Military Law (JAG)

User avatar
uscg26
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:52 pm

Military Law (JAG)

Post by uscg26 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:41 am

I guess I'll kick off the JAG thread over here.

OG (TLS) Military Law thread HERE

OG Navy Student Program thread HERE
Last edited by uscg26 on Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Sinoper
Posts: 137
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:41 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by Sinoper » Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:00 am

I have a couple questions to kick this thing off.

1) What do responsibilities look like as a typical JAG lawyer climbs the ranks in any particular branch? Do they stay the same? Substantially increase? Do you move from litigating cases to more case management? Are you forced to learn a specialty? Etc.

2) What unique and interesting opportunities are available to more senior JAG lawyers? Military judge? Advising generals/admirals? Military policy work? Etc.

User avatar
uscg26
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:52 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by uscg26 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:06 am

Observations just based on time in CG legal offices:
1) Obviously, as you climb the ranks you will have more responsibility. CG lawyer's by and large do not specialize, except maybe in the "I do something more-or-less related to X every other tour" sense. There's not a lot of lit in the CG, but I don't think a lot of O5's do trial work.

2) Yes, yes, and yes. You can be the liason to congress, deploy, prosecute drugs cases in federal courts as an acting US Attorney, be on call to advise commanders at sea as they encounter issues with drugs/migrants/terrorism, write speeches for the commandant, teach at the academy/NJS/OCS. Just off the top of my head.

User avatar
Patrick Bateman
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:55 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by Patrick Bateman » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:13 pm

Sinoper wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:00 am
I have a couple questions to kick this thing off.

1) What do responsibilities look like as a typical JAG lawyer climbs the ranks in any particular branch? Do they stay the same? Substantially increase? Do you move from litigating cases to more case management? Are you forced to learn a specialty? Etc.

2) What unique and interesting opportunities are available to more senior JAG lawyers? Military judge? Advising generals/admirals? Military policy work? Etc.
While I know this site was created out of issues w/ the owners of TLS, I feel like this forum is going to be tediously reinventing the wheel from the insane amount of information already on the TLS Military Law thread.

(*And to clarify an important detail in the response above - JAGs can serve as Special Assistant United States Attorneys (SAUSA), [almost] exclusively in Magistrate Court. "Acting US Attorney" is the acting head of an entire USAO until there is Presidentially nominated and Senate confirmed US Attorney running that office.)

That said, here is a copy paste when I previously answered a similar question:

"Your time as an Air Force JAG can be viewed as generally alternating between two types of work: 1) specialty work that is focused on a particular subject matter - this is usually as part of AFLOA (but not necessarily at AFLOA at JB Andrews) where you are working for other lawyers and 2) more generalist work as part of, or leading, a legal staff for an operational commander at the Wing, NAF, or MAJCOM level.

You first 3-4 years generally are going to be in the second category - you will be at a base legal office that works for the commander of that particular Wing or Center. Your immediate boss will be the SJA but the senior rater will be that commander. You will be assigned to a particular subject matter (military justice, environmental, etc) but all sorts of other work creeps in that forces you to be more of a generalist - you will be trying courts, participating in base exercises, doing legal assistance, etc.

You can then break out of that and take a specialty job like ADC for those good in the courtroom, do different types of civil law like medical law or commercial litigation. After a couple years in that job, you may move into a more senior specialty assignment (becoming a senior trial counsel or appellate counsel after being an ADC for example) or be forced back into the real Air Force as a DSJA at a smaller wing or in a staff position at a NAF legal office. For those folks who did a second specialty job, they will very likely end up on a legal staff for some level of command as a follow on.

So, to directly answer your question - years 6-10 can often have you spending two years doing a specialist job and then two years on a legal staff. This assignment pattern continues for the rest of your career, though you obviously will be expected to continue taking greater leadership roles in both the specialist job and the staff jobs.

The type of specialist jobs will be guided by whatever your specialty is (duh). If you are a military justice type that has gone from ADC to STC/SDC/Appellate, you may be able to become a military (trial) judge once you are at the junior Lt Col level. Colonels can be selected to serve as appellate judges at AFCCA. You can take leadership roles as the Chief Senior Trial Counsel or a Chief Senior Defense Counsel.

There is also the LLM program, which will obviously give you a new specialty, as well as a bunch of Federal fellowships and other prestigious programs where you get to staff high-level folks at the Pentagon/Congress/etc.

