Military Law

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howell

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Re: Military Law

Post by howell » Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Any March AF DAP selectees medically qualified yet? If so, do you have a COT/OTS date? Just curious where others are in the process!
I was selected in December and haven't even been to MEPS yet.
Current (but exiting) AF JAG here. Would you mind sharing what has taken so long?

I'm aware of another candidate within the past year who ended up having to take a different job because they took 6+ months to get back to the candidate on their medical documentation. Applicants put so much into this; I certainly hope we're not dragging our heels.

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Re: Military Law

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:13 pm

howell wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Any March AF DAP selectees medically qualified yet? If so, do you have a COT/OTS date? Just curious where others are in the process!
I was selected in December and haven't even been to MEPS yet.
Current (but exiting) AF JAG here. Would you mind sharing what has taken so long?

I'm aware of another candidate within the past year who ended up having to take a different job because they took 6+ months to get back to the candidate on their medical documentation. Applicants put so much into this; I certainly hope we're not dragging our heels.
Honestly, I wish I knew why it was taking so long. E-mails and phone calls go unanswered, and when I do speak with someone its always the processing location that is taking so long, however I'm not from a heavily populated area. All the necessary medical documentation was submitted back in January, and any additional paperwork was gathered within a week of request. I understand the medical portion takes the longest, but everything was submitted months ago, and I continue to wait.

I gave up a great Associate's position to pursue AF JAG, but I am starting to have doubts about it. Mainly because it does seem like the AF is dragging their feet with this process. I know of a couple Army JAG selects who were picked up after me, and they have already gone through their medical processing and are now focused on the bar.

I hope that no one else is going through this and I am just an exception to the general rule in this regard. It is very frustrating and disheartening at the same time.

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Re: Military Law

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:21 am

No news from the Army about medical paperwork getting processed and approved (referring to the regular process that began in March, not the waiver process), right?

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Re: Military Law

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:No news from the Army about medical paperwork getting processed and approved (referring to the regular process that began in March, not the waiver process), right?
None. Submitted early March and have not heard anythign

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Re: Military Law

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:I gave up a great Associate's position to pursue AF JAG, but I am starting to have doubts about it. Mainly because it does seem like the AF is dragging their feet with this process. I know of a couple Army JAG selects who were picked up after me, and they have already gone through their medical processing and are now focused on the bar.

I hope that no one else is going through this and I am just an exception to the general rule in this regard. It is very frustrating and disheartening at the same time.
I’d recommend the following:

1) Just keep working on prepping for the bar exam. There’s nothing you can do to expedite this process than what you’ve already done in being responsive and getting your medical stuff back in a timely fashion. Just study for the bar and then once results come back follow up with them and let them know you’re ready for the next step.

2) Burn your ships. When Cortez came to the new world he had his men burn the ships so they couldn’t consider turning back. Though I think it’s totally natural it’s also going to be unhealthy during your time in the military to look back and compare the private sector offers you gave up to be there. We all could have probably accepted a great private sector gig, and they probably would have been a lot less painful during the on-boarding process. You made this great decision and are starting this great journey and part of what comes with it is that no one gives a crap about you from an institutional perspective. That’s just how the military is and it’s great!

3) remember it all works out. There’s a moment fast approaching when this will all be behind you. Just keep doing your best which it sounds like you are and you’ll be there in no time. Keep following up, be responsive, and just let that which you cannot control go. You’ll do great and we are all pulling for you. Good Luck!

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Re: Military Law

Post by howell » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:03 pm

To the anon quoted below, I truly do appreciate the optimism. Any anger you might feel from my comments below is not directed toward you, but toward how things are run.
Anonymous User wrote: You made this great decision and are starting this great journey and part of what comes with it is that no one gives a crap about you from an institutional perspective. That’s just how the military is and it’s great!
I assume there is a healthy level of sarcasm here, but I think this is a significant problem with the JAG Corps (and the military). These students are passing up job offers, careers, and possibly tens of thousands of dollars (or more) on the chance they'll be medically qualified to do this job. They're doing this during a very stressful time in their lives (bar prep). That the people whose very job it is to onboard these individuals can't bother to pick up the phone or send an e-mail updating them on the process is unacceptable. This is basic staffing and is exactly what the military typically instills is not how to do business.

