Military Law (JAG)

sartorial splendor
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Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by sartorial splendor » Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:55 am

I have heard some comment that you should steer clear of the Air Force JAG GLP program. Does anyone have any insights
on why this may not be a good route to go if you are certain you want to go down the JAG path?

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Patrick Bateman
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Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by Patrick Bateman » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:34 pm

I'm assuming this is gathered from a few posts from the TLS thread.

I'm not GLP, so I can't weigh in personally. That said, I have never heard actual complaints from the GLP/OCYP folks that I've worked with over the years. I am sure the program is far from perfect and might cause some headaches along the way. My response to that is, welcome to the military. A GLP offer is a guaranteed commission - if JAG is your goal, anyone would be nuts to pass up an offer for GLP.

Hinez
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Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by Hinez » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:21 am

I plan on transitioning to the reserves during law school and am considering trying to go back on active duty as a JAG after I graduate. I've tried going the FLEP/ELP route the past few years and was never given a release from my career field to even apply so this is really my only route to getting picked up. Does anyone have any experience with this/have any advice? Thanks in advance.

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LSNlife
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Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by LSNlife » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:26 am

sartorial splendor wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:55 am
I have heard some comment that you should steer clear of the Air Force JAG GLP program. Does anyone have any insights
on why this may not be a good route to go if you are certain you want to go down the JAG path?
Also no personal experience but my understanding from reading through much of the prior military threads was that the obligations and time associates with GLP/OYCP were what caused most of the problems. The guaranteed commission and job out of law school is nice but I many participants just seemed to feel that going to ROTC with undergrads, the fact that many ROTC detachments didn’t know what GLP/OYCP was so it was difficult to get the paperwork through, and the inconvenience of summer programs and the lower pay got in the way of other summer opportunities - but if you know 100% JAG is what you want I don’t see how it could be a bad choice. You just have to be prepared for the extra work and that comes with it but that’s military life anyway.

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uscg26
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Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by uscg26 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:47 pm

LSNlife wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:26 am
sartorial splendor wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:55 am
I have heard some comment that you should steer clear of the Air Force JAG GLP program. Does anyone have any insights
on why this may not be a good route to go if you are certain you want to go down the JAG path?
Also no personal experience but my understanding from reading through much of the prior military threads was that the obligations and time associates with GLP/OYCP were what caused most of the problems. The guaranteed commission and job out of law school is nice but I many participants just seemed to feel that going to ROTC with undergrads, the fact that many ROTC detachments didn’t know what GLP/OYCP was so it was difficult to get the paperwork through, and the inconvenience of summer programs and the lower pay got in the way of other summer opportunities - but if you know 100% JAG is what you want I don’t see how it could be a bad choice. You just have to be prepared for the extra work and that comes with it but that’s military life anyway.
This matches what I've heard. I think the main sticking point is being bossed around by 21yo battcomms (or whatever they call it in AFROTC), although summer field training seems like a drag as well.

howell
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Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by howell » Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:43 pm

Finally checking in.

I assume we have a very similar audience as the other thread, but for anyone new, I'm an active duty AF JAG entering the sweet spot for leaving active duty. Still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

sartorial splendor
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Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by sartorial splendor » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:58 pm

howell wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:43 pm
Finally checking in.

I assume we have a very similar audience as the other thread, but for anyone new, I'm an active duty AF JAG entering the sweet spot for leaving active duty. Still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.
How did you find AF JAG did in exposing you to and training you in the various areas of the law? Did you get substantial court time and what was the timeline after first starting as a JAG that you started seeing court time? What exit opportunities do you feel will give you the best path forward in your career? Thank you for checking in.

howell
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Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by howell » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:10 pm

sartorial splendor wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:58 pm
howell wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:43 pm
Finally checking in.

I assume we have a very similar audience as the other thread, but for anyone new, I'm an active duty AF JAG entering the sweet spot for leaving active duty. Still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.
How did you find AF JAG did in exposing you to and training you in the various areas of the law? Did you get substantial court time and what was the timeline after first starting as a JAG that you started seeing court time? What exit opportunities do you feel will give you the best path forward in your career? Thank you for checking in.
I'll answer a bit out of order.

I got out of JASOC in April and was in my first court-martial in October. I narrowly missed getting my first court in June. If I had a different (read: normal) SJA, I would have done the court in June. But the October court was a sex assault, so I also got in a contentious preliminary hearing before October, and I did a discharge board or two during that time as well. From that first October until I deployed 1.5 years later, I did a total of 8 courts. If I had a different SJA, I might have had 2-3 more courts during that time. We were probably an average base as far as court tempo - in a busy year, we could have 10-12 courts, but in a slow year we could get back down to 1-2. 4 of my courts had litigated findings (the others were guilty pleas with "litigated" sentencing), and one court was relatively complex with recruiter issues, sex assault, 30+ witnesses, experts, etc. I got to do every part of a court except perhaps the main cross of the Accused, but I don't think I ever had the Accused testify besides for motions purposes.

I felt like the experience was really good. We often got put in situations in courts where no one knew the right answer and we had little oversight while trying to figure it out on our own. Sometimes we had Senior Trial Counsel on cases, and I was fortunate to have really good ones who also knew how to teach (in their own kinder and less-kind ways). I think a normal amount of courts for your first 2 years would be 5-10. You can get more at busier bases.

My best court experience came in my second assignment as an Area Defense Counsel. In about 18 months, I did 21 courts, and I certainly did the lion's share of the work on most of them. I really like working in pairs on cases, but I felt like I grew the hell up when I had to fully litigate cases on my own.

The AF JAG Corps does a really good job of exposing its people to all the areas of the law the AF covers in their first 2-4 years. Certainly there is the criminal litigation side, but we also do legal assistance (all kinds of stuff), contracts, labor, environmental, ethics, medical, FOIA/info requests, random interpretation questions, claims/torts, operational law, and more - or some mix of that. Certainly even more is available after your first assignment or two. Although you will have a title at the base legal office like "Chief of Adverse Actions," you will still be doing a little of everything your office needs to get done all the time.

When looking at getting out, I have had to get creative at figuring out what I can do. One problem is that JAGs are generally selected for and drawn to certain kinds of work, so we overwhelmingly take a few major paths. The AF trains us VERY well for federal civilian attorney positions. We learn how to support a massive federal agency, and those skills are needed by just about all federal agencies.

I'd feel comfortable applying for any kind of criminal litigation work - ADA, PD, AUSA, Fed Defender, certain private firms, etc. If AUSA/Fed Defender was my goal, I would have requested an appellate gig and then tried for a senior defense/trial counsel position.

I'm currently in a labor-heavy billet. Certainly it's in the federal sector, but after some investigation, I'd be willing to take a shot at one of the L&E firms. I know some associates at firms like that, and it's possible I could make the switch. I know of another JAG who did it, so I wouldn't be the first.

A little more contracting experience would always be helpful, but I haven't done much of that besides when I was deployed, and I wouldn't consider myself an expert from those few months.

Moving on to greater speculation: We also build skills to be helpful as in-house counsel. Certain industries would likely bode better for us, but we learn how to field a wide range of issues for a large organization and advise extremely demanding clients. It'd probably be best to get experience in an area a business needs (contracts, medical, cyber, etc.) to get in the door and then expand from there. I had a friend who works at a non-profit tell me about a sexual assault allegation between two of his employees, and he had no clue what to do. It was crazy to me that this organization was clueless and considering some extreme options. So perhaps there is a compliance/ethics/investigations angle we could work, especially in the #MeToo age.

sartorial splendor
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Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by sartorial splendor » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:53 am

This was very insightful! Thank you for giving us your first hand account. This also gave me some confidence in my choice of JAG as a possible starting career path. Sounds like you've not only been kept busy but busy with substantive work. Thanks again.

howell
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:58 pm

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by howell » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:26 pm

Just a note that some of the AF DAP board dates are changing. They'll be in September and November this fall instead of October and December. The September apps need to be in by 10 Aug.

xxthrill

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by xxthrill » Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:12 pm

Checking in. Im finishing up my second year in a T1 evening program. I spent the last 10 years enlisted in the Air Force (I ets a week from tomorrow) and am currently doing an internship with the Navy JAG Corps. I interview for the Navy within the week and will probably look at applying to Air Force as well. Still not entirely convinced I want to do JAG. I like the military, but OCI is the next few weeks and that will largely determine whether I even try and get back in.

JagBound

Re: Military Law (JAG)

Post by JagBound » Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:36 pm

Does anyone have any information on how COVID-19 has changed Officer Development School or Naval Justice School?

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