Military Law

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Patrick Bateman

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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Current JA looking for an AUSA position. Anyone with any experience, either firsthand or otherwise? Any advice for me? I've landed a couple of interviews, surprisingly. Any interview advice specific to JAs?


Two overarching things I think are the most important:

1. You want to appear to fit in with that office

2. You want to appear to be a valuable work asset for that office.


Fitting in: if you are landing interviews, you may have been able to handle this already. But no DOD, UCMJ, MCM, etc., speak in your resume, cover letter, or in your interviews. You do not want to be the "military guy/gal." Be the person they could put into an office the next week without having to polish you as a civilian. Everything needs to be translated into terms they can understand - you did not conduct X amount of Article 32 hearings, you conducted X amount of pretrial hearings that are equivalent to securing a grand jury true bill. Article 15s/NJPs are adverse administrative actions. Etc.

I found trying to explain our sentencing hearings for guilty pleas can be a bit of a mess - federal sentencing is (99.5% of the time) nothing like a fully adversarial hearing that may be presented to members, with witness testimony, evidence entered, etc. I generally just lumped those into my status of litigated courts and had no problems.

Also, avoid the Pentagonese idioms that seem to infect all levels of staff officers. From popping smoke to putting iron on target, just no. Same goes for radio brevity terms and anything NATO Phonetic alphabet. You reading me 5x5 on this? :D

I would also be doing some real research on all the press releases issued by that particular USAO. What sorts of cases are the prosecuting? What are their recent big victories?

Being valuable: You need to present yourself as someone who is high experienced and highly capable. Again, you need to appear plug-and-play ready where you could start there that same afternoon and be able to pull your weight.

Have all of your numbers unpacked and ready to discuss. X amount of Felony (GCM) courts tried to verdict. Y amount of misdemeanor (SPCM) to verdict. Z amount of expert witnesses presented and crossed. XX defendants crossed. Know the variety of different cases you may have prosecuted or defended ("I've had trials from cases ranging from sexual assault to arson to white collar offenses such as fraud and forgery.")

Have some war stories prepped about interesting or challenging cases where you shined. You will likely get the obvious questions like what was your most difficult case/what is a moment you are most proud of/etc. Have that all mentally locked and loaded (see, it is impossible not to fall into use of the military idioms).

Also be ready for situational judgment style questions. You have a felon, previously convicted of a white collar offense, who is found to be in possession of a family heirloom that happens to be a fully functional blackpowder musket, which was secured to the wall above the fireplace. Do you charge this felon with a 18 USC 922 offense? Why or why not?

Finally, they want someone that will stay in that office for at least 4 years. If you do not have clear ties to the local area, be ready to talk about that and be able to sell that the District of __ is the one for you.

Good luck!

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:43 pm

Patrick, as always, thanks for the tremendous advice. I had one hiccup during my last interview: Depositions. In my experience, we didn't do them. I don't know of many JAs who do them, frankly. But how do I spin that? I do not think depositions are something I'm incapable of doing. Much of what we did was certainly reflected depos, in some way. Pretrial hearings are, in some ways, like a deposition. Thoughts?

Also, thoughts on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure? I easily can talk about the Federal Rules of Evidence, as the MRE reflects it. But FRCP? I'm wholly unfamiliar with it. Did anything we do reflect it? RCMs reflect FRCP the way MRE reflects FRE?

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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:Patrick, as always, thanks for the tremendous advice. I had one hiccup during my last interview: Depositions. In my experience, we didn't do them. I don't know of many JAs who do them, frankly. But how do I spin that? I do not think depositions are something I'm incapable of doing. Much of what we did was certainly reflected depos, in some way. Pretrial hearings are, in some ways, like a deposition. Thoughts?

Also, thoughts on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure? I easily can talk about the Federal Rules of Evidence, as the MRE reflects it. But FRCP? I'm wholly unfamiliar with it. Did anything we do reflect it? RCMs reflect FRCP the way MRE reflects FRE?


Are you applying to be a Civil AUSA? That is the only context I could see deps being truly relevant.

I think your attitude regarding your current skillset enabling you to learn this new-ish skill is the correct one. Assuming you have a solid military justice background, you can point to having done X victim/witness interviews, Y direct/cross exams of witnesses, etc. You know how to question a witness. For both friendly and adversarial witnesses, you know the facts you need to get out of them, or lock them into, via their testimony. I'm sure you have handled impeaching a witness on a factual issue and refreshing their recollection. These are all the same skills that would make someone effective leading a deposition.