Some of these students end up not coming into the JAG Corps solely because of this. They have to pay bills at a certain point. We lose out on great people because of this alone. As someone who has conducted accessions interviews and spent many many hours writing reports to make sure we get the right people, it's also a complete waste of my time when this happens.

But perhaps the plan is to show them exactly what you said - that no one gives a fuck. This matches up with some of the reasons I'm leaving active duty. Best to warn away those that might actually care about others and just take those who don't have any other option, I guess.
3) remember it all works out.
But it doesn't for everyone, and a lot of these students don't know how the medical process will turn out. It is a 2-3 year process sometimes from deciding to apply to starting on active duty, but it doesn't need to be made worse by an office that simply doesn't function for months at a time. What happens to the people who have a hiccup and have delayed job hunting by 3, 6, or more months? That is a huge cost to them, both financially and in other ways. We don't need to coddle our accessions, but we also should look like a semi-professional organization at some point.

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Re: Military Law

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:53 pm

howell wrote:To the anon quoted below, I truly do appreciate the optimism. Any anger you might feel from my comments below is not directed toward you, but toward how things are run.
Anonymous User wrote: You made this great decision and are starting this great journey and part of what comes with it is that no one gives a crap about you from an institutional perspective. That’s just how the military is and it’s great!
I assume there is a healthy level of sarcasm here, but I think this is a significant problem with the JAG Corps (and the military). These students are passing up job offers, careers, and possibly tens of thousands of dollars (or more) on the chance they'll be medically qualified to do this job. They're doing this during a very stressful time in their lives (bar prep). That the people whose very job it is to onboard these individuals can't bother to pick up the phone or send an e-mail updating them on the process is unacceptable. This is basic staffing and is exactly what the military typically instills is not how to do business.

Some of these students end up not coming into the JAG Corps solely because of this. They have to pay bills at a certain point. We lose out on great people because of this alone. As someone who has conducted accessions interviews and spent many many hours writing reports to make sure we get the right people, it's also a complete waste of my time when this happens.

But perhaps the plan is to show them exactly what you said - that no one gives a fuck. This matches up with some of the reasons I'm leaving active duty. Best to warn away those that might actually care about others and just take those who don't have any other option, I guess.
3) remember it all works out.
But it doesn't for everyone, and a lot of these students don't know how the medical process will turn out. It is a 2-3 year process sometimes from deciding to apply to starting on active duty, but it doesn't need to be made worse by an office that simply doesn't function for months at a time. What happens to the people who have a hiccup and have delayed job hunting by 3, 6, or more months? That is a huge cost to them, both financially and in other ways. We don't need to coddle our accessions, but we also should look like a semi-professional organization at some point.
OP here, thank you to the anon who posted and to Howell as well. The most frustrating part of this whole ordeal was that I was told by the accessions office that there was a good chance I would go to training in October, pending I am medically qualified and pass the bar. Which was music to my ears. This was back in February. Fast forward to present and this whole process has been one giant headache. Mainly because of one individual, who as I have stated before, cannot even send a quick email to update or even fill out a form.

I am basically at the point to where I am debating on going over this individual's head in order to get some answers. Not a move I want to make, but at this point I feel as if my back is against a wall and I have no other choice. If I cannot get medically qualified for some reason, then I need to start sending applying for jobs. I fear I may have put too many eggs into this basket, which is my own fault, but I did not believe the process would be like this.

I apologize if I appear to be telling a sob story, I am sure that everyone has a difficult time going through the accession process. I just needed to vent a little. Thank you, again.

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Re: Military Law

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:55 pm

Once fully qualified (including medically) for active duty AF, and returning all of the forms that follow, does anyone have any insight on how long one should expect to wait for an assignment offer? Licensed attorney.

I could call and bug them, but I’m trying to avoid it for as long as I can. Just looking for some kind of idea from someone who’s been through it.

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Military Law

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:10 pm

I highly recommend calling and bugging people throughout the process as a general matter. I did that and it sped things up considerably. If you know someone who can bug people on your behalf (like a current active duty JAG), I also did that and it helped. Being aggressive with following up was the best thing I did for myself throughout the process.

