Anyone currently in the military?

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underwear
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Anyone currently in the military?

Postby underwear » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:36 am

Curious to hear your experiences if there were any Reservists or National Guardsmen while attending law school. I'm currently on the fence about re-enlisting + re-classing to the Reserves. My original plan was to re-up as an 11B, attend OSUT during the summer (or whatever their AIT is called nowadays), and start school in August.

The only thing holding me back is that I understand 1L is going to be ridiculously tough (most likely the latter years as well), and depending on your rank/MOS, we all know that the "you only need to work 2 days out of the month, plus 2 weeks during the summer" is a bit loose.

I had to do some Reserve time during UG and drove seven hours one-way to get to the unit, making it a four day affair. It didn't get too crazy during UG, but that was most likely due to SUTA-ing several drills and making them all up during Winter/Summer breaks. I doubt whatever unit I join would be as flexible as my old one was. Plus, 1L-3L is going to be substantially more hectic than UG as well. And then there's the question of summer when you're supposed to be busting your ass looking for an internship and you realize that you still have your 2-week obligation.

This obviously wouldn't be for the money (the cost of gas alone surpassed my pay). On one hand, I don't want to shirk from responsibilities, but on the other, I really want to try harder in law school than my UG days. I'd like to hear your thoughts or experiences with this. Manageable?

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JazzieShizzle
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby JazzieShizzle » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:24 am

I'll be a 1L in the fall, so unfortunately I don't have any first hand experience with being in the reserves while in LS. I am currently in the reserves though, and I asked these same questions to the 8 or so JAG attys in my unit. They all agreed that it would be more difficult to stay in the reserves, but it's worth it. They all seemed to think my unit AND my professors will be accommodating. I'll have to transfer to a new unit when I relocate to go to LS, and I rarely had very accommodating UG professors, so I am skeptical. I'm also concerned about the 2 week AT. I'm going to try to split it up and complete it during breaks from school if possible. I'm also afraid it will interfere with internships. The consensus among those JAGs was that an employer won't mind if my internship is 2 weeks shorter than it should be. I'm not so sure about that though - most of them were in LS decades ago, and we know things aren't the same now as it was then.

I ultimately decided to stay in the reserves. If it does turn out to be too much, I'll request to transfer into the IMA or something. Or maybe I'll end up with a bad year. We'll see.

Why do you want to reclass to 11B? What's your MOS now? I think it would be a good idea to have an MOS in the 42 or 92 series, that way it will be much easier to find a unit nearby.

AfgToLaw
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby AfgToLaw » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:54 am

I am in the same boat. Currently on active duty (and forward deployed for OEF) as an 11A and trying to decide whether or not to take a position in the National Guard or just separate completely. Would love some insights on NG/Reserve vs law school in terms of time management, etc.

TigerDude
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby TigerDude » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:54 am

getting called up would definitely put a crimp in your studies

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haus
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby haus » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:48 am

AfgToLaw wrote:I am in the same boat. Currently on active duty (and forward deployed for OEF) as an 11A and trying to decide whether or not to take a position in the National Guard or just separate completely. Would love some insights on NG/Reserve vs law school in terms of time management, etc.

My co-worker is an officer with AFR, he commented that the demands on his time are far higher than the baseline advertised. At the moment he is out of the office on 90 day orders, I would imagine something like that would not play well with most academic programs.

underwear
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby underwear » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:58 am

JazzieShizzle wrote:I ultimately decided to stay in the reserves. If it does turn out to be too much, I'll request to transfer into the IMA or something. Or maybe I'll end up with a bad year. We'll see.

Why do you want to reclass to 11B? What's your MOS now? I think it would be a good idea to have an MOS in the 42 or 92 series, that way it will be much easier to find a unit nearby.
This is based purely on speculation, but I have a feeling that most law school profs will be accommodating in the sense of, "You're not going to be here on test day? Sure, you can make it up later."

As far as, "You're not going to be studying for the exam this weekend 'cause of drill? Sure, you can make the test up later," I'm not so sure. In either case, you're going to fall behind schedule by playing catch-up.

I've known of just one paralegal in a sister company who was in law school during drills and he seemed to be having a blast. But... he was attending a school that was unranked and lost ABA accreditation so i don't think his story is indicative of most. Most of the JAG I've talked to didn't really have much to tell me besides the generic "atta-boy" comments. Plus, they weren't in the Army when attending law school anyways.

I was surrounded by politics for my MOS during my entire time in (I know every jerb has politics involved, but we had it pretty bad), and I didn't really get the opportunity to experience the stuff that puts one out of his/her comfort zone. Seeing how I'll be hitting 30 in a couple of years, it's now or never. I originally wanted to go AA/AB/Pathfinder school, but after years of begging for higher to send me (and getting shut down due to funds and my non-essential MOS), the only places that I'd get a chance to go would be the MOS' along the lines of 11B, 19D, etc.

Btw, I think we had similar numbers. Where'd you end up applying?

AfgToLaw wrote:I am in the same boat. Currently on active duty (and forward deployed for OEF) as an 11A and trying to decide whether or not to take a position in the National Guard or just separate completely. Would love some insights on NG/Reserve vs law school in terms of time management, etc.
Stay safe, sir; spring is coming...

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JazzieShizzle
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby JazzieShizzle » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:31 pm

Most of the JAGs I spoke with were in the reserves during LS, but some requested IMA/IRR or got out entirely and came back in. Of the ones who were in during LS, they basically said it was difficult, but manageable. Even the one who told me he had a panic attack over one of his classes during drill said it was worth staying in. (He was the most recent LS grad I spoke with- class of 2005) I've heard a few stories of law students being allowed to sit in a corner to study all drill weekend too though.

I'm just hoping the unit I'll transfer into won't put too much responsibility/pressure on me while I'm in LS. During undergrad I was in and out of school for many years because of orders. That can't happen anymore. Also just having a drill weekend was difficult during UG, so I know it will be difficult during LS as well. My only consolation is that I won't be working full time in LS like I was during UG, so hopefully I'll be able to recover from that loss of time better.
I'm concerned about all of the unknowns, but I know I want to stay in and keep Tricare, get that drill pay, and having the reserves is a nice thing to fall back on. Plus I'm almost halfway to retirement, so...

I'll PM you about my specifics.

Burne182
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby Burne182 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:47 pm

I'm a 1L, so just 1 semester in, but I'm Navy SelRes and I might be able to shed a little light on the subject.

I transitioned from active duty, so the Navy granted me a 2 year deployment deferral. Since I knew I couldn't get called up it was a much less terrifying choice to make, given that a weekend a month and some AT over the summer wasn't nearly as much commitment. I don't think I would've done it if I could be deployed right away, though...

Anyway, as for the regular time commitment, I haven't found it to be a problem. I rescheduled drill for Dec and will do the same for May for finals, but my unit was really understanding. When I have to drill, I just make sure to be very organized and read ahead the week prior. After 1st semester I'm in the top 15% (at a non-T14 T1 law school), so I can't say it hurt me there. I have an in-house gig set up for the summer (that I actually think being in the reserves helped me land) and they were completely understanding with scheduling so I could get my AT in.

I can't say I've studied in a corner during drill weekend but when there's down time I usually have something along to work on and that hasn't been a problem at all.

The money is quite good considering how little you actually need to do and certainly helps with keeping a decent standard of living while in school. Also, the health care is reasonable if that's any concern.

If you have any questions please feel free to PM me. Good luck with your choice!

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JazzieShizzle
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby JazzieShizzle » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:14 pm

Burne182 wrote:Anyway, as for the regular time commitment, I haven't found it to be a problem. I rescheduled drill for Dec and will do the same for May for finals, but my unit was really understanding. When I have to drill, I just make sure to be very organized and read ahead the week prior. After 1st semester I'm in the top 15% (at a non-T14 T1 law school), so I can't say it hurt me there. I have an in-house gig set up for the summer (that I actually think being in the reserves helped me land) and they were completely understanding with scheduling so I could get my AT in.

Thank you! I hope I find myself in a similar situation as you. :)
My big concern was AT, so that's really good to hear that employers are supportive.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:33 am

My plan is IRR during 1L so I can devote myself completely to studying. If the 2L/3L work load looks more manageable, then I might come back to drilling.

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chneyo
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby chneyo » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:48 am

...
Last edited by chneyo on Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SemperLegal
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby SemperLegal » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:28 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:My plan is IRR during 1L so I can devote myself completely to studying. If the 2L/3L work load looks more manageable, then I might come back to drilling.



This is what I planned on doing. I am now eagerly awaiting the end of my IRR.

