Military Law

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Ex non-JAG military officer and 2L here. I ask this with 100% sincerity: why JAG if you're prior service? Please don't say retirement. Anyone who knows the military knows that Uncle Sam makes officers earn that pension (which isn't that great now anyways).


As a prior military officer who separated and then came back in as a JAG, I can certainly tell you my reasons....

First off, if you didn't enjoy your first 4 or 5 or however many years you served prior to law school, you'd probably never consider going back in as a JAG. I happened to take a lot out of my first stint...made lots of good friends, had great CO's who taught me a lot about leadership, had interesting deployments, etc. Lots of ups and downs in between, but overall I look back fondly on my first 4 years in. Going into law school, I was primarily interested in governmental work afterwards. I had zero interest in working for a law firm. That said, whether federal or state legal employment, going back in as a JAG with 4 years in (+ some reserve time) means a substantially higher paycheck than any entry level government attorney job (when you factor in BAH/taxes). But financial considerations aside, I found that the military camaraderie and sense of overarching mission/goals/objectives etc. just doesn't exist in the civilian world. Some people don't need that; but I like it. Maybe my two summers at federal legal offices aren't representative of every governmental legal office, but I never really felt that draw. That's certainly not a criticism of civilian legal jobs, but I'm someone that thrives in the structure and mission-focused environment of the military. Coming out of law school not really knowing what kind of law I wanted to practice, I think going the JAG route gave me the opportunity to explore different areas and get solid experience in multiple disciplines.

I left the military with no intention of going back in as a JAG. Supervisors of mine at both of my summer gigs were former/retired JAGs and they, and others in the office with JAG backgrounds, encouraged me to consider it due to the broad range of experience that I'd get. As I said, I never considered the firm route--I had no interest of working 80 hours per week for corporate clients working on mundane legal issues. While the pay would be nice, I am personally not motivated when I don't have an interest in the work (and I know that you can practice more than just corporate law at firms, so that might be a generalization). Again, not a criticism of those that like that stuff, it's just not for me.

Finally, you mentioned the retirement aspect, and I disagree with your assessment. While the new blended retirement program isn't as robust as the legacy system, I'm grandfathered into the legacy system, as you liekly would be too, so that wasn't really a factor in my decision making. Sure, retiring as an O-5 with 20 years in and pulling around $40,000/year in pension isn't going to give you a luxurious, early retirement. It does give you a nice cushion to take a job that might pay a little less than you/your family wants post-military, but that you might be more interested in, and still live comfortably. Or at the least the pension is pretty good "F*** you money" if you're stuck in an awful post-military job that you hate (meaning you can quit and not be worried about not having a job that starts the next day). After already serving 4-5 years, I don't see an additional 15-16 as a JAG as being unattainable. Sure, it's hard to serve 20 years no matter what your job is in the military due to PCS moves/deployments/etc, but if your family doesn't mind moving, and you don't need geographic stability, I think it's completely attainable.

Just my $0.02.


Thanks everyone for understanding my question and responding honestly. I legit wasn't considering JAG before. But now its on my radar. I didn't dislike the Army. I think my wife had a bad intro though because we were at a bad duty station (zero career opportunities ect...). So its hard to convince her to go back -- you can't be a successful officer if your significant other doesn't drink the Kool Aid.

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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Ex non-JAG military officer and 2L here. I ask this with 100% sincerity: why JAG if you're prior service? Please don't say retirement. Anyone who knows the military knows that Uncle Sam makes officers earn that pension (which isn't that great now anyways).


As a prior military officer who separated and then came back in as a JAG, I can certainly tell you my reasons....

First off, if you didn't enjoy your first 4 or 5 or however many years you served prior to law school, you'd probably never consider going back in as a JAG. I happened to take a lot out of my first stint...made lots of good friends, had great CO's who taught me a lot about leadership, had interesting deployments, etc. Lots of ups and downs in between, but overall I look back fondly on my first 4 years in. Going into law school, I was primarily interested in governmental work afterwards. I had zero interest in working for a law firm. That said, whether federal or state legal employment, going back in as a JAG with 4 years in (+ some reserve time) means a substantially higher paycheck than any entry level government attorney job (when you factor in BAH/taxes). But financial considerations aside, I found that the military camaraderie and sense of overarching mission/goals/objectives etc. just doesn't exist in the civilian world. Some people don't need that; but I like it. Maybe my two summers at federal legal offices aren't representative of every governmental legal office, but I never really felt that draw. That's certainly not a criticism of civilian legal jobs, but I'm someone that thrives in the structure and mission-focused environment of the military. Coming out of law school not really knowing what kind of law I wanted to practice, I think going the JAG route gave me the opportunity to explore different areas and get solid experience in multiple disciplines.

I left the military with no intention of going back in as a JAG. Supervisors of mine at both of my summer gigs were former/retired JAGs and they, and others in the office with JAG backgrounds, encouraged me to consider it due to the broad range of experience that I'd get. As I said, I never considered the firm route--I had no interest of working 80 hours per week for corporate clients working on mundane legal issues. While the pay would be nice, I am personally not motivated when I don't have an interest in the work (and I know that you can practice more than just corporate law at firms, so that might be a generalization). Again, not a criticism of those that like that stuff, it's just not for me.

Finally, you mentioned the retirement aspect, and I disagree with your assessment. While the new blended retirement program isn't as robust as the legacy system, I'm grandfathered into the legacy system, as you liekly would be too, so that wasn't really a factor in my decision making. Sure, retiring as an O-5 with 20 years in and pulling around $40,000/year in pension isn't going to give you a luxurious, early retirement. It does give you a nice cushion to take a job that might pay a little less than you/your family wants post-military, but that you might be more interested in, and still live comfortably. Or at the least the pension is pretty good "F*** you money" if you're stuck in an awful post-military job that you hate (meaning you can quit and not be worried about not having a job that starts the next day). After already serving 4-5 years, I don't see an additional 15-16 as a JAG as being unattainable. Sure, it's hard to serve 20 years no matter what your job is in the military due to PCS moves/deployments/etc, but if your family doesn't mind moving, and you don't need geographic stability, I think it's completely attainable.

Just my $0.02.


Thanks everyone for understanding my question and responding honestly. I legit wasn't considering JAG before. But now its on my radar. I didn't dislike the Army. I think my wife had a bad intro though because we were at a bad duty station (zero career opportunities ect...). So its hard to convince her to go back -- you can't be a successful officer if your significant other doesn't drink the Kool Aid.


Great posts on this all around!

For whatever it may be worth, the prior service officers (and enlisted) that then go JAG often bring a valuable additional skillset to the table. I've had the opportunity to work with AF JAGs with prior service in each of the other branches - ranging from intel officers, rated flyers/navs/etc, rescue swimmers, to tabbed out Ranger/SF types. That prior experience, when combined with your legal/JAG training, can make you a very valuable asset for a commander. Most of the JAGs out there only know the military from their singular JAG perspective - having experienced things from the X AFSC/MOS can make you better. Former contracting/acquisitions officer? You better believe that experience will serve you well on the JA side of procurement. Former combat arms? Operations law and the SOF world would welcome that type of experience.

You also come in with an extra layer of credibility with the commanders you are advising or jury panel you are trying to convince - the extra fruit salad on your service dress, additional occupational badge, etc. It shows you have been around the block.

And can consider if another service branch - just because you are prior Army does not mean the USAF/USN/USMC are off the table.

Good luck!

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Ex non-JAG military officer and 2L here. I ask this with 100% sincerity: why JAG if you're prior service? Please don't say retirement. Anyone who knows the military knows that Uncle Sam makes officers earn that pension (which isn't that great now anyways).


As a prior military officer who separated and then came back in as a JAG, I can certainly tell you my reasons....