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Re: Military Law

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:18 pm

howell wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Any March AF DAP selectees medically qualified yet? If so, do you have a COT/OTS date? Just curious where others are in the process!
I was selected in December and haven't even been to MEPS yet.
Current (but exiting) AF JAG here. Would you mind sharing what has taken so long?

I'm aware of another candidate within the past year who ended up having to take a different job because they took 6+ months to get back to the candidate on their medical documentation. Applicants put so much into this; I certainly hope we're not dragging our heels.
Howell, want to say thank you on behalf of the many of us who read your posts. When you’re ready and the time is appropriate could you share what went into your decision on exiting?

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Re: Military Law

Post by howell » Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:52 am

Anonymous User wrote: Howell, want to say thank you on behalf of the many of us who read your posts. When you’re ready and the time is appropriate could you share what went into your decision on exiting?
I'm happy to help (for whatever it's worth).

Everyone should do an analysis of whether they want to stay in or not at all the decision points. If for no other reason, it at least means you're actively choosing what you're doing instead of feeling like you're just drifting through. And there are a lot of really great career paths in and coming off of the JAG Corps, especially if you tie in the Guard/Reserves. I have had the benefit of talking to a lot of Reservists who integrate it into their lives in many different ways. I'd encourage everyone to keep seeking out new options and talk to others about what they do.

There are a lot of positive reasons to stay in that most who read this forum are aware of. Working for a job with a mission, retirement, steady (and increasing) pay, ability to travel (for better or worse), potentially interesting work, building skills, the great people you meet along the way, etc. This post will likely focus on the negative, so I don't want anyone to think that was all I was weighing - I was weighing the drawbacks against the significant positives of staying in.

The main reason I'm separating - or at least the reason I can't get past - is that the wife wants a career, and the one she wants is not incredibly portable. She got involved in a career right as we were leaving for my first assignment, and she really loved that work. She has dabbled in it when it's been available along the way and done other things as well, but she can't keep reinventing herself every 2 years (or more often). In one city, in just a year and a half, she got to be on a first name basis with the mayor and Congressman . . . and then she had to leave. It's even challenging for her to go back to school to get a master's with how quickly we move. Even if the JAG Corps has me contributing to society at 100%, if she's perpetually at 20% or whatever, the world (and we) might be better off with us both at 80%. This is the primary reason I'm getting out.

Another reason is timing. I joined the JAG Corps a little later, so I'll be into my 50s before I hit my 20. If I'm fortunate enough to make Col, I could stay until I'm 60, but do I want to do that? And if I get out in my 50s, it's not exactly "fuck you" money, so I would be starting another career. After a possible ~10 years of administrative jobs as a Maj/Lt Col, what's the job market going to look like? As opposed to now, when the interest from a variety of employers has been overwhelmingly positive. I can still get a lot of the financial and retirement benefits (especially if I stay in fed jobs) and enjoy some of the fun parts of the job by staying in the Guard/Reserve, so I pass up a lot less by switching to another career now.

There are other reasons that I considered, but after typing them out, they're mostly just me bitching. You'll always have to consider facing the bureaucracy of the Air Force/DoD/US government at any point, but I don't want to belabor those issues, since there were ways to address them.

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Re: Military Law

Post by Elle in Combat Boots » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:I highly recommend calling and bugging people throughout the process as a general matter. I did that and it sped things up considerably. If you know someone who can bug people on your behalf (like a current active duty JAG), I also did that and it helped. Being aggressive with following up was the best thing I did for myself throughout the process.
I can't speak for AF/Army, but for Navy folks, you should direct all questions/concerns to the Recruiting/Accessions office if you are not hearing back from your local recruiter. The Special Assistant for Recruiting & Special Assistant for Accessions are JAGs whose full time job is to help people get through the application & commissioning process. Take it from my personal experience, bugging other random active duty JAGs who have nothing to do with accessions/commissioning can frustrate the process [and people].

I agree that following up with recruiters (and if not them, the recruiting/accessions office) is the BEST thing you can do to get through the process quickly. One "ping" every other week is reasonable.

