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Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:03 am
by S. Goodman
*****Edit . . . now that I am further along in the Navy Jag timeline I'd like to update my original questions below with the answers that I now know for posterity. :o *****Edit . . .

So my reasons for making this post are two fold:

(1) I would like to talk directly with other people who are going to be submitting an application for the Spring board for Navy Jag student program (this Spring, Feb 13th, 15). The other military law thread is fine and all, but it is nearly 300 pages long, and with all the branches and programs mixed together (and the chatter back and forth) it is hard to pull out and or follow the information that pertains to this subject with ease. So rather than reading for 40 minutes to find one answer I thought this would be more helpful.

(2) I have a few questions pertaining to the Navy Jag student program that may or may not be answered in the military law thread already, but even if they are others who are interested in the answers will have easier access to them if they are presented here.


So if you know, either indirectly or from first hand experience, I was curious about the following:


(A) Who else here is submitting an application for this Spring? Have you already completed it? Done your interview? Have you applied before?

(B) If you have done your interview, how was it? What types of questions were asked etc.?

Answer: Open ended questions geared toward assessing the applicants ability to solve problems, ability to lead, and ability to cope in a military retirement. The questions are supposed to be secret, so you won't find anyone that will tell you what they were asked. The questions are also routinely updated and changed. There is no way to prepare for the questions, which is their purpose. Just be calm and respectful.

(C) In regard to competitiveness, what have you heard?

Answer: The general consensus is that Jag is extremely competitive. Interest in Jag is very high, which is most likely attributable to the poor economy, and the relatively high starting salary for Jags.

(D) Once you've been professionally recommended, what happens after that?

Answer: You fill out your security clearance paperwork, and go to MEPS to get medically qualified. Afterward you commission and wait to graduate law school to begin training.

(E) In regard to rank, what type of promotion schedule is there? E.g. in the Army you start off at 02 but get 03 within the first year. Does the Navy have something similar?

Answer: The Navy's promotion schedule is pretty much the same. You commission as an O1, then are promoted to O2 once you begin training. You pick up O3 about a year after that.

(F) This goes back to the competitiveness question again, but what have you heard about grades and school prestige and acceptance? What does the accepted applicant look like?

Answer: I am not sure what the "typical" applicant looks like, I'm sure there is a very wide spectrum of attributes and characteristics that makes each select extraordinary. For an idea though, I was selected my first application for the Spring board of my 2L year. I go to a T25, and was at the time of my application in the top half of my class. I transferred from a T2, I was top 25% there. I am a member of a secondary journal at my school. I was also in the Marines on active duty before law school.

(G) Is the professional recommendation essentially the big hump you have to get over? Once you do that are you essentially "in"?

Answer: In my opinion, yes. Although medical qualification is a huge hurdle for most too, and graduating and passing the BAR is difficult as well. However, the medical clearance and the BAR are pretty much in your control. Getting professionally recommended is not. All you can do is put your best foot forward and hope you get in. I think the PR is the biggest hurdle, and once you get that you are essentially in, so long as you can meet the commissioning prerequisites.

(H) I've heard that prior military guys have essentially a guaranteed professional recommendation so long as all there stuff is essentially acceptable? Is that true?

Answer: I am firmly convinced that this is true. I derived this opinion from my experience. I don't feel as though my school or grades are particularly strong. However, I think "guaranteed" is too strong of a word to use, but I do think it is a HUGE leg up. If you were in the Navy or the Marines I think that even helps you more. I don't believe the PR is easy to get for anyone, but I really do believe that my being a Marine got me a PR.

(I) At what point in the process do you have to take your official PT test, get weighed in, and get checked out medically, physically etc?

Answer: Once you get PR'd you have roughly 60 days to get medically qualified and submit your package to commission. As far as I know you do not take an official PT test until you begin training after law school.

If there is anything else anecdotal or otherwise that you think is germane please add that too. Thanks for reading! Hopefully we can keep this thread alive until we get the results back some time in April. It would be nice to read everyone's experience come full circle from application to acceptance/denial. Please weigh in on my questions if you can.

