Military Law

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hammer007
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Re: Military Law

Postby hammer007 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:37 am

I'm trying to gauge my chances of being picked up by the Army or Air Force, and if anyone has any insight on the selection process, I would really appreciate some input. I don't really know what factors these services consider to be the most important. I am ranked third in my class at a lower tier 2 school with law review. I didn't do moot court, and I have only a couple extracurriculars in law school, though significantly more in undergrad. Perhaps this makes me competitive at law firms (in a normal environment), but I don't know if any of this has any bearing on JAG board decisions. I would appreciate any insight from those who have it. Thank you.

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Undead_Ed
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Re: Military Law

Postby Undead_Ed » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:27 pm

hammer007 wrote:I'm trying to gauge my chances of being picked up by the Army or Air Force, and if anyone has any insight on the selection process, I would really appreciate some input. I don't really know what factors these services consider to be the most important. I am ranked third in my class at a lower tier 2 school with law review. I didn't do moot court, and I have only a couple extracurriculars in law school, though significantly more in undergrad. Perhaps this makes me competitive at law firms (in a normal environment), but I don't know if any of this has any bearing on JAG board decisions. I would appreciate any insight from those who have it. Thank you.


If you read through this forum, a daunting task at 40 pages, you will read a few hundred people make their guesses about what the various services are looking for. It really is hard to say. The input you will get is either from those selected or from those who were not selected. Neither can tell you anything definitive, but maybe they can tell you their stats. If you are interested in opinion, I believe the services are interested in a lot of those things that firms are interested in:

First, they expect that you will be a scholar. This will included a respectable class rank, good grades, and possibly a decent school. It should also include some of the scholarly work you have done, like law review.

Second, the services will expect you to be an athlete. It isn't enough to get in shape if you get the job. They are going to want to see that this is already something that you are motivated to do. Any team sports or athletic competitions should help you here.

Finally, they expect you to be a leader. Your community leadership, former military experience, special training, management positions, and so forth will help you here. Moot court or trial experience should also help to show leadership.

Possessing these three qualities should show that you are a well rounded person, which is the overall thing that the services are seeking. The trouble is that in this economy, there are a lot of people with great qualifications seeking work and/or job security. It is going to ratchet up the threshold you will have to meet on each of these factors. It may take you a few selection boards to get selected. If you are lucky, you can get in with just one. If it is really worth it to you, you will keep applying. After all, there are 1700 Army lawyers (for example) why shouldn't one of them be you?

But I also think many are surprised by the fact that getting into the military as a lawyer is actually pretty difficult. I think this is very different than getting into the military as a doctor--if you have a heartbeat and an MD, you're golden.

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:22 am

Undead_Ed wrote:
hammer007 wrote:I'm trying to gauge my chances of being picked up by the Army or Air Force, and if anyone has any insight on the selection process, I would really appreciate some input. I don't really know what factors these services consider to be the most important. I am ranked third in my class at a lower tier 2 school with law review. I didn't do moot court, and I have only a couple extracurriculars in law school, though significantly more in undergrad. Perhaps this makes me competitive at law firms (in a normal environment), but I don't know if any of this has any bearing on JAG board decisions. I would appreciate any insight from those who have it. Thank you.


If you read through this forum, a daunting task at 40 pages, you will read a few hundred people make their guesses about what the various services are looking for. It really is hard to say. The input you will get is either from those selected or from those who were not selected. Neither can tell you anything definitive, but maybe they can tell you their stats. If you are interested in opinion, I believe the services are interested in a lot of those things that firms are interested in:

First, they expect that you will be a scholar. This will included a respectable class rank, good grades, and possibly a decent school. It should also include some of the scholarly work you have done, like law review.

Second, the services will expect you to be an athlete. It isn't enough to get in shape if you get the job. They are going to want to see that this is already something that you are motivated to do. Any team sports or athletic competitions should help you here.

Finally, they expect you to be a leader. Your community leadership, former military experience, special training, management positions, and so forth will help you here. Moot court or trial experience should also help to show leadership.

Possessing these three qualities should show that you are a well rounded person, which is the overall thing that the services are seeking. The trouble is that in this economy, there are a lot of people with great qualifications seeking work and/or job security. It is going to ratchet up the threshold you will have to meet on each of these factors. It may take you a few selection boards to get selected. If you are lucky, you can get in with just one. If it is really worth it to you, you will keep applying. After all, there are 1700 Army lawyers (for example) why shouldn't one of them be you?

But I also think many are surprised by the fact that getting into the military as a lawyer is actually pretty difficult. I think this is very different than getting into the military as a doctor--if you have a heartbeat and an MD, you're golden.


Ed, for a JAG applicant, you really like to sound like you are an authority on this stuff. I get that you have applied to the various branches but your substantive posts typically range from generally true to conjecture.

Categorical assertions that you have to be a leading scholar athlete are just lazy. Absolutely none of us, even those of us that are active duty Judge Advocates, have a real bead on what selection is based on. I know you prefaced this whole thing as your "opinion" but it is borderline misleading.

Do a lot of JAGs have a solid academic background? Yes. Were most on law review? Probably not. Did most publish "scholarly" things? No.

Are JAGs expected to be athletes? No. We are expected to be athletic, in the sense that we have to meet our service's PT standards. Some JAGs are PT studs, others get by. I'm certain I am the only JAG in my fairly large office that was a collegiate athlete. Team sports or athletic competitions? Seriously?

Leadership is a pretty fuzzy concept. Your leadership sounds a lot like work experience. I also struggle to equate moot court or trial team as leadership exercises.

"Well rounded person" is the only truly accurate take away from your post. The boards consider a wide variety of things when it comes to selection, none of which are widely known. You also left out the SJA interview, which is hands down the most important element of an applicant's package.


Hammer, as a JAG that has experience with our recruiting: solid grades are an important aspect of your application package. Moot court/trial team are also helpful to demonstrate interest/aptitude in oral advocacy. A part of me wants to recommend some public service during your law school summers (Fed, State, etc) but I can think of a number of exceptions to that recommendation. Beyond that, most of us in uniform have incredibly varied backgrounds. Some are prior military, both officer and enlisted. Others worked after college or after law school. Some JAGs went straight through law school from college and have never had a real full time job until the military. Some spent their law school summers at private law firms, others in the public sector. Some graduated T14, others T4. Some with honors, some without. My best advice is to excel and pursue what most interests you in law school.

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Undead_Ed
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Re: Military Law

Postby Undead_Ed » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:35 am

Just to clarify what I am talking about, the Scholar-Athlete-Leader model is what the Army uses to evaluate all of its officer applicants, including JAGs (however lazy it may be). I gave a few examples of what I thought a S-A-L might look like in the law school context. It was never my intention to say that in order to be JAG you must do law review or anything else I listed. What I said is certainly not a checklist of things to do before you apply (edit: except the PT thing. Should probably PT before you apply). I admit that I did generalize by saying that the services were probably all interested in these things.

BTW, no SJA interview for the Army applications. It is an O-3 FSO. My Navy interview was two field grade officers.

I am interested in preserving the integrity of the information posted on this forum. I think that this is probably the best collection of information about becoming a JAG on the internet. So thank you for allowing me to properly qualify my remarks.

hammer007
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Re: Military Law

Postby hammer007 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:31 pm

Thanks for the information.

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Undead_Ed
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Re: Military Law

Postby Undead_Ed » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:13 am

hammer007 wrote:Thanks for the information.


No problem (if you're talking to me). Are these your first Army/AF boards? This will be my second on both of them. In hindsight, I should have started a lot earlier with AF.

hammer007
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Re: Military Law

Postby hammer007 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:04 am

This is my first board for both the Army and Air Force. I wanted to get my class rank up as much as possible before applying, but in hindsight, that was probably a mistake.

BHL
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Re: Military Law

Postby BHL » Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:59 am

Esquire wrote:
Rocky Estoppel wrote:I noticed that for Air Force GLP and OYCP programs that one of the factors is a qualifying Air Force Officer Qualification Test. When does one ideally take this? Do you take it before applying to a OYCP program?

You can contact the ROTC detachment you will be joining. They usually administer the AFOQT. I took mine while my OYCP application was still pending just so I could get it out of the way. You can take it whenever, so as long as it's done before you actually join the ROTC detachment, which would be in the summer, I suspect. I figured I'd get the AFOQT out of the way before finals started. If I made OYCP, great. If not, oh well.

The test itself wasn't too difficult. Just run through a practice one and you should be fine. I studied maybe two hours or so and passed with flying colors. There are for sure some things you have to go over, though, since it's not all intuitive. For example, general flying knowledge. This test does not factor into your OYCP application, as far as I know.

Your ROTC detachment will administer the test during the spring semester not too long before the semester ends. Usually, OYCP decisions arrive around spring break. Once you find out, you sent in your acceptance letter, start during ROTC things, and prepare for Field Training. You'll attend the extended Field Training that summer and take the remaining ROTC classes you need during your 3L year to complete the ROTC requirements. The ROTC classes aren't hard, but they can be a pain given your law school workload and the run of the mill ROTC stuff. On the bright side, you'll have a contingent offer in hand and will be able to pin on and receive pay far earlier than most of your JASOC colleagues.

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Rocky Estoppel
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Re: Military Law

Postby Rocky Estoppel » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:27 am

Would Study Abroad at Cambridge my 1L summer look bad when applying to JAG (or JAG internships for 2L summer)?

The 3 Study Abroad Classes that I'd probably be taking:

International Law
International Commercial Litigation
The Law of Armed Conflict

I'm having a hard time finding summer work, still hoping I will, but would study abroad look better than taking summer classes at my law school?

TBJAG
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Re: Military Law

Postby TBJAG » Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:43 pm

Rocky Estoppel wrote:Would Study Abroad at Cambridge my 1L summer look bad when applying to JAG (or JAG internships for 2L summer)?

The 3 Study Abroad Classes that I'd probably be taking:

International Law
International Commercial Litigation
The Law of Armed Conflict

I'm having a hard time finding summer work, still hoping I will, but would study abroad look better than taking summer classes at my law school?


I don't think studying abroad is going to hurt your chances. If fact, considering what you will be studying it may help. International law and LOAC will be applicable to any branch's JAG Corps during war or peacetime; particularly since the Navy deploys regardless of whether there is a war. In addition, the U.S. military uses a lot of civilian contractors and a knowledge of international commercial litigation could come in handy. Plus, every branch has people stationed overseas and studying abroad could show that you are willing to leave the comforts and familiarity of home.

The bottom line is that it probably won't hurt you and the subject matter may help. If you can find some way to take a leadership role in the program, so much the better. JAG recruiters know how tough it is to find internships and, to me, your going abroad to better your education in international law is a very proactive way to make the most out of the tough job market.

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patrickd139
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Re: Military Law

Postby patrickd139 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:54 pm

TBJAG wrote:I don't think studying abroad is going to hurt your chances. If fact, considering what you will be studying it may help. International law and LOAC will be applicable to any branch's JAG Corps during war or peacetime; particularly since the Navy deploys regardless of whether there is a war. In addition, the U.S. military uses a lot of civilian contractors and a knowledge of international commercial litigation could come in handy. Plus, every branch has people stationed overseas and studying abroad could show that you are willing to leave the comforts and familiarity of home.

The bottom line is that it probably won't hurt you and the subject matter may help. If you can find some way to take a leadership role in the program, so much the better. JAG recruiters know how tough it is to find internships and, to me, your going abroad to better your education in international law is a very proactive way to make the most out of the tough job market.

I mean this in the most respectful way possible, but where are you getting the information from which you base your response? Not once during this entire process have I heard JAG refer to studying abroad as a proactive way to make the most out of a tough job market. Nor has it ever been suggested that I try to do such a program. I have, however, heard it's a great way to take on more $tudent loan$. Something to consider, ITE.

Estoppel: My anecdotal advice would be to get an unpaid legal volunteer job. They're out there, if in no other form than a judicial internship for your local county judge. Bonus points if it's in a prosecutorial line of work (DA/PD/US-A, etc.). Approach professors to see if you can do work as a research assistant, or go door to door at the smaller firms volunteering your services for free. Times are tough, but you can find something. The employment forum is full of creative ideas on how to land something substantive your first summer.

Bottom line is that you need to practice and hone the skills we're supposed to have learned this year. Studying abroad at Cambridge most likely will not do that any more than studying at home for a much much cheaper price. (Unless by studying abroad at Cambridge, you mean researching and writing a ton.)

Again, this is just my anecdotal advice, nothing more.

TBJAG
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Re: Military Law

Postby TBJAG » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:17 pm

patrickd139 wrote:I mean this in the most respectful way possible, but where are you getting the information from which you base your response? Not once during this entire process have I heard JAG refer to studying abroad as a proactive way to make the most out of a tough job market. Nor has it ever been suggested that I try to do such a program. I have, however, heard it's a great way to take on more $tudent loan$. Something to consider, ITE.


What part do you dispute? The original question was whether studying abroad would look bad. My answer was simply a long way of saying, no, it probably won't hurt your chances and the subject matter relates to part of what JAGs do. It may not be the best way of maximizing your chances of getting into JAG; but that was not the question asked.

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Rocky Estoppel
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Re: Military Law

Postby Rocky Estoppel » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:38 pm

Just got offered an unpaid position for the Dept. of the Interior for the 2nd half of the summer. Mostly environmental law issues there, how will this look for a future JAG application? How would this look if I can't find work for the first half? I'm definitely trying and will be busting my ass this month to secure work.

AFBRAT
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Re: Military Law

Postby AFBRAT » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:31 pm

Here is what I have been told by a family member who has sat on a promotion board. (close to selection boards)

All packages are scored for promotion: DP vs P higher points, Masters degree points, SOS in res points, Company grade officer of Quarter/year more points. The most important part is your PRF, it is written by your direct Sup/CC. Basically DP you be promoted.

They are parallels that can be drawn

Law Review- points
Moot Court -points
Gov summer jobs -points
Strong interest in public service vs big law SA jobs
High class ranks= points
Leadership positions -points
But the most important is the interview with SJA. You may have filled the squares to gain max points, but come across as a jerk/out of shape/can not be flexible (need to be stationed here!), then it doesn't matter. They have a heavy, influence on your chances.

There are no magic formulas, everyone has different factors.

As to Rocky you can do both, first work May/June at a job, July/Aug Study abroad.

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:08 pm

AFBRAT wrote:Here is what I have been told by a family member who has sat on a promotion board. (close to selection boards)

All packages are scored for promotion: DP vs P higher points, Masters degree points, SOS in res points, Company grade officer of Quarter/year more points. The most important part is your PRF, it is written by your direct Sup/CC. Basically DP you be promoted.

They are parallels that can be drawn

Law Review- points
Moot Court -points
Gov summer jobs -points
Strong interest in public service vs big law SA jobs
High class ranks= points
Leadership positions -points
But the most important is the interview with SJA. You may have filled the squares to gain max points, but come across as a jerk/out of shape/can not be flexible (need to be stationed here!), then it doesn't matter. They have a heavy, influence on your chances.

There are no magic formulas, everyone has different factors.

As to Rocky you can do both, first work May/June at a job, July/Aug Study abroad.


Highly credited response. Glad to have you on the board!

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Undead_Ed
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Re: Military Law

Postby Undead_Ed » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:24 pm

I mentioned earlier I had applied for Air Force Active duty as a 3L. I later received the letter and not the call (meaning I was not selected). I have some questions about being reconsidered for AF for anyone who may know.

My letter says that I need to fax a written request describing which board I want to be reconsidered in. The letter says I need to do it within 30 days or the AF will discard my package. The letter also says that I may submit additional information like new letters of recommendation. So...

1. If I want to be reconsidered in April's board, and I am trying to get a new letter of recommendation, can I submit the letter of recommendation at a later time than my request to be reconsidered?

2. If I have to or should submit them at the same time, how long may I reasonably hold off on the reconsideration request while I am waiting for the letter?


Edit: Another factor is that I do not want to mention in my reconsideration request that I am waiting for a letter--just in case I don't get it. I'd like to try to avoid looking a fool, if possible.

Kaneloa
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Re: Military Law

Postby Kaneloa » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:29 pm

Texas Tech Law has a "Center of Excellence" for military law. The past dean (still on faculty) was the previous Judge Advocate General of the Army (General Huffman). There are a number of former JAG on the faculty.

hammer007
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Re: Military Law

Postby hammer007 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:37 pm

I understand that traditional practice in the Air Force is for the SJA to call those who are selected, while those who get rejected receive a letter through the mail. Does anyone know the Army's practice for informing applicants of board results?

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Undead_Ed
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Re: Military Law

Postby Undead_Ed » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:43 pm

hammer007 wrote:I understand that traditional practice in the Air Force is for the SJA to call those who are selected, while those who get rejected receive a letter through the mail. Does anyone know the Army's practice for informing applicants of board results?


The Army publishes a list of selects and alternates at the following link:
--LinkRemoved--

They also send a letter, but that will come later. I am not sure if they also call the selects... but I bet your FSO would call just to congratulate you. Last year, a TLS poster linked to the spring select list on April 23rd, 2009. I am not sure how long it was posted before he saw it , but it may also be of interest to you to give you a ballpark figure about when to expect an answer. OH YAH! Only 5 weeks of waiting left! Hopefully...

E\/ERLAST wrote:https://www.jagcnet.army.mil/JAGCNETInternet/Homepages/AC/NewJARO.nsf/6065c91f137aff3685256cbf0079f732/c6f69ec9a7dafc6b852575a1006364db?OpenDocument

Here is the Spring 2009 Selection for Army JAG. I have no idea if this is the norm, but there was only about 60 people selected in Spring versus about 150 in Fall.

Looks like 2 people from the alternative list in Fall 2008 made it for the Spring 2009 active duty selection.

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Undead_Ed
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Re: Military Law

Postby Undead_Ed » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:46 pm

AFBRAT wrote:All packages are scored for promotion: DP vs P higher points, Masters degree points, SOS in res points, Company grade officer of Quarter/year more points. The most important part is your PRF, it is written by your direct Sup/CC. Basically DP you be promoted.


Looks like you're getting an early start on the acronyms. Congrats, dude.

Motion Sickness
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Re: Military Law

Postby Motion Sickness » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:32 am

hammer007 wrote:I understand that traditional practice in the Air Force is for the SJA to call those who are selected, while those who get rejected receive a letter through the mail. Does anyone know the Army's practice for informing applicants of board results?


An e-mail is sent telling you that the list of selectees has been posted on the website. Your FSO interviewer also calls if you are selected. Good luck!

hammer007
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Re: Military Law

Postby hammer007 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:16 pm

Does anyone know if the Army March board usually selects significantly less than the November board like it did last year?

TBJAG
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Re: Military Law

Postby TBJAG » Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:01 pm

hammer007 wrote:I understand that traditional practice in the Air Force is for the SJA to call those who are selected, while those who get rejected receive a letter through the mail. Does anyone know the Army's practice for informing applicants of board results?


AF JAG selects are called by the office where they interviewed, generally by the SJA. A letter from JAX comes about a week later, along with a packet of information detailing the next step.

Edit: I believe there was one AF JAG selection board that informed the selectees by email. However, that appears to have been an isolated incident.

3milesup
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Re: Military Law

Postby 3milesup » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:14 am

Along the lines of the previous question: does anyone know what the deal is with the Navy JAG extending its Spring application deadline from 2/15 to 3/26??? That's just bizarre! With so many more applicants in these tough times it seems a bit unfair to those that got their applications, etc in on time.

GatorStudent
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Re: Military Law

Postby GatorStudent » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:30 am

3milesup wrote:Along the lines of the previous question: does anyone know what the deal is with the Navy JAG extending its Spring application deadline from 2/15 to 3/26??? That's just bizarre! With so many more applicants in these tough times it seems a bit unfair to those that got their applications, etc in on time.


They did? Link please? That does seem rather odd.




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