JAG and Military Legal Careers
What is the Judge Advocate General Corps?
The Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG) Corps serve as legal counsel in the United States Military. JAG Officers serve as legal counsel and commissioned officers in their respected branch, both within the United States and around the globe. Representatives from the different JAG Corps (Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps) usually either visit Nebraska Law for recruiting and interviewing potential applicants or solicit applications through our online recruiting system, ROSCOE.
A career as a JAG officer offers unique challenges and rewards not found in the traditional practice of law. JAGs serve not only as attorneys, but as members of the United States Military, and as such, each branch has separate physical requirements apart from their legal education requirements. Those who serve with the JAG Corps must commit for a term of service of at least four years actively serving as legal counsel, and four years in inactive reserve status. However, those who are called to serve as JAGs will quickly gain extensive litigation experience in a wide variety of practice areas, and many former JAG Officers report high levels of satisfaction in their work.
Serving as a JAG Corps Advocate
The JAG Corps is an extremely desirable and competitive position and frequently only the most qualified candidates are accepted as JAG Officer. In addition, each branch requires specific medical and fitness requirements as a condition of service. At a bare minimum, each applicant to the JAG Corps in any branch must:
- Be a U.S. Citizen;
- Be able to pass a security clearance;
- Be a graduate from an ABA-accredited law school;
- Be admitted to practice before a Federal Court, the highest court of a State, Territory or Commonwealth or the District of Columbia; and
- Meet the physical and medical requirements for commission as an Officer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What kind of service commitment will be required?A: Each branch of the military requires that JAG officers commit to four years of active duty service. After four years of active service, each officer must remain on inactive (reserve) service. While on inactive status, individuals are subject to recall to active duty if a major war/conflict requires a recall.
Q: What benefits are offered to JAG Officers?
A: Benefits will depend on the branch, but in general, in addition to standard salary, JAG programs offer:
- Student Loan Repayment Forgiveness Programs
- Free Medical & Dental Insurance
- Qualification for Military Retirement Benefits after 20 years of service
- Promotion & Advancement
- 30 days of paid vacation and 10 federal holidays per year, plus sick leave
- Extra allowance for Housing & Cost of Living
Q: Are the summer employment opportunities for law students?A: Yes! 1L and 2L students are encouraged to apply for internship and externship opportunities with each branch. Deadlines to apply will vary depending on the branch.
Q: Should I be involved in JAG during the school year?
A: Several branches have created a student entry program that allows selected law students to commission as a reserve officer while still attending law school. These programs are the most common pipeline for those interested in becoming a JAG Corps Officer. Each program has its own requiremens for admission and selection, but most select students in their first or second year of law school.
Q: How do I contact someone about the JAG Corps?
A: Each branch of the military maintains their own website or FAQ with information on their respective program. Visit their pages to find out more about the application process, the requirements for the position, or to simply learn more about what it takes to serves as a JAG Corps Advocate.
Navy JAG Recruiter: LT. Todd Blair
Air Force JAG Recruiter: James Ouellette
Army JAG Recruiter:
Coast Guard JAG Recruiter:
Marine Corps JAG Recruiter: