Military Law

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MrLions

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Re: Military Law

Postby MrLions » Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:45 pm

Is it possible for someone to rack up law school debt (say T14 sticker lol) and get the large majority of it paid off as a JAG through PSLF/IBR after 10 years, and then upon retirement after 20 years finally get around to using the GI Bill for an MBA of PhD. program (while drawing a military pension)?

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:34 pm

MrLions wrote:Is it possible for someone to rack up law school debt (say T14 sticker lol) and get the large majority of it paid off as a JAG through PSLF/IBR after 10 years, and then upon retirement after 20 years finally get around to using the GI Bill for an MBA of PhD. program (while drawing a military pension)?


Yes, but it'd be a really dumb idea if your long-term goal is an MBA or PhD. MBAs are easy enough to attain. Spend a 2-3 years in some business role, do well on the GMAT, and apply. B-schools have much much worse GPAs than law schools, so they should for the most part be easier to get into. They are also shorter and require less debt than a T14 at sticker. If you want a PhD (which are free BTW at any decent school) and want to teach, just apply to get a PhD or don't enter law school unless you can swing a JD-PhD.

If your main goal is to be a lawyer, yeah, you can do JAG and get your debt paid off through PSLF/IBR. Though, quite frankly, they don't really care if you go to a T14, so it'd be a terrible idea to attend one at sticker. Attend your state flagship with a great scholarship and save yourself those 10% loan payments for 10 years. More than likely, if you're like the average American, you're going to have kids, and you can vest that GI bill with your kid after 10 years and get their college paid off instead of wasting it on an MBA program at 45+ (when you're likely too old for any of the hot shot jobs you're probably imagining and have a preceding career in the military that has little to no applicability on the business side) or a PhD program that is already free.

Also worth noting, the new pension plan is considerably worse than the old one, and many people go in with the idea of staying in for 20 years and want to get much quicker than their 4 year requirement.

You need to do some more thinking my friend.

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Patrick Bateman

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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:35 am

MrLions wrote:Is it possible for someone to rack up law school debt (say T14 sticker lol) and get the large majority of it paid off as a JAG through PSLF/IBR after 10 years, and then upon retirement after 20 years finally get around to using the GI Bill for an MBA of PhD. program (while drawing a military pension)?


If this is just a thought experiment - then yes. If this is more than that, I have to agree with most the Anon's points made above on what it is probably not the smartest life plan.

Two additional thoughts, just as an aside:

As someone who is within a year of the PSLF payoff date, those 10 years are a long road to still be paying off loans. Starting a family, buying your first house, and the like are not pleasant with that additional payment always looming.

Assuming a 20 year O-5 retirement, you are looking at $39,103.50 a year in a 2018 dollars, after taxes, for your pension. You can decide on exactly how far that is going to support you in light of everything else.

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
MrLions wrote:Is it possible for someone to rack up law school debt (say T14 sticker lol) and get the large majority of it paid off as a JAG through PSLF/IBR after 10 years, and then upon retirement after 20 years finally get around to using the GI Bill for an MBA of PhD. program (while drawing a military pension)?


Yes, but it'd be a really dumb idea if your long-term goal is an MBA or PhD. MBAs are easy enough to attain. Spend a 2-3 years in some business role, do well on the GMAT, and apply. B-schools have much much worse GPAs than law schools, so they should for the most part be easier to get into. They are also shorter and require less debt than a T14 at sticker. If you want a PhD (which are free BTW at any decent school) and want to teach, just apply to get a PhD or don't enter law school unless you can swing a JD-PhD.

If your main goal is to be a lawyer, yeah, you can do JAG and get your debt paid off through PSLF/IBR. Though, quite frankly, they don't really care if you go to a T14, so it'd be a terrible idea to attend one at sticker. Attend your state flagship with a great scholarship and save yourself those 10% loan payments for 10 years. More than likely, if you're like the average American, you're going to have kids, and you can vest that GI bill with your kid after 10 years and get their college paid off instead of wasting it on an MBA program at 45+ (when you're likely too old for any of the hot shot jobs you're probably imagining and have a preceding career in the military that has little to no applicability on the business side) or a PhD program that is already free.

