twentypercentmore wrote:Hey ya'll (huge disclaimer, 0L)
The only reason I'm interested in law school is for JAG. Is there something I can do either pre-law school or while in law school to drastically increase the likelihood of becoming a JAG officer? I'm honestly even okay with doing OCS now and doing law school on an extended leave program if that has a higher likelihood of success.
Alternatively, is going to law school for JAG just an infinitely bad idea?
I left active duty enlisted specifically to become a JAG officer...and I got selected but it was extremely stressful. Law school is hard enough as it is, but when you're tailoring your experience to meet JAG standards (which are very high) and you know you're doing it to get a job which you only have - at most- a 10-12% chance of getting, the stress factor is magnified. I think its fair to say that most law school students shoot to be in law review or other honors boards or in the top of their classes, but in this situation those things aren't really an option. Essentially every step you take from day one until the due dates for your applications must be taken very carefully and you can't afford to have any missteps. You really don't leave yourself with much wiggle/breathing room.
That being said, I must also say that I was already committed to the Army for active duty service following law school, it was just a matter of whether that service would be for JAG or in some other random branch, should I fail to make the cut. I really had no desire AT ALL do anything else so for me it was sort of a "do or die" situation. But on the other hand, either way there was still a job lined up for me after graduation and right now that is huge. Law school expensive, and a lot of us are now burdened with a very high amount of debt from student loans. I see a lot of stress and uncertainty among my classmates right now as they have to deal with studying for the bar and finding a job. Now that I'm at the end looking back, I would say to anyone looking to go to law school, for any reason, to take a very long hard look at their reasons for wanting to go and weigh them against the realities of the dismal job market and student loan debt. For some people its not worth it. But for others its an acceptable risk. At the end of the day, like everything in life, you just have to ask yourself how much you want this and what you're willing to do, go through, and endure, to get it. Think carefully and decide soon. Everything you do from here on out could have an impact on your appeal as a candidate.