Military Law

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:56 pm

BHL wrote:
Patrick Bateman wrote:
imdashep wrote:I found that, and a corresponding Navy one, but was looking for more intangible stuff. However, I understand the desire to use sarcasm in that situation.


I'm not sure what you mean then. You either qualify with a Good/Excellent at OCS/OTS and do not have test again for another year, or are sub-par and have requalify in 3-6 months. Most Wing Commanders give those with Excellent scores 1-2 extra days off in a year, though that is a base by base, wing by wing, sort of thing.

At least at the AFB I worked at was office wide (the legal office) PT 3-4 days week. 2 of them generally are AM runs with some calisthenics but sometimes it is office wide basketball, or just do your own thing for 45-60 minutes. 2-3 afternoons a week you could get out of work an hour early (3:30) in order to work out. There were also Wing wide competitions like a 5K with trophies for the top finishers.

The PT intensity and structure truly seems dependent on your office's SJA (0-5/0-6 that runs the legal office) and then the Wing Commander (generally an 0-6, Wings are equivalent to an Army Brigade).

Your Officer's Training will have much more PT, along with a lot of the boot camp type exercises.

I'm made the recent DAP board and wanted to know more about the typical day at an AFB. Can you provide me with some oversight? Thanks.

If I get an extra 1-2 days off for being excellent, I better work on shaving a few seconds off my 1.5mi time. I'm borderline right now, though turning 25 before I commission will make it easier.


Feel free to send me an email at Illini.JAG@gmail.com and I'd be happy to answer whatever questions you have.

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partymidget
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Re: Military Law

Postby partymidget » Tue Nov 04, 2008 7:21 pm

anyone have any ideas about quality of life as a Navy JAG? daily hours, length of tours...

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sky7
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Re: Military Law

Postby sky7 » Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:46 pm

I'm applying to the Navy LEP program right now. Screw this working fulltime in the Navy and going to school at night.

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Re: Military Law

Postby amped » Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:49 am

So, I have four questions.

One, if I'm interested in doing AF or USN JAG with a family, which one would be better? Obviously I'm concerned about the whole deployment thing, but I think I could deal with it. Any thoughts on the comparison and just in general would be appreciated.

Two, which has a more intense (as in learning combat/guns stuff) officer training? I know this shouldn't be my main reason for doing JAG, but I'm sort of a military junkie and I think the training would be cool. Again, any thoughts on this aspect of the JAG would be appreciated. Note, I'm not delusional and I realize that I won't be spending much time at all around weapons, etc. so no need to remind me of this.

Three, what are the post-JAG options like? I think this is my main worry about doing JAG. I'm afraid I would deal with military law/courts-martial all four years and then want to go back to being a civilian and I wouldn't have many options. Any thoughts on this would be helpful.

Last, will serving in the armed forces as a JAG be helpful to a political career? I'm interested in pursuing politics and I'm wondering if doing JAG would be beneficial. And if it would be helpful, does one branch look better than the other?

Note: when responding, keep in mind that I have a family which is very important to me. So if you think this should affect my decision/considerations please say so.

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:09 pm

There seems to be a decent Navy presence on this board so I will not try to antagonize them, but in regard to family, I do think the AF is a better bet. Generally speaking, quality of life all across the board is stronger with the AF. Part of this comes from the mentality of the Air Force: we are at the cutting edge of a lot of military technology and therefore need the type of people that can interact and maintain such systems. This usually means that our Airmen and Officers could find better paying equivalent work in the private sector, so the AF does everything possible to compensate. We need our experts to stay in the service for as long as possible, so they go overboard with Morale, Welfare, Recreation (MWR) activities to make sure the families of our Airmen are taken care of. It also comes from how our appropriations come down from Congress: the AF is unique in that specific amounts of money are budgeted exclusively for MWR, improvements to base housing, etc. The AF has to spend this money in ways that improve the quality of life for Airmen. All of the other services typically do not have this appropriations distinction and when money starts running tight for a weapons system, the top brass is able to draw money away from quality of life programs. Spend a few days on an Army Fort and you'll see what I mean.

In regard to the military experience: I think you are not going to be terribly military as either a AF or Navy JAG. Both have a similar 5 week version of officer's training that is not terribly intense. If you want to play Ranger, you will get more of that experience in the Army and the full out experience in the Marine Corps. I know the AF has about 6 hours of M-9 (the standard issue 9mm Beretta 92F sidearm) training on the final day of Commissioned Officer's Training. That's it unless you are preparing for a OIF/OEF deployment.

Post-JAG: This is also been covered on this board. In all, you likely will not be lateraling into a Vault-50 firm and doing corporate work. That said, you will have mountains of trial experience that translates very well into White Collar Crime practice groups as well as all the other practice areas you will work on: civil legal assistance, environmental, tort claims, med mal, labor, etc. You are not just running courts martial in the Air Force. It is worth noting that the Navy JAG Corps has farmed out a considerable amount of its practice groups out to civilians with the exceptions of legal assistance and military justice.

Obviously the easiest transition would be with another executive agency. I will be doing everything possible to end up with the US Attorney’s Office if I decide to separate after my first 4 years. All in all, you will not have sophisticated corporate experience. Beyond that, you will have done more hands on things than many of your private practice peers. Some jobs may be harder to land following JAG than others, but nothing is out of the question. Also, who does not respect a military resume at this point?

In terms of JAG and a political career, I don’t think military service is ever anything but a perk. You’ll have the distinction of having served in the military, as an officer, in a time of war and when you likely could have found better paying work in the private sector. I truly think JAG is an incredibly honorable thing to do and its hard to conjure s situation where such a feather in your cap would not be a huge advantage.

I don’t think it is reasonable to say that one service is more politically advantageous than the other. If you consider the recent election, it’s not like anyone thought McCain would have been more impressive had he been flying with the Air Force or the Marine Corps instead of the Navy. Everyone harbors their own prejudices and preferences with the different service branches but at the end of the day, I doubt that serving with one over the other would be the deciding factor when you are running for Congress.
Last edited by Patrick Bateman on Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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J-Rod
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Re: Military Law

Postby J-Rod » Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:24 pm

I was wondering what really tipped the scale for some of you to do JAG as opposed to BigLaw, etc.

I'm at UVA now for law school, and to do JAG I'd be turning down $165k+ salaries right out of school. While I'm not 100% on JAG right now, it's starting to creep more and more into my plans. But giving up over $100k a year at the age of 25 won't be an easy thing.


For those that have done this, was it just your desire to serve your country, desire to travel, etc. etc.?

Thanks for the input.

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:06 pm

I was in a similar position as you. While not at a T14, I was at a T25 with two solid Chicago BigLaw offiers. I turned them down for the 2L summer internship and my active duty application.

My reasons for joining, probably like most other officers, are multifaceted.
The first is ideological. I truly believe in service to ones country and I take great honor and pride in holding an Air Force Officer’s Commission. . It seems very few of my peers that share my demographic background have any desire or interest in serving in uniform. While there are no doubt plenty of reasons for this, I think it is BS. So it is both personal and more general, in that someone from my background has enjoyed considerable advantages growing up in this country. I feel that I should be the first one to pay that debt back.

The second relates to alternatives. I have always been someone who makes a “Pro/Con” list when making a big decision. I considered my alternative life in Chicago BigLaw and had far more cons than pros. The pros were the substantial salary, being close to my family and friends, and working in a city that I loved and knew. The cons are the ones that everyone associates with BigLaw: poor quality of life, tedious work for the first few years, high levels of junior associate attrition, etc. None of my friends in Chicago BigLaw loved their jobs; the best case types were the “it could be way worse” crowd and the worst case was truly hating life. They were there for a solid resume line and to pay their debts down.

So it is not like I had the Willy Wonka-esque Golden Ticket and threw it away to serve with the AF. I’m sure I would have been happy enough in a firm but, in my view, I was not making a massive sacrifice in walking away from it. Connected to that relates to my career timeline. The law firms are always going to be there. My window to serve active duty is limited. I can either do JAG now, or never. Private practice, in some form, will always be an option throughout my life. What’s the hurry?

There are also a lot of practical reasons why I joined. I want to be a trial attorney and it is hard to beat the experience JAG provides. A close friend who is an ASJA at Lackland AFB knocked out 16 trials last year. While I’m sure I could get something similar from the State’s Attorney or Attorney General, I decided against working for Cook County/Illinois early on.
I also have no idea what I ultimately want to do. I think I will love criminal trial work (military justice in JAG parlance), maybe I won’t. I’ll be working tort claims, med mal, military ethics, labor, environmental, etc, as a JAG. I think the wide exposure is a good idea in terms of my skills as an attorney but it will also serve me will in fleshing out precisely how I want to focus my career.

You mentioned travel as a reason for joining. While that will be a perk, it was more the fact that JAG forces me to relocate to a different part of the country for 4 years that I liked. I lack the stones to simply pick up and move to a new state, irrespective of the bullshit of getting another law license. JAG takes me out of my comfort zone and will let me experience another part of the country. I doubt I would have ever left Chicago had I gone with private practice. Now I get to spend my late 20s in Las Vegas.

The money thing is a major issue. I’m in decent law debt. I will not have any problems paying this off on my O-2/O-3 salary, but I will not exactly be living large. As the saying goes, you’ll never be rich as an officer, but you’ll always be comfortable. That said, there are tons of monetary perks along the way that take the sting out of the lower salary.

Taxes are a very important thing to consider when deciding between private practice and the military. You will make way more on paper in BigLaw, no question. You will also be in a very high tax bracket. Do the math and see how much your take home paycheck will be.

Military is the inverse. Smaller paycheck on paper but bigger take home. Military pay comes in three forms: Basic Pay, which is fully taxable and then your housing and food allowances (BAH & BAS, respectively), which are not taxable. As a result, you remain in lower tax brackets and get a sizeable amount of money which is 100% tax free. As a second year Captain in Las Vegas (which has a comparatively lower housing allowance compared to major cities like DC) I would make about $46,000 in my basic pay. Take the standard deduction plus loan interest and everything else, and my tax obligations are pretty low. I then get another $19,000 or so, totally tax free and not considered per my W-2. Also keep in mind that I am not paying any state income taxes in Nevada (this also applies to a lot of states: Illinois, Texas, Florida). Again, I’m not going to be living a models and bottles lifestyle with that level of money, but I have a respectable nut left over after all my expenses are accounted for. Take this, in the context of that level of money while serving your country as an armed forces officer, and it’s a great deal (in my opinion). You are also guaranteed annual basic pay raises in the tune of 3.5%-5%.
There are also a lot of other little money savers like next to nothing car insurance, 100% free medical care, incredibly low rates on all forms of loans/mortgages (I’ll be taking advantage of a $25,000 loan from USAA at 2% to get a jump on paying down my loans), etc.

Also consider that you have bullet proof job security. Even my friends in the major Chicago firms (Jenner, Sidley, Winston, Kirkland, Mayer, etc) are shitting their pants right now in this economy. It may get better, it may not, but there is something to be said for a great job that is not subject to the whims of the firm chairman looking to boost his Profits Per Partner in an economic crunch.

This is probably a bit rambling at this point, so I’ll cut it off. Walking away from BigLaw, esp with the options you likely have with a UVa JD, is not easy. For what it is worth, when I was a 2L intern at Wright-Patt AFB, we had to UVa law grads that I ran into working on base.