GreentoJD
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby GreentoJD » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:13 am

Not currently in the military, but I have several friends who are Reserve/NG now or were and have since graduated. This includes both enlisted and officers, and those who had to travel cross country or in town. I considered the same but opted to go IRR after getting off of AD.

I think the general sense is that drill and additional obligations of leadership can get in the way, but it's nothing too crazy if you just plan for it. I would say all of law school is about time management and you can find time for most anything if done properly, even as a 1L. I had family issues develop all throughout 1L, which required far more time than drill or other Reserve obligations would (i.e., missing two weeks in the middle of Fall 1L), and still did more than fine. All of my professors were okay with it and I just got notes from friends.

And keep in mind that you will be lining up your summer work during the school year. Ideally your unit would give you flexibility to do your summer drill before or after your summer law job is done, but frankly any employer you work for will just have to give you that time off if the military is not flexible. And any legal employer worth working for would be accommodating. My summer/post-grad firm would have gladly done so for the summer associate we had in the Guard, although his unit was flexible and let him drill after he was done with the firm, but before returning to school in the Fall.

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tjsmms061906
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby tjsmms061906 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:57 pm

Burne182 wrote:I transitioned from active duty, so the Navy granted me a 2 year deployment deferral.


I'm an active duty detailed Army Recruiter (11B MOS) and can say that those transitioning from active to reserve in the Army can also be granted the same 2 year deferral. You can PM me for any questions related to the Army/USAR.

AfgToLaw
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby AfgToLaw » Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:17 am

underwear wrote:Stay safe, sir; spring is coming...


Thanks, brother. Already starting to see the effects of the Spring thaw. Johnny T is beginning to come out to play.

helfer snooterbagon
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby helfer snooterbagon » Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:29 am

Graduated law school 2011. Went reserves the whole time. No regrets.

2xHarvard
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby 2xHarvard » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:59 am

After having been active duty Army paralegal/27D before law school and IRR most of 1L, I transferred at the end of 1L to an LSO (now LOD) - a legal/JAG SelRes unit - near my school for work experience, a little money, stabilization, and (so cheesy!) love of the military. A classmate of mine also drilled at the same unit, even though he was not a 27D/paralegal, which is a course of action for the posters in this thread to consider. At least a few of the officers in the unit were in law school. I'm glad I did not drill during 1L, but equally glad I did drill during 2L and 3L. It was such a welcome occasional break from the people and activities surrounding law school, not that I didn't love them too.

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UnicornHunter
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby UnicornHunter » Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:50 pm

Bumping this thread.

I'm getting off active duty this summer, starting law school in the fall. The plan has been IRR all along, but the career counselor seemed to REALLY REALLY think I would get called up from IRR. He offered me an e-6 slot with a reserve PSYOPs unit 6 miles away from my family's house. Taking the slot would cut my commitment down from 5 years to 2, and I'd be non-deployable.

I'm still 99% sure I want to do IRR. However, I'd be very interested in feedback from people who did reserves/NG while in law school, especially those going down the traditional T14>BigLaw path. I'm afraid that being obligated to do 2 weeks of drill in the summer, especially with Chicago's already strange schedule, would be a big disadvantage when trying to get a SA.

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SemperLegal
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby SemperLegal » Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:20 pm

AfghanTourist wrote:Bumping this thread.

I'm getting off active duty this summer, starting law school in the fall. The plan has been IRR all along, but the career counselor seemed to REALLY REALLY think I would get called up from IRR. He offered me an e-6 slot with a reserve PSYOPs unit 6 miles away from my family's house. Taking the slot would cut my commitment down from 5 years to 2, and I'd be non-deployable.

I'm still 99% sure I want to do IRR. However, I'd be very interested in feedback from people who did reserves/NG while in law school, especially those going down the traditional T14>BigLaw path. I'm afraid that being obligated to do 2 weeks of drill in the summer, especially with Chicago's already strange schedule, would be a big disadvantage when trying to get a SA.


You are getting conned. This is like when the recruiter told you that your dress uniform was a total chick magnet.

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UnicornHunter
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby UnicornHunter » Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:47 pm

SemperLegal wrote:
AfghanTourist wrote:Bumping this thread.

I'm getting off active duty this summer, starting law school in the fall. The plan has been IRR all along, but the career counselor seemed to REALLY REALLY think I would get called up from IRR. He offered me an e-6 slot with a reserve PSYOPs unit 6 miles away from my family's house. Taking the slot would cut my commitment down from 5 years to 2, and I'd be non-deployable.

