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 Post subject: Military Law
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 12:08 pm 
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Anybody else interested?

I'm interested in exploring my options, esp Air Force.

I've got some links if needed.


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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:40 am 
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Location: Houston/Baton Rouge/Austin/&c.
:shock:


Last edited by RATRATRAT on Mon May 26, 2008 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:27 pm 
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3L headed active duty with AF JAG once I am hopefully done with the bar this Fall.

Happy to answer Qs or just talk about how lame the AF service dress is.


Last edited by Patrick Bateman on Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:46 pm 
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Location: Inside Kim Jong Il's pants.
I'm not a citizen yet. Do I have to be one to really consider military law as a viable option?


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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:53 pm 
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Is JAG selective at all? I heard you have to conduct multiple phone interviews.And you may not get the gig.

And you get promoted to O-3 6 months in right?

That'll put you at about 80k a year with tax free housing plus health benefits and food allowances.Seems like a sweet deal to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:59 pm 
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joonbug wrote:
I'm not a citizen yet. Do I have to be one to really consider military law as a viable option?


Yes. You need to be a United States Citizen to commission. It also is critical to obtain the necessary security clearances.


Last edited by Patrick Bateman on Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:05 pm 
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Ryduce wrote:
Is JAG selective at all? I heard you have to conduct multiple phone interviews.And you may not get the gig.

And you get promoted to O-3 6 months in right?

That'll put you at about 80k a year with tax free housing plus health benefits and food allowances.Seems like a sweet deal to me.


Air Force is limited to 120 new JAGs every year. Not all new JAGs come from Direct Appointment (seems the most common commissioning source for AF JAG) so there are not a lot of spots. Depending on the year and accessions board, there is only a 7%-11% selection rate.

There are not multiple interviews. You arrange an interview with the Staff Judge Advocate (0-5/0-6 that heads up a Wing's legal office) and based on that, the SJA submits your application package to the accessions board along with his/her recommendation (or lack there of). You are either selected or not based on the board's decision but that is highly influenced by the SJA.

You will be promoted to 0-3 within 6 months of your first day of Commissioned Officer's Training (assuming you are a direct appointment). The Housing Allowance (BAH) can vary tremendously on the location, but if you add up the tax breaks of non-taxed BAH/BAS along with the free healthcare and the like, I feel that $80K number is fair enough. In that the IRS only considers your Basic Pay as taxable income, many JAGs also qualify for their law school's LRAP programs as well as the new federal LRAP program CCRAA. It is not BigLaw market rate, but it's a great bundle of money considering you are also serving your country in uniform.


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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:12 pm 
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Patrick, why did you choose Air Force over the other branches?


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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:23 pm 
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.


Last edited by Patrick Bateman on Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:33 pm 
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Did you consider the Graduate Law Program or the One-Year College Program?


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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:38 pm 
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Wellsfargowagon wrote:
Did you consider the Graduate Law Program or the One-Year College Program?


Short answer, no.
I spent my 1L and most of my 2L OCI convinced I wanted Chicago BigLaw, so I did not even entertain JAG as an option until Sept of my 2L. I have no military background (nor does my family) so I was not 100% exactly what I would be getting into, so I spent my 2L summer with the civilian law clerk program to get my feet a little wet.

In retrospect, I probably should have put more research time into the GLP or OYCP but I still think I would have wanted the freedom (and ability to back out) that comes with going Direct Appointment.


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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:58 pm 
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How does the Air Force's JAG program compare to the Army and Navy's?

Are they as selective, salary,etc.?

Thanks for answering my questions. I like the idea of serving my country while being able to practice law and possibly see some of the world. Would be a fun experience as a young man.


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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:17 pm 
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Ryduce wrote:
How does the Air Force's JAG program compare to the Army and Navy's?

Are they as selective, salary,etc.?

Thanks for answering my questions. I like the idea of serving my country while being able to practice law and possibly see some of the world. Would be a fun experience as a young man.


From the law student's perspective, the biggest difference is probably that Air Force staffs the bulk of each JAG class from Direct Appointments (civilian 3Ls that interview, are given an automatic commission after graduation/bar passage). Navy only staffs a handful from DAs, the most come from the One Year College Program (or whatever they might call it) and essentially law school ROTC (GLP). In short, if you want Navy, 3L is not the time to make that decision.

Army and AF very much seem to be full service in terms of practice areas (military justice through labor law through operations law/LOAC) whereas Navy has contracted a lot of their areas outside of military justice out to civilians, so there may be less out there. I cannot be 100% on this however.

The Army JAG is much more into the "hooah" mentality, in which its JAGs go through a longer period of training. You can have the option to go to Jump School, Air Assault School, etc.

