Military Law

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BHL
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Re: Military Law

Postby BHL » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:42 pm

galahad85 wrote:
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?

It really depends on how set you are on JAG. If you're still thinking about doing biglaw, then I'd go with BC, Emory, or GW based on proximity to the market you want. However, if WM is a lot cheaper than those other schools, go with it. I don't think the difference in terms of job prospects is that great.

Personally, I wouldn't do GW, but that's because I find the school uncomfortable with it's huge class sizes and lack of a real law student community. Plus, at over $50k per year, I find it hard to justify if you have other similarly ranked options.

However, if you are set on JAG, then minimize your debt.

Btw, I would probably go with WM if it was cheaper by > $10k/year. It's a push at $5k.

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:45 pm

BHL wrote: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.


If I punch out after my 4, that will be why. No one ever complains about the work or the people. I'll be 30-31 when my tour is up and unless the Mrs to be has some sort of profession that lets her move every 24-36 months, it will be nearly impossible to stay active duty and have a rewarding family life.

My current plan is to marry an incredibly rich girl while I am in Las Vegas and then the whole "her being employable" thing becomes moot. I'll be sure to update all you TLS-ers with how that is coming along.

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A'nold
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Re: Military Law

Postby A'nold » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:49 pm

Thanks Rotor and Bateman, you guys are awesome as usual. That is good to hear about the color-blind thing and the ADD meds. thing because that's what I have taken. Anyway, about deployments: So it is 5 months for the AF but it could be longer in the future? Also, do those bonuses get paid in a lump sum and how much for how long? Thanks again!

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:11 pm

A'nold wrote:Thanks Rotor and Bateman, you guys are awesome as usual. That is good to hear about the color-blind thing and the ADD meds. thing because that's what I have taken. Anyway, about deployments: So it is 5 months for the AF but it could be longer in the future? Also, do those bonuses get paid in a lump sum and how much for how long? Thanks again!


As in all things in regard to the medical stuff, your mileage my vary. Don't take my random encounters as anything official.

The deployments can always exceed the 179 days but they have not so far. If for some reason you get screwed with a longer deployment, it will benefit your career in the longer term for one thing, but it will not be arbitrary and capricious. JAX takes deployments very seriously and does not just send people half way across the globe for 6 months + for grins.

I have no idea about the bonuses as almost all of my JAG friends are still in their first tour. I would imagine they are either lump summed or evenly distributed over 12 months.

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presh
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Re: Military Law

Postby presh » Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:34 am

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Last edited by presh on Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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J-Rod
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Re: Military Law

Postby J-Rod » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:26 am

Patrick Bateman wrote:My current plan is to marry an incredibly rich girl while I am in Las Vegas and then the whole "her being employable" thing becomes moot. I'll be sure to update all you TLS-ers with how that is coming along.



Exactly . . . my current g/f wants to do BigLaw, so I always joke that she'll be my sugar momma when I do JAG

brownshoe
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Re: Military Law

Postby brownshoe » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:43 am

presh wrote:I just read through the whole thread, and I amazed at the wealth of information. I'm a OL right now, but JAG has been in the back of my mind. Thank you all for coming and sharing your knowledge on here.

My question: How common are female JAGs? Are there a few, some, many?

Also, I'm a rather little person (5'2"). I know the height requirements only apply to certain positions. Is JAG one of them? Does this vary by branch?


Speaking for the Navy only, women are about 30% of the JAG Corps and are well represented in all ranks. I'm almost positive that your height is not a problem for Navy JAG.

texaslawyer
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Re: Military Law

Postby texaslawyer » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:23 am

Patrick I remember flying cross country flights and staying at Aif Force bases. I can tell you they are much nicer than Marine and Navy bases. Also, the rec facilites are usually top notch and they seemed to be more family friendly to me. I'm not saying the Air Force doesn't have some God forsaken bases, (Thule AFB Greenland and Minot, ND) they do, but believe me you don't want to be stuck in Yuma MCAS, Az or Twenty Nine Palms, Ca. The way the Marines looked at it was if they wanted you to have a family, they would issue you one.