Thanks everyone for understanding my question and responding honestly. I legit wasn't considering JAG before. But now its on my radar. I didn't dislike the Army. I think my wife had a bad intro though because we were at a bad duty station (zero career opportunities ect...). So its hard to convince her to go back -- you can't be a successful officer if your significant other doesn't drink the Kool Aid.


Separate Anon here in the same spot as you. It's been ~3 years since I left active duty and I have found this "sabbatical" long enough to wash away some of the prior pain with nostalgia and realize that some of the pain is true in military or civilian employment. I also have a wife whose not too pleased with the idea (but may be ok with the reserves), so that's something we're both up against.

I haven't made a decision about applying JAG yet, but I did learn something interesting that you might want to look into. I assumed that I would have to go straight through the JAG recruitment process like a civilian, because I didn't affiliate with the selected reserves. I've since learned that I'm eligible to apply for a lateral transfer from my old designator (Navy SWO) to the Navy JAG designator, even though I'm in the IRR. Since it's not a common route, it might be easier to use the JAG recruiting POCs at school. But I feel like it's good to know I have more than 1 option. Now I've only looked into this option for the Navy, so I don't know if there are similar options in other branches or for interservice transfers. Just something to look into.

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Re: Military Law

Postby howell » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Ex non-JAG military officer and 2L here. I ask this with 100% sincerity: why JAG if you're prior service? Please don't say retirement. Anyone who knows the military knows that Uncle Sam makes officers earn that pension (which isn't that great now anyways).


But financial considerations aside, I found that the military camaraderie and sense of overarching mission/goals/objectives etc. just doesn't exist in the civilian world. Some people don't need that; but I like it. Maybe my two summers at federal legal offices aren't representative of every governmental legal office, but I never really felt that draw. That's certainly not a criticism of civilian legal jobs, but I'm someone that thrives in the structure and mission-focused environment of the military.


This point times 1000. A lot of people tend to take the work/environment experience for granted when looking for positions. I think the camaraderie aspect is one of the biggest draws for me to JAG. Honestly, the current/former JAGs that I met through work and school seemed more collegial, humble and overall were just more helpful than some civilian attorneys I know. That's not to say that I haven't met great civilian attorneys or had great civilian jobs (because I have), but a lot of the lure of the military is that sort of mission-based and work-together attitude.

A little more on this, based on my extensive experience . . . of the last 4 days. I'm currently active duty, but I worked for several years in professional jobs before and during law school. This week, I went to training for federal civilian attorneys and a few other career fields. There were 1,500-2,000 people at this course/conference. I'm too used to the ready-made friends/acquaintances in the military, because it was rare I got past "Hi, I work at ____," with anyone. People just didn't care.

I have been to several JAG school (Army & AF) trainings this year, and it's an entirely different experience. You often have loads in common with nearly everyone you meet, and making friends and hanging out with people you just met is common. I forgot the rest of the world doesn't work that way.

For the OP, if you want to do trial work or work in the federal government, the AF JAG experience would be great. Whoever mentioned the increase in pay based on your prior service is on point. You'd at least be making what I am now (5.5 years in), and that is the equivalent of at least $100k in a secondary market.

And the retirement is decent; I agree with what others have said about that. Someone with 20 years as an O-5 would start with $52k today.

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Re: Military Law

Postby ak7ja » Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Ex non-JAG military officer and 2L here. I ask this with 100% sincerity: why JAG if you're prior service? Please don't say retirement. Anyone who knows the military knows that Uncle Sam makes officers earn that pension (which isn't that great now anyways).


As a prior military officer who separated and then came back in as a JAG, I can certainly tell you my reasons....


Thanks everyone for understanding my question and responding honestly. I legit wasn't considering JAG before. But now its on my radar. I didn't dislike the Army. I think my wife had a bad intro though because we were at a bad duty station (zero career opportunities ect...). So its hard to convince her to go back -- you can't be a successful officer if your significant other doesn't drink the Kool Aid.