I'm still 99% sure I want to do IRR. However, I'd be very interested in feedback from people who did reserves/NG while in law school, especially those going down the traditional T14>BigLaw path. I'm afraid that being obligated to do 2 weeks of drill in the summer, especially with Chicago's already strange schedule, would be a big disadvantage when trying to get a SA.


You are getting conned. This is like when the recruiter told you that your dress uniform was a total chick magnet.



Yea, that's what I thought. Especially when he started talking about how easy it would be to land 6 figure jobs with a TS. Still would be interested in hearing from anyone whose tried the Reserve/Big Law path.

paul554
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby paul554 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:50 pm

AfghanTourist wrote:Bumping this thread.

I'm getting off active duty this summer, starting law school in the fall. The plan has been IRR all along, but the career counselor seemed to REALLY REALLY think I would get called up from IRR. He offered me an e-6 slot with a reserve PSYOPs unit 6 miles away from my family's house. Taking the slot would cut my commitment down from 5 years to 2, and I'd be non-deployable.

I'm still 99% sure I want to do IRR. However, I'd be very interested in feedback from people who did reserves/NG while in law school, especially those going down the traditional T14>BigLaw path. I'm afraid that being obligated to do 2 weeks of drill in the summer, especially with Chicago's already strange schedule, would be a big disadvantage when trying to get a SA.


Beware. I was out for less then one year when I got a large envelope in the mail. They do recall from the IRR, it is usually for one year stints and it is usually over seas. I had two prior deployments so I thought I was safe, but it does happen.

twright3
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby twright3 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:03 am

I'm on transition leave right now, going 1L in the fall. I have about 4.5 years left and going IRR. What MOSes are we talking about with getting recalled? All my conversations have suggested this is a pretty limited deal, and expected to be less common with the draw down.

paul554
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby paul554 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:46 am

twright3 wrote:I'm on transition leave right now, going 1L in the fall. I have about 4.5 years left and going IRR. What MOSes are we talking about with getting recalled? All my conversations have suggested this is a pretty limited deal, and expected to be less common with the draw down.


I was an MP, recalled to do that mission. There were on average 30+ recalls a week coming into Ft. Benning, which is where all IRR recalls go for initial inprocessing. MOS really seemed all over the place in regards to chance of being recalled. We had 11b's, a lot of support mos's and so on, also pretty split about 20/80 between officers and enlisted. Ranks all the way from E-3 to O-4. We even had on E-6 who had been early retired in the 90s as an eyeglass repair specialist. He was nearing 60 and his MOS didn't even exist anymore!

Edit: I was recalled in 2008-2009 for what it's worth.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:59 am

paul554 wrote:
AfghanTourist wrote:Bumping this thread.

I'm getting off active duty this summer, starting law school in the fall. The plan has been IRR all along, but the career counselor seemed to REALLY REALLY think I would get called up from IRR. He offered me an e-6 slot with a reserve PSYOPs unit 6 miles away from my family's house. Taking the slot would cut my commitment down from 5 years to 2, and I'd be non-deployable.

I'm still 99% sure I want to do IRR. However, I'd be very interested in feedback from people who did reserves/NG while in law school, especially those going down the traditional T14>BigLaw path. I'm afraid that being obligated to do 2 weeks of drill in the summer, especially with Chicago's already strange schedule, would be a big disadvantage when trying to get a SA.


Beware. I was out for less then one year when I got a large envelope in the mail. They do recall from the IRR, it is usually for one year stints and it is usually over seas. I had two prior deployments so I thought I was safe, but it does happen.



When was this, though? IRR recalls used to happen on the reg, but with Iraq over and Afghanistan winding down, I don't hear much about them anymore. With the tepid economy there are probably more reservists volunteering for active duty tours than there are active duty tours to be had.

Bottom line, I've been hearing that "You'll get recalled immediately from the IRR anyway, you might as well join a reserve unit" spiel for years, and it rarely actually happens anymore. It still COULD, of course, but I think the recruiter is at least exaggerating.

Jesse1983
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Re: Anyone currently in the military?

Postby Jesse1983 » Fri Apr 11, 2014 7:59 am

I know for a fact that the IRR is still pulling folks back into the sel. reserves. Several friends of mine transferred over to the IRR last winter and all but one got pulled back up to a drilling unit within 6 months or so. It's not a rare as you might think. While the active duty force is indeed shrinking the USAR is still well below its projected man power needs.




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