Feel free to email me (Illini.JAG@gmail.com) or post other questions, I’ll do my best to get to them.
Last edited by Patrick Bateman on Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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J-Rod
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Re: Military Law

Postby J-Rod » Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:20 pm

Hey! Thanks for the insight! I too am looking at BigLaw in Chicago. I worked for Sidley some during undergrad and a good family friend is a hiring partner for them, and he's already told me I have that in with them.

I think your analysis of the situation was very good. The money isn't terrible at all. Figure with basic/housing/food, it's in the 50-65k range, depending on where you're stationed.

Debt is a concern for me. I will have $65k in debt after my UG and 1L year . . . that's before 2L and 3L debt . . . and since tuition goes up about 7% a year, that doesn't help me much. I will probably check with my school to see if JAG qualifies for LRAP or some other sort of debt repayment relief from the school. Since basic taxable pay falls under a certain amount, I believe it might actually qualify, but I'll have to check to be certain.

I'm considering trying really hard to do get a firm job my 1L summer, and then doing a JAG internship my 2L summer.

Do you happen to have any insight into how competitive the application process is? Will it be any advantage to me to be from a highly ranked school?

There is also a JAG school here at UVA, right next door to the law school, I think I'm going to talk to them as well, see if there is a recruiter or professor I can speak with about a lot of these issues.

Thanks again for all the info!

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:53 pm

J-Rod wrote:Hey! Thanks for the insight! I too am looking at BigLaw in Chicago. I worked for Sidley some during undergrad and a good family friend is a hiring partner for them, and he's already told me I have that in with them.

I think your analysis of the situation was very good. The money isn't terrible at all. Figure with basic/housing/food, it's in the 50-65k range, depending on where you're stationed.

Debt is a concern for me. I will have $65k in debt after my UG and 1L year . . . that's before 2L and 3L debt . . . and since tuition goes up about 7% a year, that doesn't help me much. I will probably check with my school to see if JAG qualifies for LRAP or some other sort of debt repayment relief from the school. Since basic taxable pay falls under a certain amount, I believe it might actually qualify, but I'll have to check to be certain.

I'm considering trying really hard to do get a firm job my 1L summer, and then doing a JAG internship my 2L summer.

Do you happen to have any insight into how competitive the application process is? Will it be any advantage to me to be from a highly ranked school?

There is also a JAG school here at UVA, right next door to the law school, I think I'm going to talk to them as well, see if there is a recruiter or professor I can speak with about a lot of these issues.

Thanks again for all the info!


UVa LRAP:
http://www.law.virginia.edu/pdf/pubserv ... elines.pdf

I qualify for my schools LRAP program which has the max AGI capped at $45,000. Assuming UVa has the name figure, staying under that AGI is no problem once you factor in deductions (BAH and BAS do not count towards AGI).

The JAG School is the Army's The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School (TJAGLCS). It might be a great place to start in that while it is owned by the Army, all four service branches attend. Barring that, the officers that work at Air Force JAX (JAG Accessions) are terrific. They can either talk you through everything or set you up to meet with the Base Legal Office at either Langely, Bolling, or Andrews.

AF Direct Appointment generally has a 7%-11% hiring rate. I have no idea how competitive the 2L internship is. If you are truly set on JAG over BigLaw, look into the Air Force's Graduated Law Program (GLP) and One Year College Program (OYCP). You can find those on the AF JAG website. It is far easier to get in the OYCP than Direct Appointment.

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RonSantoRules
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Re: Military Law

Postby RonSantoRules » Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:58 pm

J-Rod wrote:Hey! Thanks for the insight! I too am looking at BigLaw in Chicago. I worked for Sidley some during undergrad and a good family friend is a hiring partner for them, and he's already told me I have that in with them.

I think your analysis of the situation was very good. The money isn't terrible at all. Figure with basic/housing/food, it's in the 50-65k range, depending on where you're stationed.

