Law School and Army Reserve

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D-ROCCA
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Law School and Army Reserve

Postby D-ROCCA » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:15 pm

Does anyone have experience going through law school while fulfilling their Reserve obligations? Is it doable, and if so how difficult is it?
Thanks.

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2LT_CPG
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Re: Law School and Army Reserve

Postby 2LT_CPG » Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:31 am

I'm in the Army National Guard and I asked the same question on this forum a few months ago. No useful responses.

From what I've heard though, most schools are willing to work with you to get around any obligations you have. For instance, I asked about what the process would be if I had to go to pre-mob during my finals (I do... it's already on my training schedule). I was told that I could basically just come back and take finals alone. But that was just one school's response, and I got the feeling that they had experience with it. But as more and more Iraq/Afghanistan vets come back and go to school with reserve obligations, colleges and universities (law schools included) have really made an effort in the past couple years to beef up their veterans support offices.

Whether the Army Reserve is going to be willing to work with you on the other hand, is a completely different story. It'll probably depend a lot on your job, whether you're an officer/enlisted soldier, if your unit's about to deploy, etc. Not much you can do if you get activated in the middle of a semester other than talk to the school. Keep in mind, you don't have exactly the same protections you have for a job as a law student.

Either way, it's worth a conversation with your commander. For all you know, he/she could be really supportive and exempt you from anything that gets in the way of law school. Stranger things have happened.

Transferthrowaway
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Re: Law School and Army Reserve

Postby Transferthrowaway » Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:33 am

There was a guy at my old law school who will graduate in 2013 instead of 2012 because he spent last year deployed with the Army in Iraq. All I know is that he is an officer.

I wish I could provide more relevant information for you guys, but that's all I knew about him.

2xHarvard
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Re: Law School and Army Reserve

Postby 2xHarvard » Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:31 pm

I did it just fine as a 2L and 3L - went from IRR to Reserve at end of 1L year - but then, part of that contract was stabilization.

northerniowan
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Re: Law School and Army Reserve

Postby northerniowan » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:40 pm

While the topic of being in the military is up. . . I was looking at joining as an officer to help pay for law school. I see that the Navy/Air Force/Army only have direct commissions for those coming out of law school and no programs for people coming into law school who are not already in the military. These branches only pay for their soldiers/officers who decide to go to law school.

The Marines have a law program that pays (but not for all) for law school if you haven't even been in yet. This is somewhat appealing to me. Freshman year of undergrad I got a slot to go to PLC but didn't take it because another opportunity came up.

But would just generally joining the reserves of a branch (or Army National Guard or Air National guard), without any promises of being a lawyer in the future, help pay for law school? Would any arrangement like this be worth it?

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mattviphky
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Re: Law School and Army Reserve

Postby mattviphky » Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:31 am

I joined the air national guard, and the benefits I had for undergrad would be the same you would have for ls. If you joined the guard you would get the montgomery gi bill, which is like 700 bucks a month, and depending on your state, a tuition waiver. Some states also have sign-on bonuses. When I joined it was 15,000...but i think those are pretty much gone now.

2xHarvard
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Re: Law School and Army Reserve

Postby 2xHarvard » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:47 am

Army: there is tuition assistance and gi bill in addition to any benefit the school / state may provide for servicemembers. If you can join a JAG unit as a paralegal, there's good networking too.

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2LT_CPG
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Re: Law School and Army Reserve

Postby 2LT_CPG » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:27 pm

Ha, good luck joining a JAG unit in a reserve component before you get a JD. Those slots are competitive as hell.

I knew a guy who was a few years ahead of me in ROTC who did Army ROTC while he was in law school. You just skip over the first year and do MSII, MSIII, and MSIV as a law student. ROTC paid for his law school. But I think that's pretty rare and I don't think they do that anymore. Your most secure route to the JAG Corps, at least in the Army, would have been to do Army ROTC and get an educational delay for law school. The Army wouldn't pay for it, but you're guaranteed a job after you graduate. And law school educational delays are non-competitive in ROTC; I think like 40 applied for it nationally this year and everyone got it. I have a few friends doing that now. The other route is trying for a direct commission after you graduate with the JD. But once again, no help with money.

Bottom line is that the military is being conservative with how it spends its educational money pre-commissioning - it's insanely competitive now to even get an Army ROTC scholarship, whereas when I was a first-year cadet in 2007 I basically just had to walk in the office and sign the papers for the money. That just doesn't happen anymore. And that's the Army, which has the highest need for people and the most money to toss around. Think about how selective the other services can afford to be.

Just do what I'm doing and join a reserve component and go to school while you're in. You get GI Bill benefits and most states will give you breaks on tuition if you go to a state school. I know for instance that Rutgers lets you go to any grad school program or to law school for free if you're in the NJARNG. I live in PA but I'm in the New York ARNG, and If I go to CUNY or SUNY Buffalo I'll get in-state tuition right off the bat. Same with DC if I transfer to the DCARNG and try to go to UDC. But there are a lot of states like New Jersey that give pretty enticing benefits as long as you're willing to go to a state school.

Also, if you didn't want to do PLC because "another opportunity came up", stay away from the Marine Corps.

2xHarvard
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Re: Law School and Army Reserve

Postby 2xHarvard » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:41 pm

Well, I joined a JAG reserve unit as a paralegal. It sure didn't seem competitive - I just signed up. But then, I was an active-duty Army paralegal for 4 years so maybe that's different? And ROTC in law school would have paid for my school if I had not been too old.

Suggest people with inquires along these lines seek advice from the various military branches - components - schools and not only from TLS (!)

northerniowan
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Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:33 pm

Re: Law School and Army Reserve

Postby northerniowan » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:51 pm

I joined the air national guard, and the benefits I had for undergrad would be the same you would have for ls. If you joined the guard you would get the montgomery gi bill, which is like 700 bucks a month, and depending on your state, a tuition waiver.


What exactly is the tuition waiver? Does that mean that your entire tuition is covered?? What states offer the tuition waiver?

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mattviphky
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Re: Law School and Army Reserve

Postby mattviphky » Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:22 am

Yes, tuition waiver means you do not have to pay tuition, but this is to any STATE school in your state. Again, not all states do this, but I know Illinois does, and it seems the NJ does as well

northerniowan
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:33 pm

Re: Law School and Army Reserve

Postby northerniowan » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:43 am

That's a pretty good deal lol. I googled it and found a list of states that offer it. Thank you:-)




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