Military Law

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:43 pm

groundhog wrote:
A'nold wrote:
groundhog wrote:
J-Rod wrote:So, I heard from JAG and got a spot in this summer's 1L internship program! Anyone else on TLS get an offer?


congrats j-rod. i also got the 1L internship. i was checking the messageboards to try to get some more info before i decide what locations to ask for.
you're accepting the offer i presume? any location preferences?


Does the military pay for your travel?



No, unfortunately (with the Army JAG at least) I have to pay for travel and housing. I'm going to try to find a cheap summer sublet, and live somewhat spartan.


The AF internship for 2Ls is much the same way. You should be assigned a sponsor at the base legal office who should be able to help you out with everything.

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J-Rod
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Re: Military Law

Postby J-Rod » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:36 pm

groundhog wrote:
J-Rod wrote:So, I heard from JAG and got a spot in this summer's 1L internship program! Anyone else on TLS get an offer?


congrats j-rod. i also got the 1L internship. i was checking the messageboards to try to get some more info before i decide what locations to ask for.
you're accepting the offer i presume? any location preferences?



what messageboards are you on?

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TonyDigital
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Re: Military Law

Postby TonyDigital » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:00 pm

I can't attest to how the AF JAG way of life is but I can tell you from personal experience (6 years active duty Air Force) that the AF way of life compared to the other services...well there is no comparison. The AF is much more laid back than the other services. Hats off to everyone that enjoys the other branches but seeing them in action firsthand...I knew it wasn't for me. If you're curious I can give plenty of examples of the other services treating their people much more strict than the AF.

Congratulations to the JAGs and future JAGs in this thread...I hope you get nice assignments and even more important is I hope you get good and cool supervisors/superiors. They can make life great or a living hell...and if you're in already you know exactly what I mean :)

Question to Bateman and whoever else is a JAG/aspiring JAG: Do you think transitioning from military law (UCMJ) back to the civilian world and court systems will be easy? Not just relearning but also gaining employment since military law is pretty different than civilian law? If you don't make the military a career then this question becomes even more important imo...

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Military Law

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:04 pm

Any suggestions for how to approach an interview for a summer internship with Navy JAG? I assume it is unpaid- do they cover housing expenses at all, where do they tend to be based, and so on? I'm not terribly interested in JAG long-term, but I think a summer internship with the military might change my mind; at the very least, it should be an enlightening experience.

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J-Rod
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Re: Military Law

Postby J-Rod » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:07 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:Any suggestions for how to approach an interview for a summer internship with Navy JAG? I assume it is unpaid- do they cover housing expenses at all, where do they tend to be based, and so on? I'm not terribly interested in JAG long-term, but I think a summer internship with the military might change my mind; at the very least, it should be an enlightening experience.


Are you a 1L or 2L? either way, i'm sure the deadline to apply for anything this summer has come and gone, but for next summer, if you're interested, there is a ton of info on all of the different branches' websites

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:20 pm

TonyDigital wrote:I can't attest to how the AF JAG way of life is but I can tell you from personal experience (6 years active duty Air Force) that the AF way of life compared to the other services...well there is no comparison. The AF is much more laid back than the other services. Hats off to everyone that enjoys the other branches but seeing them in action firsthand...I knew it wasn't for me. If you're curious I can give plenty of examples of the other services treating their people much more strict than the AF.

Congratulations to the JAGs and future JAGs in this thread...I hope you get nice assignments and even more important is I hope you get good and cool supervisors/superiors. They can make life great or a living hell...and if you're in already you know exactly what I mean :)

Question to Bateman and whoever else is a JAG/aspiring JAG: Do you think transitioning from military law (UCMJ) back to the civilian world and court systems will be easy? Not just relearning but also gaining employment since military law is pretty different than civilian law? If you don't make the military a career then this question becomes even more important imo...


In regard to criminal law/military justice, I cannot see any problems between JAG and going AUSA/States Atty/Atty Gen/etc. The Military Rules of Evidence are 99% the FRE. Even the numbers are generally the same. Obviously there are a lot of things the UCMJ makes a chargeable offense that just does not exist in the civilian world (failure to go, disrespect to a superior officer, etc) but at the state/local level I think one runs into differencesas well.
The biggest differences are the procedural quirks. We prefer charges, refer them to the proper convening authority, convening courts, etc, etc. It is nothing that would limit you in the civilian world.
Once you get to an actual court, the practice is very similar. There are is pre-trial, voir dire, sentencing, etc.
Trial practice in terms of juries is a bit different in that we do not require unanimous verdicts (with exceptions) and our juries are all either officers and senior NCOs. This means there are highly educated, intelligent, younger, and a lot of things that civilian juries are not. We can get away with a little more cerebral content than I think the civilian side can.
In all, you can get unbeatable court experience as a JAG. If you seek to do trial work out of uniform with the skills we pick up at JASOC and in practice, I would be hard pressed to find you lacking in a government agency or private firm opportunities.