It may go without saying but what I’ve talked about is just a general template – I know folks that have been within AFLOA in specialty jobs for a really long time (for example – ADC to STC to Appellate and even to a Regional Chief STC after that). That is not always the best thing from a career progression and promotion standpoint, but that is another post for another time. Alternatively, some folks may pick a few consecutive leadership positions at base legal offices, such as going from a DSJA to then being an SJA (or SJA to SJA)."

User avatar
uscg26
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:52 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by uscg26 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:53 pm

Patrick Bateman wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:13 pm

(*And to clarify an important detail in the response above - JAGs can serve as Special Assistant United States Attorneys (SAUSA), [almost] exclusively in Magistrate Court. "Acting US Attorney" is the acting head of an entire USAO until there is Presidentially nominated and Senate confirmed US Attorney running that office.)
Yeah I was a bit lazy there - SAUSA is correct. Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the other services I thought the SAUSA role was mostly to enforce violations of federal law on base (like two civilians assault each other on an AFB)? In the Coast Guard, SAUSA is a full-time disassociated tour to prosecute drugs cases in federal district courts with DOJ AUSAs.

User avatar
Sinoper
Posts: 137
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:41 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by Sinoper » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:03 am

I'm a 1L, and I have an interview this week with the Marine JAG, and I was wondering if any of you could shed some light on my interview. From what I've found in previous TLS threads/online, there is only a 1L internship for commissioned officers in the Marine JAG, which I am not, so what am I interviewing for then exactly?

User avatar
uscg26
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:52 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by uscg26 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:31 am

Sinoper wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:03 am
I'm a 1L, and I have an interview this week with the Marine JAG, and I was wondering if any of you could shed some light on my interview. From what I've found in previous TLS threads/online, there is only a 1L internship for commissioned officers in the Marine JAG, which I am not, so what am I interviewing for then exactly?
Not a Marine, but it sounds like it could be for PLC (i.e. spend your summer in boot camp and be a JAG after graduation). Hard to believe it could be that without you knowing, though. Could be an informational interview, but I've never heard of Marines doing that. Only other thing I could think of would be an internship at a joint command, with a Marine as your interviewer - although again I'd think you'd know if that was the case.

User avatar
Patrick Bateman
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:55 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by Patrick Bateman » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:46 am

uscg26 wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:53 pm
Patrick Bateman wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:13 pm

(*And to clarify an important detail in the response above - JAGs can serve as Special Assistant United States Attorneys (SAUSA), [almost] exclusively in Magistrate Court. "Acting US Attorney" is the acting head of an entire USAO until there is Presidentially nominated and Senate confirmed US Attorney running that office.)
Yeah I was a bit lazy there - SAUSA is correct. Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the other services I thought the SAUSA role was mostly to enforce violations of federal law on base (like two civilians assault each other on an AFB)? In the Coast Guard, SAUSA is a full-time disassociated tour to prosecute drugs cases in federal district courts with DOJ AUSAs.
That is a very interesting distinction between SAUSA service in the USCG versus the other branches - I was not aware of that at all!

It sounds like the USCG experience is along the lines of the real deal "detail" assignments that Main Justice and other Fed agencies give to trial attorneys to do substantive trial work in District Court. When I was detailed to a USAO from Main, we had SAUSAs from State and SSA. That is really awesome that you can do a tour in that capacity as a USCG JAG!

You correctly note that the usual SAUSA experience for JAGs is dealing with (mostly) nonsense in Mag Court. My experience as an AF JAG SAUSA was a quite non-glamorous stream of teenage/elderly dependents shop lifting from the BX. That said, I had peers that actually got some good experience in Mag Court. "Trials" for speeding and DUI are the most common -- trials in the Mag Court context tend to be like junior ADA affairs in which you have basically zero advance notice and are putting the cop up on the stand and winging it from there.

User avatar
Patrick Bateman
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:55 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by Patrick Bateman » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:56 am

Sinoper wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:03 am
I'm a 1L, and I have an interview this week with the Marine JAG, and I was wondering if any of you could shed some light on my interview. From what I've found in previous TLS threads/online, there is only a 1L internship for commissioned officers in the Marine JAG, which I am not, so what am I interviewing for then exactly?
I cannot comment on what exactly the interview is for - I have not had the chance to work with USMC JAGs since a deployment that ended in 2011, so I have zero special insight to offer.

The more generic advice I will give for you (and anyone else interviewing for a service): the question I have seen most folks stumble over is the "tell me why you want to serve in the USMC/USN/USA/USAF/USCG (in the context of the service generally)" and "tell me why you want to serve as a [Service Branch] JAG."