When I jumped to DOJ, I ended up in a pretty specialized white collar crime section. I had zero subject matter expertise in their primary statute and very little expertise with their type of white collar cases. I pretty embraced my strengths (lots of trial experience in complex cases) and made that my pitch - I've successfully tried all these cases, dealt with these issues, etc. I made it clear I could easily adapt to the new area of law. That worked. So take the same tack - you can't change your stripes, so embrace them. You have tons of experience and your entire career has been having to learn new things quickly. You have the experience, the one thing that can't be just learned quickly, and the ability/drive to master whatever new parts of the job there are.

And to directly answer the FRCP question - no, there is no connection to the FRCP and the RCM. But how hard are the Rules of Civil Procedure to master?

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:19 pm

Have any Army AD selects made it through or heard from HRC yet?

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Re: Military Law

Postby aka123 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Have any Army AD selects made it through or heard from HRC yet?

I just got cleared by DoDMERB but haven't heard anything from JARO yet ... I'm assuming they're working to load up the next class. I think it starts in July?

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Re: Military Law

Postby heyarnold » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:44 am

Hello, everyone -- I'm an Incoming USAF Jag who is in the midst of bar prep right now. I'm wondering if anybody can give some info of how a "wish list" is organized for first assignments. If anybody can even provide a sample of a dream sheet or PM me, that would be amazing. In any case, some specific questions are:

1) Is there a separate section for bases abroad? In other words, is it like top 7 domestic on one side of the page and then a separate top 7 for bases abroad? Or can you lump in domestic bases among foreign bases on your dream sheet?

2) Is it necessary to give explanations for why you're picking a certain spot? If it's not necessary but possible/recommended, can you do so for every base you put on the sheet?

3) What are some pros and cons of being abroad to start out as an Lt/Capt?

4) Are there bases to avoid if I aspire to one day be Area Defense Counsel?

Thank in advance!

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Re: Military Law

Postby Backload » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:14 am

heyarnold wrote:Hello, everyone -- I'm an Incoming USAF Jag who is in the midst of bar prep right now. I'm wondering if anybody can give some info of how a "wish list" is organized for first assignments. If anybody can even provide a sample of a dream sheet or PM me, that would be amazing. In any case, some specific questions are:

1) Is there a separate section for bases abroad? In other words, is it like top 7 domestic on one side of the page and then a separate top 7 for bases abroad? Or can you lump in domestic bases among foreign bases on your dream sheet?

2) Is it necessary to give explanations for why you're picking a certain spot? If it's not necessary but possible/recommended, can you do so for every base you put on the sheet?

3) What are some pros and cons of being abroad to start out as an Lt/Capt?

4) Are there bases to avoid if I aspire to one day be Area Defense Counsel?

Thank in advance!


1) you get 10 OCONUS and 10 CONUS. They are separate lists.

2) you can and should give specific reasons. For the first assignment, they will fit you with work preferences over personal preferences. You have a limit on explanations so I wouldn’t necessarily explain each pick.

3) abroad first assignment is just personal preference. I would not want it first assignment just because you are new learning this job and that would take away from travel time. But if you are at a non-busy base you can still do it. Everyone does have abroad on their sheets so it’s very few going first assignment.

4) I would say no bases to avoid if you want to be an ADC. Now a busier justice base would make you look more attractive as an ADC earlier in your career, but no base would cut that avenue off.

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Re: Military Law

Postby howell » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:22 am

heyarnold wrote:Hello, everyone -- I'm an Incoming USAF Jag who is in the midst of bar prep right now. I'm wondering if anybody can give some info of how a "wish list" is organized for first assignments. If anybody can even provide a sample of a dream sheet or PM me, that would be amazing. In any case, some specific questions are:

1) Is there a separate section for bases abroad? In other words, is it like top 7 domestic on one side of the page and then a separate top 7 for bases abroad? Or can you lump in domestic bases among foreign bases on your dream sheet?

2) Is it necessary to give explanations for why you're picking a certain spot? If it's not necessary but possible/recommended, can you do so for every base you put on the sheet?

They should send you an AF Form 1760 to fill out, but it doesn't look like those are publicly available. On the top part of the form, you'll put in basic information, including a list of any dependents you have.

In the middle of the form, you'll actually fill out your preferences. You can list up to 10 CONUS locations and 10 OCONUS locations. And a "location" can either be a state or a particular base.

You can also list up to 4 preferred "regions" both CONUS and OCONUS. For example, you could say you preferred the northeast and southeast for CONUS and Europe and Japan for OCONUS.

There is also a box where you can list up to 4 areas of law you would like to work in (military justice, contracts, labor, etc.). You also list your undergraduate and other degrees.

At the bottom of the form, you have an ~8 line "remarks" section where you can put anything you want regarding your preferences. You can put stuff like:

"My husband is finishing his master's in DC, so I would really like to get stationed in or near DC."
"I want as much military justice experience as possible, so please send me to a base with a heavy military justice workload."
"I'm fluent in German and have an International Law LLM, so I believe I could be utilized well at Ramstein."

