Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

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Aeneas
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Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby Aeneas » Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:18 am

So let's say you finish law school and become a JAG officer in one of the military branches. I think you serve what, about 4 years? Let's say you only serve the one term, for the fun of it or whatever, and then resign your commission.
Anyways, how are your civilian job prospects after JAG?

Assuming you did well in a top 20 school, is Big Law still as open to you as it was before your military service, or does JAG service sort of pigeonhole you into a box or screw up your career prospects? Is JAG only worth it for people who intend to make a long military career out of it? And if you only wanted to do it for a few years, what would be your incentive to do so?

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Aeneas
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby Aeneas » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:06 pm

Any takers?

pernicious33
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby pernicious33 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:15 pm

Aeneas, I've wondered the same thing. I emailed a couple firms in the St. Louis area about the advantage a JAG would have obtaining an associate position (either summer or entry-level), and the responses I received were vague. One person said that the JAG experience wouldn't hurt but that it wouldn't necessarily give a person an advantage. Although it's not very helpful, that's one firm's opinion.

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Aeneas
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby Aeneas » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:22 pm

I mean I just think it would be pretty sweet to be like 29 years old and have law school and military officer service under my belt. But I wouldn't want that to hurt my chances of coming back and getting a great job, you know?

eqmassa
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby eqmassa » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:25 pm

Really? Wow, the fact that a firm wouldn't value 4 years of JAG experience is only further proof of how little of a shit some firms give about anything like experience (in terms of depth or breadth) or proven skill versus back-slapping or a willingness to work like a dog.

pernicious33
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby pernicious33 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:28 pm

Aeneas wrote:I mean I just think it would be pretty sweet to be like 29 years old and have law school and military officer service under my belt. But I wouldn't want that to hurt my chances of coming back and getting a great job, you know?


I can understand that.

However, I'm not sure how valuable the JAG experience is to a private firm. You would have practiced the law and probably learned valuable skills for litigation, but military law is different from private law. That's the idea I got from the responses to my emails. The people also seemed to imply that they would still look at your school, rank, extracurriculars, etc.

candlelight01
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby candlelight01 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:29 pm

I'm not sure that JAG would be all that helpful if you wanted to walk straight into a traditional "Biglaw" type firm.

However I do know one JAG who got a civilian federal job that was competive (supposedly several hundred applications for that job).

Also, I know several JAGs who went on to start successful solo or dual partership practices. I think if you want to end up doing this, JAG gives you great training across a breadth of the Law that a small practice would deal with, minor criminal stuff (DUIs for example), grandma's will, some tort experience, etc.

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Aeneas
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby Aeneas » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:30 pm

eqmassa wrote:Really? Wow, the fact that a firm wouldn't value 4 years of JAG experience is only further proof of how little of a shit some firms give about anything like experience (in terms of depth or breadth) or proven skill versus back-slapping or a willingness to work like a dog.


TITCR^

It's absurd. Honestly, the notion of living such a varied sort of life is pretty cool to me. The JAGs apparently rotate their lawyers through different fields of law every year, so you get experience doing all kinds of things. I would think that firms would like that. Plus, let's say you graduate from a top 15 school before JAG, shouldn't that name and prestige carry over with you anyways and help you find an awesome job?

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Drew82abndiv
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby Drew82abndiv » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:37 pm

Okay, don't take what I say as gospel as I am not in JAG. However, I have been in the military for 4 years and have worked with many JAG lawyers. I was going to do FLEP but was not accepted so I will be pursuing law school on my own. What I have heard about JAG is that they start you off at a very high pace. Whereas in most law firms, when you first get there you are doing mostly bitch work in JAG you are thrown right into the fire. You also get subjected to many different areas of law whereas in a firm you tend to focus on one type. When you get out it will most likely help you as you will have experience in many areas of law that you can use to leverage your way into whatever it is that you want to practice upon separation. Generally firms look highly upon JAG lawyers as they are maticulous about details and have a very strong work ethic. They are used to pulling the long hours and have had much hands on experience across the board. The only thing is that in the specific area of law that you will focus on when you get out of the military - your peer group from law school will be much further along. You will have a leg up on getting hired at a firm as you will be competing against those coming fresh out of law school, but you will be somewhat behind the power curve of those in your law school graduating class. Best of luck with your future and JAG is most definitley a great experience.

:twisted:
Drew

Fiction
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby Fiction » Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:26 pm

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Last edited by Fiction on Wed May 14, 2014 9:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

edmoser
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby edmoser » Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:28 am

Just my two cents, as I haven't gone through JAG or talked to anyone who has about this... I don't think JAG itself is a great springboard into biglaw, but it can set you up for good transition jobs. A lot of federal judges have past military experience and would probably look favorably upon someone coming out of JAG when they are looking at clerkship applicants (and clerkships, in turn, are a good springboard to biglaw). I also heard first-hand from some AUSAs that they like to hire ex-JAGS, and the DOJ is also a good start if you want to go biglaw (although most people don't want to leave once they get into the DOJ). I'm sure there are plenty of other gov't jobs that would also serve as intermediaries.

Fiction
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby Fiction » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:39 pm

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Last edited by Fiction on Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

edmoser
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby edmoser » Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:58 pm

It's a law school discussion board. Not many attorneys find it is worth their time to post on a message board that consists almost entirely of questions about 1L year of law school. I understand your frustration, but consider your audience.

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DoctorNick189
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby DoctorNick189 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:05 pm

Do a search for the "military law" thread, I think it's up to around 30 pages by now. You should find your answer in there.

Also, props on considering JAG. I'm strongly leaning in that direction as well.

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BigFatPanda
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby BigFatPanda » Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:07 pm

From what i have read, JAG experience is litigation heavy and thats probably the only plus private law firms would give. But for government jobs, JAG experience is certainly looked favorable upon.

For more information, see http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=31543
There are actually some active JAG on that thread talking about prospective opportunities after JAG service.

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MTal
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby MTal » Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:11 pm

Aeneas wrote: Let's say you only serve the one term, for the fun of it or whatever,


You're gonna love the military.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:14 pm

JAG exit options = shitlaw (for private practice). If you aren't looking to make a long term career out of it, you are pretty much throwing away your prestigious law school degree. Don't get me wrong, it is a good experience and you will do a lot more substantive legal work a lot sooner, but it just doesn't have the prestige that working at a large law firm for 4 years does (it's really not all that much different then working in a public defender's office for a major city in terms of the substantive legal experience you get right away). And in the legal profession prestige is pretty much everything when it comes to large law firms. They simply won't be as compelled to hire someone that prosecuted/defending stuff like military criminal claims for a job doing corporate transactional/ligation work. From their standpoint it simply makes more sense to take a lateral from another large law firm that has worked in the industry and built relationships with clients that a 5th year associate should have (keep in mind this is the point where you are either starting to make hay or are long gone).

wreckem
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby wreckem » Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:29 pm

What people are trying to tell you is its extremely rare to go JAG to Big Law. If you go JAG you should try to make it a career or your best options after JAG are 1. private practice/small law or 2. government.

Also if you go JAG and leave its best to leave after 10 years, that way all your loans are paid off and you have better options of going into government work.

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theskippa10
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby theskippa10 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:33 pm

to do 10, you'd be in the middle of your third hitch, which would be 12 years. If you do 12, you might as well do 20 and get the retirement

edmoser
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby edmoser » Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:19 pm

Are you sure about that? I thought after the first four years you can choose to either do four or two year terms.

jelizabeth88
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby jelizabeth88 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:27 pm

edmoser wrote:Are you sure about that? I thought after the first four years you can choose to either do four or two year terms.


Yea you're right, the min. is six years. A JAG that I know said that when he was done with his term that he had a lot of really great options and that firms were interested because he had a lot of varied experiences. However, he really liked working with JAG, thought the benefits were great, had a family at that point and wasn't interested in working redic hours. Mind you, this man is about 65 now so I'm sure things have changed.

nycparalegal
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby nycparalegal » Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:29 pm

Big law in general doesn't like to hire anyone who isn't straight out of law school. Very few people actually lateral, and almost 60% of people doing biglaw burn out and leave biglaw. In general you don't move up into biglaw, you move down.

If you do JAG, you're not going into biglaw, unless you already have contacts or connections.

However, what you get from JAG is great trial experience and you start getting your feet wet quickly. Where if you go straight from law school to biglaw you will be doing grunt work for the first two years or so.

Unfortunately, JAG has their own code of law (military code) so it doesn't really translate well into the civilian workforce. You do alot of the small civil law work too.

I picture it if you do JAG, your most prestigious next step would probably be to go for assistant US Attorney or DA. If you're interested in finance, try to get into the treasury department, SEC, or FED.

JOThompson
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby JOThompson » Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:34 pm

With the exception of federal rules of evidence, most your JAG experience won't transfer well into the civilian world. Depending on the branch of service, your exit options may be even narrower. For instance, Marine JAGs are supposedly usually generalists, so they won't become experts in one category of law.

From the few JAGs I know, it seems that they have good prospects in government work. That's not to say that a biglaw job is impossible. I talked with a Marine JAG who works at DLA Piper.

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theskippa10
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby theskippa10 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:16 pm

Ah yeah, brainfart by me. Subconsciousnly just sharing my career plan with you guys it seems xD

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Corsair
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Re: Job Prospects AFTER completing JAG service?

Postby Corsair » Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:28 pm

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