Separate Anon here in the same spot as you. It's been ~3 years since I left active duty and I have found this "sabbatical" long enough to wash away some of the prior pain with nostalgia and realize that some of the pain is true in military or civilian employment. I also have a wife whose not too pleased with the idea (but may be ok with the reserves), so that's something we're both up against.

I haven't made a decision about applying JAG yet, but I did learn something interesting that you might want to look into. I assumed that I would have to go straight through the JAG recruitment process like a civilian, because I didn't affiliate with the selected reserves. I've since learned that I'm eligible to apply for a lateral transfer from my old designator (Navy SWO) to the Navy JAG designator, even though I'm in the IRR. Since it's not a common route, it might be easier to use the JAG recruiting POCs at school. But I feel like it's good to know I have more than 1 option. Now I've only looked into this option for the Navy, so I don't know if there are similar options in other branches or for interservice transfers. Just something to look into.



A little bit more on the Navy Reserve JAG route...typically they release a NAVADMIN around May of each year. Last year's was NAVADMIN 110/17 (I'd post a link but I'm not sure if that's allowed). I haven't seen one yet this year. This is only for prior Navy officers, and you must be either SELRES or IRR to apply. What I was told by the POC on the message was that in terms of competitiveness...they have more reserve JAG spots available than they have people to fill them. Not saying it's a shoe-in, but someone with decent AD/SELRES FITREPS would probably be pretty competitive. Other than AD Navy JAG--> SELRES, this is the only route to go into Navy JAG as a reservist (though they started a pilot program this past spring for Navy Reserve JAG open to previously enlisted servicemembers...not sure what ended up happening with it, but the officer recruiting offices -- separate from the JAG recruiting offices -- were looking for applicants). The applications are lateral transfer applications/redesignation applications and I'm not even sure if the Navy JAG recruiters have anything to do with this (I think they recruit just for Student Program and the Direct Appointment Program)...so you don't have to deal with all the medical requirements/resigning your commission/submitting LSAT scores & GPA. The only other thing to keep in mind with this route is that if you go in as a reservist, it's likely impossible to switch from Navy Reserve JAG to AD.

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:40 pm

US Army JAG Question:

Anyone set for the October class that's coming up in just a few weeks know what else we should be on the lookout for in the meantime? From my understanding we are to get our IRR appointment soon right and then official orders? After having been medically qualified/etc. it's coming up incredibly soon but it still doesn't feel "official" yet.

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:11 pm

Have you been medically qualified by HRC?

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Have you been medically qualified by HRC?


Yes.

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:24 pm

Patrick, did you ever conduct any selection interviews? I have mine coming up fast, just wondering if you have any last minute advice.

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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:Patrick, did you ever conduct any selection interviews? I have mine coming up fast, just wondering if you have any last minute advice.


No time like the last minute!

Staff Judge Advocates for the installation conduct the DAP and other official interviews - not a job I ever had. I'm certain there have been a number of posts giving general advice about the SJA interview on this forum over the years - use the search function and start digging.

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:US Army JAG Question:

Anyone set for the October class that's coming up in just a few weeks know what else we should be on the lookout for in the meantime? From my understanding we are to get our IRR appointment soon right and then official orders? After having been medically qualified/etc. it's coming up incredibly soon but it still doesn't feel "official" yet.


I'm hoping to be set for the October class but I haven't heard anything yet as far as official orders or IRR appointment. I was medically qualified by HRC but I haven't heard anything else since then. Have you heard anything as far as our assignment worksheets for our permanent duty station?

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Re: Military Law

Postby csjdoc » Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:13 am

Anonymous User wrote:US Army JAG Question:

Anyone set for the October class that's coming up in just a few weeks know what else we should be on the lookout for in the meantime? From my understanding we are to get our IRR appointment soon right and then official orders? After having been medically qualified/etc. it's coming up incredibly soon but it still doesn't feel "official" yet.


I'm tentatively scheduled for the October class. Have they released the start date yet?

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:US Army JAG Question:

Anyone set for the October class that's coming up in just a few weeks know what else we should be on the lookout for in the meantime? From my understanding we are to get our IRR appointment soon right and then official orders? After having been medically qualified/etc. it's coming up incredibly soon but it still doesn't feel "official" yet.


I'm hoping to be set for the October class but I haven't heard anything yet as far as official orders or IRR appointment. I was medically qualified by HRC but I haven't heard anything else since then. Have you heard anything as far as our assignment worksheets for our permanent duty station?


I think the Oct class is full, but did JARO tell you anything?? I'm tentatively slated for the Jan class. Anyone in that session?

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:US Army JAG Question:

Anyone set for the October class that's coming up in just a few weeks know what else we should be on the lookout for in the meantime? From my understanding we are to get our IRR appointment soon right and then official orders? After having been medically qualified/etc. it's coming up incredibly soon but it still doesn't feel "official" yet.


I'm hoping to be set for the October class but I haven't heard anything yet as far as official orders or IRR appointment. I was medically qualified by HRC but I haven't heard anything else since then. Have you heard anything as far as our assignment worksheets for our permanent duty station?


I think the Oct class is full, but did JARO tell you anything?? I'm tentatively slated for the Jan class. Anyone in that session?



What makes you think the OCT class is full? I'm a FY18 Select but have not heard anything from HRC, or JARO since qualifying through DoDMERB.

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Re: Military Law

Postby wrangler9 » Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:41 pm

FY18 Army active duty select here. Heard from JARO a couple of months ago that I cleared all medical. Haven’t heard from them since. I’m assuming I am in the January class because I just graduated this last semester and took the July bar (hope I passed). Anyone else hear from JARO recently? I’m assuming I won’t hear from them until I can submit my Letter of Good Standing?

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:US Army JAG Question:

Anyone set for the October class that's coming up in just a few weeks know what else we should be on the lookout for in the meantime? From my understanding we are to get our IRR appointment soon right and then official orders? After having been medically qualified/etc. it's coming up incredibly soon but it still doesn't feel "official" yet.


I'm hoping to be set for the October class but I haven't heard anything yet as far as official orders or IRR appointment. I was medically qualified by HRC but I haven't heard anything else since then. Have you heard anything as far as our assignment worksheets for our permanent duty station?


I think the Oct class is full, but did JARO tell you anything?? I'm tentatively slated for the Jan class. Anyone in that session?


No, I haven't heard anything since I cleared the medical portion with HRC months ago. Did JARO tell you that the October class is full?

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:US Army JAG Question:

Anyone set for the October class that's coming up in just a few weeks know what else we should be on the lookout for in the meantime? From my understanding we are to get our IRR appointment soon right and then official orders? After having been medically qualified/etc. it's coming up incredibly soon but it still doesn't feel "official" yet.


I'm hoping to be set for the October class but I haven't heard anything yet as far as official orders or IRR appointment. I was medically qualified by HRC but I haven't heard anything else since then. Have you heard anything as far as our assignment worksheets for our permanent duty station?


I think the Oct class is full, but did JARO tell you anything?? I'm tentatively slated for the Jan class. Anyone in that session?



What makes you think the OCT class is full? I'm a FY18 Select but have not heard anything from HRC, or JARO since qualifying through DoDMERB.


I'm a FY18 Select too and I haven't heard anything since qualifying through DODMERB. JARO hasn't responded to any of my requests for information.

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:US Army JAG Question:

Anyone set for the October class that's coming up in just a few weeks know what else we should be on the lookout for in the meantime? From my understanding we are to get our IRR appointment soon right and then official orders? After having been medically qualified/etc. it's coming up incredibly soon but it still doesn't feel "official" yet.


I'm hoping to be set for the October class but I haven't heard anything yet as far as official orders or IRR appointment. I was medically qualified by HRC but I haven't heard anything else since then. Have you heard anything as far as our assignment worksheets for our permanent duty station?