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Re: Military Law

Post by BOSS_ROSS88 » Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:48 pm

I'm brand new to this board. I want to see if I am competitive for applying for AF, Navy, or Army AD JAG and the typical process. I'm 31 years old, graduated from a low tier 2 law with just below a 3.0GPA, have done mostly tax and accounting work, looking to get my law license soon. I've been in the ARNG as an artillery officer for the last 5 years (1LT). I was approved for NG JAG but am really interested in the possibility of going active for a while. Does anyone have any insight or advice?

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Re: Military Law

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:45 pm

Elle in Combat Boots wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I highly recommend calling and bugging people throughout the process as a general matter. I did that and it sped things up considerably. If you know someone who can bug people on your behalf (like a current active duty JAG), I also did that and it helped. Being aggressive with following up was the best thing I did for myself throughout the process.
I can't speak for AF/Army, but for Navy folks, you should direct all questions/concerns to the Recruiting/Accessions office if you are not hearing back from your local recruiter. The Special Assistant for Recruiting & Special Assistant for Accessions are JAGs whose full time job is to help people get through the application & commissioning process. Take it from my personal experience, bugging other random active duty JAGs who have nothing to do with accessions/commissioning can frustrate the process [and people].

I agree that following up with recruiters (and if not them, the recruiting/accessions office) is the BEST thing you can do to get through the process quickly. One "ping" every other week is reasonable.
Yeah, I was the previous anon and I should clarify that I didn't mean to reach out to random active duty JAGs.

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Re: Military Law

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:23 am

Anyone had any experience having their wife and/or family (kids, not patents & in-laws). Stand with them while they take their oath at swearing in? I have not been able to find any definite do or don’t policy out there. I would think it’d be fine but I want to respect the process and only do what would be appropriate. But I think, at the least, having my wife stand with me (this is as much a commitment for her as it is me) while I take my oath would be incredible.

Thoughts?

TY!

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Re: Military Law

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:39 am

Does anyone know when you sign your enlistment contract? Is it at MEPS or do you go take the oath sometime between MEPS and COT assuming you pass the physical?

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Re: Military Law

Post by howell » Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know when you sign your enlistment contract? Is it at MEPS or do you go take the oath sometime between MEPS and COT assuming you pass the physical?
Which branch?

Assuming you're asking about a JAG position, you would be commissioning, not enlisting. I used to know the Air Force answer to your question, but they've changed it. I signed my oath in early December and arrived to COT about a month later in January. JAX recently told me, however, that they no longer put selects in the Reserves before they arrive to COT, so I imagine you would go through with the oath upon arrival at COT, but I could be wrong. For the Air Force, I would just call JAX and see how they handle it now.

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Re: Military Law

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone had any experience having their wife and/or family (kids, not patents & in-laws). Stand with them while they take their oath at swearing in? I have not been able to find any definite do or don’t policy out there. I would think it’d be fine but I want to respect the process and only do what would be appropriate. But I think, at the least, having my wife stand with me (this is as much a commitment for her as it is me) while I take my oath would be incredible.

Thoughts?

TY!
It's pretty normal to have family and/or friends at your commissioning. You can do a super fancy ceremony if you want or just do it at a recruiting office, but either way you can have guests. I had several friends ask to be there because they were also in the same branch, but in the end I just did something small with my mom present.

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Re: Military Law

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:51 am

Currently have the option of choosing between a big firm and the JAG Corps, so I wanted to reach out for some help on making this decision.

My family is pushing me to the private firm route, which is traditionally viewed as the safer bet—good pay and training, interesting cases, and good exit options to other firms, in-house, etc. Downsides here are probably the soul-crushing hours, which can hit around 80 hours a week, and potential job insecurity due to the pressures of business development alongside doing good legal work.

My gut is telling me to go JAG. These words, taken from George H.W. Bush’s eulogy, sums up a huge part of my beliefs:
Dad taught us that public service is noble and necessary; that one can serve with integrity and hold true to the important values, like faith and family. He strongly believed that it was important to give back to the community and country in which one lived.
My concern is whether I am viewing the JAG Corps with rose-tinted glasses. While it’s an honor to provide legal services in direct support of the country, I have anecdotally heard that some JAs who chose to transition back to the civilian workforce had limited options, particularly as federal employment (e.g., DOJ, AUSA) is not sure thing and the generalist nature of being a JA did not match up with practicing at a private firm.

