nipplehead wrote:how difficult is it to get a JAG job?
i'm interested in doing so as well, mainly because i just want to serve my country and all that lame patriotic shit. sounds stupid to some, but whatever.
let's say coming out of Columbia or Virginia, what % do you think you'd have to be to snag such a job?
from my research I understand that the Navy JAG, for instance, only accepts about 70 students direct commissioning into it per year. The competition is actually "quite keen," according to the Navy JAG website, especially since there are probably hundreds of people applying each year. Overall though I think that in general, everyone has a 20-25% chance of getting accepted. If you think about it, that's not so bad! Imagine having a 25% chance of getting into Yale law or something- not bad at all! It's not easy though, and they appear to take a very holistic and whole-person approach to their process, which means that you'll find guys from Harvard to Cooley in there. Obviously, finishing well at a top school is great, but going to a lower ranked school does not seem to preclude anybody from being competitive for the JAG corp.
Nevertheless, applying can't hurt you, because it doesn't obligate you to anything, and plus, if they reject you, then you just go on and do whatever you want to. If they accept you, then you need to choose pretty quick whether or not that's what you want to do at the end of law school.
During law school, you talk to a recruiter, fill out the application, and wait. If the application is accepted, then basically you get to finish law school generally stress-free, because pretty much in your second/third year of law school you get commissioned as an inactive Ensign officer rank in the navy. But you don't have to train or do any work at all- all you do is accept it. It's not like ROTC or anything, because you don't have to do any military related stuff. As far as I understand, even your summers are free- you can choose to work at a firm, or if you want you can work for the Navy JAG in the summers and be paid the salary of an Ensign. When you graduate and pass the bar, then you go to special training and all that stuff, and get promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade and begin actual active duty. After 6-12 months, you're promoted to Lieutenant, where you serve the remainder of your 3-3 1/2 years of active duty.
If you don't want to apply during law school, that's fine too. You can actually go off and work at a firm and later try to apply through the Direct program. The problem is that then it's SUPER competitive and they only take like 3-5 people a year, so it's better to try to get in as a Student.
I'm PRETTY sure from all my research that this stuff is accurate but anybody please correct me, I could be missing the target somewhere.