Navy and AF are the opposite. Keep in mind that the primary mission of the Army is Infantry, whereas the Navy focuses on surface warfare and the AF on air superiority. There are Air Force trigger pullers such as Combat Controllers and Special Tactics operators within Air Force Special Operations, Pararescue (PJs), JTACs, and Security Forces, but they are the exception to the general rule. You do not stand out by not lugging around an M-4 in the AF or Navy, whereas you do in the Army.

It's not like one is better or worse than the other, just different in mentality and doctrine.

I do not know selection #s beyond that of the AF (as I posted above, 7%-11%). I'm sure Navy is as selective as the AF, but they fill their JAG billets differently (as mentioned above).

The salary is the same no matter what branch you go into. You are not paid as a Air Force Captain or a Navy LT Junior Grade. For compensation you are simply an O-3, O-2 respectively. Years in Service + Grade = Basic Pay.


Last edited by Patrick Bateman on Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:14 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:22 pm 
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...


Last edited by RonSantoRules on Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 4:09 pm 
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Patrick, since the selection rate is so small, can you talk a little bit about your selection process? Where you stood in class ranking, how the interview went, etc?

I'll be a 1L this fall and I've been seriously considering the Air Force JAG program. Like you, I have no military background but researching the program made it highly appealing to me. Of course I'm still a ways out, but I've been considering applying for the GLP during my first year, so I'm trying to find out as much information as I can.


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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 4:16 pm 
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I recall that one of the branches (Marines, perhaps?) credits your three years of law school as "years of service" such that, assuming no prior military background, you start as an O-2 with 3 years instead of 0 on the pay scale. Does that hold true for AF / Navy also?


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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 4:33 pm 
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Wellsfargowagon wrote:
I recall that one of the branches (Marines, perhaps?) credits your three years of law school as "years of service" such that, assuming no prior military background, you start as an O-2 with 3 years instead of 0 on the pay scale. Does that hold true for AF / Navy also?


AF does not count law school as years of service in terms of TIS for pay calculations for non-priors. For the active duty FELP/ELP students, the time counts however.


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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 4:55 pm 
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Patrick Bateman wrote:
Ryduce wrote:
How does the Air Force's JAG program compare to the Army and Navy's?

Are they as selective, salary,etc.?

Thanks for answering my questions. I like the idea of serving my country while being able to practice law and possibly see some of the world. Would be a fun experience as a young man.


From the law student's perspective, the biggest difference is probably that Air Force staffs the bulk of each JAG class from Direct Appointments (civilian 3Ls that interview, are given an automatic commission after graduation/bar passage). Navy only staffs a handful from DAs, the most come from the One Year College Program (or whatever they might call it) and essentially law school ROTC (GLP). In short, if you want Navy, 3L is not the time to make that decision.

Army and AF very much seem to be full service in terms of practice areas (military justice through labor law through Law of War) whereas Navy has contracted a lot of their areas outside of military justice out to civilians, so there may be less out there. I cannot be 100% on this however.

The Army JAG is much more into the "ooora" mentality lately, in which it's JAGs go through the full officers training alongside the ROTC, OCS, and West Point grads. As mentioned before, that might be appealing to some, those want to combine lawyer/solider. You can have the option to go to Jump School, Air Assault School, etc.
Navy and AF are the opposite. Keep in mind that the primary mission of the Army is Infantary, whereas the Navy focuses on surface warfare ships and the AF with its flying missions. There are the "soldiers" in the AF for example, the Special Ops (JTACs, Pararescue, etc) and the Security Forces, but they are the exception to the general rule. You do not stand out by not lugging around a M-16a2 in the AF or Navy, whereas you do in the Army.
It's not like one is better or worse than the other, just different in mentality and doctrine.

I do not know selection #s beyond that of the AF (as I posted above, 7%-11%). If I had to speculate, I would feel the Army is always hurting for numbers and might be the least selective at the moment. I'm sure Navy is as selective as the AF, but they fill their JAG billets differently (as mentioned above).

The salary is the same no matter what branch you go into. You are not paid as a Air Force Captain or a Navy Lt Junior Grade. For compensation you are simply an O-3, 0-2 respectively. Years in Service + Grade = Basic Pay.


A big concern for yall is duty location. Army and Air Force have a high chance of getting sent to some godawful base in the middle of nowhere (i have a good friend that was stuck in ND). Navy followed by Marines have best duty locations. You have a great chance of getting Hawaii, Jacksonville Florida, or San Diego(god's gift to single people everywhere). If you get a bad duty location you might get stuck in virginia beach. Poor you.
Marines you have about a 50 percent chance of swinging San Diego, but theres a 30 percent chance you get sent to Jacksonville, NC, which sucks pretty hard.