Given the choice, would you rather be a JA over being an associate at a big firm? Are there any major downsides to the JAG Corps that I am missing? Are JAs generally satisfied with their jobs? Can I land on my feet in terms of finding government employment if I decide to transition back to civilian life?

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Re: Military Law

Post by howell » Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:26 pm

Air Force JAG here, imminently exiting active duty. I can't speak for the other services, but I doubt they're much different than we are in this area.
Anonymous User wrote:I have anecdotally heard that some JAs who chose to transition back to the civilian workforce had limited options, particularly as federal employment (e.g., DOJ, AUSA) is not sure thing and the generalist nature of being a JA did not match up with practicing at a private firm.
For those of us currently exiting, this is in no way true. My friends and I (6-8 years experience) have had offers from USAOs, DoJ, in-house positions at defense contractors and other companies, a host of federal agencies, AJs/ALJs, biglaw firms, and many other options. If you want to work for the federal government in DC, it feels like shooting fish in a barrel right now for those of us exiting.

If you are proactive in planning your JAG career and aren't a tool, you should be able to get the jobs that give you the experience a lot of these employers are looking for. Even if not, I have seen JAGs with the generalist background get great jobs coming off of active duty, and the generalist background is likely perfect for federal agencies' general counsel offices.

One issue is you have to time your exit from the JAG Corps. This creates a problem if you're trying to leave and the market has tanked. I have known JAGs to test the waters, not like their options, then stay in for another few years until the market was better. For me, I got offers from employers that likely wouldn't have even interviewed me when I graduated (2012).

But the skills we can build are very marketable. At least in the Air Force, there's a wide range of what you can do, so you can move your post-active duty career in a lot of different directions. The most important part is to be deliberate about it every step of the way and don't just let yourself fall into jobs you're not interested in.
Given the choice, would you rather be a JA over being an associate at a big firm?

I can bitch for days about the problems in the JAG Corps, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. From a job perspective, I feel like it opened a lot of doors that were not available to me when I was graduating. I don't think I would have gotten the same experience in many other environments. Outside of traditional legal job skills, the people I met and the experiences I had just wouldn't have happened in a lot of other careers.
Are there any major downsides to the JAG Corps that I am missing?
With the Air Force, just consider that you have to move every 2 years. This can be tough on kids, a working spouse, and/or trying to find a spouse.
Are JAs generally satisfied with their jobs?

I would say so. Several of us had some challenging experiences that have made us bitter and jaded, but, even then, I think if you know what you're doing, you can have enough control over your career to do things you enjoy and contribute where you think you'll be helpful.
Can I land on my feet in terms of finding government employment if I decide to transition back to civilian life?
Yes. I think this is the easiest exit option for us and often the path of least resistance. You will get enough experience in enough areas to make landing traditional GS positions with federal agencies pretty easy. State/local government positions should also be relatively easy to get. Certainly if the market is a bloodbath, it might be a lot more challenging, but you have the option of staying in another couple years until things are better while making pretty good money.


One other advantage to joining for at least the 4 years is getting into the Guard/Reserves. There are a lot of financial benefits to this, and you can often pick and choose your spots so you're possibly just doing the things in the Air Force you care about doing.

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Re: Military Law

Post by Patrick Bateman » Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:16 pm

Howell's response knocked it out of the park. I would also encourage you to dig through the thread as your questions have been discussed in varying forms over the years. I did a few posts on my jump from active duty to BigFed back in 2015.

I would encourage you to revisit some of your assumptions in the "pro" column of the law firm option. First, are you talking a top tier firm? Or Mid-Law or lower? That can move the needle when you are considering compensation and lateral opportunities. I would also challenge the "good pay" element -- BigLaw associate pay can indeed be an impressive number in the abstract, but when you break that down to an hourly rate based on your annual billables and everything else, are you actually making that much given the time you are putting in?

Also, "interesting cases" may not actually be all that true, at least in terms of how you would fit into an interesting case as a junior associate.

It is also worth considering the culture of firms versus government service, as well as who you would be representing. Nice people who do good things aren't usually the ones hiring Vault 50 firms to represent them. Just make sure those rose-tinted glasses aren't coloring any of your judgment in terms of the perceived perks of private sector life.

