle
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Re: Military Law

Postby Eagle » Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:00 pm

AFBRAT wrote:I was told that they are taking taxes out before they pay the lenders.


I guess that is true because we won't actually touch the money--it will go straight to the lenders. My assumption was that they would first determine your tax rate based on your taxable income and then tax the loan money accordingly before distributing it to the lenders. For most of us, our tax rate rates will be the same because we'll declare the same amount of income. However, if you have secondary income and your tax rate goes up, not as much money will go to the lenders. I could be wrong though.

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Cole S. Law
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Re: Military Law

Postby Cole S. Law » Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:22 pm

AFBRAT wrote:I was told that they are taking taxes out before they pay the lenders.


Not true.

The good part is that as a soldier, a large part of your compensation isn't taxable. I got the full repayment and didn't owe anything in taxes any of the 3 years.

lukeatomic
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Re: Military Law

Postby lukeatomic » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:34 pm

So does anyone know if JAGs get signing bonuses?

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Eagle
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Re: Military Law

Postby Eagle » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:34 pm

I did some more research and found this FAQ about the SLRP. It can be found here: --LinkRemoved--

Answers to questions 21 and 22 are as follows:

"21. Are the loan repayments to the lenders taxable income to me?

Repayments are subject to federal and state income taxes in the year repayments are made. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) will send the Soldier a W-2 form (1099) separate from the W-2 received for military pay.

22. Are the loan repayments taxable in a combat zone?

The payments are taxable subject only to the combat zone tax exclusion rules for officers. Any portion of the student loan repayment that is attributable to time served in the combat zone is tax free subject to these limitations."

So, it looks like the loan repayments are considered taxable income. I don't understand why they send out two W-2 forms though.

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Cole S. Law
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Re: Military Law

Postby Cole S. Law » Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:57 am

I was told )over many objections) that the combat zone tax ex. status doesn't apply because I contracted for the repayment before I went to combat. Stupid I know, but this came from the mouth of one of the senior managers at DFAS. You get a seperate W-2 because the loan payment isn't earned wage income. That way you don't owe social security and medicare taxes on it.

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Eagle
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Re: Military Law

Postby Eagle » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:29 am

Cole S. Law wrote:I was told )over many objections) that the combat zone tax ex. status doesn't apply because I contracted for the repayment before I went to combat. Stupid I know, but this came from the mouth of one of the senior managers at DFAS. You get a seperate W-2 because the loan payment isn't earned wage income. That way you don't owe social security and medicare taxes on it.


Thanks for the info. I agree it doesn't make much sense why the SLRP wouldn't qualify for the combat zone tax exception. Then again, I can't complain too much because only a few years ago the SLRP didn't exist at all.

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Eagle
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Re: Military Law

Postby Eagle » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:36 am

Cole S. Law wrote:I was told )over many objections) that the combat zone tax ex. status doesn't apply because I contracted for the repayment before I went to combat. Stupid I know, but this came from the mouth of one of the senior managers at DFAS. You get a seperate W-2 because the loan payment isn't earned wage income. That way you don't owe social security and medicare taxes on it.


While we're on the topic, did you receive BAH while you were in combat? If so, how did they calculate the amount you would receive?

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Cole S. Law
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Re: Military Law

Postby Cole S. Law » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:36 am

Eagle wrote:
Cole S. Law wrote:I was told )over many objections) that the combat zone tax ex. status doesn't apply because I contracted for the repayment before I went to combat. Stupid I know, but this came from the mouth of one of the senior managers at DFAS. You get a seperate W-2 because the loan payment isn't earned wage income. That way you don't owe social security and medicare taxes on it.


While we're on the topic, did you receive BAH while you were in combat? If so, how did they calculate the amount you would receive?


I received BAH and BAS. I was married, so that didn't change. I don't know what the rule is for single guys. It is based on the BAH rate of the post where you deployed from. I got Fort Hood rates even though my wife moved back in with her parents in New York while I was away. In addition to BAH I also got familiy seperation $250, and combat and hazardous duty pay $375/month or so. If you play your cards right, a deployment should be a financial windfall.

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Eagle
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Re: Military Law

Postby Eagle » Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:17 pm

Thanks, Cole!

If any of you have DOJ aspirations after JAG, today a former Army JAG and current Assistant US Attorney in the Central District of California got a huge verdict in a white collar crime case. The case made the front page of both the LA Times and New York Times. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-k ... 0787.story

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Eagle
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Re: Military Law

Postby Eagle » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:58 am

Navy JAG results from the spring board are out.

I was professionally recommended as an alternate. Does anyone know what the odds are of being brought in as an alternate?

AFBRAT
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Re: Military Law

Postby AFBRAT » Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:01 pm

Navy JAG results have been posted.

Classmate has his status as "pending". Does anyone know what this mean?

TenaciousD
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Re: Military Law

Postby TenaciousD » Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:05 pm

Eagle wrote:Navy JAG results from the spring board are out.

I was professionally recommended as an alternate. Does anyone know what the odds are of being brought in as an alternate?


Me too, on both counts. I'm interested in the odds and also the timeline: are we going to begin the second phase of the process (medical, recruiter, etc) like alternate jurors, or do we sit back for a little while and wait for things to sort out?

Better than a no, particularly given the crazy odds unique to NAVY DAP; I'd be happier with a yes, but I'm not complaining.

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:51 pm

The Direct Appointment board for AF JAG (April) posted the selection list this morning.

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Eagle
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Re: Military Law

Postby Eagle » Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:04 pm

TenaciousD wrote:
Eagle wrote:Navy JAG results from the spring board are out.

I was professionally recommended as an alternate. Does anyone know what the odds are of being brought in as an alternate?


Me too, on both counts. I'm interested in the odds and also the timeline: are we going to begin the second phase of the process (medical, recruiter, etc) like alternate jurors, or do we sit back for a little while and wait for things to sort out?

Better than a no, particularly given the crazy odds unique to NAVY DAP; I'd be happier with a yes, but I'm not complaining.


I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people who got accepted to Navy JAG also got accepted to Army JAG or AF JAG. I'm sure the 65K that Army and AF are now offering new admits will draw more than a few of these people away from Navy.

I'm kind of in a bind because I have to make my decision with Army by May 11th, but doubt I will hear back from Navy before then.

BrutusBuckeye
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Re: Military Law

Postby BrutusBuckeye » Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:38 pm

Eagle wrote:Navy JAG results from the spring board are out.

I was professionally recommended as an alternate. Does anyone know what the odds are of being brought in as an alternate?


How did they notify you?




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