In terms of the various civil law practices, the environmental/labor/etc guys always have great civilian opportunities. It can be hard to keep them in Active Duty as DoJ and private firms absolutely eat them up. A lot of these specialties involve working quite a bit with civilians and it is all based on Federal law (not UCMJ), so there is very easy transitioning out of uniform. One area I can see being bad in terms of becoming pigeon holed is Operations Law (Law of Armed Conflict).

Most JAGs do not do their 20 years and then retire. Many are 4 and out.

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J-Rod
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Re: Military Law

Postby J-Rod » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:41 pm

for you guys in service now, do you do most of your legal research manually? or does the military use or have their own version of WestLaw?

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Military Law

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:46 pm

J-Rod wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:Any suggestions for how to approach an interview for a summer internship with Navy JAG? I assume it is unpaid- do they cover housing expenses at all, where do they tend to be based, and so on? I'm not terribly interested in JAG long-term, but I think a summer internship with the military might change my mind; at the very least, it should be an enlightening experience.


Are you a 1L or 2L? either way, i'm sure the deadline to apply for anything this summer has come and gone, but for next summer, if you're interested, there is a ton of info on all of the different branches' websites


I'm a 1L. I have an interview tomorrow with someone, they didn't mention it being merely informational for next summer. If it is, I'm going to be freaking cranky.

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:52 pm

J-Rod wrote:for you guys in service now, do you do most of your legal research manually? or does the military use or have their own version of WestLaw?


We have both Westlaw and Lexis in AF JAG without any of the billing the research to clients headache. From everything I've done so far, I have not found any limitations on our service subscription, but I usually never used the "gee-whiz" stuff even when it was free in law school.

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A'nold
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Re: Military Law

Postby A'nold » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:56 pm

So..............I am colorblind (as I've mentioned before). Do you think a recruiting office would allow me to take the Farnsworth test to see if I can pass? I can pass the internet Farnsworth ones but not the Ishitari ones.

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TonyDigital
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Re: Military Law

Postby TonyDigital » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:00 am

Patrick Bateman wrote:
TonyDigital wrote:I can't attest to how the AF JAG way of life is but I can tell you from personal experience (6 years active duty Air Force) that the AF way of life compared to the other services...well there is no comparison. The AF is much more laid back than the other services. Hats off to everyone that enjoys the other branches but seeing them in action firsthand...I knew it wasn't for me. If you're curious I can give plenty of examples of the other services treating their people much more strict than the AF.

Congratulations to the JAGs and future JAGs in this thread...I hope you get nice assignments and even more important is I hope you get good and cool supervisors/superiors. They can make life great or a living hell...and if you're in already you know exactly what I mean :)

Question to Bateman and whoever else is a JAG/aspiring JAG: Do you think transitioning from military law (UCMJ) back to the civilian world and court systems will be easy? Not just relearning but also gaining employment since military law is pretty different than civilian law? If you don't make the military a career then this question becomes even more important imo...


In regard to criminal law/military justice, I cannot see any problems between JAG and going AUSA/States Atty/Atty Gen/etc. The Military Rules of Evidence are 99% the FRE. Even the numbers are generally the same. Obviously there are a lot of things the UCMJ makes a chargeable offense that just does not exist in the civilian world (failure to go, disrespect to a superior officer, etc) but at the state/local level I think one runs into differencesas well.
The biggest differences are the procedural quirks. We prefer charges, refer them to the proper convening authority, convening courts, etc, etc. It is nothing that would limit you in the civilian world.
Once you get to an actual court, the practice is very similar. There are is pre-trial, voir dire, sentencing, etc.
Trial practice in terms of juries is a bit different in that we do not require unanimous verdicts (with exceptions) and our juries are all either officers and senior NCOs. This means there are highly educated, intelligent, younger, and a lot of things that civilian juries are not. We can get away with a little more cerebral content than I think the civilian side can.
In all, you can get unbeatable court experience as a JAG. If you seek to do trial work out of uniform with the skills we pick up at JASOC and in practice, I would be hard pressed to find you lacking in a government agency or private firm opportunities.