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 5:34 pm
by S. Goodman
So I found most of my answers here: http://www.jag.navy.mil/careers/careers ... _small.pdf

That is straight from the horses mouth.

Despite lack of participation on this thread I will still keep it updated up until I find out whether I have been professionally recommended or not.

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:42 am
by bruinfan10
Just wanted to say I appreciate you making a new JAG thread. I check in with all the existing ones from time to time and that 300+ page monstrosity has gotten unworkable.

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:41 pm
by S. Goodman
bruinfan10 wrote:Just wanted to say I appreciate you making a new JAG thread. I check in with all the existing ones from time to time and that 300+ page monstrosity has gotten unworkable.



Thanks, I wish some others who are working the Navy Jag application would chime in so we could get this thing going. I am in the process of scheduling my interview as we speak. Once I find out if I am professionally recommended or not I won't be posting anymore so hopefully we can get some more people to participate by then!

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:21 pm
by brownshoe
S. Goodman wrote:(H) I've heard that prior military guys have essentially a guaranteed professional recommendation so long as all there stuff is essentially acceptable? Is that true? Do they basically have a spot waiting for them if they want it? Wondering because that would make it harder for the rest of us of course, and there are some prior military folks at my school intending to apply I believe.


This is not true at all. If a "prior" has a strong military record, that will be a big plus. However, it cuts both ways - I've seen people that would be almost guaranteed selects based on their academics get dinged because of something negative in their military record.

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:52 pm
by S. Goodman
brownshoe wrote:
S. Goodman wrote:(H) I've heard that prior military guys have essentially a guaranteed professional recommendation so long as all there stuff is essentially acceptable? Is that true? Do they basically have a spot waiting for them if they want it?


I've seen people that would be almost guaranteed selects based on their academics get dinged because of something negative in their military record.


So when you say guaranteed selects based on academics what do you mean exactly? What type of profile have you seen be typically selected in your experience?

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:49 pm
by brownshoe
S. Goodman wrote:
brownshoe wrote:
S. Goodman wrote:(H) I've heard that prior military guys have essentially a guaranteed professional recommendation so long as all there stuff is essentially acceptable? Is that true? Do they basically have a spot waiting for them if they want it? Wondering because that would make it harder for the rest of us of course, and there are some prior military folks at my school intending to apply I believe.


I've seen people that would be almost guaranteed selects based on their academics get dinged because of something negative in their military record.


So when you say guaranteed selects based on academics what do you mean exactly? What type of profile have you seen be typically selected in your experience?

Top 25 type school with top 10-20% grades. Beyond academics, the best candidates have leadership experience and a history of public service. Obviously, not every selectee has all of these, but that is the profile of a very strong candidate. The board I observed had a pretty high percentage of selectees that had at least two of the 3 things I mentioned.

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:27 am
by S. Goodman
brownshoe wrote:Top 25 type school with top 10-20% grades. Beyond academics, the best candidates have leadership experience and a history of public service. Obviously, not every selectee has all of these, but that is the profile of a very strong candidate. The board I observed had a pretty high percentage of selectees that had at least two of the 3 things I mentioned.


Well hearing that makes me feel a little better. Any thing else you'd care to share?

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:22 pm
by TheSpanishMain
What kind of negative thing have you seen sink a prior? Ucmj? Bad fitrep?

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:06 pm
by S. Goodman
TheSpanishMain wrote:What kind of negative thing have you seen sink a prior? Ucmj? Bad fitrep?



I am also curious about this.

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:45 pm
by brownshoe
TheSpanishMain wrote:What kind of negative thing have you seen sink a prior? Ucmj? Bad fitrep?

Yes, I have seen an NJP, but more common are average to below average fitreps/evals.

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:54 pm
by S. Goodman
brownshoe wrote:
TheSpanishMain wrote:What kind of negative thing have you seen sink a prior? Ucmj? Bad fitrep?

Yes, I have seen an NJP, but more common are average to below average fitreps/evals.


