Anonnymous wrote: howell wrote:
Anonnymous wrote:I wanted to ask how one can obtain trial experience in JAG. I know that many JAGs do legal assistance at first, but I was wondering how one could be trial counsel as soon as possible. The answer might vary among the branches, and I'm happy to get perspectives from everyone.
Of course, I'm not looking down on any other type of legal work--I'm happy to serve in any way asked of me. Thanks a lot!
The branches are very different. In the Air Force, you will be trial counsel at your first base, but how many courts you do will depend on what base you get. There will be an attempt to get you to a base with a high(er) justice load in your first two bases. Some bases have 50+ courts per year; others have 2 or fewer.
Also important is how the workload is divided for courts at your base. I have seen SJAs have the chief of military justice work the cases until right before trial, then hand the case over to trial counsel. This is in contrast to my base, where I've been working on a 20 spec GCM since I got here 9 months ago (among other courts). So you could technically do 20 courts a year but not have a clue about motions practice, preferral, or other steps along the way to court-martial.
Thanks! Any other insights? Perhaps from Army or Navy?
This is Army perspective. I personally haven't seen any trial counsel with less than 2 years of experience. But if it's something you know you want to do, you should make that known early on, and it might be possible to go straight from legal assistance to trial counsel. Probably rare, but it happens. This might be the same across all branches, but TDS (trial defense) are almost always former trial counsel, but I recently met a JAG assigned to TDS who has only been in for 2 years. She said she really wanted to do defense and told everyone that, so they assigned her to TDS instead of trial counsel. I believe all the branches would try to work with you for the most part.
One thing though is to definitely try to be on a big base like Bragg, Hood, Campbell if you want to do trial work and see a broad spectrum of cases. Small bases may have less than a dozen court martials a year, with only a handful contested. Hope this helps somewhat. Best of luck!
pat4redick wrote:Hi all,
Long time lurker of the thread. I'm a 2L and throwing my hat into the ring. I have my Navy interview on Friday and I'm pretty nervous about it. Hopefully it goes well!
Good luck! Don't be nervous! Just be yourself. Being relaxed, honest, put-together, and personable is more than half the battle.
I was selected in April of 2013. I was ranked 30th (12%-ish) at a T-30, competed for the Trial Team, was on a law journal (but not on the editorial board), and worked for a Veterans' clinic. I spent both summers with small, regional firms, so no prior JAG internships or anything. I managed to nab a letter of recommendation from a former (Army) JAG who worked at my school. My brother is in the Army, but other than that I have no military connections.
The interview means EVERYTHING, and mine went well. I think the SJA I interviewed with was mostly taken with my trial experience, and liked that I was a former athlete who was in good shape. Before my interview, I went down to the base and watched a court-martial for two days, making an effort to talk to as many of the JAGs as I could. I found this incredibly helpful in terms of feeling comfortable when I came back to interview; they were all very friendly and supportive. I can see how an internship would also be very beneficial.
If you have any specific questions, just ask!
Any specific advice for the interview? Also, what do you think about my Resume: 2 internship's with 2 different DA offices, currently working at USAO and tried 4 misdemeanor bench trials in federal court, 3.7 GPA, trial team tryouts and moot court competition, but no military connections or military internships.
It sounds like you have a great background. Your resume, provided that it is well put-together, will speak for itself. Don't worry about the lack of military background. Lots of people don't have this and make it. I assume you are applying for a JAG internship since you're a 2L? Your interviewer will have read your application and resume. During the interview, try not to laundry list all your accomplishments and really think about the interviewer's questions and answer them honestly. I paused quite a bit during my interview because I was really thinking about my answers. Have an idea in your head of some key points you really want to get out during the interview (specific examples of leadership, meaningful experience, related skills, etc.), but as for the rest, don't rehearse it. Every interview's somewhat unique, and you just have to let the interviewer take the driver's seat. Good luck!!
Patrick Bateman wrote:
padawanphil wrote:Any information on the USAF JAG Summer Internship? The Air Force website says the application will be posted on usajobs.com in January, but it's not up yet. It's not due until February 28th, so I'm not sweating it yet. Has anyone participated in this internship? Would participating in it make selection through direct appointment more likely? Apologies if this has been addressed somewhere else ITT. I've been reading through it for a while, but haven't made it all the way through yet.
I highly recommend contacting JAX regarding when the position will drop on USAJOBS.
I was a part of the 2L internship program but that is now almost 7 years ago. There are folks on this board that have done an official or unofficial internship more recently. Without question, a successful internship is one of the best ways out there to improve your odds for active duty selection. Continue pressing through all the pages of posts as the internship has been discussed before - might be some good information in there.
Though obviously not an end-all, be-all, getting a JAG internship, doing well, making an impression, and getting a recommendation from that experience is a huge, huge factor in active duty selection. Definitely contact JAX to find out when it will be posted, and make your best effort to send forward the strongest application possible. Best of luck!
Just a note to anyone else who may have missed an internship deadline or are 3L's and can no longer do an internship, I would recommend volunteering on a military base if you're near one, or with Legal Aid if you're not near one. There are many, many ways to help out and to make an impression, outside of the official JAG internship process.