I'm not saying to word it exactly like that, but those kinds of things can be relevant.

3) What are some pros and cons of being abroad to start out as an Lt/Capt?

I did not do this, but I had many friends who did. It would be an awesome experience. The worst part is that you're adding a lot more administrative things to have to figure out for your first assignment, but it's nothing insurmountable. Traveling back to see friends and family can be costly and difficult to schedule, but you should give them a guilt trip for not coming to see you. The best way to do it (usually) is getting picked up for a training course back in the states so travel is covered.

After that, I think it's base-specific. Some overseas bases are huge and very busy. Others less so. More important will be whoever your SJA is. Under some SJAs, you might work normal hours and have huge successes; under others you might put in biglaw hours and be made to feel like you're an utter failure. Your first assignment will likely be somewhere in the middle.

4) Are there bases to avoid if I aspire to one day be Area Defense Counsel?

I would say no to your question but yes if you add the words "as soon as possible." The biggest issue is whether you'll get enough court experience to 1) get certified and 2) prove to your SJA you can handle the job. If you're placed at a slow military justice base in your first assignment, you might need to take another base legal office assignment for your second assignment. Between the first two assignments, you should have the opportunity to become an ADC.

But if you want to get in the courtroom, I would recommend going to a heavier justice base for your first assignmet. You can likely get a lot of experience quickly and possibly move straight into an ADC slot for your second assignment. Some people really, really hate the base legal office, and you might be one. If you know you want to do trial work, I would ask to go to a busy military justice base for your first assignment. A few off the top of my head would be Lackland, Ramstein, Davis-Monthan, or Travis. Patrick Bateman has listed others as well. I could probably rack and stack them, but I'll let others chime in if they want to. There are traditionally busy bases, but some bases will see a spike. Holloman is fairly busy, but they got destroyed in 2017 by a few drug rings that added a lot of extra courts.

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Re: Military Law

Postby annon1234 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Have any Army AD selects made it through or heard from HRC yet?


I think orders come out in July or so.

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:39 pm

Patrick Bateman wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Patrick, as always, thanks for the tremendous advice. I had one hiccup during my last interview: Depositions. In my experience, we didn't do them. I don't know of many JAs who do them, frankly. But how do I spin that? I do not think depositions are something I'm incapable of doing. Much of what we did was certainly reflected depos, in some way. Pretrial hearings are, in some ways, like a deposition. Thoughts?

Also, thoughts on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure? I easily can talk about the Federal Rules of Evidence, as the MRE reflects it. But FRCP? I'm wholly unfamiliar with it. Did anything we do reflect it? RCMs reflect FRCP the way MRE reflects FRE?


Are you applying to be a Civil AUSA? That is the only context I could see deps being truly relevant.

I think your attitude regarding your current skillset enabling you to learn this new-ish skill is the correct one. Assuming you have a solid military justice background, you can point to having done X victim/witness interviews, Y direct/cross exams of witnesses, etc. You know how to question a witness. For both friendly and adversarial witnesses, you know the facts you need to get out of them, or lock them into, via their testimony. I'm sure you have handled impeaching a witness on a factual issue and refreshing their recollection. These are all the same skills that would make someone effective leading a deposition.

When I jumped to DOJ, I ended up in a pretty specialized white collar crime section. I had zero subject matter expertise in their primary statute and very little expertise with their type of white collar cases. I pretty embraced my strengths (lots of trial experience in complex cases) and made that my pitch - I've successfully tried all these cases, dealt with these issues, etc. I made it clear I could easily adapt to the new area of law. That worked. So take the same tack - you can't change your stripes, so embrace them. You have tons of experience and your entire career has been having to learn new things quickly. You have the experience, the one thing that can't be just learned quickly, and the ability/drive to master whatever new parts of the job there are.

And to directly answer the FRCP question - no, there is no connection to the FRCP and the RCM. But how hard are the Rules of Civil Procedure to master?

Thanks for your post. It gave me tremendous confidence because you're totally right about what the military has given me. I have several interviews lined up. Time to go get it.

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Re: Military Law

Postby jroman2 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:22 pm

annon1234 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Have any Army AD selects made it through or heard from HRC yet?


I think orders come out in July or so.


Will HRC clear us as soon as we're qualified? Or will we not hear anything at all until the July? I submitted everything early March and haven't heard a word from JARO since.

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!