Debt is a concern for me. I will have $65k in debt after my UG and 1L year . . . that's before 2L and 3L debt . . . and since tuition goes up about 7% a year, that doesn't help me much. I will probably check with my school to see if JAG qualifies for LRAP or some other sort of debt repayment relief from the school. Since basic taxable pay falls under a certain amount, I believe it might actually qualify, but I'll have to check to be certain.

I'm considering trying really hard to do get a firm job my 1L summer, and then doing a JAG internship my 2L summer.

Do you happen to have any insight into how competitive the application process is? Will it be any advantage to me to be from a highly ranked school?

There is also a JAG school here at UVA, right next door to the law school, I think I'm going to talk to them as well, see if there is a recruiter or professor I can speak with about a lot of these issues.

Thanks again for all the info!


Jrod, keep in mind that the Army does 1L internships that might be of interest to you. Even if you want to do the AF route, getting your feet wet with the branch of the military as a 1L might give you a better view of life as a JAG and would still leave you open to get a 2L firm job if you do not like the JAG lifestyle. I also would assume that it would be easier to get a 2L firm paying job (to pay off debt) as opposed to a 1L firm job [although I don't know your situation], and then you can always go back to JAG if you want. I think they only hire 25 1L's though, so it might be even harder to get into the Army JAG as a 1L than getting a paying 1L firm gig.

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Re: Military Law

Postby Zojirushi » Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:24 am

Patrick Bateman wrote:There seems to be a decent Navy presence on this board so I will not try to antagonize them, but in regard to family, I do think the AF is a better bet. Generally speaking, quality of life all across the board is stronger with the AF. Part of this comes from the mentality of the Air Force: we are at the cutting edge of a lot of military technology and therefore need the type of people that can interact and maintain such systems. This usually means that our Airmen and Officers could find better paying equivalent work in the private sector, so the AF does everything possible to compensate.


Navy presence here. I would say you are correct in that AF has a better quality of life on the vast majority of base facilities. Just to clarify though, the Navy in my experience has equivalent technical requirements/systems. I don't know how bonuses work in the AF, but they come in to play here for the Navy. Unfortunately, Our base facilities usually look like a hybrid between a prison and housing project. You are right in mentioning the difference in funding, and I think this largely comes down to mission priorities. As for families, someone mentioned base locations, and I think this is important. My wife was much happier in Virginia Beach than she would have been in North Dakota. My two cents.

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J-Rod
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Re: Military Law

Postby J-Rod » Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:07 pm

Can you guys give me an estimate of take home pay(uncluding BAH and BAS) after taxes? I certainly didn't become a lawyer just to get rich, but with so much debt, finances obviously play a real role in my decision. I would qualify for my school's LRAP program which is certainly a plus.


Also, do you guys and gals usually live on or off base?

And which branch would provide skills and training most similar to civilian practice? I'm not sure that I want to make a career out of the military, so the easier the transition back to civilian practice could be, the better

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:01 pm

J-Rod wrote:Can you guys give me an estimate of take home pay(uncluding BAH and BAS) after taxes? I certainly didn't become a lawyer just to get rich, but with so much debt, finances obviously play a real role in my decision. I would qualify for my school's LRAP program which is certainly a plus.


Also, do you guys and gals usually live on or off base?

And which branch would provide skills and training most similar to civilian practice? I'm not sure that I want to make a career out of the military, so the easier the transition back to civilian practice could be, the better


Basic pay is simple enough:
Either in Navy or USAF, you will directly commission as a 0-2 (Lieutenant Junior Grade in USN, 1st Lieutenant USAF).
There was 3.5% pay raise in 2009 which means your first six months, you will earn $3,059 a month before taxes. You will automatically promote to O-3 (Lieutenant/Captain) 6 months from your first day of active duty, which means then $3,539 a month. You would remain at $3,539 a month until you reached two years time in service when you would be bumped to $4,014, at 3 years at $4,332, and 4 years at $4,772.
This also does not factor in that Congress authorizes a 3%-5% raise each year, so those numbers will be slightly inflated as time goes on.
http://www.militaryconnection.com/2009- ... ic-pay.asp

BAS is also simple. $203 a month. I think it is a flat officer rate, not changing even with promotions and more time in service. As noted before, this is an allowance and thus totally tax free as well as not part of your AGI.

BAH will vary tremendously depending on where you live. It is adjusted every year to reflect housing prices and cost of living in each particular area. At Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, I will receive $1,330 a month as an 0-3 (I'll only have about 2 months left as an 0-2 by the time I report to Nellis after COT and JASOC). This is also tax free but, like BAS, does not increase with time in service.

If you were at any of the Washington DC metro area bases, your BAH is substantially more at $1,985 a month. Same with LA and other high cost of living areas. You can play with the numbers here: --LinkRemoved--
With the calcuator, it looks like the BAH has been updated somewhat recently but the Basic Pay reflects the 2008 numbers.

As a CGO (company grade officer) you will live off base at your perm. duty station. When you are doing your training or JAG school, you will be on base.

In terms of skills/training translating back to civilian world, I don't think any one branch is clearly the best choice. It has been relayed to me that Navy JAG has farmed out a lot of their civil law practice groups to civilians and tends to focus much more on the military justice (criminal) side of things. This may or may not be totally true; check it out for yourself.
All the other branches are pretty much full service. While certain legal offices tend to work on certain areas more due to the mission of the base they are attached to, you will be exposed to the full gamut: tort, med-mal, ethics, environmental, labor, military justice, etc.

All of these obviously will give you skills that translate into civilian life. You'll be having to research, write memos, go to court, etc, just like a regular lawyer. You will get much more court time than anyone in private practice, though it will mostly be criminal. The perk is that you will be sworn in as a Special Assistant US Attorney for the Fed District your base is in, in that you have to be able to prosecute the civilians that commit crimes on the base. This great for Federal connections down the road, if you are looking to separate from the military but stay governmental.
As I mentioned in previous posts, you are not going to get any sophisticated corporate law experience in JAG. Your ability to do transactional work at Vault level firms may be limited, but beyond that, the civilian world is your oyster.


As always,
1st Lt. Patrick Bateman, USAF (I just got sworn in as an officer yesterday).

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J-Rod
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Re: Military Law

Postby J-Rod » Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:41 pm

Congrats on the commission!

The tax advantage part of the calculator . . . is that just how much you save in taxes compared to a civilian tax rate? or is it actual incoming money?

I think that the more I think about it the more I want to do JAG . . . now I'd just have to decide which branch.

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:56 pm

J-Rod wrote:Congrats on the commission!

The tax advantage part of the calculator . . . is that just how much you save in taxes compared to a civilian tax rate? or is it actual incoming money?

I think that the more I think about it the more I want to do JAG . . . now I'd just have to decide which branch.


Thanks.

The tax advantage is what you are not paying in terms of FICA, Social Security, Medicare in terms of BAH/BAS. We don't get a check for that amount.

As I've mentioned before, only being taxed at the $39,000 we collect in Basic Pay also keeps us in much lower tax brackets overall.

Also, a lot of states do not collect state income tax from military personnel. Florida, Texas, and Illinois I know for sure. Nevada does not collect income tax from anyone. Another little perk that stretches out our paychecks a little more.

I don't think there is a bad choice between USN and USAF JAG. They will be very different experiences and lifestyles but likely equally incredible experiences. Look at the Naval Stations and AFBs throughout the US and consider where you may end up living (best case and worst case). Learn more about what a tour on a surface warfare ship is like and consider if that's something appealing to you. Most officers I run into from all the branches are very honest with the various benefits and shortcomings of their service branch, the Army JAG school at UVa will give a great chance to pick some of their brains.

Best of luck.

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Re: Military Law

Postby A'nold » Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:15 am

Are there any statistics on where potential AF JAGS have to be in class rank/school rank? The reason I want to know is that I applied to some reaches (t1) and some safeties (t3) where I should get some decent scholarship $. I would rather graduate with less debt but not at the hindrance of possibly obtaining JAG. Anyone?


Edit: I was wondering if a person having ADD is a problem? I know they have a "taking meds in the last year" thing, and I have taken Ritalin, but what if I haven't taken it a year before I apply?

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:56 pm

A'nold wrote:Are there any statistics on where potential AF JAGS have to be in class rank/school rank? The reason I want to know is that I applied to some reaches (t1) and some safeties (t3) where I should get some decent scholarship $. I would rather graduate with less debt but not at the hindrance of possibly obtaining JAG. Anyone?


Edit: I was wondering if a person having ADD is a problem? I know they have a "taking meds in the last year" thing, and I have taken Ritalin, but what if I haven't taken it a year before I apply?


The Air Force does not publish accession stats for the public. If you know anyone that is in active duty JAG with access to the AF Portal, they can likely find each list of people selected by the accessions board there.

My Base Legal office, with maybe 15 lawyers, were mostly T1 with some others mixed in. I remember officers from UVa, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Washington, Indiana, and Washington & Lee. There were some other T2-T4s, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Wayne State, and Dayton if my memory serves me correctly. Obviously this is just one base among the dozens in the US, so I have no idea of how representative it is.

In the course of my summer I never once felt like anyone cared about me attending a T25. That said, no one seemed to care where anyone went to school. I only found out when I would be in that officer's office and I saw the JD hanging on the wall. It did not come up in the interview with the SJA either. In all, I do not think you will be selling yourself short if you attend a less "prestigious" school to preclude debt. Make sure you look at the bigger picture though and consider if you end up not being selected for JAG or choose not to pursue it for active duty. If you are at a T3 it may be harder for you to find other work in the private sector as compared to a T1. That all depends on where and how you are looking to practice of course, but food for thought.
I generally advise the pre-laws I run into never to bank everyone on them finding a specific type of employment in a specific type of city. You never know what you’ll end up interested in, where, or what your grades will enable (or prevent) you to do. I went into law school convinced I would be working at a big Chicago litigation shop. And here I am now, less than 2 months from officer’s training. Things can change in a hurry, so don’t bet the farm on going JAG.

My debt level going into active duty is no joke. As I mentioned in a previous post, I'll be comfortable enough with money, but it's still $800 a month to my lenders that I will not be able to save or invest. Look into your potential school's loan forgiveness programs for government service. Also research the CCRA and see if 10 years active duty would be something up your alley.

In terms of the ADD, that will all depend. If you are still dependant on Methylphenidates going into law school, I see that being a problem for your application. The military takes mental health conditions very seriously, especially when it involves security clearances and the work you will be doing as a JAG. You will likely have to disclose all of your treatment for your application, for MEPS (military physical), and again on your SF-86 to obtain your Secret clearance. I would talk to the people at JAG Accessions and get their opinion on the matter but start getting all the paperwork you can related to your diagnosis and treatment together. You’ll need it.

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partymidget
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Re: Military Law

Postby partymidget » Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:35 pm

how much would studying abroad in law school in order to get a better understanding of international law help in your jag career?

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:11 pm

partymidget wrote:how much would studying abroad in law school in order to get a better understanding of international law help in your jag career?


I really have no way of answering that one way or the other in that I'm not a JAG recruiter or someone connected with JAG Accessions. It also depends what you exactly mean with the term "international law."

That said, my gut feeling is that it would not help you all that much. The Captains in the JAG Corps do the meat and potatoes law practice. When it comes to execution of international law, that seems the province of the State Department. If you end up staying in until you make Lt. Col or full bird Colonel, I'm sure there are some high level positions in which you can be a legal attache at NATO or something.

