I'm looking for some general advice for my application to the Air National Guard JAG reserves.
I applied for active duty JAG back in 2012-2013 between semesters in my 3L year. Interviewed but was not offered a commission at that time (which I expected). I did not graduate from a top law school and there was nothing really special in my resume or application that would give me any sort of discernible boost.
Since my last application, I have been a licensed and practicing attorney for nearly seven years. Six of those years have been in public service. I worked as a public defender for approximately one year, and have been an assistant prosecutor for the last five years.
The two specific issues I'm struggling with are:
1) The personal statement. Its been so long that I'm out of practice on drafting these things and I'm not sure the best route to go. When I applied originally, I focused primarily on the fact that my grandfather was an air Force Vet and how the lessons he taught me had instilled a desire to serve my country, etc. etc. I think it's a better course to focus on my career that has almost entirely been devoted to public service and to emphasize and discuss my leadership qualities that I have honed throughout that time and how it would apply to service in JAG.
2) The letters of recommendation: Right now, the only people I've asked are my boss (the elected prosecutor), and the circuit judge before whom I practice, and both have agreed to write letters of recommendation. I'm not sure exactly how much weight is assigned to these letters, and whether the authors of those letters are attorneys or not matters. I say this because I would like to ask my assistant to write a letter for me. She is a retired Air Force Vet who served for over 20 years, many of those overseas as a translator.
I also have a great relationship with our courtroom bailiff who also is a retired Air Force Vet. I'm sure he would also write a letter if asked.
I was also considering asking the chief public defender in my district. I've never worked for him, and we've had some nasty contested hearings over the years, but we have a mutual respect for one another and have a great working relationship.
In addition to these two issues, any advice you all have that could increase my chances would be greatly appreciated. I have no prior military service. This is just something I've always wanted to do. Right after graduating law school I just wasn't in a position to continue to pursue it as I was prepping for the bar, got married about 2 months after that, and at that point I had to be able to provide for my family. Now that I have a good job and can provide for my family, I figured I'd give it another go.
Thanks for any advice!
(Issue areas, International Law, International Public Interest, Public Service in the private sector, Non-Profits, Public Interest Organizations, Government/ government agencies, employment settings)