Also important is noting that BAH varies according to where you are. As an O-3, you'll get about 2k in San Diego per month just for food/housing allowances. If you are army and get sent to the middle of nowhere, expect about half of that.

BTW, please note that hoo-rah is USMC, hooyah is USN, hooah is USA. You'll get strange looks mixing those up.
Oh yeah, and in terms of Lay prestige other services >>> AF.


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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:17 pm 
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kilgoretrout wrote:
A big concern for yall is duty location. Army and Air Force have a high chance of getting sent to some godawful base in the middle of nowhere (i have a good friend that was stuck in ND). Navy followed by Marines have best duty locations. You have a great chance of getting Hawaii, Jacksonville Florida, or San Diego(god's gift to single people everywhere). If you get a bad duty location you might get stuck in virginia beach. Poor you.
Marines you have about a 50 percent chance of swinging San Diego, but theres a 30 percent chance you get sent to Jacksonville, NC, which sucks pretty hard.


But keep in mind that unlike other services, Air Force is the only branch whose JAG recruits know their initial base assignment before incurring a service obligation. This means that if you absolutely could not stand the location of the base to which they want to assign you, you can withdraw your application and forgo commissioning altogether. Bolling and Andrews AFB are both large DC area bases which, I'm assuming, have their fair share of JAGs, so going AF doesn't mean bad single life. AF's deployments are also far, far shorter than those of other branches.


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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:36 pm 
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Wellsfargowagon wrote:
kilgoretrout wrote:
A big concern for yall is duty location. Army and Air Force have a high chance of getting sent to some godawful base in the middle of nowhere (i have a good friend that was stuck in ND). Navy followed by Marines have best duty locations. You have a great chance of getting Hawaii, Jacksonville Florida, or San Diego(god's gift to single people everywhere). If you get a bad duty location you might get stuck in virginia beach. Poor you.
Marines you have about a 50 percent chance of swinging San Diego, but theres a 30 percent chance you get sent to Jacksonville, NC, which sucks pretty hard.


But keep in mind that unlike other services, Air Force is the only branch whose JAG recruits know their initial base assignment before incurring a service obligation. This means that if you absolutely could not stand the location of the base to which they want to assign you, you can withdraw your application and forgo commissioning altogether. Bolling and Andrews AFB are both large DC area bases which, I'm assuming, have their fair share of JAGs, so going AF doesn't mean bad single life. AF's deployments are also far, far shorter than those of other branches.


TITCR.
Not much time to enjoy San Diego during one's 16 month deployment to Basra.

Air Force can be as great as Charleston, SC or Colorado Springs and as miserable as Enid, Oklahoma. I think lousy duty stations come with each branch, even if that comes in the form of a 6 month ship tour with two thousand other guys on a carrier.

I also have to obviously disagree that lay prestige favors the other branches over Air Force. Obviously Marines have a total hold on being the toughest, but many also consider them a bunch of high-and-tight knuckle draggers. The Air Force may be the Chair Force, but it also the most cutting edge in terms of technology and is neck and neck with the Navy in terms of being the most intellectual.

Obviously there is no talking anyone with prior service or active duty out of their belief that their branch is the best, but I think it is totally baseless to say that lay prestige is far and away in any specific camp.


Last edited by Patrick Bateman on Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:52 pm 
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Patrick Bateman wrote:
Not much time to enjoy San Diego during one's 16 month deployment to Basra.


Also true, but I can tell you from experience life will be better knowing that you can get laid when you get home.


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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:09 am 
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RonSantoRules wrote:
Patrick Bateman wrote:
Short answer, no.
I spent my 1L and most of my 2L OCI convinced I wanted Chicago BigLaw, so I did not even entertain JAG as an option until Sept of my 2L. I have no military background (nor does my family) so I was not 100% exactly what I would be getting into, so I spent my 2L summer with the civilian law clerk program to get my feet a little wet.


Patrick, thanks for the great info in this thread. It actually has inspired me to look further in depth at this. Just curious, what prompted you to look into this field in the first place? It seems a big departure to go from wanting to do Chicago BigLaw to Air Force JAG, so I was curious what put you on this course and if you had talked to anyone previously in the field before your 2L summer. Thanks.


Sorry for the delay on the reply. I somehow missed this one.

I have always wanted to serve in the military and vacillated with Army OCS after college but elected to stick with law school. I spent 1/2 of my 1L summer with a midsized litigation firm and was not thrilled with it. Rarely have I encountered any BigLaw attorney and been told how much they love their work. It always seemed it was the State's Attorneys, Assistant Atty General, etc, that were the happiest being a lawyer, despite the weak salary. All of my friends that are 1st-4th year associates are really only at the firms for the money, which is fine, but I'm not so ass-backwards in debt that I have to make that decision.