So to clarify, you are actually saying that average evaluations from someone with military experience would be enough to knock them out of the running? That seems a bit excessive, but I mean I don't know, I have never seen a board as you have. Average evaluations seems pretty benign. That alone keeping someone out of Jag while having the other factors you were talking about seems almost unbelievable.

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:02 pm
by brownshoe
S. Goodman wrote:
brownshoe wrote:
TheSpanishMain wrote:What kind of negative thing have you seen sink a prior? Ucmj? Bad fitrep?

Yes, I have seen an NJP, but more common are average to below average fitreps/evals.


So to clarify, you are actually saying that average evaluations from someone with military experience would be enough to knock them out of the running? That seems a bit excessive, but I mean I don't know, I have never seen a board as you have. Average evaluations seems pretty benign. That alone keeping someone out of Jag while having the other factors you were talking about seems almost unbelievable.

Yeah, it seems extreme. Two things, though. The board I saw was a few years ago, and the selection rate was about 6%, so it was ridiculously competitive. I think the last board was over 20%, so some of those I saw rejected would make it now. Second, "average" is probably too subjective. By average, I mean truly average - mid-pack officer who doesn't really stand out in any way, for example leaving a command without an EP, but nothing explicitly negative.

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:27 pm
by TheSpanishMain
Pm'd you

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:11 pm
by S. Goodman
brownshoe wrote:Yeah, it seems extreme. Two things, though. The board I saw was a few years ago, and the selection rate was about 6%, so it was ridiculously competitive. I think the last board was over 20%, so some of those I saw rejected would make it now. Second, "average" is probably too subjective. By average, I mean truly average - mid-pack officer who doesn't really stand out in any way, for example leaving a command without an EP, but nothing explicitly negative.



Okay that makes more sense I suppose. How do you think military service affects the application for prior enlisted military rather than prior officers? Did you see any of those come through?

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:30 pm
by brownshoe
S. Goodman wrote:
brownshoe wrote:Yeah, it seems extreme. Two things, though. The board I saw was a few years ago, and the selection rate was about 6%, so it was ridiculously competitive. I think the last board was over 20%, so some of those I saw rejected would make it now. Second, "average" is probably too subjective. By average, I mean truly average - mid-pack officer who doesn't really stand out in any way, for example leaving a command without an EP, but nothing explicitly negative.



Okay that makes more sense I suppose. How do you think military service affects the application for prior enlisted military rather than prior officers? Did you see any of those come through?

My assumption going in was that prior officers would be selected at a higher rate. In actuality, I think it's pretty close to even. On the board I saw, they chose about the same number of Es as Os (and there were about the same number of applicants for each). Again, that's just one board. But the members certainly didn't discuss the Es vs. Os any differently.

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:47 pm
by S. Goodman
brownshoe wrote:My assumption going in was that prior officers would be selected at a higher rate. In actuality, I think it's pretty close to even. On the board I saw, they chose about the same number of Es as Os (and there were about the same number of applicants for each). Again, that's just one board. But the members certainly didn't discuss the Es vs. Os any differently.



Thanks for the information!

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:58 am
by Rambo152
I'm doing my interview next Wednesday for Navy SP.
The structured interview process sounds like it might be a bit intimidating, but I like the formality of it. Sounds more organized than the Air Force version. I do know that my interview will be with a LT in person and a CMDR over VTC.

My concern about this Navy Board is that the last board picked up a larger selection of applicants than usual. This might mean less money in the budget for JAGs this board, but who knows? Maybe it's a good thing.

Regarding the Prior Service thing, I know it wasn't a guaranteed acceptance for the AF Boards. I'm currently enlisted in the AFR and have been turned down for 4 boards. My academics are competitive, too, with a past AF JAG internship. Hoping for a different story with the Navy.

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:26 am
by JEB
So, I posted this in response to a question about the structured interview in the Military Law thread, but figured it would be good to repost it here:



So, speaking as someone who got picked up my first 2L Board this last fall for the SP, you want to do your best on the interview. From what I was told, the interview score and your LSAT score are weighted and added together to form a composite score. While that score will not get you into JAG, it could keep you from it. If they want to narrow the field of prospective applicants for the selection board to consider, they will choose a composite score number and everyone below it is out. At least that's what I was told by the LCDR who gave me a tour of the RLSO after my interview.