Postby girlfromtheprairie » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:56 pm

heyarnold wrote:Hello, everyone -- I'm an Incoming USAF Jag who is in the midst of bar prep right now. I'm wondering if anybody can give some info of how a "wish list" is organized for first assignments. If anybody can even provide a sample of a dream sheet or PM me, that would be amazing. In any case, some specific questions are:

1) Is there a separate section for bases abroad? In other words, is it like top 7 domestic on one side of the page and then a separate top 7 for bases abroad? Or can you lump in domestic bases among foreign bases on your dream sheet?

2) Is it necessary to give explanations for why you're picking a certain spot? If it's not necessary but possible/recommended, can you do so for every base you put on the sheet?

3) What are some pros and cons of being abroad to start out as an Lt/Capt?

4) Are there bases to avoid if I aspire to one day be Area Defense Counsel?

Thank in advance!


Hi, congrats on your selection to join the world's greatest Air Force!

1. Yes. You will list your top 10 CONUS assignment then you can list 10 separate OCONUS assignments. FYI, Alaska and Hawaii both count as OCONUS.

2. No, not necessary. However, if you are married and your spouse has licensure or other issues, you should definitely mention that.

4. No. You can't do ADC until your second assignment anyway so just start out where you start out.

FYI, not only did I not get anywhere on my list, but I got a CONUS region I specifically did not want. So just be prepared to go where you are needed!

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Re: Military Law

Postby girlfromtheprairie » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hello:
I am a rising 3L (just finished up my 2L year) and I am really interested in knowing my odds of getting into JAG Corps through a direct appointment to the USAF. I have a bottom of the barrel GPA, but **I think** other parts of my application are workable.

Here is a rundown of what I am looking at academically:

2.25 GPA (likely to go up, but the maximum I can realistically pull is a 3.0 GPA)
Pro Bono society (lots of hours put in)
Vice President of law school student organization
Chair for annual school fundraising event
Negotiations team
Hospice volunteer (what can I say, I like volunteer work)
Excellent working relationship with professors and deans
Clerked my 1L and 2L years at different firms (mid to small firms)
Certificate in Business and Transactional Law

Other information:
Passes the medical/physical requirements
No history of drugs or alcohol
No arrests, convictions, etc.

It likely isn't relevant, but my family also has a history of service. My grandpa was a military doctor in WWII, my dad was a military police officer in Vietnam, and my brother is a lieutenant colonel in the AF.


So, if there is anyone out there with some insight, an educated opinion, or just some thoughts they want to throw out, please respond.


Other people already answered the specifics, but I just wanted to encourage you to apply and apply again. I met people at OTS who applied up to 15 times. Show the dedication. If it's something you want, it's not out of reach, though it may take time.

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Re: !

Postby lharle » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:51 pm

girlfromtheprairie wrote:
FYI, not only did I not get anywhere on my list, but I got a CONUS region I specifically did not want. So just be prepared to go where you are needed!


Can I ask 1) what areas or bases you requested; 2) if you had any personal or job-related reasons for those bases (beyond cool-factor and geography); and 3) generally where you are now (feel free to be incredibly vague)?

I ask because I am married, and my wife's job will be most easily transferred to a metropolitan area. How much weight is given to spouse-related preference? I imagine requests like these are fairly common. Obviously, we are prepared to go anywhere! I guess I'm curious how creative we will need to be if we end up in Altus, OK rather than DC, etc.

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:23 pm

I’m new to this thread, and while I know that I’m competitive for most jobs in the civilian realm, Ive heard that JAG criteria can be way different in sometimes non-intuitive ways.

Anyone willing to gusss my odds of getting hired by the Army with the following bio: Graduated a few years ago in the top 1-2% at a T20, clerked twice (federal district and circuit courts in 2/9/DC), and then spent the last year in litigation at a V10 biglaw firm (lots of briefing experience, but very little courtroom advocacy). Im reasonably fit, if that matters.

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:I’m new to this thread, and while I know that I’m competitive for most jobs in the civilian realm, Ive heard that JAG criteria can be way different in sometimes non-intuitive ways.

Anyone willing to gusss my odds of getting hired by the Army with the following bio: Graduated a few years ago in the top 1-2% at a T20, clerked twice (federal district and circuit courts in 2/9/DC), and then spent the last year in litigation at a V10 biglaw firm (lots of briefing experience, but very little courtroom advocacy). Im reasonably fit, if that matters.


Your odds are fine, but I'm curious why you'd want to go into the JAG Corp. You're going from a very high-flying route into a job that is a lot like being a pd/ada early on and is just a lot of managerial work down the road. Why not exit into AUSA/AFPD?

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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I’m new to this thread, and while I know that I’m competitive for most jobs in the civilian realm, Ive heard that JAG criteria can be way different in sometimes non-intuitive ways.

Anyone willing to gusss my odds of getting hired by the Army with the following bio: Graduated a few years ago in the top 1-2% at a T20, clerked twice (federal district and circuit courts in 2/9/DC), and then spent the last year in litigation at a V10 biglaw firm (lots of briefing experience, but very little courtroom advocacy). Im reasonably fit, if that matters.


Your odds are fine, but I'm curious why you'd want to go into the JAG Corp. You're going from a very high-flying route into a job that is a lot like being a pd/ada early on and is just a lot of managerial work down the road. Why not exit into AUSA/AFPD?


I have to admit that I had the same reaction. I think the JAGC would be lucky to have someone with your credentials but with your background the lateral to Main Justice or an USAO / FPD is indeed more typical for someone looking to either get involved with, or check the box for, public service. Will you actually be happy in the first few years as a JAG should you find yourself doing Legal Assistance at Fort Sill?

You will be competitive but I think you will have to really be ready to sell the "why be a JAG" question given your background. If two randos on TLS had the "are you sure about this?" sort of reaction, you can bet that the selection folks might wonder it as well. The transition from Skadden/Latham/etc to wearing a uniform is a pretty extreme one - if I was in a selection role, I would want to be sure you could be a fit culturally.

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:58 pm

Patrick Bateman wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I’m new to this thread, and while I know that I’m competitive for most jobs in the civilian realm, Ive heard that JAG criteria can be way different in sometimes non-intuitive ways.

Anyone willing to gusss my odds of getting hired by the Army with the following bio: Graduated a few years ago in the top 1-2% at a T20, clerked twice (federal district and circuit courts in 2/9/DC), and then spent the last year in litigation at a V10 biglaw firm (lots of briefing experience, but very little courtroom advocacy). Im reasonably fit, if that matters.


Your odds are fine, but I'm curious why you'd want to go into the JAG Corp. You're going from a very high-flying route into a job that is a lot like being a pd/ada early on and is just a lot of managerial work down the road. Why not exit into AUSA/AFPD?


I have to admit that I had the same reaction. I think the JAGC would be lucky to have someone with your credentials but with your background the lateral to Main Justice or an USAO / FPD is indeed more typical for someone looking to either get involved with, or check the box for, public service. Will you actually be happy in the first few years as a JAG should you find yourself doing Legal Assistance at Fort Sill?

You will be competitive but I think you will have to really be ready to sell the "why be a JAG" question given your background. If two randos on TLS had the "are you sure about this?" sort of reaction, you can bet that the selection folks might wonder it as well. The transition from Skadden/Latham/etc to wearing a uniform is a pretty extreme one - if I was in a selection role, I would want to be sure you could be a fit culturally.

These points are well taken, thanks. I've always been interested in serving in the military, and I am looking for a career change (assessing my options, because I don't know that I am long for biglaw). USAO/DOJ is definitely something I've considered, but even then I would be interested in doing JAG Reserves for the military service aspect.

Another possibility that I have been thinking about is joining the Reserves and staying in biglaw for as long as they are willing to put up with me always being gone. I have read a few places in this thread and others where people say that trying to do biglaw and JAG reserves at the same time is a nightmare -- but is that comment working under the assumption that the person is trying to excel/make partner in biglaw (as opposed to just skate by for a few years before transitioning into something else)? I know there are not many data points/anecdotes on this route, but I appreciate the input.

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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Patrick Bateman wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I’m new to this thread, and while I know that I’m competitive for most jobs in the civilian realm, Ive heard that JAG criteria can be way different in sometimes non-intuitive ways.

Anyone willing to gusss my odds of getting hired by the Army with the following bio: Graduated a few years ago in the top 1-2% at a T20, clerked twice (federal district and circuit courts in 2/9/DC), and then spent the last year in litigation at a V10 biglaw firm (lots of briefing experience, but very little courtroom advocacy). Im reasonably fit, if that matters.


Your odds are fine, but I'm curious why you'd want to go into the JAG Corp. You're going from a very high-flying route into a job that is a lot like being a pd/ada early on and is just a lot of managerial work down the road. Why not exit into AUSA/AFPD?


I have to admit that I had the same reaction. I think the JAGC would be lucky to have someone with your credentials but with your background the lateral to Main Justice or an USAO / FPD is indeed more typical for someone looking to either get involved with, or check the box for, public service. Will you actually be happy in the first few years as a JAG should you find yourself doing Legal Assistance at Fort Sill?

You will be competitive but I think you will have to really be ready to sell the "why be a JAG" question given your background. If two randos on TLS had the "are you sure about this?" sort of reaction, you can bet that the selection folks might wonder it as well. The transition from Skadden/Latham/etc to wearing a uniform is a pretty extreme one - if I was in a selection role, I would want to be sure you could be a fit culturally.

