Navy OCS before Law School

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lawschoolresearch
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Navy OCS before Law School

Postby lawschoolresearch » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:56 pm

Long time lurker, first time poster.

I am considering apply for a commission as a Naval officer and attending Officer Candidate School. Long term my goal would be to attend law school with the post 9/11 GI bill benefits. Has anyone on this board gone this route?


Any thoughts or advice? Thank you.
Last edited by lawschoolresearch on Sun May 19, 2013 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Br3v
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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby Br3v » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:18 pm

lawschoolresearch wrote:Long time lurker, first time poster.

I am considering apply for a commission as a Naval officer and attending Officer Candidate School. Long term my goal would be to attend law school with the post 9/11 GI bill benefits. Has anyone on this board gone this route?

I have been out of undergrad 3 years and have a job with decent pay and benefits (No undergrad student loan debt). Joining the navy has been something that I've been considering since I graduated high school but never taken action on. I am debt free, but have no financial support from my parents or large reserves of cash. Also, I am very debt averse and not in favor of taking out six figure debt to finance my education. If I decide against OCS, I would continue my current job and eventually get an MBA.


Any thoughts or advice? Thank you.


There are a lot of vets on here so be sure to search around for some of their advice. From an outsider if OCS is something you want to do regardless of law school, then go for it. The post 9/11 GI bill is just icing on the cake. I would advise against going to OCS if you were just doing it for the GI Bill or something but clearly you do not fit that description.

lawschoolresearch
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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby lawschoolresearch » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:41 pm

I did see the epic military law thread. I am wondering whether any posters can comment on the difficulty of making the transition to civilian life and attending law school. After four years of active service, I would be starting law school at 29-30. Is this normal for former military officers? Also, can a former military member comment on the application process for law school? When does one take the lsat? During the last year of service or after you get out? Thanks again.

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twenty
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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby twenty » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:18 pm

I think massive debt is not as big of a problem as you're thinking it might be. This would be my plan if it were up to me:

- Go to a law school with a good LRAP program, preferably in the T14.
- Gun for JAG corps.
* If you get JAG, you'll qualify for LRAP/IBR/PSLF. When you start, you'll be making 45k to 65k on the salary level alone depending on where you're stationed, which is certainly within the LRAP window.
* If you don't get JAG, apply for (a vet may correct me here) each branch's OCS. You won't get LRAP, but you will get IBR/PSLF, which drastically reduces your payments.

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Br3v
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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby Br3v » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:34 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:I think massive debt is not as big of a problem as you're thinking it might be. This would be my plan if it were up to me:

- Go to a law school with a good LRAP program, preferably in the T14.
- Gun for JAG corps.
* If you get JAG, you'll qualify for LRAP/IBR/PSLF. When you start, you'll be making 45k to 65k on the salary level alone depending on where you're stationed, which is certainly within the LRAP window.
* If you don't get JAG, apply for (a vet may correct me here) each branch's OCS. You won't get LRAP, but you will get IBR/PSLF, which drastically reduces your payments.


You can qualify for IBR if you are under the salary requirement even if it's not legal work?

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twenty
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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby twenty » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:07 pm

Br3v wrote:You can qualify for IBR if you are under the salary requirement even if it's not legal work?


Unless I am very much misunderstanding it, you qualify for IBR and PSLF as long as you're in a public interest position of some kind, be it teaching, lawyering, militarying, etc, and you're under a certain salary threshold. For LRAP, however, you need to be in a JD-required position (for most LRAP programs).

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slawww
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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby slawww » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:45 pm

Br3v wrote:
You can qualify for IBR if you are under the salary requirement even if it's not legal work?


IBR/PAYE/PSLF wasn't created just for law students - I think - it's for anyone with gov-issued student loans.

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J-e-L-L-o
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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:17 pm

I wouldn't join just to use the benefits, but look at it as a way to gain professional experience that will benefit you for the rest of your life.