I agree 100% with Howell's thoughts on the ability to transition from AD to solid Fed work. For the most part, JAGs are extremely marketable, provided they are smart about how they go about it. My friends that have gotten out have largely crushed it on the civilian side. There are always exceptions or people that have a more difficult time, but the common denominator there often ends up being person themselves, and not their JAG service.

Something I always like to point out is that the vast majority of us that left active duty have stayed on in the Reserve or Air National Guard. Some of that is practical in terms of retirement and the like, but most of us genuinely love the work, the culture, and the people -- even if not on active duty, we want to stay connected to all that. That should tell you a lot.

Good luck.

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Re: Military Law

Post by Fluentlegalese » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:18 pm

Hi all! Talking to you as an undergraduate about to start her senior year. I’m in the process of applying to law school, and my dream is to be an Air Force JAG. This dream probably would have been easier to realize if I had done ROTC as an undergraduate, but I never really considered the military as an option for me. I’m assessing my options for JAG- from what I can tell, I have the options of doing
- the One-Year College Program (OYCP) which requires a one year AFROTC program and a six week field training course in summer before 3L
- The Graduate Law Program (GLP) which requires a two year AFROTC program and field training in summer before 2L or 3L
- Direct Appointment Program, which is the whole selection board process.
I could be wrong, but looking at the Air Force website, it looks as though a career as a JAG is guaranteed if one goes through the AFROTC route while the acceptance rate for Direct Appointment Program are quite low. However, I’m also hesitant about the ROTC programs. Most of the T-20 law schools where I’m looking don’t have an AFROTC program and rely on a distant crosstown program which, for the sake of time, I don’t want to have to do. I also read that the fitness requirements for the Direct Appointment Program are less intense (this could be wrong), and while I’m in good shape and meet the weight requirement, it would be nice to have an easier route. I also know that law school is extremely busy, and the prospect of doing ROTC simultaneously concerns me. I’d also like to be able to do internships during the summer, which I can’t do if I’m spending 6 weeks at field training during the summer.

I’m currently leaning most heavily towards OYCP but am still hesitant. Im trying to get an idea of my plan because it’s relevant to the places I’m applying for law school; for example, I’m taking into consideration distance to the crosstown AFROTC program and whatnot.

Would seriously appreciate any and all recommendations!

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Re: Military Law

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:12 am

For those interested, found an Air Force Career Field Education and Training Plan from 2017 online at https://static.e-publishing.af.mil/prod ... tp51jx.pdf

Don’t know how stale the data is, but it includes a pretty diverse list of training and learning opportunities you can pursue in the AF JAG Corps. I’m sure other branches are similar. Just another reminder of how unique this career field is.

Judge Advocate Staff Officer Course *
Military Justice Administration Course
Trial and Defense Advocacy Course
Environmental Law Course
Operations Law Course
Accident Investigation Course
Federal Employee Labor Law Course
Defense Orientation Course
Advanced Labor and Employment Law Course
Special Victim Counsel Course
Homeland Defense/Homeland Security Course
Medical Law Mini Course
Negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Course
Cyber Law Basic Course
Advanced Environmental Law Course
Intermediate Sexual Assault Litigation Course
Advanced Sexual Assault Litigation Course
Advanced Trial Advocacy Course
Staff Judge Advocate Course**
Joint Military Judges Annual Training (rotates among service schools)
Administrative Investigations Course

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Patrick Bateman

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Re: Military Law

Post by Patrick Bateman » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:21 am

