tsquare wrote:Thanks tothepain and patrick bateman.
Can anyone comment on the wisdom of going from top firm-->JAG? Long term, I'm thinking back into the private world, or possibly government. I wouldn't be averse to a long military career though... which leads me to wonder, how do JAGs rise through the ranks, if at all, and what's the ceiling?
All depends on your priorities and goals in life. In terms of financial wisdom, you obviously will not be making BigLaw money as an officer. That said, if you had to read a Wikipedia article on a lawyer, which would you pick?
1. 20 years in BigLaw, partner, helped giant corporations do things with/to other giant corporations, 2200+ hour billables, etc.
2. 20 years of active military service during a time of war, several deployments around the world, assignments around the country/world, opportunity to attend professional military education like the respective War Colleges while earning a master's degree in strategic studies, opportunity to earn an LLM on the govt's dime, etc.
This was more or less the analysis I went through when I was deciding between BigLaw and the JAG Corps. There are plenty of drawbacks to military life, but at the end of the day, I could never see myself being excited to work at a law firm. I get a charge each morning I put on my uniform.
In terms of career progression, we promote like all the other officers. For those career minded, most retire at O-5, the fast burners make O-6. There are general/flag officer positions, but going in with an expectation of a star is a like starting as a 1L and expecting to be a law professor. USAF/USA/USN each have a three star that leads the Corps. I believe USMC has a one star that is the SJA to the Commandant.