Balancing Interests in Clerkships and JAG

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
User avatar
Yointer
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 4:36 pm

Balancing Interests in Clerkships and JAG

Postby Yointer » Mon May 12, 2008 11:50 pm

So here's the problem I'm grappling with. I am interested in two legal jobs in the short term after my graduation from LS: a federal clerkship for the first year or so, followed by a tour working as a Judge Advocate for the military. The difficulty is that it is far more difficult to get commissioned as a JAG officer after graduation than it is to go through the commissioning program during either the 1L or 2L summer. However, it seems that there are more impressive things one could do during those summers (from the perspective of a federal Judge looking for clerks) than crawling through the mud at OCS.

A bit of background, if it helps: I will be a 1L at the University of Chicago in the fall and plan on working hard, blah, blah, blah... I have not yet made a decision on my preferred branch of the military, but the concept of being an unrestricted line officer in the Marine Corps is appealing. There is no particular reason for me to think I can land a clerkship beyond the fact that UChicago is l33t in the clerkship biz and that I'm a good student (so is everyone else at Chicago: I know). Likewise, I have no military connections and none of my close relatives have military backgrounds.

In sum, I don't want to ruin my clerkship chances by going through OCS (for instance) during my 2L summer instead of doing something more legal-oriented. At the same time, I don't want to ruin my chances of getting a JAG commission by waiting on OCS until after I graduate from LS. The one final consideration is that there is no iron-clad guarantee (to the best of my understanding) that the military would allow me to spend a year after graduation clerking before beginning to fulfill my service obligation. I have been told, however, that there are exceptions granted in cases like these, but I have no way of knowing the frequency of these exceptions. Can anyone with a JAG and/or Clerkship background help me out here?

NorCalinSBend?
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:11 pm

Re: Balancing Interests in Clerkships and JAG

Postby NorCalinSBend? » Mon May 12, 2008 11:55 pm

I find myself in the same boat. Everything I have been told, however, indicates that the Marines will not wait. As soon you pass the bar you are expected to begin your commission.

Have you considered another branch?

User avatar
Yointer
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 4:36 pm

Re: Balancing Interests in Clerkships and JAG

Postby Yointer » Tue May 13, 2008 9:30 pm

NorCalinSBend? wrote:I find myself in the same boat. Everything I have been told, however, indicates that the Marines will not wait. As soon you pass the bar you are expected to begin your commission.

Have you considered another branch?


I'm not sure if the Marines are as strict about not waiting as you think. According to http://www.marineocs.com/portal/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=84600#84600, clerkships are possible between law school graduation and The Basic School. Another creative solution I discovered at marineocs.com is to complete your tour in JAG before spending a year clerking.

Any other thoughts out there?

Fourttier
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 7:48 pm

Re: Balancing Interests in Clerkships and JAG

Postby Fourttier » Tue May 13, 2008 9:46 pm

I think you should try for a clerkship to get more rounded experience before JAG. A family member almost was posted to Fort Riley, where Boards of Inquiry send the convicted next door to Fort Leavenworth. Fort Riley was the big leagues in JAG. Fort Riley was where the best in Army JAG were sent. I was told that the Boards are usually kangaroo court for enlisted. If you practice in enlisted cases, your legal experience will be limited. The Boards usually always convict enlisted personnel. Maybe times have changed but the Marines are probably no different than the Army was in the past. I don't think JAG is good legal experience. I think you should reconsider joining the JAG unless you have no other career options.

candlelight01
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:56 pm

Re: Balancing Interests in Clerkships and JAG

Postby candlelight01 » Tue May 13, 2008 10:29 pm

Fourttier wrote:I think you should try for a clerkship to get more rounded experience before JAG. A family member almost was posted to Fort Riley, where Boards of Inquiry send the convicted next door to Fort Leavenworth. Fort Riley was the big leagues in JAG. Fort Riley was where the best in Army JAG were sent. I was told that the Boards are usually kangaroo court for enlisted. If you practice in enlisted cases, your legal experience will be limited. The Boards usually always convict enlisted personnel. Maybe times have changed but the Marines are probably no different than the Army was in the past. I don't think JAG is good legal experience. I think you should reconsider joining the JAG unless you have no other career options.


