The JAG Corps is a wide-ranging practice that includes military law and criminal prosecution to international law and legal assistance—both in the U.S. and abroad.
Being a part of the JAG Corps offers the unique opportunity of serving one’s country as an Officer in the Army while quickly developing professional skills. This is exactly why JAG Corps Attorneys gain a valuable career edge and an excellent starting point for a career in public service. In addition, JAG Corps Attorneys can choose to serve either full-time in Active Duty, or part-time in the Army Reserves.
The JAG Corps is much more than the legal arm of the Army. JAG Corps Attorneys are exposed to a wide variety of legal work with wide-reaching impact in just a few short years.
Benefits and Requirements
How do we make a case for joining the Army JAG Corps? Just take a look at any JAG Corps Attorney. You’ll see an attorney who is serving their country and practicing a wide variety of law. An attorney working in a positive environment that fosters personal and professional growth. All of which begs the question: What civilian law firm can offer that?
- Begin Service as an Officer
- Enter the Army at an advanced pay grade
- Receive a promotion within 6-12 months of being commissioned
- Practice and gain expertise in a wide variety of law
One of the major reasons attorneys choose the Army JAG Corps is the opportunity to gain experience quickly. A JAG Corps Attorney is almost immediately given the responsibility it takes their former classmates years to achieve. What’s more, JAG Corps Attorneys are given many continuing legal education opportunities, they receive valuable mentoring from superiors, and they work with talented, dedicated people in service to their country.
POSITIVE WORK ENVIRONMENT
An important benefit of the Army JAG Corps is the positive work environment. Unlike some civilian firms, the Army provides a refreshingly supportive atmosphere. Environment is key in the development of JAG Corps Attorneys because alongside more opportunity comes more responsibility. Instead of taking a background role in legal proceedings, you’ll be deeply involved in the intricacies of the law. But by no means will you be alone; senior Officers with years of experience will mentor you, offering encouragement and constructive criticism. Your growth as a Soldier-Lawyer is paramount.
Additionally, the Army JAG Corps proudly supports employment equality because diversity is an important part of the Army experience.
Once you’re accepted into the JAG Corps , you’ll have the chance to expand your legal knowledge and professional growth through many educational opportunities. A few of these include:
- Continuous Legal Education (CLE)
- Masters of Laws (Military Law)
- Masters of Laws (Specialized)
- Command and General Staff College
- Special Military Training (including Airborne, Ranger and Air Assault Schools)
LONG-TERM CAREER OPPORTUNITIES
For JAG Corps Attorneys who decide to extend their tour of duty beyond their three-year commitment, the Army offers a wide array of growth opportunities. With continuing education, JAG Corps Attorneys can achieve varied experience in a number of capacities:
- Supervisory positions
- Appellate practice
- Military judges
Because there are many more applicants to the JAG Corps than openings, the Army is looking for the best and the brightest. In addition to academic requirements, candidates are expected to exhibit the qualities befitting an Officer in service to their country, such as leadership, physical fitness, commitment and professionalism. Among other things, a qualified candidate will:
- Be mentally and physically fit
- Be of good moral standing and character
- Pass security clearance and citizenship requirements
- Have graduated from an ABA-approved law school
- Have been admitted to the bar of either a federal court or the highest court of any state in the United States or the District of Columbia
- Be 34 years of age or younger at the time he or she is commissioned in the JAG Corps
Once selected, applicants who accept a direct commission in the JAG Corps serve a three-year tour of duty. Officers choosing to continue their career in the JAG Corps will find many opportunities for both personal and professional growth.
Upon acceptance of your assignment to the JAG Corps , your continued education begins immediately. Future JAG Corps Attorneys attend the 14-week JAG Corps Officer Basic Course (OBC). The course is divided into two phases: a four-week Military Orientation Phase at Fort Lee, VA, and a 10-week Military Law Phase taught at The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center School, U.S. Army (The JAG Corps School) in Charlottesville, VA. The JAG Corps School is the only ABA-approved law school in all of the military services.
Instead of going through basic training, JAG Corps Attorneys attend a Military Orientation Phase that provides an overview of Officer responsibilities and basic Soldiering skills. Training includes physical fitness, weapons familiarization and deployment skills. A field training exercise gives candidates the opportunity to employ their new skills in the field.
Located on the grounds of the University of Virginia, students attend the ABA-approved JAG Corps School. The Military Law Phase is a combination of substantive instruction and practical exercises. Students receive training in research and communication skills—enhancing those skills already learned in law school—and are introduced to formats and resources used in military practice.