How responsive does JAG - particularly Navy JAG - seem to be to "focuses" in law school? I've been concentrating primarily on estate planning and will be in our low income tax payer clinic, as well as doing some pro bono wills, proxies, and tax work this upcoming summer.
I figured that this stuff (well, except for navigating the estate tax, heh) would be practically useful, though I've noticed in this thread the emphasis seems to be on general litigation. I obviously understand the importance of that but I'd like to know if my own focus will function as a boon, a bane, or something more neutral.
My school is also incredibly big on national security issues and I'm considering auditing courses such as Prosecuting Terrorists, National Security, Cyberterrorism, and so forth.
(I searched the forums and skimmed this thread but it was getting a little tedious, so my bad if this has been answered. Repeatedly.)
If I understand things right, the first tour for any Navy JAG is pretty much the same: a round in legal assistance, a round on the government side of courts martial and a round on the defense side of courts martial. I think it's after that—when JAGs have reupped their contract—that any kind of specialization would come into play. Yours, for example, seems well-suited for the Legal Services Office where they do legal assistance for sailors and their families, including wills, D.P.A.s and tax stuff.
As far as those courses you mentioned I think if you're interested then you should take them but don't take them just because you're (hoping to be) going JAG. I realized that I kind of wrote the above thinking you had been professionally recommended out of the last set of boards and are trying to set up your last year. If that's the case then take whatever you have an interest in and the Navy will—I think—put it to good use at some point.
If, however, you are trying to set your schedule up to be an attractive JAG candidate, I don't know what to tell you. The moot court/mock trial stuff is important as is, I believe, demonstration of strong legal writing skills (read: a journal) are good things. Other than that, I don't know what else to say. I do buy the whole person application process but hitting the above should hopefully not represent a burden.
Hopefully this hasn't been wholly useless. . . .