Standish wrote:I just found out that I was accepted for the Army 2L internship. I'm really excited! I have a few questions.
I know all JAG positions are extremely selective, but how much does the internship improve my chances of direct commissioning after I pass the bar? If I get good recommendations from the Judge Advocates I work with this summer, would I probably be accepted after graduation, or are there still too many factors to be able to say?
This semester I'm taking mostly business law classes, as I was trying to increase my ability to get JD advantage jobs if I didn't get hired by a firm eventually. I understand that Army JAG has a significant litigation focus. Would it be a good idea to change my schedule for this semester to include more litigation classes?
Are there any bases that specialize in certain practice areas? Any advice on how to choose from the list of bases they provide?
My USAF two cents:
The internship can be a critical asset to earning a selection for direct appointment. The office will get 8-12 weeks to observe you and determine if you have the variables that can make a good officer. Most folks only have the hour long interview to sell this - that is why the internship can be such a huge advantage. An SJA recommendation that states that after 2-3 months with you, they think you have what it takes and they would be willing to have you as a first assignment in their office - that goes a long way.
That all presupposes you do a really good job with the internship. You can just as easily blow it. A good internship is also no guarantee - there are interns that had a good summer and still did not get picked up. That said, if the other variables in your resume are solid, a good summer will put you in a stronger spot.
When I interviewed back in the day, the SJA went through my transcript and specifically asked about my criminal and litigation type classes - evidence, crim pro, white collar crime, etc, etc. Same goes for mock trial and moot court. And now that I have been in the courtroom in some capacity for over six years now, those courses are always a good idea. That said, it is not like my entire transcript was 100% criminal or advocacy related - I just worked in the interesting electives when I could.
For the Air Force, bases absolutely specialize in certain practice areas due to the missions that they support. I have posted on this subject extensively for anyone looking to know more.