I was picked up for the AF civilian law clerk program in October of 2L and used that as the ultimate test. Best case I loved it and would go for active duty, worst case I would have to deal with 3L OCI but at least I could cross JAG off of my list and not wonder down the road. I ended up loving it. While there is plenty of bullshit that comes with being in the military, no one at my office hated their job. Everyone in uniform and even the civilians (all priors) were thrilled with their work, the lifestyle, etc. They "sold" me on joining up without needing some recruiter's pitch.

There are a lot of practical benefits that made this an easier decision such as a solid (but hardly BigLaw) salary, lots of time off, trial experience early on, and a bullet proof resume line for a political career. It's not like I turned down a Vault firm for the Peace Corps. I'm also only 26, so if I hate it, I can do my 4 years active and separate (short of invading Iran). I doubt I would do four years of BigLaw, with all the lifestyle adjustments that get made when you are banking $160K, and join the military at a time when I am hoping to get married and go with the family route. The law firms are not going anywhere, but the window in my life where I can pursue JAG with no real life-plan consequences is fast closing.


Last edited by Patrick Bateman on Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:34 am 
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oulaw2008 wrote:
Patrick, since the selection rate is so small, can you talk a little bit about your selection process? Where you stood in class ranking, how the interview went, etc?

I'll be a 1L this fall and I've been seriously considering the Air Force JAG program. Like you, I have no military background but researching the program made it highly appealing to me. Of course I'm still a ways out, but I've been considering applying for the GLP during my first year, so I'm trying to find out as much information as I can.


At least for the Direct Appointment Program (DAP), the interview is critically important. That said, mine was pretty atypical, so my experiences may not do you all too much good. I had the benefit of doing the civilian clerk program in the same office at which I interviewed, so my "reputation" with our colonel was already well established. Both my civilian and military "bosses" were very happy with my work product and interactions with all the other staff, so they had been vouching for me with the colonel all summer. A lot of the DAP interview is more a briefing, for you, on how AF JAG works. I have no idea how much being an summer intern helped, other than it absolutely does.

Being clean cut, conservatively dressed, etc, is necessary for both law firms and the military, so there isn't much to worry about there.

I would suggest being well versed in both the AF and AF JAG before the interview(s). It's hard for them to take you seriously if you have no idea that there are PT standards and if you can meet them. Know that there is a difference between an Lt. Colonel (0-5) and a full bird Colonel (0-6), but that you would call both of them "colonel" in conversation but would make the distinction in written correspondence. Same with the enlisted: once you get your Sgt stripes, you are simply Sergeant in conversation until you hit E-9, but you better distinguish Senior Master Sergeant from Staff Sergeant on paper. Understand the fundamental differences between the enlisted that staff the office and the JAG officers who are the attorneys, but also remember that it is the enlisted that make or break the careers of officers. Law firm partners always consult with the secretaries to see how a interviewee conducted himself away from the lawyers, best your ass the colonel will be asking his/her Master Sgt the same questions.

Aside from the comprehension of basic military culture for the interview, do not sweat too much of it. They will do most of the talking.


I would "groom" yourself to be a future litigator and trial attorney. That was made pretty clear to me in my interview. Doing well in torts, crim law/pro, evidence, etc is more important than secured transactions. Trial advocacy is a must and trial team or moot court would be a terrific idea. Perhaps the hardest thing is actually having a reason to wanting to join the Air Force. I always felt cheesy/cliche with some of my answers, but I think anything in the context of patriotism always comes across like that. I gave a the honest answer that I have touched on in my various posts: I want to serve but in a way that utilizes my education and talents. I am not cut out to be an Army Ranger. I like the Air Force culture, the respect they afford Judge Advocates, and that I'm not going to have to pull convoy details praying that my M4 does not jam.


Last edited by Patrick Bateman on Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 1:31 am 
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Location: 2700 miles from my law school.
...


Last edited by conch republic on Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Military Law
PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 8:33 am 
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conch republic wrote:
Thanks for all the info, Patrick.

What's the typical age of people doing JAG? Are they typically 25 year olds that didn't take off between UG & LS, or are there some "non-traditional" grads in there as well?


I can tell you the age cut-off for AF is 35 (unless you are prior officer) which particularly sucks for me, because I'm a 4 year tour prior-enlisted Active AF and I still can't get a waiver. I'll be 38 when I graduate Law School.

Moreover, I started this thread, and moments later I talked with an AF JAG recruiter and he broke the bad news to me.

The age restriction is 42 for Army/Nave Jag, so I'll explore that, but having spent time in the AF, I'd rather do that


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