The most "international" I have personally seen JAGs practice have been deployments to Afghanistan in which the JAG (usually a more senior Captain for USAF) helps build the judge and prosecutor corps in a particular region, essentially trying to teach them Western criminal and civil justice.
I've also seen plenty of JAGs in LOAC (Law of Armed Conflict, the law of war) advisory positions. Who can you kill, what can you blow up, how can you detain someone, etc.

Again my experience with this is exceptionally limited. Studying abroad would not hurt but depending where you end up, I still don't see it helping a ton. If you really want to add to your CV and improve your odds of selection, learn a valuable second language.
Last edited by Patrick Bateman on Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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platicus
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Re: Military Law

Postby platicus » Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:46 pm

in "valuable second language" are we talking Chinese, Spanish, Arabic? How about a language like Filipino? btw congrats.

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:38 pm

platicus wrote:in "valuable second language" are we talking Chinese, Spanish, Arabic? How about a language like Filipino? btw congrats.


Again, I don't want to be trying to come across like any expert on this stuff. I'm sure there are better sources that a recently minted lawyer for some of these military questions.

That said, I think a there are some obvious candidates given where US foreign policy is likely to end up in the next ten years: Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, and Spanish. Thai and Tagalog (proper name for Filipino) will become increasingly important as China expands and Malay has potential given it pops up just about everywhere in that region. Uzbek could become very useful if things seriously flair with Iran and Mongolian with China.

This is just me shooting from the hip. Two excellent books to consider reading for an idea of what countries are going to become increasingly more important as US strategic allies are both by Robert Kaplan: Imperial Grunts and Hog Pilots, Blue Water Grunts. Kaplan is a journalist and his books are quite readable as a result. They are not the most academic or comprehensive books on the matter but an easy enough place to start.

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Yointer
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Re: Military Law

Postby Yointer » Sat Nov 22, 2008 3:42 pm

Is there anyone on TLS who has done a summer internship with Army or Navy JAG? I'm seriously considering JAG as my first choice for my 1L summer and would appreciate any firsthand information about the program(s).

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hanshi
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Re: Military Law

Postby hanshi » Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:43 am

I have a question about the OYCP. IF one enters this program, does that ensure placement in JAG, give a better chance of getting in, or just help later on down the road?

Also, what would be the best areas of specialty in law school for someone looking into JAG?

Thanks.

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J-Rod
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Re: Military Law

Postby J-Rod » Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:46 am

hanshi wrote:I have a question about the OYCP. IF one enters this program, does that ensure placement in JAG, give a better chance of getting in, or just help later on down the road?

Also, what would be the best areas of specialty in law school for someone looking into JAG?

Thanks.


The Air Force JAG I spoke to here at UVA said that if you get into the OYCP you're guaranteed a spot in JAG upon graduation and passing the BAR exam. The acceptance rate into the OYCP is much higher than going direct appointment as well. You just have to take some ROTC courses while in UG, which I think you can do over the summer, and you also have to do some basic over the summer as well, it's like 6 weeks or something.

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:33 pm

hanshi wrote:I have a question about the OYCP. IF one enters this program, does that ensure placement in JAG, give a better chance of getting in, or just help later on down the road?

Also, what would be the best areas of specialty in law school for someone looking into JAG?

Thanks.


J-Rod is right on the money. The acceptance rates are much more forgiving than the Direct Appointment Program.
Another advantage of OYCP/GLP is that you can likely skip the whole 5 weeks of Commissioned Officer's Training (what all the Direct Appointments go through) down at Maxwell and go straight into JASOC (JAG School).

In terms of areas to specialize in, I would just work on as much trial and litigation related coursework as possible. I may have already posted on this, but the SJA that interviewed me was very impressed with things like being on the moot court team, As in Evidence/Trial Advocacy/Pre-Trial Litigation and the like. At the same time, she did not seem to care at all about a CALI in Contracts, Managing Editor of a secondary journal, etc. All in all, they want people that are going to excel in the courtroom.




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