What about the Marine Corps Speaks to you versus, say, the Army? Why is it different and why does that appeal to you? What does the Corps do that the other braches do not? For the Air Force, your answer could involve the entry into Space and Cyberspace as the new battlefields of the 21st Century and the AF being at the forefront, blah blah blah. Navy something about the power of sea based force projection.

And then building on that, why be a JAG with the Marines? You are a real line officer that goes through TBS - that's cool and unique. Every Marine a rifleman - we ain't doing that in the Air Force. You can also identify service specific stuff for JAG development. For the Air Force, I could talk about the dual hat experience at base legal offices being both a generalist and a trial counsel. Or how we select our trial defense counsel. Or the LLM opportunities available once you hit around year 6. Do your research and practice your answers.

User avatar
Sinoper
Posts: 137
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:41 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by Sinoper » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:27 pm

I am going to start copying over Q/As from the TLS Military Law thread EDIT: to a google sheet that can be accessed in the first post. I am doing this in order to create a high density of useful information at the beginning of this JAG thread. We can't make Patrick Bateman answer every question a million times; otherwise he'll go insane. All of the quotes brought over will be attributed to their original authors, but, for the sake of brevity, I may cut information/argumentation that I deem unnecessary or superfluous. That being said, if you see an omission that you deem important to include, feel free to message me, and I'll edit it back into the quote. Considering that the original thread is 300+ pages, it will take some time to find, copy, edit, and post all the Q/As, so please be patient with me. At some point, I'll try to get into talks with OP about creating a directory of hyperlinked questions on the 1st post.
Last edited by Sinoper on Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
uscg26
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:52 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by uscg26 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:32 pm

Sinoper wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:27 pm
I am going to start copying over Q/As from the TLS Military Law thread. I am doing this in order to create a high density of useful information at the beginning of this JAG thread. We can't make Patrick Bateman answer every question a million times; otherwise he'll go insane. All of the quotes brought over will be attributed to their original authors, but, for the sake of brevity, I may cut information/argumentation that I deem unnecessary or superfluous. That being said, if you see an omission that you deem important to include, feel free to message me, and I'll edit it back into the quote. Considering that the original thread is 300+ pages, it will take some time to find, copy, edit, and post all the Q/As, so please be patient with me. At some point, I'll try to get into talks with OP about creating a directory of hyperlinked questions on the 1st post.
Umm, in lieu of this, maybe copy stuff into a google doc and then post the link here? Would be easier to f-search anyway. And this seems like a pain.

But I don't have strong feelings on this TBH.

User avatar
Sinoper
Posts: 137
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:41 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by Sinoper » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:45 pm

uscg26 wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:32 pm
Sinoper wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:27 pm
I am going to start copying over Q/As from the TLS Military Law thread. I am doing this in order to create a high density of useful information at the beginning of this JAG thread. We can't make Patrick Bateman answer every question a million times; otherwise he'll go insane. All of the quotes brought over will be attributed to their original authors, but, for the sake of brevity, I may cut information/argumentation that I deem unnecessary or superfluous. That being said, if you see an omission that you deem important to include, feel free to message me, and I'll edit it back into the quote. Considering that the original thread is 300+ pages, it will take some time to find, copy, edit, and post all the Q/As, so please be patient with me. At some point, I'll try to get into talks with OP about creating a directory of hyperlinked questions on the 1st post.
Umm, in lieu of this, maybe copy stuff into a google doc and then post the link here? Would be easier to f-search anyway. And this seems like a pain.

But I don't have strong feelings on this TBH.
You have convinced me to face my extreme aversion to the monstrosity that is google docs, because your idea is much better than mine in retrospect. Do you mind if I send you over the link to the google doc later today for you to edit into OP?
Last edited by Sinoper on Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
uscg26
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:52 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by uscg26 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:52 pm

Go for it.

User avatar
UVA2B
Moderator
Posts: 3912
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:26 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by UVA2B » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:00 pm

I just wanted to chime in and say be careful taking people's posts from TLS without their express permission. Obviously if Patrick Bateman, uscg26, etc. want to have their answers posted here, that's great. But LSL doesn't want to deal with the problem of improperly posting content that they don't have a right to post here.

User avatar
uscg26
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:52 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by uscg26 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:01 pm

This is a good point. Would a link/reference to the TLS thread work? And a doc with the questions/topics, and the page/reply # of the answer?

Don't want to be sued. Also don't want to learn copyright law.

User avatar
UVA2B
Moderator
Posts: 3912
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:26 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by UVA2B » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:03 pm

I don't think the proprietors of LSL love linking back to TLS for any reason other than ridicule, but I don't really see a problem linking back to it and referring to the thread on TLS. There is a ton of valuable information there, and there's no harm in directing people to that valuable information.

User avatar
uscg26
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:52 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by uscg26 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:07 pm

Done. If anyone wants to go through and index all the various Q's and A's in there have at it and I'll add it in.

User avatar
Sinoper
Posts: 137
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:41 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by Sinoper » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:44 pm

UVA2B wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:00 pm
I just wanted to chime in and say be careful taking people's posts from TLS without their express permission. Obviously if Patrick Bateman, uscg26, etc. want to have their answers posted here, that's great. But LSL doesn't want to deal with the problem of improperly posting content that they don't have a right to post here.
This is a good point. I had already asked PB's permission (and received it) at the time of posting, but I'll make sure I contact other users as more names pop up on his in the 300+ page TLS thread that I'm condensing into a Q/A. Do you have any recommendation for how I should approach users who no longer have an active presence on TLS but chimed in to answer a question or two?

User avatar
UVA2B
Moderator
Posts: 3912
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:26 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by UVA2B » Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:30 pm

I would say your best bet is just to include a link to the exact post on TLS along with a general description of its content (like a brief title or whatever. Try not to get too close to recreating the actual information provided in it just to be safe). You can never be wrong linking back to TLS, and it's pretty easy to link to a specific post.

Houzy

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by Houzy » Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:08 pm

Anybody else sitting for the GLP/OYCP board?

User avatar
Sinoper
Posts: 137
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:41 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by Sinoper » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:35 am

Houzy wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:08 pm
Anybody else sitting for the GLP/OYCP board?
Yep, I plan on sitting for the OYCP.

User avatar
Sinoper
Posts: 137
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:41 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by Sinoper » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:35 am

Landed an Air Force JAG Externship at my preferred base. Stoked!

User avatar
Patrick Bateman
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:55 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by Patrick Bateman » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:45 am

Sinoper wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:35 am
Landed an Air Force JAG Externship at my preferred base. Stoked!
Congrats! It is a great experience that can really help your odds for active duty selection down the road.

User avatar
Sinoper
Posts: 137
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:41 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by Sinoper » Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:21 pm

Patrick Bateman wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:45 am
Sinoper wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:35 am
Landed an Air Force JAG Externship at my preferred base. Stoked!
Congrats! It is a great experience that can really help your odds for active duty selection down the road.
Thanks! I think I read in the original thread on TLS that you're now in the reserves. I was wondering if you would mind elaborating on what made you leave AF JAG.

User avatar
Patrick Bateman
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:55 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by Patrick Bateman » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:55 pm

Sinoper wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:21 pm
Patrick Bateman wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:45 am
Sinoper wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:35 am
Landed an Air Force JAG Externship at my preferred base. Stoked!
Congrats! It is a great experience that can really help your odds for active duty selection down the road.
Thanks! I think I read in the original thread on TLS that you're now in the reserves. I was wondering if you would mind elaborating on what made you leave AF JAG.
Just to clarify on a small point, I didn't totally punch out - just left active duty. I've been on orders as a reservist ~20%-33% of each year since I left.

There is a lot that goes into the decision to either go reserve/guard or separate entirely. Some of it is personal - depending on where you are in your life, PCSing every 2-3 years may be a fun opportunity or a burden on your spouse/children. It also depends on professional goals - some folks want to stay in, be an SJA, and maybe make O-6. Others might hit a point where they want to pursue civilian opportunities instead. And those variables may combine in the middle of the Venn diagram.

As I addressed on my big post on this subject on TLS, a lot comes down to how assignments work as you get more senior. By the 6-8 year mark, you will (likely) get moved into a Deputy SJA or SJA position. It is at this point in your career that you start transitioning into more a manager than an actual practitioner. That has some real impact on your ability to market yourself to BigLaw/BigFed/etc if you intend to get off of active duty. So, if you end up wanting to give a civilian career a go, you more or less need to get out at this point - if your assignments have worked out, you are at peak marketability. At year 6, I had a very strong resume/record, and was in the DC area which made moving to a Federal agency much easier - it was the right time to get out, so I did. Had I taken a DSJA or a staff job for two years, it might have been harder to sell myself as all of my litigation skills would have more or less atrophied during that period.

This can all vary depending on your goals and experience. There is no one size fits all answer when it comes to this decision.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest