Military Law

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galahad85
Posts: 322
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:50 pm

Re: Military Law

Postby galahad85 » Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:00 am

Patrick Bateman wrote:
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. That said, I did have solid "soft" factors going for me. I was a varsity athlete in college, T25 law school, top 33%, w/ moot court team and secondary journal, and the 2L internship. 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 $85K 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.


Great info, as always - thanks!

Regarding the background they're looking for, how important do you think it is to take courses in military law/national security? I know that GW has an excellent program on this, but I'm not sure if it will help. Speaking of which, do you think they recruit more from some schools than from others? The schools I'm choosing from are:

Boston College
Emory
George Washington
William & Mary (this is the lowest ranked, but would minimize my debt)

BHL
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:36 pm

Re: Military Law

Postby BHL » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:37 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) I don't think they care if you are a prior. I think being one helps you answer the "Why JAG?" question and confirms to them that you're willing to deploy. Being willing to deploy and convince them of that seemed like a major aspect of the interview. I knew a few people who have deployed, so I used their stories in answering the question. Most claim it is the most eye-opening experience that they've had.

Moot, trial ad, etc. all come up in the interview. The AF accepted me and I had yet to have any of those. You just need a solid explanation for it. I have a marketable major, so I used that as an explanation for why I took tax courses. I also pointed out that I could take the litigation based classes in my last semester. Convincing them that you aren't afraid of the courtroom is a must if you go this route. They may even have you argue the positions of the writing sample you submitted.

They also ask about volunteer work. If volunteering isn't your thing, make sure you tell them what you have done. I worked through undergrad and some in law school instead of volunteering. Make sure they know that.

It's a good idea to be cleanly shaven with a short hair cut before you go in too. Ie, look the part. Too many people don't get this. I certainly question how serious people are when they ask me about applying and I see them with an overgrown beard and longer hair. I'm not even trying to evaluate them! It just gets you thinking.

2) I'll have more debt than you when I start this fall. LRAP depends greatly on your school. Unfortunately, my school's rather strong LRAP counts the allowances towards your income. At this point, I plan to stick with gov't for 10 years to rid me of the debt. This makes the pay seem much better.

Most seem to think the pay is low. I think this is simply a misconception greatly fueled by the large sums that biglaw pays. Biglaw also requires far longer hours. There's also the learning by doing the grunt work for the case aspect of biglaw. I talked to a recently laid off biglaw guy and he just turned 30. He was in biglaw for ~5 years. He worked all the time and put everything he earned towards paying off his debt. The way he told the story was that he just lost the remaining years of his 20s. So sure, you get paid a lot, but you work a lot too. You often find yourself either not paying down the debt quickly or paying it down exclusively and missing out on life. If you like working all the time, then biglaw might be for you. I'm glad I talked to that guy because he made me even more content with going with JAG over private practice (albeit midlaw rather than biglaw).

bmdubs
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Re: Military Law

Postby bmdubs » Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:27 am

Anyone know how strict the medical exam is, since JAG is not a combat arms option in the Army and Airforce.

bmdubs
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Re: Military Law

Postby bmdubs » Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:47 am

bump? any one?

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J-Rod
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Re: Military Law

Postby J-Rod » Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:50 am

bmdubs wrote:bump? any one?


easy there killer . . . give it some time . . . most of the people in this thread are either already JAGs or sitting in class right now, so they're not stalking the forums all day

brownshoe
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Re: Military Law

Postby brownshoe » Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:40 pm

bmdubs wrote:Anyone know how strict the medical exam is, since JAG is not a combat arms option in the Army and Airforce.


The problem is, it totally depends. They are very strict about some things, not so much about others. On top of that, many disqualifiers are waiverable, depending on the needs of the service at the time. Sorry I can't give you more than that.

texaslawyer
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Re: Military Law

Postby texaslawyer » Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:01 pm

Many years ago the Marines had a program called the Flying-JAG program. First you became either a Naval Aviator or Naval Flight Officer, did your first hitch with the MAG then you went to law school. It was a very competitive program and there was a twelve year commitment after law school. I was accepted to Miami (Florida) law school and was set to go. However in my infinite stupidity I blew an ACL/MCL playing fraternity football. What a dumb shit thing to do ! Basically this program was for the career types. JAGs have a pretty good deal and if you desire to be a litigator, they do pitch you into the briar patch fairly soon. The down side is that it isn't the fast track for promotions if one wants to be a career officer. I heard Graham-Rudman did away with this program. Having said all of that, it's not a bad way of life and you do get involved in some very complex cases.

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Rotor
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Re: Military Law

Postby Rotor » Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:56 pm

texaslawyer wrote:Many years ago the Marines had a program called the Flying-JAG program. First you became either a Naval Aviator or Naval Flight Officer, did your first hitch with the MAG then you went to law school. It was a very competitive program and there was a twelve year commitment after law school. I was accepted to Miami (Florida) law school and was set to go. However in my infinite stupidity I blew an ACL/MCL playing fraternity football. What a dumb shit thing to do ! Basically this program was for the career types. JAGs have a pretty good deal and if you desire to be a litigator, they do pitch you into the briar patch fairly soon. The down side is that it isn't the fast track for promotions if one wants to be a career officer. I heard Graham-Rudman did away with this program. Having said all of that, it's not a bad way of life and you do get involved in some very complex cases.


Speaking only on the Navy side, the JAGs I knew were promoting at roughly the same pace as their combat arms counterparts and at selection percentages higher than their peers. (Probably a result of lower retention as JAGs got out to join the civilian lawyer corps). Those who have stayed beyond their minimum commitment seem to really enjoy the career JAG assignments in operational law/law of war that they get beyond the early courtroom experiences at the Legal/Trial Services Offices.

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Fri Mar 27, 2009 4:50 pm

bmdubs wrote:Anyone know how strict the medical exam is, since JAG is not a combat arms option in the Army and Airforce.


While JAG is not combat arms, we are still line officers (at least in the AF) and we deploy to OIF/OEF just like everyone else. You will get M-9/M-4 training, urban combat skills training, and the like before a deployment. We pilot desks but we are ever so slowly putting some distance from the 1990s Chair Force as we transition into an Air Expeditionary Force. Hardly snake eaters but there is a little bit of hooah creeping in.

That said, this is not the best forum to figure out medical related questions. I passed my MEPS physical in September of 2007 and it is a distant memory for me. You should call JAX or the MEPS facilities directly and try to get the information from someone actually in the know.

Just about everyone I know failed the depth perception test, so for everyone MEPS bound, don't freak out when that happens. We are not rated, the depth perception test does not matter. No one told this initially and I spent a solid 30 minutes thinking my JAG career was over before it started. That said, I found out after the fact that you have to treat it like a "Magic Eye" poster and cross/relax your eyes.

Let me also second J-Rods comment on chilling out while waiting for a reply. None of us get paid for posting here. We do it to help each other out, time permitting.


By the by, I think BHL's applicant advice is dead on.


Lastly, I'm not sure if TexasLawyer meant that the USMC Flying JAGs had a slow promotion rate or JAGs generally did. For clarification, AF JAG has a rather high rate of promotion, both in terms of the service time required and the amount of eligible officers that pin on. Many Captains I know in other AFSCs kill themselves to make Field Grade. In JAG, it is not quite automatic but it is very regular. One can rather easily make 0-5 if competent and 0-6 is not unreasonable.

texaslawyer
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Re: Military Law

Postby texaslawyer » Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:03 pm

Patrick yes I did mean the Marine flying JAGs had a slow promotion rate. The Marines promote very slowly except in times of war and then we get promoted very quickly. The physical requirements for the Marine JAGs is the same as any other Marine, we are also line officers. However, the flight physical is a booger bear. I hated those things with a passion. What I really despised was having my eyes dialated. Fun ! SERE school was no picnic either. But they did away with this program and that's sad. I did want to be a Marine lifer, get out of the cockpit and into the court room However it wasn't in the cards. If you ever get a chance to attend a Marine Mess Night, by all means do. It will be a most spirited evening.