So your interview is important. On that same note, I felt like I completely bombed my interview but I still got PR'd.

As for what to expect, you'll be sitting in a room with 2 officers (I had 3 because there was a LT observing so that he can qualify to do the Structured Interviews). They will alternate asking you a set of questions that will test your ability to respond to crises and be a leader. They will not give you any feedback while you answer the questions. They will not interrupt you or tell you that you can stop answering. They will simply take notes while you ramble on however long you ramble on. When you stop and are clearly finished answering the question, they will ask the next question. The set of questions is the same for everyone, and I believe it remains the same for the whole year (but I don't know when in the year they change them). What I can tell you is that you will not find anyone who will tell you what the questions were. One of the first things you will be told at the SI is that you must not reveal the questions to anyone, because that would give that person an unfair advantage, and the SI is a very important tool for providing a measure of candidate ability that is applied uniformly.

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:11 pm
by Rambo152
Just killed it in the SI. These two forums have been a ton of help. Guess it's time for the waiting game.

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:51 pm
by TheSpanishMain
Checking in.

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:40 pm
by S. Goodman
Rambo152 wrote:Just killed it in the SI. These two forums have been a ton of help. Guess it's time for the waiting game.



Thanks for checking in you all. It is my hope that we can keep this thread alive and get it to achieve the level of success that the other thread has gotten. If I do end up getting into the Navy Jag I'll keep checking back forever to continue to give advice etc., I hope you all will do the same.

Anyway, I have my interview coming up real soon. Any advice you'd be willing to give to me and others regarding the SI? Since you just did it you'd be an amazing source of information!

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:24 pm
by Rambo152
S. Goodman wrote:Anyway, I have my interview coming up real soon. Any advice you'd be willing to give to me and others regarding the SI? Since you just did it you'd be an amazing source of information!


Well, as JEB has said, you're not allowed to disclose the questions. Some of the questions come off as kind of odd, but they're really checking for responses that demonstrate your abilities in leadership, time management, etc. My appraisers told me to take my time in formulating a response and that I could even take notes, outline, etc. As JEB also noted the interviewers will not engage you during the interview other than to ask the standard questions. Even though the appraisers warned me ahead of time, it still is pretty weird.

They also told me that the standard questions they ask are the only "graded" part of the interview. They won't ask about your resume or any questions geared towards you. You are free to ask them questions as well.

Good luck!

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:49 pm
by S. Goodman
Just did my structured interview.

I had heard before doing the interview from a incredible source that the interview was not that important. I mentioned this in the other military forum and I was swiftly corrected. I want to correct my previous imprudence now as well, the interview is extremely important. I am certain of that at this point! My interviewers were awesome and the experience wasn't as bad as I was expecting. Everyone has already mentioned the format of the interview so I wont repeat that.

This is my first application for any Jag Corps. I really want the Navy or the Army. Mostly the Navy. No interest in the others. From what I learned from my interview I feel pretty confident that I will not be selected on this board. Partly because apparently the selection rate for 2L's is significantly lower than for 3L's. Also I don't feel my grades are competitive compared to the other people I will be up against on this board.

Which brings me to a question. I know there are at least two people here that frequent both military law forums that were selected for the Navy Jag Student program this Fall (2014). My question to you two is what are your stats like? Grades. School prestige. Softs. Etc. This could maybe give us all an idea of the caliber of people applying and being accepted right now.

Mine are:
2L
T25 School
Top 50% Class Rank
Secondary Journal
Prior Enlisted Military (Marine Corps)
LOR's From Law professors/employers, and prior military commanders.

Re: Military Law - Navy Jag Student Program

Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:15 am
by JEB
I was selected as a 2L, which multiple JAGs have told me is uncommon. I'm at a T14 somewhere in the top 20%; Eagle Scout with great LORs.