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JAG with no law school

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  • JAG with no law school

    My wife is interested in joining the National Guard but has a few questions. She currently has her bachelor's degree and hopes to start law school within the year. Does anyone know if the guard will put her on active duty to attend law school? If not, are there any benefits that would help offset the cost of her not working full time to attend school?

    I know some aspects of the guard but intricacies such as this, I am clueless. I thank you in advanced for your help!

  • #2
    This link should answer your question

    JAG Eligibility Requirements

    In order to become a JAG officer, you'll need to meet the following requirements:
    • Have graduated from an ABA-approved law school (though you may apply in your third year of law school)
    • Been admitted to the bar and serve in the National Guard of the same state
    • Be mentally and physically fit
    • Be of good moral standing and character
    • Be a U.S. citizen
    • Meet the prescribed medical and moral standards for appointment as a commissioned officer
    • Be able to obtain a secret security clearance


    • #3
      I have looked at that and understand the requirements to become a JAG officer. The question pertains to the guard in general and if they would help pay for her school or help with living expenses while she is in school.


      • Chief Kemosabe
        Chief Kemosabe commented
        Editing a comment
        I thought this bullet had made it clear Have graduated from an ABA-approved law school (though you may apply in your third year of law school)

        JAG does not recruit people and pay for their education to go into their program. They already had to meet the requirements below to apply. Your second question has nothing to do with JAG. She can enlist or attempt OCS and then upon graduating from one or the other, can begin to receive education monies for her law program. Your wife will not live with you while she is in school? Living expenses? Also, just because she passes the bar and becomes a lawyer still does not guarantee acceptance into JAG. That depends on other factors such as job availability in your state.

        When I was in the Guard, I worked and attended college as a full-time student (12 credits) and only had to pay registration fees and books and earned my bachelor's in 2001. I earned my MS last year, while on active duty and the military paid for the bulk of the cost. Good luck.
        Last edited by Chief Kemosabe; February 10th, 2014, 06:26 AM.

    • #4
      The short answer is, no.

      That said, she can still craft her own plan that will support her goals. She could enlist, and draw educational benefits for law school upon return from Basic and AIT. Her MOS need not relate to the legal field, she could do anything she wants. That educational money probably won't completely pay for law school, but it can take a significant bite out of it.


      • #5
        So it wouldn't be possible for her to join ROTC with a GRFD scholarship? Not that I would advise doing ROTC and law school. But I know of several cadets that did ROTC while as graduate students.


        • matthew.ritchie
          matthew.ritchie commented
          Editing a comment
          ROTC scholarships for grad school only last two years, so she'd need to figure out how to validate the first two years of ROTC (whether through Basic and AIT, or ROTC's summer training). Also, it's kind of a waste, since JAG does not require ROTC (although the experience could help her performance in the Army throughout her career).

          Currently-serving JAGs may have some guidance.

      • #6
        Certainly not required to commission JAG, but the post is also about paying for law school.


        • #7
          Thank you to mostly everyone who helped answer my questions, I appreciate it. We have not looked into the ROTC program as of this time, but we will look at that option. She will be speaking with a recruiter in the coming weeks to try and figure out the options.


          • #8
            ROTC could be a good way to pay for at least two years of law school, though you'd have to make sure a scholarship was available. The two-year plan is highly accelerated, and they cram a bunch of stuff into your summers. I didn't do it, but I had a classmate who did.

            I think she could also do regular ROTC on the accelerated three-year plan as an SMP cadet. That being said, I don't think you're guaranteed a JA slot after ROTC. One would presume that if they were paying for you to go to law school, they would put you in as a JA. However, as I recall they can put you in any branch they want to upon graduation.

            One of the paralegals in my unit and I were discussing the money issue the other day. You actually come out a lot better financially to join the Guard as an enlisted person, max out your bonuses and entitlements (education being included in that), and then commission as a Judge Advocate. Enlisting also opens the door a bit wider for being a warrant officer once you hit your MRD as an officer, if that's something you're interested in. And if I had it to do over again, I'd have enlisted as something fun, not as a paralegal (and then I'd have moved over to the officer side as a JA). Not that I mind being a JA -- I actually enjoy it -- but I think it would be a nice change of pace to blow stuff up on the weekends, and the small-unit experience would be helpful.


            • #9
              Not really a Guard thing but Active Army has the FLEP program. The Army will pay for your salary and pay for law school for up to 25 Army officers per year. This is extremely competitive and would require your wife to be an officer for a few years before she could apply.

              There is no guarantee of becoming a JA after law school. It is a very competitive process (about 10% acceptance for Active a little higher for Guard/Reserve).