UUURAAAHHHHHH IT'S A MARINE THING !

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:16 pm

texaslawyer wrote:Patrick yes I did mean the Marine flying JAGs had a slow promotion rate. The Marines promote very slowly except in times of war and then we get promoted very quickly. The physical requirements for the Marine JAGs is the same as any other Marine, we are also line officers. However, the flight physical is a booger bear. I hated those things with a passion. What I really despised was having my eyes dialated. Fun ! SERE school was no picnic either. But they did away with this program and that's sad. I did want to be a Marine lifer, get out of the cockpit and into the court room However it wasn't in the cards. If you ever get a chance to attend a Marine Mess Night, by all means do. It will be a most spirited evening.

UUURAAAHHHHHH IT'S A MARINE THING !


That's good to know and thanks for your service. Semper Fi Devil Dog!

dmoore2231
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Re: Military Law

Postby dmoore2231 » Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:13 am

I just want to think everyone for all the information in this thread. I'm a 1L and I've been pondering JAG for a while now. The information on each branches' website really didn't give me all the information I needed. The first hand info in this thread helped me a ton. I'm now convinced I'm at least going to test the JAG waters next year. I'm actually leaning towards the Air Force, since it sounds like the branch that would best suit me.

Do you think the easiest and best option to get into the Air Force's JAG is the OYCP? Why would people not go this route if it's available to them? Is there any reason to opt for just a summer internship over the OYCP if you're sure the Air Force is what you want to do? Thanks in advance. I'm still trying to wrap my head around all the different options and what's out there. I don't have a military background so it takes me a while to figure out how everything works.

galahad85
Posts: 322
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:50 pm

Re: Military Law

Postby galahad85 » Sat Mar 28, 2009 3:33 am

galahad85 wrote:
Patrick Bateman wrote:
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. That said, I did have solid "soft" factors going for me. I was a varsity athlete in college, T25 law school, top 33%, w/ moot court team and secondary journal, and the 2L internship. 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 $85K 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.


Great info, as always - thanks!

Regarding the background they're looking for, how important do you think it is to take courses in military law/national security? I know that GW has an excellent program on this, but I'm not sure if it will help. Speaking of which, do you think they recruit more from some schools than from others? The schools I'm choosing from are:

Boston College
Emory
George Washington
William & Mary (this is the lowest ranked, but would minimize my debt)


Could someone please respond to this post? I'm really struggling with my decision of where to go. W&M would keep my debt to a minimum, but GW has great programs in military law and national security law... Which is more important?

brownshoe
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Re: Military Law

Postby brownshoe » Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:51 am

galahad85 wrote:
Great info, as always - thanks!

Regarding the background they're looking for, how important do you think it is to take courses in military law/national security? I know that GW has an excellent program on this, but I'm not sure if it will help. Speaking of which, do you think they recruit more from some schools than from others? The schools I'm choosing from are:

Boston College
Emory
George Washington
William & Mary (this is the lowest ranked, but would minimize my debt)


Could someone please respond to this post? I'm really struggling with my decision of where to go. W&M would keep my debt to a minimum, but GW has great programs in military law and national security law... Which is more important?[/quote]

JAG is much less concerned about where you go to school than most other employers. Those are all great schools - personally, I would go to the one that put me the least in debt. Regarding the classes - it couldn't hurt to take those you mentioned, but my interviewer didn't seem too concerned with what types of classes I was taking. If anything, they like to see courses that get you ready (in theory) to try cases - trial practice, evidence, crim. pro, etc, which are offered everywhere.

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Rotor
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Re: Military Law

Postby Rotor » Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:47 am

Don't worry about individual specialties within LS. I agree with ^ about minimizing debt since for income based LRAPs, you may not qualify as you move up in rank (check those programs carefully).

As for WM there are a substantial number of military and vets because of its location and because it is the highest ranked school that is cheap enough to fit under funded law program limits (at least that's been the case historically. This may not be the case any more).