These points are well taken, thanks. I've always been interested in serving in the military, and I am looking for a career change (assessing my options, because I don't know that I am long for biglaw). USAO/DOJ is definitely something I've considered, but even then I would be interested in doing JAG Reserves for the military service aspect.

Another possibility that I have been thinking about is joining the Reserves and staying in biglaw for as long as they are willing to put up with me always being gone. I have read a few places in this thread and others where people say that trying to do biglaw and JAG reserves at the same time is a nightmare -- but is that comment working under the assumption that the person is trying to excel/make partner in biglaw (as opposed to just skate by for a few years before transitioning into something else)? I know there are not many data points/anecdotes on this route, but I appreciate the input.


Some considerations in no particular order (and given from my Air Force experience - I can't weigh in on this from the Army side):

If you have the itch, by all means apply - the selection process is not a fast moving one, and you may end up having to apply for more than one board. No reason why you can't start the process now (or whenever) as you continue to evaluate a non-big law career.

I have no experience in BigLaw directly but did work in a DOJ section in which I worked with, and interviewed, a ton of BigLaw refugee laterals -- based on that experience, I think it would be extremely, extremely hard to manage a successful BigLaw career along with a successful Reserve career. With only so many hours in the day, it comes down to opportunity cost at a certain point. There are people that are doing it but I think eventually, a decision has to come down to a higher priority given to one of the two organizations which means accepting a more limited chance of advancement at the other one.

To be honest, it has not been easy managing my Reserve time even in BigFed and I have been fortunate to have some great bosses that have had my back. Due to a variety of reasons, I will end up having to do about two and a half months of reserve duty this year, mostly OCONUS. It has been a challenge for me, my family, and civilian employer. It has been an atypical year for sure, but this sort of stuff happens.

It seems that to be truly competitive for reserve promotion, they want to see a continued effort to go beyond the minimum annual requirement for days (i.e., volunteering for additional MPA tours). Combine that with the developmental education requirements (I've discussed this elsewhere) and everything else, you end up with a lot of hours you end up owing to Uncle Sam.

I remain in true admiration of my reserve peers that are able to hold down the high tempo positions at Main or USAO -- I simply don't have the IQ or enough RAM to be good at that and keep my self competitive for promotion in the reserves. Based on your credentials, you very well may be high speed enough to handle the balancing act - just something to keep in mind as you consider the BigFed + Reserves option.

An aside, I think those who are a direct commission in to the reserves, without previous time on active duty, face some unique challenges as well. Most of the reserve force is prior active duty, so the default position is that reservists are experienced - that presents a real steep learning curve into a subset of society with its own cultural norms, language, and rules. Again, with your academic and professional background, I am sure you are equipped to handle it but be ready for additional challenges.

Anyway - best of luck to you on whatever path you end up embarking upon!

Anonymous User
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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:29 pm

Hey all,

I've spent a lot of time reading this thread throughout the last few years and just wanted to say thanks for all the info! I just finished 2L and am currently an AF intern. I know I've read in multiple places where the Army takes about 90% of their interns who eventually apply. Is there any similar information available for the Air Force? I know that having an internship with them helps pretty significantly, but I was wondering if there was a ballpark number available. I will be starting my DA application for the fall soon. Thanks!

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:52 pm

Patrick Bateman wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Patrick Bateman wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I’m new to this thread, and while I know that I’m competitive for most jobs in the civilian realm, Ive heard that JAG criteria can be way different in sometimes non-intuitive ways.

Anyone willing to gusss my odds of getting hired by the Army with the following bio: Graduated a few years ago in the top 1-2% at a T20, clerked twice (federal district and circuit courts in 2/9/DC), and then spent the last year in litigation at a V10 biglaw firm (lots of briefing experience, but very little courtroom advocacy). Im reasonably fit, if that matters.


Your odds are fine, but I'm curious why you'd want to go into the JAG Corp. You're going from a very high-flying route into a job that is a lot like being a pd/ada early on and is just a lot of managerial work down the road. Why not exit into AUSA/AFPD?


I have to admit that I had the same reaction. I think the JAGC would be lucky to have someone with your credentials but with your background the lateral to Main Justice or an USAO / FPD is indeed more typical for someone looking to either get involved with, or check the box for, public service. Will you actually be happy in the first few years as a JAG should you find yourself doing Legal Assistance at Fort Sill?

You will be competitive but I think you will have to really be ready to sell the "why be a JAG" question given your background. If two randos on TLS had the "are you sure about this?" sort of reaction, you can bet that the selection folks might wonder it as well. The transition from Skadden/Latham/etc to wearing a uniform is a pretty extreme one - if I was in a selection role, I would want to be sure you could be a fit culturally.