In terms of the various civil law practices, the environmental/labor/etc guys always have great civilian opportunities. It can be hard to keep them in Active Duty as DoJ and private firms absolutely eat them up. A lot of these specialties involve working quite a bit with civilians and it is all based on Federal law (not UCMJ), so there is very easy transitioning out of uniform. One area I can see being bad in terms of becoming pigeon holed is Operations Law (Law of Armed Conflict).

Most JAGs do not do their 20 years and then retire. Many are 4 and out.


Thanks Bateman...I'm still working with the military now as a contractor and am hoping to be in law school fall 2010. I never gave the JAG too much of a thought but it seems like I'd be doing myself a disservice if I didn't explore it a little bit as a possible opportunity down the road. I was mostly worried about whether or not JAG's could transition back to civilian work without too much trouble. Apparently they can...and in some cases have an advantage with all the exposure you get early on in your careers. I do know the AF isn't shy about throwing a workload on someone...especially a good performer.

Thanks for the feedback...

galahad85
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Re: Military Law

Postby galahad85 » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:08 am

I have no prior military experience, but I'm really considering Air Force JAG as a career path, so I want to thank Bateman and Rotor (and anyone else who's posted info in this thread) - this thread is a great help.

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A'nold
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Re: Military Law

Postby A'nold » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:10 am

galahad85 wrote:I have no prior military experience, but I'm really considering Air Force JAG as a career path, so I want to thank Bateman and Rotor (and anyone else who's posted info in this thread) - this thread is a great help.



Yeah, Bateman (and Rotor but Bateman specifically) is extremely helpful and even gave me his email address in case I have further questions. Great dude.

Speaking of Bateman, how are you liking it so far?

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Yointer
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Re: Military Law

Postby Yointer » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:24 am

ToTransferOrNot wrote:Any suggestions for how to approach an interview for a summer internship with Navy JAG? I assume it is unpaid- do they cover housing expenses at all, where do they tend to be based, and so on? I'm not terribly interested in JAG long-term, but I think a summer internship with the military might change my mind; at the very least, it should be an enlightening experience.


I interviewed with the Navy and it turned out to be one of those "do you have any questions about our program" kind of things. My interviewer offered to show me around the nearest naval base, but aside from that, the interview clearly had no effect on my odds of being accepted. It was, however, useful in that it gave me a contact within the Navy that I otherwise would not have had.

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Rotor
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Re: Military Law

Postby Rotor » Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:59 am

A'nold wrote:
galahad85 wrote:I have no prior military experience, but I'm really considering Air Force JAG as a career path, so I want to thank Bateman and Rotor (and anyone else who's posted info in this thread) - this thread is a great help.



Yeah, Bateman (and Rotor but Bateman specifically) is extremely helpful and even gave me his email address in case I have further questions. Great dude.

Speaking of Bateman, how are you liking it so far?

Happy to help and I agree with your assessment of our relative value of info on JAGC. I mentioned it a few pages back, but I'm just a 0L who has had a ton of exposure to Navy JAGs over my 20+ years. As such I try to limit when I jump in to things I know. Bateman is in the thick of it and can give you a better sense of what it is like day-to-day and how to get there.

The only question I have about his judgement is the service he chose. :lol: :lol: :lol:

brownshoe
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Re: Military Law

Postby brownshoe » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:01 am

Hello all - I'm new to the board here. I was active duty as an officer in the USN before law school. I am now a 3L and headed back to do JAG, so I can offer perspective both on the selection process and life in the Navy.

To the poster who mentioned quality of life and how people treat you in the AF - I'll just say that those things vary greatly among communities even within each service. Beyond that, the experience is MUCH different between officer and enlisted in every service. Personally, I couldn't have had a much better experience, and I expect the same when I go back.

Any questions - please fire away.

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Rotor
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Re: Military Law

Postby Rotor » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:34 am

brownshoe wrote:Hello all - I'm new to the board here. I was active duty as an officer in the USN before law school. I am now a 3L and headed back to do JAG, so I can offer perspective both on the selection process and life in the Navy.

To the poster who mentioned quality of life and how people treat you in the AF - I'll just say that those things vary greatly among communities even within each service. Beyond that, the experience is MUCH different between officer and enlisted in every service. Personally, I couldn't have had a much better experience, and I expect the same when I go back.

Any questions - please fire away.

Hey Brownshoe! Welcome to TLS. It's good to see some USN reinforcement. :-) As you probably guessed by my c/s I too am a brownshoe, but getting ready to retire and go to LS to start my second career!

brownshoe
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Re: Military Law

Postby brownshoe » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:10 am

Rotor wrote:
brownshoe wrote:Hello all - I'm new to the board here. I was active duty as an officer in the USN before law school. I am now a 3L and headed back to do JAG, so I can offer perspective both on the selection process and life in the Navy.