FWIW, WM would have been my choice of these four, regardless.

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:39 pm

dmoore2231 wrote:I just want to think everyone for all the information in this thread. I'm a 1L and I've been pondering JAG for a while now. The information on each branches' website really didn't give me all the information I needed. The first hand info in this thread helped me a ton. I'm now convinced I'm at least going to test the JAG waters next year. I'm actually leaning towards the Air Force, since it sounds like the branch that would best suit me.

Do you think the easiest and best option to get into the Air Force's JAG is the OYCP? Why would people not go this route if it's available to them? Is there any reason to opt for just a summer internship over the OYCP if you're sure the Air Force is what you want to do? Thanks in advance. I'm still trying to wrap my head around all the different options and what's out there. I don't have a military background so it takes me a while to figure out how everything works.


There really is a lot to JAG (with all of the service branches) that is not well publicized so don't feel you are odd man out in not seeing the big picture just yet.

If you know you want JAG, OYCP is without doubt the right call. I'm not sure if you can still qualify for the GLP, but that is equally good. Their acceptance rates are far higher than Direct Appointment and I think the ROTC based training can be very valuable. My touting of the 2L internship is really for those seeking a Direct Appointment and need something to distinguish themselves in light of a very civilian resume.

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:48 pm

galahad85 wrote:
Patrick Bateman wrote:
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. That said, I did have solid "soft" factors going for me. I was a varsity athlete in college, T25 law school, top 33%, w/ moot court team and secondary journal, and the 2L internship. 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 $85K 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.


Great info, as always - thanks!

Regarding the background they're looking for, how important do you think it is to take courses in military law/national security? I know that GW has an excellent program on this, but I'm not sure if it will help. Speaking of which, do you think they recruit more from some schools than from others? The schools I'm choosing from are:

Boston College
Emory
George Washington
William & Mary (this is the lowest ranked, but would minimize my debt)


My apologies on missing this when you posted it a few days ago.

I do not see these schools having any real impact on your JAG career. They are all solid T25 level programs, none head and shoulders above the other. My class at JASOC had literally everything from HYS to T4. Our instructors were similarly credentialed. Kind of how your LSAT does not matter the moment you are admitted to law school, your law school does not have much impact on your JAG career. You will either sink or swim as a litigator or trial attorney, it does not matter what name is on that JD.

Not knowing any other variables, I would limit your private lender debt as much as possible. If you stay in for 10 years, CCRA will forgive all of your Stafford loans, so taking out the max there really is not a huge deal.

Don't worry about taking military law/national security law in law school. You will not be touching this stuff in your first four (or even 6) years. As you move up the ladder, you will have the options of attending the AF professional schools (Squadron Officer School for Captains, Air Command & Staff College for Majors, etc) as well as getting an LLM in a specialty. That said, if it is something that interests you, by all means take it.

I would focus on moot court, trial advocacy, and all the courses that support litigation (evidence, etc). The more you can learn about being a trial attorney now, the easier your life will be at JASOC and your career thereafter.

galahad85
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Re: Military Law

Postby galahad85 » Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:18 pm

Thanks to bateman, rotor, and brownshoe for the answers!

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A'nold
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Re: Military Law

Postby A'nold » Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:37 pm

2 questions:

1. Are there any debt reimbursement GI Bill kind of things for JAG's? I have UG debt as well as future LS debt.

2. If I remember correctly through my research, I believe the Air Force has a 4 month limit on deployed JAG's, is this true? 1 year would be way too much for me to be away from my family and that is my one concern. I don't mind being deployed, just that the time limit of 1 year would not work for me.

3. I take "mind altering" medication. I remember from researching Officer Programs that if you have taken medication within a year of applying that you will be disqualified. Is this the same for JAG?

Thanks.

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A'nold
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Re: Military Law

Postby A'nold » Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:56 pm

BUMP!















Jk. 8)

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Rotor
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Re: Military Law

Postby Rotor » Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:27 am

A'nold wrote:Jk. 8)


Dude, I didn't see this at first and thought you'd lost your mind!