These points are well taken, thanks. I've always been interested in serving in the military, and I am looking for a career change (assessing my options, because I don't know that I am long for biglaw). USAO/DOJ is definitely something I've considered, but even then I would be interested in doing JAG Reserves for the military service aspect.

Another possibility that I have been thinking about is joining the Reserves and staying in biglaw for as long as they are willing to put up with me always being gone. I have read a few places in this thread and others where people say that trying to do biglaw and JAG reserves at the same time is a nightmare -- but is that comment working under the assumption that the person is trying to excel/make partner in biglaw (as opposed to just skate by for a few years before transitioning into something else)? I know there are not many data points/anecdotes on this route, but I appreciate the input.


Some considerations in no particular order (and given from my Air Force experience - I can't weigh in on this from the Army side):

If you have the itch, by all means apply - the selection process is not a fast moving one, and you may end up having to apply for more than one board. No reason why you can't start the process now (or whenever) as you continue to evaluate a non-big law career.

I have no experience in BigLaw directly but did work in a DOJ section in which I worked with, and interviewed, a ton of BigLaw refugee laterals -- based on that experience, I think it would be extremely, extremely hard to manage a successful BigLaw career along with a successful Reserve career. With only so many hours in the day, it comes down to opportunity cost at a certain point. There are people that are doing it but I think eventually, a decision has to come down to a higher priority given to one of the two organizations which means accepting a more limited chance of advancement at the other one.

To be honest, it has not been easy managing my Reserve time even in BigFed and I have been fortunate to have some great bosses that have had my back. Due to a variety of reasons, I will end up having to do about two and a half months of reserve duty this year, mostly OCONUS. It has been a challenge for me, my family, and civilian employer. It has been an atypical year for sure, but this sort of stuff happens.

It seems that to be truly competitive for reserve promotion, they want to see a continued effort to go beyond the minimum annual requirement for days (i.e., volunteering for additional MPA tours). Combine that with the developmental education requirements (I've discussed this elsewhere) and everything else, you end up with a lot of hours you end up owing to Uncle Sam.

I remain in true admiration of my reserve peers that are able to hold down the high tempo positions at Main or USAO -- I simply don't have the IQ or enough RAM to be good at that and keep my self competitive for promotion in the reserves. Based on your credentials, you very well may be high speed enough to handle the balancing act - just something to keep in mind as you consider the BigFed + Reserves option.

An aside, I think those who are a direct commission in to the reserves, without previous time on active duty, face some unique challenges as well. Most of the reserve force is prior active duty, so the default position is that reservists are experienced - that presents a real steep learning curve into a subset of society with its own cultural norms, language, and rules. Again, with your academic and professional background, I am sure you are equipped to handle it but be ready for additional challenges.

Anyway - best of luck to you on whatever path you end up embarking upon!

Thanks for this. I really appreciate the input and insight.

girlfromtheprairie

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Re: !

Postby girlfromtheprairie » Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:35 pm

lharle wrote:
girlfromtheprairie wrote:
FYI, not only did I not get anywhere on my list, but I got a CONUS region I specifically did not want. So just be prepared to go where you are needed!


Can I ask 1) what areas or bases you requested; 2) if you had any personal or job-related reasons for those bases (beyond cool-factor and geography); and 3) generally where you are now (feel free to be incredibly vague)?

I ask because I am married, and my wife's job will be most easily transferred to a metropolitan area. How much weight is given to spouse-related preference? I imagine requests like these are fairly common. Obviously, we are prepared to go anywhere! I guess I'm curious how creative we will need to be if we end up in Altus, OK rather than DC, etc.


I requested quite a range-- 2 east coast, 2 west coast, 4 midwest, 2 southwest. I got the southeast U.S. (given, there are tons more bases in this area). I denoted that my spouse's job field would require being in a metropolitan area. I literally used those exact words and I ended up in a place with less than 20,000 people. Prior to JAG, I was an attorney in Chicago, so my idea of metropolitan is obviously slightly more than 20K. That being said, I also know people who received a choice in their top three.

Ultimately, the Air Force is going to send you where you are needed. Your spouse's needs (though they are relevant) obviously take a back seat to the mission. The good thing is that you'll receive BAH which should be enough to cover living expenses and allow for some financial cushion while your spouse searches for a job. I'm going to be perfectly honest, though. My spouse (and many other JAG spouses who were professionals prior to their first PCS) just aren't able to find jobs in their career field. It's just something your spouse will have to be able to buy into. And hopefully by your second assignment, you'll be able to have a little more pull as to where you'd like to be. (Especially if you want to be an ADC or SVC).

Hope that was helpful!