Also worth noting, the new pension plan is considerably worse than the old one, and many people go in with the idea of staying in for 20 years and want to get much quicker than their 4 year requirement.

You need to do some more thinking my friend.


Yeah, just a thought experiment. I was curious because it seems odd that you could milk the government of that much money for simply serving 20 years. I mean, that’s well over $2 million of potential benefits.

Also, what’s so bad about BRS? Does the 5% TSP match not make up for the reduced pension?

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Patrick Bateman

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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:Yeah, just a thought experiment. I was curious because it seems odd that you could milk the government of that much money for simply serving 20 years. I mean, that’s well over $2 million of potential benefits.

Also, what’s so bad about BRS? Does the 5% TSP match not make up for the reduced pension?


It is fine if you don't have a military background yourself, but let's pump the brakes at your characterization of these benefits as "milking" the government until you have the experience to actually know what you are talking about.

Anyone with time in uniform or from a military family can tell you there is probably no such thing as "simply serving" 20 years. Even for staff officers, that is going to be ~10 PCSs, meaning new schools for the kids, lack of stability for a working spouse, and likely a few assignments that are not ideal either geographically or professionally. And then deployments, frequent TDYs, etc. Serving is an privilege and often rewarding in a lot of ways, but it is indeed service and often requires considerable sacrifice from not just the service member but their entire family.

The BRS is not a good option for those who truly know they want to grind out 20+. Far and way most people do not make 20, so having the TSP w/ matching sure beats walking away with nothing at all. A new JAG may have the education and experience to be in a better position to assess where they want their career to go. It is very different for the 18 year old E-1 that honestly has no idea if he/she will do just their initial contract or stay in it for the long haul. Hell, most JAGs I know spend a lot of their time at years 6-10 not knowing if they will punch or not - the amount of times you will hear "well, depending on my next assignment..." And even then, promotion and RIF boards can do some absolutely crazy things.

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Re: Military Law

Postby fancybagman » Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:39 pm

All: I've been haunting these threads for awhile, and I wanted to throw my hat in the proverbial ring to offer any advice that I can.

I'm a Marine Corps judge advocate in a litigation billet. I'm happy to answer any questions about the application process, the challenges of OCS/TBS/NJS (hint: the only challenge of NJS is getting enough lobster), and what it's like to practice as a Marine.

I've worked closely with my old recruiter (OSO) over the past years to assist him in making his law mission, so I've been able to see some of the behind the scenes work that they do with applicants as well.

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Re: Military Law

Postby JAGbound » Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:37 pm

fancybagman wrote:All: I've been haunting these threads for awhile, and I wanted to throw my hat in the proverbial ring to offer any advice that I can.

I'm a Marine Corps judge advocate in a litigation billet. I'm happy to answer any questions about the application process, the challenges of OCS/TBS/NJS (hint: the only challenge of NJS is getting enough lobster), and what it's like to practice as a Marine.

I've worked closely with my old recruiter (OSO) over the past years to assist him in making his law mission, so I've been able to see some of the behind the scenes work that they do with applicants as well.


Glad you can provide some insight! I was considering going Navy JAG. Can you talk a little about NJS and what exactly it entails? Also, where do you stay while attending?

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Re: Military Law

Postby fancybagman » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:19 pm

JAGbound wrote:
fancybagman wrote:All: I've been haunting these threads for awhile, and I wanted to throw my hat in the proverbial ring to offer any advice that I can.

I'm a Marine Corps judge advocate in a litigation billet. I'm happy to answer any questions about the application process, the challenges of OCS/TBS/NJS (hint: the only challenge of NJS is getting enough lobster), and what it's like to practice as a Marine.

I've worked closely with my old recruiter (OSO) over the past years to assist him in making his law mission, so I've been able to see some of the behind the scenes work that they do with applicants as well.


Glad you can provide some insight! I was considering going Navy JAG. Can you talk a little about NJS and what exactly it entails? Also, where do you stay while attending?