I am a Navy veteran that enlisted when I was 23. I did 8 years and now going back to school using the GI bill to get my BS. (I should have done it when I was in, but I wanted an engineering degree). I guess you can say I did it backwards lol. Everyone has their own reasons for joining. I joined because I didn't know what I wanted to do and dropped out of college. Even in bootcamp some people said they joined for the GI bill.

Realize what you plan to sign up for. OCS is different from enlisting. You will have command authority over others and large groups of sailors, not just a job. You will be responsible for others' lives. It's not something to be taken lightly.

If you can handle the responsibility, are physically fit, and don't have a bed debt (it can ruin your chances for a clearance) then sign up. You don't have to make a career out of it if you don't want to. Military have lots of benefits. One of the better ones outside of the GI bill is VA loans for a house. Low downpayment (if any) and no PMI needed.

A lil info:
A unrestricted line officer can command ships. They get the most responsibility. Staff officers have less and they are more job oriented.

Good luck with your decision.

Burne182
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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby Burne182 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:32 pm

Which warfare area do you have in mind?

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SemperLegal
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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby SemperLegal » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:38 am

I didn't join for benefits, but after comparing my situation at law school with zero loans to those of my classmates, I think all the K-JdDS is out of their mind for not doing some bs job in the Air force for four years and having the time of their life while making a pretty decent wage.

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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby 09042014 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:41 am

SemperLegal wrote:I didn't join for benefits, but after comparing my situation at law school with zero loans to those of my classmates, I think all the K-JdDS is out of their mind for not doing some bs job in the Air force for four years and having the time of their life while making a pretty decent wage.


What exactly are the benefits? Will it really cover full tuition?

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J-e-L-L-o
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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:54 am

Desert Fox wrote:
SemperLegal wrote:I didn't join for benefits, but after comparing my situation at law school with zero loans to those of my classmates, I think all the K-JdDS is out of their mind for not doing some bs job in the Air force for four years and having the time of their life while making a pretty decent wage.


What exactly are the benefits? Will it really cover full tuition?


If it it is a public school and they have yellow ribbon.... yes. Michigan, UVA, UCLA, UT, and Berkeley would be free. On top of that you get a stipend that is pretty substantial. It's tied to the Housing rate of the area for military with dependents.

http://images.military.com/media/benefi ... 3-with.pdf
Example: If you go UVA you would get 36 months of law school funded and 1365 a month for 36 months.

It pays up to the highest public undergrad in-state school. Yellow Ribbon program covers the extra costs of grad school. You have to look at the fine print for each school. Some schools only cover a certain number of students and it's first come first serve. But I haven't heard of anyone that qualifies not receiving the benefit.

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SemperLegal
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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby SemperLegal » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:16 am

J-e-L-L-o wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
SemperLegal wrote:I didn't join for benefits, but after comparing my situation at law school with zero loans to those of my classmates, I think all the K-JdDS is out of their mind for not doing some bs job in the Air force for four years and having the time of their life while making a pretty decent wage.


What exactly are the benefits? Will it really cover full tuition?


If it it is a public school and they have yellow ribbon.... yes. Michigan, UVA, UCLA, UT, and Berkeley would be free. On top of that you get a stipend that is pretty substantial. It's tied to the Housing rate of the area for military with dependents.

http://images.military.com/media/benefi ... 3-with.pdf
Example: If you go UVA you would get 36 months of law school funded and 1365 a month for 36 months.

It pays up to the highest public undergrad in-state school. Yellow Ribbon program covers the extra costs of grad school. You have to look at the fine print for each school. Some schools only cover a certain number of students and it's first come first serve. But I haven't heard of anyone that qualifies not receiving the benefit.



Actually the newest permutation of the GI Bill reads that Tuition is capped at 19k, or actual instate tuition of a public institute of higher learning. Yellow ribbon is now only needed for out of state students and for private schools

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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby sccjnthn » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:23 am

I did the Army instead of the Navy and spent four years after college as an OCS commissioned officer. I had a great time and it really helped me figure out what I wanted to do. I actually joined thinking I might make it a career or alternatively pursue an MBA after I finished. As someone, like you, who doesn't seem fully committed to law school I'd definitely consider it one of my top options. I was able to see many parts of the world and spend my early 20s out doing exciting things rather than cramped up in a classroom or office and as corny as it may sound there's nothing more fulfilling than serving the country. It's also better to do it now than later as you won't have to worry about dragging a family around to your different trainings and deployments.

I've also heard law school to JAG can be difficult particularly with the impending cuts to force sizes. As someone who will graduate law school with a decent bankroll (from military savings as well as free school) I can also attest to the awesomeness of the financial bonus.

lawschoolresearch
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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby lawschoolresearch » Wed May 01, 2013 11:07 pm

SemperLegal wrote:ke you, who doesn't seem fully committed to law school I'd definitely consider it one of my top options. I was able to see many parts of the world and spend my early 20s out doing exciting things rather than cramped up in a classroom or office and as corny as it may sound there's nothing more fulfilling than serving the country. It's also better to do it now than later as you won't have to worry about dragging a family around to your different trainings and deployments.


I just hit my mid twenties, would you still recommend it? Also, the law school then JAG plan seems like a huge gamble.

lawschoolresearch
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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby lawschoolresearch » Wed May 01, 2013 11:09 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:I think massive debt is not as big of a problem as you're thinking it might be. This would be my plan if it were up to me:

- Go to a law school with a good LRAP program, preferably in the T14.
- Gun for JAG corps.
* If you get JAG, you'll qualify for LRAP/IBR/PSLF. When you start, you'll be making 45k to 65k on the salary level alone depending on where you're stationed, which is certainly within the LRAP window.
* If you don't get JAG, apply for (a vet may correct me here) each branch's OCS. You won't get LRAP, but you will get IBR/PSLF, which drastically reduces your payments.


The loans is a huge deal for me, I've seen people's lives destroyed because of it. JAG corps even from a T14 is far from sure bet ITE.

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patrickd139
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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby patrickd139 » Wed May 01, 2013 11:26 pm

I'm sure it's been covered in this thread, but serving your country can be a helluva price to pay for law school at a discount.

sccjnthn
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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby sccjnthn » Wed May 01, 2013 11:43 pm

lawschoolresearch wrote:
SemperLegal wrote:ke you, who doesn't seem fully committed to law school I'd definitely consider it one of my top options. I was able to see many parts of the world and spend my early 20s out doing exciting things rather than cramped up in a classroom or office and as corny as it may sound there's nothing more fulfilling than serving the country. It's also better to do it now than later as you won't have to worry about dragging a family around to your different trainings and deployments.


I just hit my mid twenties, would you still recommend it? Also, the law school then JAG plan seems like a huge gamble.


Honestly I think it depends on your personal situation. Is it something you've always been interested in and will regret if you don't join? If so then I wouldn't think age would matter. I have a couple of friends who joined in their mid to late-20s realized they loved it and are turning it into a career.

I know a few people who were successful with the law school to JAG path so that's definitely an option but for me I was really interested in the type of work you do leading Soldiers and completing missions. JAG never had that strong appeal. The military also has a program where if you serve for a couple of years you can apply for law school and they'll guarantee you a spot to come back (http://www.army.mil/article/65885/Funde ... lications/).

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SemperLegal
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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby SemperLegal » Thu May 02, 2013 12:11 am

lawschoolresearch wrote:
SemperLegal wrote:ke you, who doesn't seem fully committed to law school I'd definitely consider it one of my top options. I was able to see many parts of the world and spend my early 20s out doing exciting things rather than cramped up in a classroom or office and as corny as it may sound there's nothing more fulfilling than serving the country. It's also better to do it now than later as you won't have to worry about dragging a family around to your different trainings and deployments.


I just hit my mid twenties, would you still recommend it? Also, the law school then JAG plan seems like a huge gamble.



I joined when I was a baby, however, plenty of people join later in life. For example, the average age for an AF enlisted is 29. Military wide, however, the average age at enlistment is 21

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J-e-L-L-o
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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Thu May 02, 2013 12:39 am

Keep in mind the acceptance rates of the JAG program. What is the current percentage...like 8% and thats counting current attorneys that try to make the transition. That's tough.

Each branch is different. You will have to look at the options for all the services. I know in the Navy, you can apply to programs after a certain time of active duty. For officers, you can apply to JAG between years 2-6 of your initial enlistment to have the Navy pay for you to go to school while still being commissioned. It's called LEP (law education program)

http://www.jag.navy.mil/careers_/career ... s_lep.html


It's best to join when you are younger. But if you are physically fit it wont matter. Mid twenties is nothing. I had a guy in my bootcamp over 30 when I was in.

I say do it. Serve your country. See the world. The experience you gain as an officer is timeless.

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SemperLegal
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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby SemperLegal » Thu May 02, 2013 1:18 am

J-e-L-L-o wrote:Keep in mind the acceptance rates of the JAG program. What is the current percentage...like 8% and thats counting current attorneys that try to make the transition. That's tough.

Each branch is different. You will have to look at the options for all the services. I know in the Navy, you can apply to programs after a certain time of active duty. For officers, you can apply to JAG between years 2-6 of your initial enlistment to have the Navy pay for you to go to school while still being commissioned. It's called LEP (law education program)

http://www.jag.navy.mil/careers_/career ... s_lep.html


It's best to join when you are younger. But if you are physically fit it wont matter. Mid twenties is nothing. I had a guy in my bootcamp over 30 when I was in.

I say do it. Serve your country. See the world. The experience you gain as an officer is timeless.



I have friends in the Marine program who suddenly went from funded to unfunded (they were allowed to use their GI Bill, however. To be fair, in light of the sequester and current situation, the idea of LEP, MCEP, or any other tuition-provided programs existing is slim to none.

This means you likely have to serve 3 years in another job in order to accure GI Bill. The advantage is there is no obligated service requirement post graduation (you can resign your commission pretty much at will). If the military pays, you have to serve two years (?) for every year they pay. That means that pretty much you end up pot committed to doing your twenty, unless an insane offer comes around.

To address Partick's issue, yes its a big step to take for free law school. Even if you choose a safe branch and job and the war is over by then*, workplace fatalities in the military is many times what it is in the civilian world, and there are countless other hardships and disadvantages that come with military service. Its a personal decision that only you can make.


A lot of me hates the military, the Marines, and the choices I made as an 18 year old, but in retrospect, joining the military was the best choice I have ever made.


*However, I say if you are going to it, do it right and get your hands a little dirty and pick a job that gets your heart pumping.

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J-e-L-L-o
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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Thu May 02, 2013 10:26 am

^ yea thats true.

lawschoolresearch
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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby lawschoolresearch » Sat May 04, 2013 10:16 pm

What are your thoughts on MOS options as a naval officer? Does anyone have any experience with these?

Surface Warfare Officer
Supply Corps Officer
Naval Flight Officer

Thank you

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J-e-L-L-o
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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Sat May 04, 2013 11:13 pm

lawschoolresearch wrote:What are your thoughts on MOS options as a naval officer? Does anyone have any experience with these?

Surface Warfare Officer
Supply Corps Officer
Naval Flight Officer

Thank you


Honestly, if I was you I would do Supply Corps. No worries about getting killed. Pretty much a desk assignment. You will get experience managing supplies and shipping worldwide. They also get assigned anywhere and everywhere (which is a plus).

Flight officer I believe is mandatory 8 year commitment. If you can do math and have the vision, probably the best option. Plus you get flight pay. Depending on your grades, you get to pick which platform you want to fly. Try to get the new P-8 or P-3. They are only shore based (never step foot on a ship) and they go EVERYWHERE. Might be harder to get in than the others.

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J-e-L-L-o
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Re: Navy OCS before Law School

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Sat May 04, 2013 11:17 pm

I was enlisted in Navy aviation for 8 years. If you have any questions, I can def answer most.




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