BLucare

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Re: Military Law

Postby BLucare » Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:58 pm

Question for anyone who might have an answer, but particularly for Mr. Bateman, as he has AFJAG experience:

I was selected for DAP in November. Being a May 2018 graduate from a Wisconsin law school, I'm in the fortunate position of already being certified for the bar. I have obtained my certificate of good standing, and am waiting on a few other documents to send to the proper AF channels. I have been in touch with the AF POC lately, and I will be going to MEPS next week. SO, because all of those ducks are already in a row so quickly, I have been told by the POC that I may be entering active duty as soon as early August, and will report to my base to start working in the legal office even before attending COT. He was unsure if I would be attending the August or October COT class, but the larger point was that I would be reporting to the base ASAP, and much sooner than I thought possible.

Now, I was under the impression, based on this thread and other research, that COT was the first step before reporting to a duty station, as COT would provide at least the foundation for existing in a military environment. My question is: Does what I have been told about active duty and reporting to the base before COT seem accurate and/or likely at this stage? Thanks in advance.

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Patrick Bateman

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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:02 pm

BLucare wrote:Question for anyone who might have an answer, but particularly for Mr. Bateman, as he has AFJAG experience:

I was selected for DAP in November. Being a May 2018 graduate from a Wisconsin law school, I'm in the fortunate position of already being certified for the bar. I have obtained my certificate of good standing, and am waiting on a few other documents to send to the proper AF channels. I have been in touch with the AF POC lately, and I will be going to MEPS next week. SO, because all of those ducks are already in a row so quickly, I have been told by the POC that I may be entering active duty as soon as early August, and will report to my base to start working in the legal office even before attending COT. He was unsure if I would be attending the August or October COT class, but the larger point was that I would be reporting to the base ASAP, and much sooner than I thought possible.

Now, I was under the impression, based on this thread and other research, that COT was the first step before reporting to a duty station, as COT would provide at least the foundation for existing in a military environment. My question is: Does what I have been told about active duty and reporting to the base before COT seem accurate and/or likely at this stage? Thanks in advance.


To clarify - that Air Force POC, is he/she affiliated with MEPS or AFPC (or any other org in Big Air Force), or is it someone on the staff at JAX? If it is not coming directly from JAX, it is not reliable information. No one in the rest of the AF actually understands how we handle our new accessions.

What you have described of reporting to your base before COT seems highly unusual and not something I have heard of before. For Direct Appointees, as far as I am aware, the first stop is COT so you can learn the basics. Someone would be an absolute soup sandwich if required to report in an active status at a base without that training.

BLucare

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Re: Military Law

Postby BLucare » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:34 pm

Patrick Bateman wrote:
BLucare wrote:Question for anyone who might have an answer, but particularly for Mr. Bateman, as he has AFJAG experience:

I was selected for DAP in November. Being a May 2018 graduate from a Wisconsin law school, I'm in the fortunate position of already being certified for the bar. I have obtained my certificate of good standing, and am waiting on a few other documents to send to the proper AF channels. I have been in touch with the AF POC lately, and I will be going to MEPS next week. SO, because all of those ducks are already in a row so quickly, I have been told by the POC that I may be entering active duty as soon as early August, and will report to my base to start working in the legal office even before attending COT. He was unsure if I would be attending the August or October COT class, but the larger point was that I would be reporting to the base ASAP, and much sooner than I thought possible.

Now, I was under the impression, based on this thread and other research, that COT was the first step before reporting to a duty station, as COT would provide at least the foundation for existing in a military environment. My question is: Does what I have been told about active duty and reporting to the base before COT seem accurate and/or likely at this stage? Thanks in advance.


To clarify - that Air Force POC, is he/she affiliated with MEPS or AFPC (or any other org in Big Air Force), or is it someone on the staff at JAX? If it is not coming directly from JAX, it is not reliable information. No one in the rest of the AF actually understands how we handle our new accessions.

What you have described of reporting to your base before COT seems highly unusual and not something I have heard of before. For Direct Appointees, as far as I am aware, the first stop is COT so you can learn the basics. Someone would be an absolute soup sandwich if required to report in an active status at a base without that training.


This particular POC is a civilian at JAX. I won't name names, so as to not throw this person under the bus on a public forum. They are also the same person who told me back in November 2017 that the June 2018 COT class was a possibility, as I was from Wisconsin and wouldn't be held up by the bar. After that conversation, I was told by an AFJAG POC at JAX that attending June 2018 COT would not be likely at all, as the post-graduation part of the accessions process simply takes more time than that.

Your reaction echoes my precise thoughts about the situation. I do know that reporting to my base after COT, but before JASOC is likely the case if I were to be placed in the October 2018 COT class. That seems reasonable to me. Being squeezed into the August COT class at this point and then reporting to the base until JASOC would be equally reasonable. Speaking of which, given that I haven't attended MEPS yet, what's the approximate likelihood of me attending the August COT class anyway?



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