NJS is a schoolhouse with many courses. When you attend as a brand new JAG or JA (navy/Marine) you will be part of the BLC, Basic Lawyer Course. The BLC 10-week crash course on all thing military law. You'll learn about giving legal advice to commanders about everything from accepting baseball tickets to shoot/no-shoot decisions in a kinetic environment. You will cover all aspects of the military justice process and the administrative separations process. You'll also be introduced to the military way of conducting investigations, whether for minor mishaps or major catastrophes.

The majority of BLC is death by powerpoint. Certain weeks will feel like 4L, while others will be far more enjoyable as you'll be doing more practical exercises. While in the BLC, you write a mock command investigation (CI), participate in a mock administrative separation board (AdSep) and run through a mock court-martial. There's a lot of magic schoolhouse dust sprinkled in, so don't expect to be working truly intricate case issues. It's all about major muscle movements.

When you first arrive, there's a strange dynamic between the Marines and the navy personnel. It's not unlike 2 dogs meeting and sniffing around each other. Don't worry about it, and don't segregate yourself. The Marines are coming in from a place where we lived in holes for a week at a time, and most of you Navy types aren't sure if you can mix and match your uniforms depending on how you feel that morning. It's a strange dynamic.
But you're all going to be military lawyers now, so you're all on the same team.

If you're married and your family is with you, you may be able to live out in town. Otherwise, you'll live on-base in something resembling a holiday-inn room. Many of the rooms used to have cooktops, but like many things in the military someone ruined that for everyone else a few years back.

Do your work so that you pass and can answer questions like an intelligent human being when you are called on. It's really not difficult stuff, and you won't learn the vast majority of what you actually need to know until you hit your duty station.
Don't be the gunner who stays in every night and never gets to know their peers. Enjoy Newport as much as you can; it's a beautiful place to be for 10 weeks.

What else do you want to know?

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:20 pm

Patrick Bateman wrote:
dansanity wrote:Hello
Im a rising 2L looking heavily into JAG. I was looking at one of the earlier forums (circa 2011) and at the time it was posted that the competitiveness of JAG went as follows (from most competitive to least)

Coast Guard
AF
Marines
NAVY
Army

Im wondering if this is still the case and if anyone knows the relative competitiveness of each.

Thanks all


I'm not sure what post you are referencing but the premise is simply incorrect.

The different services hire in different ways, with different priorities, in different quantities. All are highly competitive.

USCG may have the least amount of JAGs hired, but that is because they are the smallest, not because it is somehow harder to get in or more exclusive. USMC places a huge priority on fitness and given the rigors of OCS, which their JAGs attend, it takes a very specific type of applicant to make the cut. The Army, Navy, and AF similarly have very different missions which mean they may be looking for different things in their applicants.


Definitely agree with Patrick on this point. I think the branches look at a variety of different things when it comes to picking a JAG for their branch.

From my experience and research, I wouldn't rank them at all because they are all highly competitive, but again for different reasons.

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:29 pm

MrLions wrote:Is it possible for someone to rack up law school debt (say T14 sticker lol) and get the large majority of it paid off as a JAG through PSLF/IBR after 10 years, and then upon retirement after 20 years finally get around to using the GI Bill for an MBA of PhD. program (while drawing a military pension)?


I think you could do that if you wanted. I mean sometimes people end up trying one thing and switching careers (lawyer to teacher etc.) later in life so it's definitely possible.

Are you looking to get a PhD to become a professor at a law school? Some people do that and others will practice for a several years and then begin teaching at a law school.

If you are looking to practice law for a while and then go into the business field, it's a little different, but not undoable. Just depends on what type of business area you are looking to focus on.

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:39 pm

MrLions wrote:Is it possible for someone to rack up law school debt (say T14 sticker lol) and get the large majority of it paid off as a JAG through PSLF/IBR after 10 years, and then upon retirement after 20 years finally get around to using the GI Bill for an MBA of PhD. program (while drawing a military pension)?



Seems like a kind of obscure career path. An alternate route would be to just apply for one of the many non-JAG officer positions, serve 4 (or 20) years then take your GI Bill and go to grad school. If you don't want to ultimately practice law then law school isn't really worth it in my opinion (others might disagree), especially if you're going to be taking on a ton of debt for it...and PSLF has been kicked around by the current administration for awhile now...I wouldn't risk it not being available in 10-13 years if you don't ultimately want to practice law.

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Patrick Bateman

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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
MrLions wrote:Is it possible for someone to rack up law school debt (say T14 sticker lol) and get the large majority of it paid off as a JAG through PSLF/IBR after 10 years, and then upon retirement after 20 years finally get around to using the GI Bill for an MBA of PhD. program (while drawing a military pension)?



Seems like a kind of obscure career path. An alternate route would be to just apply for one of the many non-JAG officer positions, serve 4 (or 20) years then take your GI Bill and go to grad school. If you don't want to ultimately practice law then law school isn't really worth it in my opinion (others might disagree), especially if you're going to be taking on a ton of debt for it...and PSLF has been kicked around by the current administration for awhile now...I wouldn't risk it not being available in 10-13 years if you don't ultimately want to practice law.


I looked up the OP's other posts after he was somehow able to get his follow up question and the quote embedded in my post changed to Anon. He's all over the Veteran's thread with similarly ill-advised enlisting before law school in order to get the GI Bill sort of schemes.

The original question is fine to tease out just how far one can push the various benefits we get but it is not worth critiquing seriously.

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:38 pm

Patrick Bateman wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
MrLions wrote:Is it possible for someone to rack up law school debt (say T14 sticker lol) and get the large majority of it paid off as a JAG through PSLF/IBR after 10 years, and then upon retirement after 20 years finally get around to using the GI Bill for an MBA of PhD. program (while drawing a military pension)?



Seems like a kind of obscure career path. An alternate route would be to just apply for one of the many non-JAG officer positions, serve 4 (or 20) years then take your GI Bill and go to grad school. If you don't want to ultimately practice law then law school isn't really worth it in my opinion (others might disagree), especially if you're going to be taking on a ton of debt for it...and PSLF has been kicked around by the current administration for awhile now...I wouldn't risk it not being available in 10-13 years if you don't ultimately want to practice law.


I looked up the OP's other posts after he was somehow able to get his follow up question and the quote embedded in my post changed to Anon. He's all over the Veteran's thread with similarly ill-advised enlisting before law school in order to get the GI Bill sort of schemes.

The original question is fine to tease out just how far one can push the various benefits we get but it is not worth critiquing seriously.


Hi, I sent you a PM. Thanks!

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:41 pm

fancybagman wrote:All: I've been haunting these threads for awhile, and I wanted to throw my hat in the proverbial ring to offer any advice that I can.

I'm a Marine Corps judge advocate in a litigation billet. I'm happy to answer any questions about the application process, the challenges of OCS/TBS/NJS (hint: the only challenge of NJS is getting enough lobster), and what it's like to practice as a Marine.

I've worked closely with my old recruiter (OSO) over the past years to assist him in making his law mission, so I've been able to see some of the behind the scenes work that they do with applicants as well.


Thank you for answering questions. Do you have an idea of how in demand USMC law contracts currently are? How are law contracts looked at at the Boards?

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:34 am

I'm an AF GLP select. I've heard that for the first couple assignments they will not assign you a base in 1) your home of record; 2) where you take the bar; and 3) where you went to school. Is there any truth to this?

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Re: Military Law

Postby fancybagman » Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
fancybagman wrote:All: I've been haunting these threads for awhile, and I wanted to throw my hat in the proverbial ring to offer any advice that I can.

I'm a Marine Corps judge advocate in a litigation billet. I'm happy to answer any questions about the application process, the challenges of OCS/TBS/NJS (hint: the only challenge of NJS is getting enough lobster), and what it's like to practice as a Marine.

I've worked closely with my old recruiter (OSO) over the past years to assist him in making his law mission, so I've been able to see some of the behind the scenes work that they do with applicants as well.


Thank you for answering questions. Do you have an idea of how in demand USMC law contracts currently are? How are law contracts looked at at the Boards?


There's no way to know how in-demand contracts are across the nation. Talk to your local OSO and be the best candidate that you can be. If you are really competitive and they know how to pull strings, there's a chance your OSS could get a contract from another office that isn't using it.

The boards are almost entirely composed of non-lawyers. So long as you have the minimum test scores, you'll check the academic box. The boards care a lot about your PFT scores and demonstrated leadership. Grades and LSAT do matter, but it's the Marine Corps so fitness matters a whole lot too.

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Re: Military Law

Postby Esquire » Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:03 am

I laughed at "simply serving 20 years." It is NOT easy.

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm an AF GLP select. I've heard that for the first couple assignments they will not assign you a base in 1) your home of record; 2) where you take the bar; and 3) where you went to school. Is there any truth to this?


I am going to law school this fall and interested in going the AF GLP route. Would you mind messaging me and talking more about your experience? Thank you. It posted anonymous for some reason. Author name is jbird18

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Re: Military Law

Postby jbird18 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:01 pm

I did not know that my message posted anonymously. That is my message at 9:47am today ☝️

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Re: Military Law

Postby Houzy » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:34 am

Any previous GLP/OYCP selects around? I have some questions. Let me know.

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Re: Military Law

Postby jbird18 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm an AF GLP select. I've heard that for the first couple assignments they will not assign you a base in 1) your home of record; 2) where you take the bar; and 3) where you went to school. Is there any truth to this?


I'm not sure why I cannot message you back. Thank you for getting back to me. Here is my email address:

jbird7037@gmail.com

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:20 pm

Ex non-JAG military officer and 2L here. I ask this with 100% sincerity: why JAG if you're prior service? Please don't say retirement. Anyone who knows the military knows that Uncle Sam makes officers earn that pension (which isn't that great now anyways).

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Ex non-JAG military officer and 2L here. I ask this with 100% sincerity: why JAG if you're prior service? Please don't say retirement. Anyone who knows the military knows that Uncle Sam makes officers earn that pension (which isn't that great now anyways).


It would be the same reason as any other person looking at JAG. You get great experience off the bat, in a variety of different areas of law, while still getting to do a lot of different, unique, and fun things associated with the military. You know all that comes with the military, but a JAG is really a unique breed of the military and a very different environment.

If you want litigation, the experience is hard to beat other than a PD office. It’s a simpler no if you want big law.

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Ex non-JAG military officer and 2L here. I ask this with 100% sincerity: why JAG if you're prior service? Please don't say retirement. Anyone who knows the military knows that Uncle Sam makes officers earn that pension (which isn't that great now anyways).


As a prior military officer who separated and then came back in as a JAG, I can certainly tell you my reasons....

First off, if you didn't enjoy your first 4 or 5 or however many years you served prior to law school, you'd probably never consider going back in as a JAG. I happened to take a lot out of my first stint...made lots of good friends, had great CO's who taught me a lot about leadership, had interesting deployments, etc. Lots of ups and downs in between, but overall I look back fondly on my first 4 years in. Going into law school, I was primarily interested in governmental work afterwards. I had zero interest in working for a law firm. That said, whether federal or state legal employment, going back in as a JAG with 4 years in (+ some reserve time) means a substantially higher paycheck than any entry level government attorney job (when you factor in BAH/taxes). But financial considerations aside, I found that the military camaraderie and sense of overarching mission/goals/objectives etc. just doesn't exist in the civilian world. Some people don't need that; but I like it. Maybe my two summers at federal legal offices aren't representative of every governmental legal office, but I never really felt that draw. That's certainly not a criticism of civilian legal jobs, but I'm someone that thrives in the structure and mission-focused environment of the military. Coming out of law school not really knowing what kind of law I wanted to practice, I think going the JAG route gave me the opportunity to explore different areas and get solid experience in multiple disciplines.

I left the military with no intention of going back in as a JAG. Supervisors of mine at both of my summer gigs were former/retired JAGs and they, and others in the office with JAG backgrounds, encouraged me to consider it due to the broad range of experience that I'd get. As I said, I never considered the firm route--I had no interest of working 80 hours per week for corporate clients working on mundane legal issues. While the pay would be nice, I am personally not motivated when I don't have an interest in the work (and I know that you can practice more than just corporate law at firms, so that might be a generalization). Again, not a criticism of those that like that stuff, it's just not for me.

Finally, you mentioned the retirement aspect, and I disagree with your assessment. While the new blended retirement program isn't as robust as the legacy system, I'm grandfathered into the legacy system, as you liekly would be too, so that wasn't really a factor in my decision making. Sure, retiring as an O-5 with 20 years in and pulling around $40,000/year in pension isn't going to give you a luxurious, early retirement. It does give you a nice cushion to take a job that might pay a little less than you/your family wants post-military, but that you might be more interested in, and still live comfortably. Or at the least the pension is pretty good "F*** you money" if you're stuck in an awful post-military job that you hate (meaning you can quit and not be worried about not having a job that starts the next day). After already serving 4-5 years, I don't see an additional 15-16 as a JAG as being unattainable. Sure, it's hard to serve 20 years no matter what your job is in the military due to PCS moves/deployments/etc, but if your family doesn't mind moving, and you don't need geographic stability, I think it's completely attainable.

Just my $0.02.

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Ex non-JAG military officer and 2L here. I ask this with 100% sincerity: why JAG if you're prior service? Please don't say retirement. Anyone who knows the military knows that Uncle Sam makes officers earn that pension (which isn't that great now anyways).


As a prior military officer who separated and then came back in as a JAG, I can certainly tell you my reasons....

First off, if you didn't enjoy your first 4 or 5 or however many years you served prior to law school, you'd probably never consider going back in as a JAG. I happened to take a lot out of my first stint...made lots of good friends, had great CO's who taught me a lot about leadership, had interesting deployments, etc. Lots of ups and downs in between, but overall I look back fondly on my first 4 years in. Going into law school, I was primarily interested in governmental work afterwards. I had zero interest in working for a law firm. That said, whether federal or state legal employment, going back in as a JAG with 4 years in (+ some reserve time) means a substantially higher paycheck than any entry level government attorney job (when you factor in BAH/taxes). But financial considerations aside, I found that the military camaraderie and sense of overarching mission/goals/objectives etc. just doesn't exist in the civilian world. Some people don't need that; but I like it. Maybe my two summers at federal legal offices aren't representative of every governmental legal office, but I never really felt that draw. That's certainly not a criticism of civilian legal jobs, but I'm someone that thrives in the structure and mission-focused environment of the military. Coming out of law school not really knowing what kind of law I wanted to practice, I think going the JAG route gave me the opportunity to explore different areas and get solid experience in multiple disciplines.

I left the military with no intention of going back in as a JAG. Supervisors of mine at both of my summer gigs were former/retired JAGs and they, and others in the office with JAG backgrounds, encouraged me to consider it due to the broad range of experience that I'd get. As I said, I never considered the firm route--I had no interest of working 80 hours per week for corporate clients working on mundane legal issues. While the pay would be nice, I am personally not motivated when I don't have an interest in the work (and I know that you can practice more than just corporate law at firms, so that might be a generalization). Again, not a criticism of those that like that stuff, it's just not for me.

Finally, you mentioned the retirement aspect, and I disagree with your assessment. While the new blended retirement program isn't as robust as the legacy system, I'm grandfathered into the legacy system, as you liekly would be too, so that wasn't really a factor in my decision making. Sure, retiring as an O-5 with 20 years in and pulling around $40,000/year in pension isn't going to give you a luxurious, early retirement. It does give you a nice cushion to take a job that might pay a little less than you/your family wants post-military, but that you might be more interested in, and still live comfortably. Or at the least the pension is pretty good "F*** you money" if you're stuck in an awful post-military job that you hate (meaning you can quit and not be worried about not having a job that starts the next day). After already serving 4-5 years, I don't see an additional 15-16 as a JAG as being unattainable. Sure, it's hard to serve 20 years no matter what your job is in the military due to PCS moves/deployments/etc, but if your family doesn't mind moving, and you don't need geographic stability, I think it's completely attainable.

Just my $0.02.


This point times 1000. A lot of people tend to take the work/environment experience for granted when looking for positions. I think the camaraderie aspect is one of the biggest draws for me to JAG. Honestly, the current/former JAGs that I met through work and school seemed more collegial, humble and overall were just more helpful than some civilian attorneys I know. That's not to say that I haven't met great civilian attorneys or had great civilian jobs (because I have), but a lot of the lure of the military is that sort of mission-based and work-together attitude.



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