Anyway, each service runs different incentive programs, but you can look into SLRP (student loan repayment programs. Just beware, budget cuts are forcing DOD to consider cutting back on all sorts of personnel costs not linked to entitlement (bonuses, tuition assistance, etc.). Navy is still paying TA but word is, it may not survive 2010. SLRP may see reductions in the future too.

I'll second comments to the others re: medical, consult your recruiter. They'll know or have a doc they can ask. USN JAGs are staff corps so may be more lenient on psychotropics.

Finally, I'll put in my periodic assertion that there is more to deployments than duration. AF may be typically 4 months on an expeditionary airwing but it's fly in...4 months boots on dirt...fly out. Navy is 6-7 months, but deployed life at sea is enjoyable in its own way and on the way out/back you get ports of call and see the world. But specifically to your question: there are NO GUARANTEES. We have >10K Sailors on assignment for 12 month tours in Iraq & Afghanistan too. Because of the low number of sea-going JAG billets, you're likely only going to make one-two routine deployments in a career. My last JAG wanted to extend on the ship so he would at least get ONE in and he was denied. He opted for a tour in Naples instead and seems to be liking it.

Hope that helps. PM if you have more questions.

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:16 pm

A'nold wrote:2 questions:

1. Are there any debt reimbursement GI Bill kind of things for JAG's? I have UG debt as well as future LS debt.

2. If I remember correctly through my research, I believe the Air Force has a 4 month limit on deployed JAG's, is this true? 1 year would be way too much for me to be away from my family and that is my one concern. I don't mind being deployed, just that the time limit of 1 year would not work for me.

3. I take "mind altering" medication. I remember from researching Officer Programs that if you have taken medication within a year of applying that you will be disqualified. Is this the same for JAG?

Thanks.


1. GI Bill only applies to schooling after you have served, it is not "forward looking." There is also the issue in that we already have doctorates, and the GI Bill limitations on only getting a more advanced degree.The new GI Bill has some amazing additions, however, in which you can transfer your credits to spouses and children depending on the situation.
AF JAG has $60K in incentive pay that comes after your first four year tour. There is always speculation that this will increase but, as Rotor noted, in this economy, who knows.

2. Deployments for junior JAGs are now 179 days. The vast majority are with Task Force 134, sorting out the mess with the detainees, having cause hearings, etc. Once you hit 0-5/0-6 and are a Staff Judge Advocate somewhere, you may reach into the 1 year billets, but that is 20 years down the road for us.

3. I have no idea about the medication. You would want to contact JAX or a MEPS station. One of my close JASOC friends had taken ADD meds for a year or two but had quit when he felt they were not working. He had to document all of this for MEPS but it was not disqualifying. My totally baseless opinion is that if you HAVE to be on these meds that you may be in some trouble getting those cleared.

BHL
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Re: Military Law

Postby BHL » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:33 pm

bmdubs wrote:Anyone know how strict the medical exam is, since JAG is not a combat arms option in the Army and Airforce.

It really depends on if you can pass MEPS. If you are fully cleared to return to exercise and participate in anything like you were before you sustained an injury, you should be fine. I've had knee surgery and still got through. They just want the doctor information and get clearance from them saying you can return to regular exercise. The MEPS stuff can suck though. I failed the depth perception test too, even though I had the first 6 right. (The guy tipped me off after I said I was just guessing.) The last part is somewhat painful. You do all of these joint movements on a hard floor stripped to you boxers. For me, this put a lot of strain on my knees, but I still got through it.

In short, if your body parts work like they're supposed to, you should be fine. Nevertheless, MEPS is the real deciding factor.

BHL
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Re: Military Law

Postby BHL » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:35 pm

Anyone know why people leave JAG after their first commitment is up? I suspect that they want to start a family and don't want to move around as a result.

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:36 pm

I was at dinner tonight with a few other JAGs from different bases. One of them mentioned he learned he was colorblind at MEPS and was not DQ-ed in anyway. I'm not sure if his circumstance was unique in anyway but food for thought.




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