Fluentlegalese wrote:Hi all! Talking to you as an undergraduate about to start her senior year. I’m in the process of applying to law school, and my dream is to be an Air Force JAG. This dream probably would have been easier to realize if I had done ROTC as an undergraduate, but I never really considered the military as an option for me. I’m assessing my options for JAG- from what I can tell, I have the options of doing
- the One-Year College Program (OYCP) which requires a one year AFROTC program and a six week field training course in summer before 3L
- The Graduate Law Program (GLP) which requires a two year AFROTC program and field training in summer before 2L or 3L
- Direct Appointment Program, which is the whole selection board process.
I could be wrong, but looking at the Air Force website, it looks as though a career as a JAG is guaranteed if one goes through the AFROTC route while the acceptance rate for Direct Appointment Program are quite low. However, I’m also hesitant about the ROTC programs. Most of the T-20 law schools where I’m looking don’t have an AFROTC program and rely on a distant crosstown program which, for the sake of time, I don’t want to have to do. I also read that the fitness requirements for the Direct Appointment Program are less intense (this could be wrong), and while I’m in good shape and meet the weight requirement, it would be nice to have an easier route. I also know that law school is extremely busy, and the prospect of doing ROTC simultaneously concerns me. I’d also like to be able to do internships during the summer, which I can’t do if I’m spending 6 weeks at field training during the summer.

I’m currently leaning most heavily towards OYCP but am still hesitant. Im trying to get an idea of my plan because it’s relevant to the places I’m applying for law school; for example, I’m taking into consideration distance to the crosstown AFROTC program and whatnot.

Would seriously appreciate any and all recommendations!
OYCP and GLP are going to be as difficult to get into as DAP, if not more so. DAP is the primary accessions vehicle for the Air Force JAG Corps - it has the most applicants and therefore a higher rejection rate, but also a lot of selects. The select list for OYCP and GLP can sometimes be in the single digits. If JAG is your goal, you will maximize your chances by applying to GLP and then OYCP if necessary, and then DAP is necessary.

I would say your concern about having to commute cross-town for the local ROTC Det is probably the most valid one. That said, it is a surmountable hurdle all things considered. It is also something you can evaluate depending where you get accepted -- if you get into more than one school, the commute issue is something you can weigh in making your decision.

I did not go through ROTC but it does not appear they have distinct testing standards (I may be wrong, so please correct me ROTC folks): https://www.afrotc.com/what-it-takes/fitness/

This seems to suggest you just need to meet the basic height/weight and have a passing score on the standard PT test. Even if they have something more challenging, it is still the Air Force, so it is not going to be that hard, and you are also young enough that it should not be a problem. If you need to drop weight or run faster to be competitive, and JAG is something you really want to do, you will find a way to get to yes.

There have been some excellent posts a while back on OYCP/GLP folks talking about their experiences juggling law school and the ROTC obligations. I'd encourage you to find them.

Overall, your arguments against OCYP/GLP seem to be pretty weak - mostly that it might be harder or less convenient. As I said above, if JAG is what you want to do, those seem like pretty small sacrifices.

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Patrick Bateman

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Re: Military Law

Post by Patrick Bateman » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:For those interested, found an Air Force Career Field Education and Training Plan from 2017 online at https://static.e-publishing.af.mil/prod ... tp51jx.pdf

Don’t know how stale the data is, but it includes a pretty diverse list of training and learning opportunities you can pursue in the AF JAG Corps. I’m sure other branches are similar. Just another reminder of how unique this career field is.

Judge Advocate Staff Officer Course *
Military Justice Administration Course
Trial and Defense Advocacy Course
Environmental Law Course
Operations Law Course
Accident Investigation Course
Federal Employee Labor Law Course
Defense Orientation Course
Advanced Labor and Employment Law Course
Special Victim Counsel Course
Homeland Defense/Homeland Security Course
Medical Law Mini Course
Negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Course
Cyber Law Basic Course
Advanced Environmental Law Course
Intermediate Sexual Assault Litigation Course
Advanced Sexual Assault Litigation Course
Advanced Trial Advocacy Course
Staff Judge Advocate Course**
Joint Military Judges Annual Training (rotates among service schools)
Administrative Investigations Course
That is all a good reflection of the training opportunities out there. There is a course for everything, and like for the trial ad courses, sometimes multiple courses as you get more advanced. As a CGO, I never got pushback if I wanted to attend the course and there was the funding for it.

The AFI also notes the LLM programs which have been discussed on this thread.

There are also the non-JAG specific developmental schools for Primary, Intermediate, and Senior developmental education -- Squadron Officer School (O-3s), Air Command & Staff College (O-4), Air War College/National War College/Eisenhower School/etc (O-5).

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

Now there's a charge.
Just kidding ... it's still FREE!


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