I think the Oct class is full, but did JARO tell you anything?? I'm tentatively slated for the Jan class. Anyone in that session?



What makes you think the OCT class is full? I'm a FY18 Select but have not heard anything from HRC, or JARO since qualifying through DoDMERB.


Oct is a smaller class. Jan is a bigger class.

Also even if you are medically cleared but you dont have all the info they requested from you (bar license, transcripts, birth certificate, letter of good standing etc.) in I was told they dont schedule you for a class yet.

You have to remember they are trying to accommodate everyone based on whose licensed, whose medically cleared and who provided all the requisite info early enough. Remember also its the government and the process with any military or agency can take a long time. Good luck!

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Re: Military Law

Postby mrosmith » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:50 pm

Apologies if this question has been asked and answered, but 330+ pages are a lot to peruse.

Graduated middle of the class at a T14 in 2013, ended up in corporate transactional big law (v50) and hate it.

Strongly considering AF JAG as wells as FBI.

Anyone have any insight into translating the negotiating experience I have with complex financial transactions into the sort of advocacy JAG boards are looking for?

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Re: Military Law

Postby Patrick Bateman » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:25 am

mrosmith wrote:Apologies if this question has been asked and answered, but 330+ pages are a lot to peruse.

Graduated middle of the class at a T14 in 2013, ended up in corporate transactional big law (v50) and hate it.

Strongly considering AF JAG as wells as FBI.

Anyone have any insight into translating the negotiating experience I have with complex financial transactions into the sort of advocacy JAG boards are looking for?


I think you are safe with this being territory the thread has not covered yet.

So, a major disclaimer that I don't have any direct BigLaw experience.

My gut is that trying to spin the complex financial transactions piece, on its own, may be tricky in addressing the advocacy element. I would think about this broadly. If you look to my previous posts that give advice to AD JAGs looking to jump to the civilian side, I always push for the "make every weakness into a strength" philosophy. Based on my general knowledge of your professional world, you likely cannot hang your hat on a large body count of trials, motions, etc like some Assistant District Attorney could. But what skills and practice insight can you bring to the table that the ADA cannot? I have to think you have an excellent attention to detail, ability to manage complex projects, or whatever. Your practice has given you skills that others would not ordinarily possess - think about how that can be made appealing to the interviewing SJA and the accessions board.

You will likely get some question along the lines of asking what you can bring to the table as a JAG - an answer along the lines of "my time as an associate has not given me the time in the courtroom I know I've always wanted - that is part of my motivation of leaving Dewey, Cheatem & Howe, LLP and wanting to become an AF JAG. However, my years there have given me invaluable experience in XYZ and this is why I'll be an asset to you all." Keep in mind not all of the JAG Corps is in the courtroom - your skills would likely translate well to our procurement type work, environmental, etc.

And I would also consider how you can sell whatever form of advocacy experience you might have. Has there ever been time where you have had to advocate a position to a partner/client/etc - be it orally, in writing, or as part of presentation? Ever had to sell an idea to an audience that was either neutral or adverse to your position? Something like that. You could use stuff like that as a tack on, noting that while you have not had traditional courtroom time, your job regularly required X which will help you in advising commanders, etc.

As an aside, we don't get a lot of folks coming from V50 backgrounds. Be ready to address why you are leaving and looking for a change, but in a positive way (the old rule of not trashing your former employer).

For FBI - are you looking Agent or GC's Office?

Good luck!

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Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:03 pm

Who else is headed to Benning in October? We should swamp information and do a little TLS meet up there.

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Re: Military Law

Postby mrosmith » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:12 pm

Patrick Bateman wrote:
mrosmith wrote:Apologies if this question has been asked and answered, but 330+ pages are a lot to peruse.

Graduated middle of the class at a T14 in 2013, ended up in corporate transactional big law (v50) and hate it.

Strongly considering AF JAG as wells as FBI.

Anyone have any insight into translating the negotiating experience I have with complex financial transactions into the sort of advocacy JAG boards are looking for?


I think you are safe with this being territory the thread has not covered yet.

So, a major disclaimer that I don't have any direct BigLaw experience.

My gut is that trying to spin the complex financial transactions piece, on its own, may be tricky in addressing the advocacy element. I would think about this broadly. If you look to my previous posts that give advice to AD JAGs looking to jump to the civilian side, I always push for the "make every weakness into a strength" philosophy. Based on my general knowledge of your professional world, you likely cannot hang your hat on a large body count of trials, motions, etc like some Assistant District Attorney could. But what skills and practice insight can you bring to the table that the ADA cannot? I have to think you have an excellent attention to detail, ability to manage complex projects, or whatever. Your practice has given you skills that others would not ordinarily possess - think about how that can be made appealing to the interviewing SJA and the accessions board.

You will likely get some question along the lines of asking what you can bring to the table as a JAG - an answer along the lines of "my time as an associate has not given me the time in the courtroom I know I've always wanted - that is part of my motivation of leaving Dewey, Cheatem & Howe, LLP and wanting to become an AF JAG. However, my years there have given me invaluable experience in XYZ and this is why I'll be an asset to you all." Keep in mind not all of the JAG Corps is in the courtroom - your skills would likely translate well to our procurement type work, environmental, etc.

And I would also consider how you can sell whatever form of advocacy experience you might have. Has there ever been time where you have had to advocate a position to a partner/client/etc - be it orally, in writing, or as part of presentation? Ever had to sell an idea to an audience that was either neutral or adverse to your position? Something like that. You could use stuff like that as a tack on, noting that while you have not had traditional courtroom time, your job regularly required X which will help you in advising commanders, etc.

As an aside, we don't get a lot of folks coming from V50 backgrounds. Be ready to address why you are leaving and looking for a change, but in a positive way (the old rule of not trashing your former employer).

For FBI - are you looking Agent or GC's Office?

Good luck!


Thank you. I really appreciate your insight. Any suggestions for letters of recommendation?

Anonymous User
Posts: 326552
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Military Law

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:59 pm

mrosmith wrote:
Patrick Bateman wrote:
mrosmith wrote:Apologies if this question has been asked and answered, but 330+ pages are a lot to peruse.

Graduated middle of the class at a T14 in 2013, ended up in corporate transactional big law (v50) and hate it.

Strongly considering AF JAG as wells as FBI.

Anyone have any insight into translating the negotiating experience I have with complex financial transactions into the sort of advocacy JAG boards are looking for?


I think you are safe with this being territory the thread has not covered yet.

So, a major disclaimer that I don't have any direct BigLaw experience.

My gut is that trying to spin the complex financial transactions piece, on its own, may be tricky in addressing the advocacy element. I would think about this broadly. If you look to my previous posts that give advice to AD JAGs looking to jump to the civilian side, I always push for the "make every weakness into a strength" philosophy. Based on my general knowledge of your professional world, you likely cannot hang your hat on a large body count of trials, motions, etc like some Assistant District Attorney could. But what skills and practice insight can you bring to the table that the ADA cannot? I have to think you have an excellent attention to detail, ability to manage complex projects, or whatever. Your practice has given you skills that others would not ordinarily possess - think about how that can be made appealing to the interviewing SJA and the accessions board.

You will likely get some question along the lines of asking what you can bring to the table as a JAG - an answer along the lines of "my time as an associate has not given me the time in the courtroom I know I've always wanted - that is part of my motivation of leaving Dewey, Cheatem & Howe, LLP and wanting to become an AF JAG. However, my years there have given me invaluable experience in XYZ and this is why I'll be an asset to you all." Keep in mind not all of the JAG Corps is in the courtroom - your skills would likely translate well to our procurement type work, environmental, etc.

And I would also consider how you can sell whatever form of advocacy experience you might have. Has there ever been time where you have had to advocate a position to a partner/client/etc - be it orally, in writing, or as part of presentation? Ever had to sell an idea to an audience that was either neutral or adverse to your position? Something like that. You could use stuff like that as a tack on, noting that while you have not had traditional courtroom time, your job regularly required X which will help you in advising commanders, etc.

As an aside, we don't get a lot of folks coming from V50 backgrounds. Be ready to address why you are leaving and looking for a change, but in a positive way (the old rule of not trashing your former employer).

For FBI - are you looking Agent or GC's Office?

Good luck!


Thank you. I really appreciate your insight. Any suggestions for letters of recommendation?


I have a similar background, but was in litigation and was pro rec'd. Were you able to do any pro bono lit work while at your firm? I would emphasize that or start volunteering for some litigation pro bono now. The key imo is to be as well-rounded and experienced as possible, and also to be open to starting from scratch. What I saw in my firm was that transactional attorneys forgot everything they ever knew about litigation after starting their jobs. If that's your situation, you absolutely need to show that you can pick it up without much guidance.

Backload

New
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:10 pm

Re: Military Law

Postby Backload » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:44 pm

mrosmith wrote:
Patrick Bateman wrote:
mrosmith wrote:Apologies if this question has been asked and answered, but 330+ pages are a lot to peruse.

Graduated middle of the class at a T14 in 2013, ended up in corporate transactional big law (v50) and hate it.

Strongly considering AF JAG as wells as FBI.

Anyone have any insight into translating the negotiating experience I have with complex financial transactions into the sort of advocacy JAG boards are looking for?


I think you are safe with this being territory the thread has not covered yet.

So, a major disclaimer that I don't have any direct BigLaw experience.

My gut is that trying to spin the complex financial transactions piece, on its own, may be tricky in addressing the advocacy element. I would think about this broadly. If you look to my previous posts that give advice to AD JAGs looking to jump to the civilian side, I always push for the "make every weakness into a strength" philosophy. Based on my general knowledge of your professional world, you likely cannot hang your hat on a large body count of trials, motions, etc like some Assistant District Attorney could. But what skills and practice insight can you bring to the table that the ADA cannot? I have to think you have an excellent attention to detail, ability to manage complex projects, or whatever. Your practice has given you skills that others would not ordinarily possess - think about how that can be made appealing to the interviewing SJA and the accessions board.

You will likely get some question along the lines of asking what you can bring to the table as a JAG - an answer along the lines of "my time as an associate has not given me the time in the courtroom I know I've always wanted - that is part of my motivation of leaving Dewey, Cheatem & Howe, LLP and wanting to become an AF JAG. However, my years there have given me invaluable experience in XYZ and this is why I'll be an asset to you all." Keep in mind not all of the JAG Corps is in the courtroom - your skills would likely translate well to our procurement type work, environmental, etc.

And I would also consider how you can sell whatever form of advocacy experience you might have. Has there ever been time where you have had to advocate a position to a partner/client/etc - be it orally, in writing, or as part of presentation? Ever had to sell an idea to an audience that was either neutral or adverse to your position? Something like that. You could use stuff like that as a tack on, noting that while you have not had traditional courtroom time, your job regularly required X which will help you in advising commanders, etc.

As an aside, we don't get a lot of folks coming from V50 backgrounds. Be ready to address why you are leaving and looking for a change, but in a positive way (the old rule of not trashing your former employer).

For FBI - are you looking Agent or GC's Office?

Good luck!


Thank you. I really appreciate your insight. Any suggestions for letters of recommendation?


The main thing I would say is to get the maximum number of recommendation letters allowed. I think it is currently 5, so I would submit 5.

For content, someone who can speak on behalf of your advocacy skills, leadership skills. Just think of all the attributes that have been said to be highlighted and get recommendations letters from people who can best y’all about those. Any military contacts you have on why you would be a fit with the military are always a help too.

JackSparrow123

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Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:57 am

Re: Military Law

Postby JackSparrow123 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Who else is headed to Benning in October? We should swamp information and do a little TLS meet up there.


I am! Active Duty Army.



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