So 'boards of inquiry' sentence convicted service members to leavenworth? You've really studied up on the matter.

eta: upon further review, you really are quite a comedian. A a family member was almost posted posted to fort riley? (Which happens to be one of hundreds of DoD installations that send convicted military felons to the military prison located at ft leavenworth). Quite relevent. :roll: You were told that boards are a kangaroo court? You are a great troll. What next, the story about how you neighbor's cousin's best friend was almost convicted by one of these kangaroo courts?

User avatar
thespinstartshere
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:49 am

Re: Balancing Interests in Clerkships and JAG

Postby thespinstartshere » Tue May 13, 2008 11:33 pm

OP, I find myself in precisely the same situation. If you don't mind me asking, where did you hear that it is more difficult to earn a commission following graduation? I am not sure if law students are treated differently, but for UG, there are two separate, but relatively equal programs - PLC and OCC. In PLC, candidates who are still in school are able to attend OCS during the summer. In OCC, candidates who have already graduated attend OCS during one of several (I believe four) scheduled sessions throughout the year (my knowledge is with the Marine Corps, the other branches could very well handle this differently). Like you, I would prefer to spend my summers in positions more relevant to my legal studies. Also, have you considered the possibility of serving as a clerk following the completion of your service agreement? I am not sure if this is a possibility, but I would have to believe there are federal judges out there who would love to have a clerk with four years of JAG experience. This would also seem to be a good way to transition back into civilian practice.

Edit: just read your second post

User avatar
Yointer
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 4:36 pm

Re: Balancing Interests in Clerkships and JAG

Postby Yointer » Tue May 13, 2008 11:50 pm

thespinstartshere wrote:OP, I find myself in precisely the same situation. If you don't mind me asking, where did you hear that it is more difficult to earn a commission following graduation? I am not sure if law students are treated differently, but for UG, there are two separate, but relatively equal programs - PLC and OCC.


There are a few places on the site quoted above that reference the fact that OCC Law is more difficult to get into than is PLC Law. Here, for instance.

To be frank, I don't expect to resolve this difficulty until I sit down with an OSO and an OCS officer (Office of Career Services, heh). I was just hoping that someone smarter than me had already figured out this conundrum.

User avatar
thespinstartshere
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:49 am

Re: Balancing Interests in Clerkships and JAG

Postby thespinstartshere » Wed May 14, 2008 12:04 am

Thanks for the link. I think you are right though, it is going to be a matter of sitting down with an OSO.

Fourttier
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 7:48 pm

Re: Balancing Interests in Clerkships and JAG

Postby Fourttier » Wed May 14, 2008 12:18 am

candlelight01 wrote:
Fourttier wrote:I think you should try for a clerkship to get more rounded experience before JAG. A family member almost was posted to Fort Riley, where Boards of Inquiry send the convicted next door to Fort Leavenworth. Fort Riley was the big leagues in JAG. Fort Riley was where the best in Army JAG were sent. I was told that the Boards are usually kangaroo court for enlisted. If you practice in enlisted cases, your legal experience will be limited. The Boards usually always convict enlisted personnel. Maybe times have changed but the Marines are probably no different than the Army was in the past. I don't think JAG is good legal experience. I think you should reconsider joining the JAG unless you have no other career options.


So 'boards of inquiry' sentence convicted service members to leavenworth? You've really studied up on the matter.

eta: upon further review, you really are quite a comedian. A a family member was almost posted posted to fort riley? (Which happens to be one of hundreds of DoD installations that send convicted military felons to the military prison located at ft leavenworth). Quite relevent. :roll: You were told that boards are a kangaroo court? You are a great troll. What next, the story about how you neighbor's cousin's best friend was almost convicted by one of these kangaroo courts?


I question that you know what you are talking about. Are you familiar with Army JAG procedures of soldiers facing very serious charges? Army procedure in the past was to send the worst of the worst to Riley for Boards there. Troll? Learn some manners before posting. And know what you are talking about. My information is completely accurate. BTW The promotion to Riley was turned down.

candlelight01
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:56 pm

Re: Balancing Interests in Clerkships and JAG

Postby candlelight01 » Wed May 14, 2008 8:23 am

I love it you are good. You have absolutly no idea what you are talking about, but I am enjoying your stuff. Please tell us more about your "completely accurate" info on the JAG, and don't worry about backing anything up with sources or anything. We'll take your word for it.

Also I'm still interested in what your neighbor's cousin's best friend has to say on the subject.

User avatar
Yointer
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 4:36 pm

Re: Balancing Interests in Clerkships and JAG

Postby Yointer » Thu May 15, 2008 1:55 pm

My initial request in the OP was for people familiar with JAG and/or judicial clerkships to offer insight as to how best to pursue activities during 1L and 2L summers that would facilitate these two disparate goals. While the "JAG is a waste of a good lawyer's time" slant is tangentially related, I would appreciate hearing from more people directly related to the question I posed in the OP. Do Judges look down upon forgoing a summer associateship in favor of spending 2L summer at OCS? Conversely, is it smart to forgo going PLC in favor of working in the legal field during 2L summer and banking on making the more-demanding OCC cut?

User avatar
NosferatuDracon
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:19 pm

Re: Balancing Interests in Clerkships and JAG

Postby NosferatuDracon » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:27 am

Resurrecting a dead thread to see if there is any further information from anyone on this subject matter. Seems like the only viable option may be to go JAG and then apply for a judicial clerkship after?

Consequently does military time count towards the GS scale? As in...will you have a higher salary as a clerk due to your military experience and then further more a higher salary if applying to DOJ.

I guess another related question is does JAG time disqualify you from DOJ honors and mean that you have to apply through regular channels, i.e. USAjobs?

I know there's a lot involved here and that many in this community may not have answers, but I figured it was worth a shot.

anli
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 3:09 pm

Re: Balancing Interests in Clerkships and JAG

Postby anli » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:43 pm

Talk to a recruiter to see when you would be scheduled for JAG school. You may be able to secure a clerkship and go afterwards, fulfilling your commitment. I am not familiar with exit options.

User avatar
Corsair
Posts: 3997
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 1981 12:25 am

Re: Balancing Interests in Clerkships and JAG

Postby Corsair » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:35 am

..

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: Balancing Interests in Clerkships and JAG

Postby Renzo » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:31 pm

Corsair wrote:
Fourttier wrote:I think you should try for a clerkship to get more rounded experience before DA/Public Defender. A family member almost was posted to Manhattan, where courts send the convicted next door to Riker's. Manhattan was the big leagues in DA/PD. Manhattan was where the best in DA/PD were sent. I was told that the courts are usually kangaroo court for indigent. If you practice in indigent cases, your legal experience will be limited. The courts usually always convict indigent defendants. Maybe times have changed but Chicago are probably no different than New York was in the past. I don't think DA/PD is good legal experience. I think you should reconsider joining the DA/PD unless you have no other career options.


Analogy.

Dude. That is fucking epic.

User avatar
chicagolaw2013
Posts: 584
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:16 pm

Re: Balancing Interests in Clerkships and JAG

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:45 pm

Corsair's a genius.

On a side note though, I've heard of JAG, and know that it's military-related, but not much more about it. Does every branch have one or is it its own department? Where should I look for more info? Just curious to learn more...

270910
Posts: 2437
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:51 pm

Re: Balancing Interests in Clerkships and JAG

Postby 270910 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:49 pm

chicagolaw2013 wrote:Corsair's a genius.

On a side note though, I've heard of JAG, and know that it's military-related, but not much more about it. Does every branch have one or is it its own department? Where should I look for more info? Just curious to learn more...


Every branch has one. There's a huge thread about nothing but jag in the forum, it's like 30+ pages. Something like 'military law', lots of good info.

User avatar
chicagolaw2013
Posts: 584
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:16 pm

Re: Balancing Interests in Clerkships and JAG

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:30 pm

disco_barred wrote:
chicagolaw2013 wrote:Corsair's a genius.

On a side note though, I've heard of JAG, and know that it's military-related, but not much more about it. Does every branch have one or is it its own department? Where should I look for more info? Just curious to learn more...


Every branch has one. There's a huge thread about nothing but jag in the forum, it's like 30+ pages. Something like 'military law', lots of good info.


Thanks, Disco. I'll check it out! :)




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot], lmcghee, Yahoo [Bot] and 3 guests