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:21 pm

presh wrote:I just read through the whole thread, and I amazed at the wealth of information. I'm a OL right now, but JAG has been in the back of my mind. Thank you all for coming and sharing your knowledge on here.

My question: How common are female JAGs? Are there a few, some, many?

Also, I'm a rather little person (5'2"). I know the height requirements only apply to certain positions. Is JAG one of them? Does this vary by branch?


Speaking only from an AF perspective, women in our Officer Corps as well as JAG are well represented. My JASOC class is probably 33% female but we are a bit of a sausage fest compared to previous classes. The two legal offices I have been in are generally 50/50. The Staff Judge Advocate at my previous base, the Chief of Military Justice at the JAG School, the Commandant of the JAG School, etc, were all women. Very well represented in very important positions.

Two of my closest female JAG friends are under in that same 5'2ish range. There are no height requirements. We pilots desks, there are no "you must be this tall" signs!

galahad85
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Re: Military Law

Postby galahad85 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:49 pm

BHL wrote:
galahad85 wrote:
galahad85 wrote:
Patrick Bateman wrote:
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?

It really depends on how set you are on JAG. If you're still thinking about doing biglaw, then I'd go with BC, Emory, or GW based on proximity to the market you want. However, if WM is a lot cheaper than those other schools, go with it. I don't think the difference in terms of job prospects is that great.

Personally, I wouldn't do GW, but that's because I find the school uncomfortable with it's huge class sizes and lack of a real law student community. Plus, at over $50k per year, I find it hard to justify if you have other similarly ranked options.

However, if you are set on JAG, then minimize your debt.

Btw, I would probably go with WM if it was cheaper by > $10k/year. It's a push at $5k.


After 3 years, W&M will be $24k cheaper than GW and BC and $36k cheaper than Emory. So that's not a huge difference on a per year basis, but it adds up.

But yeah, I'm still not 100% committed to JAG, so BC's excellent private sector placement is tempting... (although it's not like biglaw is too hard to get out of W&M)

sharp1321
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Re: Military Law

Postby sharp1321 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:44 pm

presh wrote:I just read through the whole thread, and I amazed at the wealth of information. I'm a OL right now, but JAG has been in the back of my mind. Thank you all for coming and sharing your knowledge on here.



+1 thanks guys, this is all great stuff to know

BHL
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Re: Military Law

Postby BHL » Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:39 pm

galahad85 wrote:After 3 years, W&M will be $24k cheaper than GW and BC and $36k cheaper than Emory. So that's not a huge difference on a per year basis, but it adds up.

But yeah, I'm still not 100% committed to JAG, so BC's excellent private sector placement is tempting... (although it's not like biglaw is too hard to get out of W&M)

If I had to choose, I would just go with W&M. BC would be cool and provide slightly better job prospects, but I doubt it's worth the extra cost. The NLJ chart on 2005 graduates makes it seem like all of the schools are very close. (http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/20080414 ... trends.pdf) BC has the largest percentage in biglaw, but W&M has more grads clerking than BC. It seems like a rough 5% difference when you take into that factor. Pretty negligible. I think ;ocation should decide unless you're just that debt adverse.

Did you consider COL when you compared costs? If not, then W&M becomes even cheaper.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Military Law

Postby prezidentv8 » Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:42 pm

Random question I've wondered....asthma a deal breaker for JAG?

chadstew55
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Re: Military Law

Postby chadstew55 » Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:04 pm

What schools and what range of schools are most represented in JAG (just from your experience if you don't really know)? Are they grads from T14s mainly or are there more T20ish schools?

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:10 pm

prezidentv8 wrote:Random question I've wondered....asthma a deal breaker for JAG?


As always with these medical questions, it totally depends. You will need to document everything with your asthma with MEPS and likely get a waiver from the AF Surgeon General's Office. Get in touch with JAX and go from there.

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:27 pm

chadstew55 wrote:What schools and what range of schools are most represented in JAG (just from your experience if you don't really know)? Are they grads from T14s mainly or are there more T20ish schools?


As I've mentioned previously, Air Force JAG does not get caught up in the USNWR rankings game. There is no concentration of a certain rank of school, be it at the base level or the headquarters level. Military service requires a special sort of lawyer. The criteria that law firms rely on, namely law school rank and being on a law journal, do not jive with what is necessary for someone in uniform.

My JASOC class has every type of school represented, from Harvard and NYU on down to T4s. You are very quickly judged on your abilities as a trial lawyer. No one gives a crap where you went to law school.

E\/ERLAST
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Re: Military Law

Postby E\/ERLAST » Sun Apr 05, 2009 1:56 pm

chadstew55 wrote:What schools and what range of schools are most represented in JAG (just from your experience if you don't really know)? Are they grads from T14s mainly or are there more T20ish schools?



Don't know if this has been posted... but this is the active duty army selection for the fall 2008 board. It lists everyone and what schools they came from. So, as Bateman mentioned - no clear distribution.

--LinkRemoved--)/HOT+TOPICS?OpenDocument

EDIT: Not linking directly to it... but just go to the hyperlink and go to "Hot Topics" at top left.

chadstew55
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Re: Military Law

Postby chadstew55 » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:42 pm

Patrick Bateman wrote: You are very quickly judged on your abilities as a trial lawyer.

so basically your only option is to be a trial lawyer? It seemed like there were a lot more practice areas from the website.
E\/ERLAST wrote:
chadstew55 wrote:What schools and what range of schools are most represented in JAG (just from your experience if you don't really know)? Are they grads from T14s mainly or are there more T20ish schools?



Don't know if this has been posted... but this is the active duty army selection for the fall 2008 board. It lists everyone and what schools they came from. So, as Bateman mentioned - no clear distribution.

--LinkRemoved--)/HOT+TOPICS?OpenDocument

EDIT: Not linking directly to it... but just go to the hyperlink and go to "Hot Topics" at top left.

That was really useful. Thanks.
I think this link goes directly to the new hires pdf: --LinkRemoved--

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:51 pm

chadstew55 wrote:
Patrick Bateman wrote: You are very quickly judged on your abilities as a trial lawyer.

so basically your only option is to be a trial lawyer? It seemed like there were a lot more practice areas from the website.
E\/ERLAST wrote:
chadstew55 wrote:What schools and what range of schools are most represented in JAG (just from your experience if you don't really know)? Are they grads from T14s mainly or are there more T20ish schools?



Don't know if this has been posted... but this is the active duty army selection for the fall 2008 board. It lists everyone and what schools they came from. So, as Bateman mentioned - no clear distribution.

--LinkRemoved--)/HOT+TOPICS?OpenDocument

EDIT: Not linking directly to it... but just go to the hyperlink and go to "Hot Topics" at top left.

That was really useful. Thanks.
I think this link goes directly to the new hires pdf: --LinkRemoved--


My apologies on not being very clear. Litigator was the better word over trial attorney. There are a wide variety of practice areas on the civil side but the JAG primary mission is military justice. At JASOC, you will have a very heavy military justice course load, including two litigated courts-martial. Depending on your base, you may also encounter a heavy MJ load as a practicing JAG. Other bases tend to be more civil in nature. It all depends on the mission and composition of the base.

If you don't like the court room, be it criminal or civil, JAG is not going to be the place for you.

In all, you will be judged on your abilities as a lawyer and not your school. I generally have to look up where someone got their JD or take a look at their wall to figure it out. It never comes up in conversation.

BHL
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Re: Military Law

Postby BHL » Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:11 pm

Patrick Bateman wrote:
chadstew55 wrote:
Patrick Bateman wrote: You are very quickly judged on your abilities as a trial lawyer.

so basically your only option is to be a trial lawyer? It seemed like there were a lot more practice areas from the website.
E\/ERLAST wrote:
chadstew55 wrote:What schools and what range of schools are most represented in JAG (just from your experience if you don't really know)? Are they grads from T14s mainly or are there more T20ish schools?



Don't know if this has been posted... but this is the active duty army selection for the fall 2008 board. It lists everyone and what schools they came from. So, as Bateman mentioned - no clear distribution.

--LinkRemoved--)/HOT+TOPICS?OpenDocument

EDIT: Not linking directly to it... but just go to the hyperlink and go to "Hot Topics" at top left.

That was really useful. Thanks.
I think this link goes directly to the new hires pdf: --LinkRemoved--


My apologies on not being very clear. Litigator was the better word over trial attorney. There are a wide variety of practice areas on the civil side but the JAG primary mission is military justice. At JASOC, you will have a very heavy military justice course load, including two litigated courts-martial. Depending on your base, you may also encounter a heavy MJ load as a practicing JAG. Other bases tend to be more civil in nature. It all depends on the mission and composition of the base.

If you don't like the court room, be it criminal or civil, JAG is not going to be the place for you.

In all, you will be judged on your abilities as a lawyer and not your school. I generally have to look up where someone got their JD or take a look at their wall to figure it out. It never comes up in conversation.

That's somewhat odd. I've had different experiences talking with JAGs, but I also have connections to rival schools of where they went for ug or law school. Most JAGs I know are also big sports fans, so it was more of a talking point rather than a "I'm special because I went to X" kind of thing.

The where you went thing is similar to private practice too. Even at biglaw, once you're in, you're evaluated based on experience, though imagine bias is a greater factor given the general t14 makeup of biglaw.

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danr2040
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Re: Military Law

Postby danr2040 » Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:57 pm

To current and future JAGs:
Are you guys planning to consolidate your federal loans and pay them off under the new monthly income-based repayment plan (IBR - http://www.finaid.org/loans/ibr.phtml)?

I ask this because I plan on serving in the JAG Corps and I'm trying to figure out which school to go to in light of my future vow of poverty :| . I'm in at a couple T-14s with no grants (would have to borrow $180,000+), but I have full scollys to several in the T-30.

I was scared that the possibility of crushing debt would preclude taking one of the T-14s, I don't think I have to worry if I use the combo of monthly IBR and the Public Service loan provision http://www.finaid.org/loans/publicservice.phtml

The IBR caps your payments at 15% of discretionary income, and public service loan forgiveness forgives all outstanding interest and principle after 10 years (also might not be taxable).
I crunched the numbers in the calculator at http://www.finaid.org/calculators/ibr.phtml

I used the following numbers ($198000 for total debt, $61500 Stafford @ 6.8% and $136500 GradPLUS @ 8.5% - wtf gov't :roll: ) and my assumed starting AGI as a JAG, $40,000 (is this about right guys)?

All told, the calculator only has me paying about $500 a month for 10 years and all the rest is forgiven after 120 payments (10 years) made as a JAG or prosecutor (possible JAG exit option for me down the line). Does all this seem right to you guys or am I making a mistake somewhere in my calculations? Also, am I right on the JAG starting salary?

galahad85
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Re: Military Law

Postby galahad85 » Sun Apr 12, 2009 4:05 pm

Patrick Bateman wrote:
chadstew55 wrote:
Patrick Bateman wrote: You are very quickly judged on your abilities as a trial lawyer.

so basically your only option is to be a trial lawyer? It seemed like there were a lot more practice areas from the website.
E\/ERLAST wrote:
chadstew55 wrote:What schools and what range of schools are most represented in JAG (just from your experience if you don't really know)? Are they grads from T14s mainly or are there more T20ish schools?



Don't know if this has been posted... but this is the active duty army selection for the fall 2008 board. It lists everyone and what schools they came from. So, as Bateman mentioned - no clear distribution.

--LinkRemoved--)/HOT+TOPICS?OpenDocument

EDIT: Not linking directly to it... but just go to the hyperlink and go to "Hot Topics" at top left.

That was really useful. Thanks.
I think this link goes directly to the new hires pdf: --LinkRemoved--


My apologies on not being very clear. Litigator was the better word over trial attorney. There are a wide variety of practice areas on the civil side but the JAG primary mission is military justice. At JASOC, you will have a very heavy military justice course load, including two litigated courts-martial. Depending on your base, you may also encounter a heavy MJ load as a practicing JAG. Other bases tend to be more civil in nature. It all depends on the mission and composition of the base.

If you don't like the court room, be it criminal or civil, JAG is not going to be the place for you.

In all, you will be judged on your abilities as a lawyer and not your school. I generally have to look up where someone got their JD or take a look at their wall to figure it out. It never comes up in conversation.


It was my understanding that after a few years in JAG, you can move into non-litigation areas of practice. Any truth to this?

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Sun Apr 12, 2009 4:11 pm

danr2040 wrote:To current and future JAGs:
Are you guys planning to consolidate your federal loans and pay them off under the new monthly income-based repayment plan (IBR - http://www.finaid.org/loans/ibr.phtml)?

I ask this because I plan on serving in the JAG Corps and I'm trying to figure out which school to go to in light of my future vow of poverty :| . I'm in at a couple T-14s with no grants (would have to borrow $180,000+), but I have full scollys to several in the T-30.

I was scared that the possibility of crushing debt would preclude taking one of the T-14s, I don't think I have to worry if I use the combo of monthly IBR and the Public Service loan provision http://www.finaid.org/loans/publicservice.phtml

The IBR caps your payments at 15% of discretionary income, and public service loan forgiveness forgives all outstanding interest and principle after 10 years (also might not be taxable).
I crunched the numbers in the calculator at http://www.finaid.org/calculators/ibr.phtml

I used the following numbers ($198000 for total debt, $61500 Stafford @ 6.8% and $136500 GradPLUS @ 8.5% - wtf gov't :roll: ) and my assumed starting AGI as a JAG, $40,000 (is this about right guys)?

All told, the calculator only has me paying about $500 a month for 10 years and all the rest is forgiven after 120 payments (10 years) made as a JAG or prosecutor (possible JAG exit option for me down the line). Does all this seem right to you guys or am I making a mistake somewhere in my calculations? Also, am I right on the JAG starting salary?


I consolidated and am under the Income Contingent Plan until the IBR comes out 1 July. Though I'm still a newly minted JAG, I anticipate going Fed after 6 years active duty. USAO would be my dream shot but that will turn a lot on how much military justice exposure I get.

Your numbers add up fine though our AGI is probably going to be less. Your first year active duty (6 months 0-2, 6 months 0-3) will have you around $38,000 before deductions. Between deducting student loan interest and everything else, you should be well under $35,000. IBR is going to save people like us a fortune.

Keep in mind that you will also qualify for LRAP at all of your schools. Some schools have excluded military service from their LRAP "public interest" positions (really classy move) so you may want to check on that before you decide to enroll somewhere.

There are also provisions in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act that may allow you to bring that 8.6% interest rate down to 6%. I am not 100% where GradPlus loans fit into the statute but that may be worth looking into.


Best of luck,
PB
Last edited by Patrick Bateman on Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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danr2040
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Re: Military Law

Postby danr2040 » Sun Apr 12, 2009 4:33 pm

Patrick Bateman wrote: 1st Lt Bateman here. I am about $83,000 and change in the hole. I consolidated and am under the Income Contingent Plan until the IBR comes out 1 July. Though I'm still a newly minted JAG, I anticipate going Fed after 6 years active duty. USAO would be my dream shot but that will turn a lot on how much military justice exposure I get.