To the poster who mentioned quality of life and how people treat you in the AF - I'll just say that those things vary greatly among communities even within each service. Beyond that, the experience is MUCH different between officer and enlisted in every service. Personally, I couldn't have had a much better experience, and I expect the same when I go back.

Any questions - please fire away.

Hey Brownshoe! Welcome to TLS. It's good to see some USN reinforcement. :-) As you probably guessed by my c/s I too am a brownshoe, but getting ready to retire and go to LS to start my second career!


Thanks - congrats on the retirement. I'm guessing by the picture, you were HS? I was HSL. Good luck in law school - I'm sure you'll enjoy it (for the most part) like I did - different idea of what stress was than most of my classmates! 8)

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J-Rod
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Re: Military Law

Postby J-Rod » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:15 am

I have learned a lot about AF and Army JAG, but could you guys fill me in on the daily life of a Navy JAG, or in the Navy in general? While it seems like it'd be very interesting, I'm not sure how I feel about 4-6 months on a boat . . . what is all of that like?

brownshoe
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Re: Military Law

Postby brownshoe » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:03 am

J-Rod wrote:I have learned a lot about AF and Army JAG, but could you guys fill me in on the daily life of a Navy JAG, or in the Navy in general? While it seems like it'd be very interesting, I'm not sure how I feel about 4-6 months on a boat . . . what is all of that like?


First, if you do 4 years as a JAG and get out, you will almost certainly NOT deploy on a ship. In fact, legal jobs on board ships are pretty hard to get because there aren't a lot of them (mostly carriers and big-deck amphibs) and they're good career-enchancers that people want - first tour people don't get them in the JAGC. Now that is totally exclusive of any 6 month deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan, which many first-tour JAGs do - but even a lot of those are filled by volunteers. Finally, if you DO eventually deploy on a big-deck ship, it may not be as bad as you think. You have a gym, movies, internet, etc - also, you are usually busy with pretty interesting work.

Daily life on shore as a JAG - probably not too much different from the other services. First tour JAGs are doing trial work and/or legal assistance. Barring a trial, you're not ever working nights or weekends. You're usually given plenty of time to work out during the day. In my opinion, great quality of life.

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Rotor
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Re: Military Law

Postby Rotor » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:27 am

brownshoe wrote:
Rotor wrote:
brownshoe wrote:Hello all - I'm new to the board here. I was active duty as an officer in the USN before law school. I am now a 3L and headed back to do JAG, so I can offer perspective both on the selection process and life in the Navy.

To the poster who mentioned quality of life and how people treat you in the AF - I'll just say that those things vary greatly among communities even within each service. Beyond that, the experience is MUCH different between officer and enlisted in every service. Personally, I couldn't have had a much better experience, and I expect the same when I go back.

Any questions - please fire away.

Hey Brownshoe! Welcome to TLS. It's good to see some USN reinforcement. :-) As you probably guessed by my c/s I too am a brownshoe, but getting ready to retire and go to LS to start my second career!


Thanks - congrats on the retirement. I'm guessing by the picture, you were HS? I was HSL. Good luck in law school - I'm sure you'll enjoy it (for the most part) like I did - different idea of what stress was than most of my classmates! 8)


Actually, I'm HSL too. I chose the pic bc I recently came off that CVN as DH and figured that around here any product by Igor was close enough. I'm in contact with some other former military and they say the same thing about the stress. Very excited to have stress that isn't related to landing at night on the back of the FFG (etc.)!!

galahad85
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Re: Military Law

Postby galahad85 » Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:05 am

A couple questions:

1) This is kind of vague, but what do you think recruiters are looking for in applicants with no prior military experience? Will it just be grades/quality of school, or is there something else they're looking for? I'm just worried that my lack of prior experience will prove a barrier.

2) The one thing that turns me off from JAG is, obviously, the low pay. I'll be $90k-$100k in debt coming from a T25 school, so I don't know if I can make ends meet on a JAG salary. What do you think? Does CCRA or LRAP help at all with this kind of job? Also, I read about this retention program:

"F. Judge Advocate Continuation Pay
No military service has tuition reimbursement for JAG officers, but the Air Force has 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. "

That sounds great... Is there some kind of catch? lol

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RonSantoRules
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Re: Military Law

Postby RonSantoRules » Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:12 am

galahad85 wrote:1) This is kind of vague, but what do you think recruiters are looking for in applicants with no prior military experience? Will it just be grades/quality of school, or is there something else they're looking for? I'm just worried that my lack of prior experience will prove a barrier.


I'm not sure if this helps, but I had an informational interview with an AF JAG recruiter (as I am a 1L). He told me they look beyond grades and want people with moot court, trial advocacy, and other courses related to courtroom experience. It sounded like they have a checklist and you get more points for having courses like Trial and Appellate Advocacy in addition to moot court. I believe I had read on this board in the past that Bateman had a Cali award in a couple classes, but during his interview, the JAG was much more interested in his moot court and other experiences related to being in the courtroom.

I specifically asked the same question, and it seems like they take from all backgrounds. The AF guy I talked to came from a military family and basically told me he would have been disowned if he wasn't in the military, while the Army JAG had no prior military experience to speak of.

I'm sure other can weigh in on this subject and be more helpful than me though.

galahad85
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Re: Military Law

Postby galahad85 » Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:25 am

RonSantoRules wrote:
galahad85 wrote:1) This is kind of vague, but what do you think recruiters are looking for in applicants with no prior military experience? Will it just be grades/quality of school, or is there something else they're looking for? I'm just worried that my lack of prior experience will prove a barrier.


I'm not sure if this helps, but I had an informational interview with an AF JAG recruiter (as I am a 1L). He told me they look beyond grades and want people with moot court, trial advocacy, and other courses related to courtroom experience. It sounded like they have a checklist and you get more points for having courses like Trial and Appellate Advocacy in addition to moot court. I believe I had read on this board in the past that Bateman had a Cali award in a couple classes, but during his interview, the JAG was much more interested in his moot court and other experiences related to being in the courtroom.

I specifically asked the same question, and it seems like they take from all backgrounds. The AF guy I talked to came from a military family and basically told me he would have been disowned if he wasn't in the military, while the Army JAG had no prior military experience to speak of.

I'm sure other can weigh in on this subject and be more helpful than me though.


Thanks!

I guess I'll have to look into moot court then (I was hoping to just get by with law review).

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:53 am

galahad85 wrote:A couple questions:

1) This is kind of vague, but what do you think recruiters are looking for in applicants with no prior military experience? Will it just be grades/quality of school, or is there something else they're looking for? I'm just worried that my lack of prior experience will prove a barrier.

2) The one thing that turns me off from JAG is, obviously, the low pay. I'll be $90k-$100k in debt coming from a T25 school, so I don't know if I can make ends meet on a JAG salary. What do you think? Does CCRA or LRAP help at all with this kind of job? Also, I read about this retention program:

"F. Judge Advocate Continuation Pay
No military service has tuition reimbursement for JAG officers, but the Air Force has 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. "

That sounds great... Is there some kind of catch? lol


1. Applicants w/o Prior Experience: I had zero prior military experience and still got picked up by my first board. It is close to impossible to say, definitively, what they are looking for. I have heard the "we look at the whole applicant" spiel my entire law school career and AF JAG is the first time I have actually seen it applied. For sure, they want a litigation/trial orientated background and any public service looks great.
I went straight into law school from undergrad, so they do not draw any clear lines in regard to that. Without question, that 2L internship can be a deal breaker. If you can land that and you hit it off with your base legal office, you are in very strong shape for being picked up for active duty. I have zero doubt that my 10 weeks spent during my internship were the deciding factor into me being picked up.

2. I am significantly in the hole from law school, so I feel your pain. I "qualify" for my law school's LRAP in terms of adjusted gross income but it will still be a few weeks till I find out if I will get anything. CCRA is a HUGE incentive, esp with the IBR coming this July. I'll be forgiven ballpark $40K in loans after my 10 years. Even without CCRA and LRAP, I am still going to be comfortable with my 10 year repayments. I will not be models and bottles in terms of salary, but given how much of it is tax free, it is still a solid nut. You will never be rich but you will be comfortable.

3. There is no catch with the retention pay. What you read is what you get. If you are willing to say in, you can cash in. When one considers this money coincides with the 10 year loan forgiveness, it is pretty appealing. There has been a lot of talk about the incentive pay being increased but I have no idea if this will actually happen.

Also consider that we cannot get fired. JAG does not get force shaped and unless you are into some very illegal stuff, getting separated as an officer is practically impossible. No matter how shitty the economy is, we sit pretty. When times are great, we do not make as much as the Vault firm lawyers but we still have a better quality of life and far more hands on experience. When times are tough, we are taking in a respectable paycheck, not sweating what firms are laying off per Above the Law, and our quality of life/experience are still terrific.
Factor that in with our high promotion rates, at least to 0-5, and it is a highly rewarding way to spend the beginning of one's legal career. We also get to do that, in uniform, at a time of war. Not a lot of lawyers can say that.
Last edited by Patrick Bateman on Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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