Your numbers add up fine though our AGI is probably going to be less. Your first year active duty (6 months 0-2, 6 months 0-3) will have you around $38,000 before deductions. Between deducting student loan interest and everything else, you should be well under $35,000. IBR is going to save people like us a fortune.

Keep in mind that you will also qualify for LRAP at all of your schools. Some schools have excluded military service from their LRAP "public interest" positions (really classy move) so you may want to check on that before you decide to enroll somewhere.

There are also provisions in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act that may allow you to bring that 8.6% interest rate down to 6%. I am not 100% where GradPlus loans fit into the statute but that may be worth looking into.

Best of luck,
PB


Lt. Bateman,
Thank you very much for the quick reply. This is a week that first deposits are due at a lot of schools, so I really need to sort out this "T-14 with little money vs full tuition scolly at T-30" issue quickly while I am out visiting schools.

With your confirmation, I think that the IBR program will make me comfortable enough to turn down those full rides and go to the best school I can get into. Don't know what the future will bring, and I never want to be turned down for a job only to think it might have gone differently had I gone to the better school.

Based on the $40,000 figure (which you say is closer to $35,000 - knocking down the monthly payments even more :) , everything seems really affordable. Then, with the public service loan provision, all the rest is forgiven for us after 10 years (are you banking on this part of the program too, you weren't clear about that)?

One thing that worries me about the public service loan forgiveness provision http://www.finaid.org/loans/publicservice.phtml is the vagueness in the "120 payments made while working in a qualifying job" provision. Do you (or anyone else reading) know if this means 120 CONSECUTIVE payments (i.e., miss one and you are screwed) or just 120 payments (which could take longer than 10 years if you make a few while unemployed/in another job)?

I am glad everything seems pretty straightfoward under IBR, because the LRAP programs are fraught with loopholes and I am worried about relying on them.

As you say, some schools straight up exclude military jobs (WUSTL, I'm looking at you, with your dubious DADT justification :evil: ) from LRAP.

However, some schools are more sneaky with restrictions that would preclude JAG. GULC, for example, has a generous LRAP program (http://www.law.georgetown.edu/finaid/lr ... ligibility), but I found the following: "Housing/Food/Non-Cash Benefits: Any benefits received from an employer in addition to annual salary are included in a participant’s income during the LRAP calculation. If an employer cannot provide a monetary amount for a benefit such as housing or a food allowance, then an amount will be determined by the LRAP staff, who will consider the cost of living for the area where the participant resides to determine an appropriate amount."

Do you know these numbers for fringe (Housing and food) benefits for JAGs? I imagine that when combined with the ~35000 AGI, they would knock me out of LRAP assistance territory (defined as making under <40,700 by GULC)?

Most schools look at only the AGI (or at least their LRAP pages are silent on counting fringe benefits), so I hope to assume that their programs would be better for JAG than GULC's?

Much thanks for your continued assistance!

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Sun Apr 12, 2009 5:43 pm

"It was my understanding that after a few years in JAG, you can move into non-litigation areas of practice. Any truth to this?"

That's a pretty broad question. It first depends on what service branch you are talking about. Army and Air Force? I guess. Navy? No. I'll assume that you are considering joining the Greatest Air Force in the World (Air Power!) for the purposes of this question.

Even if you are not doing traditional military justice work, everything I've been exposed to so far leads me to see a lot of litigation. The JAG Corps 21 program has established Field Support Centers for each of the civil law specialties. You can specialize in environmental law, labor law, contract law, and end up at a FSC doing that full time. What you will be doing at the FSC will very likely be litigating that practice area in some form.

I'm sure there are some purely transactional jobs out there but they are neither pervasive nor anything an 0-3 will be touching. Please keep in mind that this is just what I have been exposed to. I am obviously not JAX.




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