Join a Firm Unlike Any Other
The U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, or JAG Corps, is a government law organization and one of the country’s largest law firms.
- It defends the Army and its Soldiers in all military legal matters
- It provides important legal advice to senior Army officials
- Its licensed attorneys and judges, called Judge Advocates, fight for justice at home and around the globe
The Army Lawyer Advantage
As an Army lawyer in the JAG Corps, you’ll gain experience that you wouldn’t get at a traditional law firm.
Make an Immediate Impact
You’ll gain litigation experience early on and take on meaningful casework that would take years to get in a civilian firm. Meanwhile, you’ll hold a respected leadership position in the Army as a commissioned Officer.
Take on Diverse Casework
By receiving the unique opportunity to rotate through 10 legal disciplines every few years, you’ll always stay challenged while gaining a deeper knowledge of the law.
Continue Your Education
With access to more than 60 continuing legal education courses every year, as well as continued training and leadership development throughout your career, there are endless opportunities to grow as a legal professional in your career.
Areas of Legal Practice
From offering legal assistance to Soldiers, to representing the United States government in civil cases, the work you do in the Army JAG Corps can change lives—and even history.
Represent and Advise Soldiers and Commanders
Get the chance to serve as Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, government or defense appellate counsel, or as a military judge. You’ll be responsible for prosecuting courts-martial or representing Soldiers accused of committing a crime.
You’ll be tasked with providing personal legal advice to Soldiers, families, and retirees in the U.S. and overseas. When abroad, you’ll get the chance to learn and apply the laws of host nations such as Germany, Korea, and Italy.
You’ll be providing counsel to Army commanders to ensure legal and regulatory compliance, both under U.S. law and military law. Your areas of work will include government ethics, administrative investigations, environmental law, Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act matters, as well as The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), which is military law enacted by Congress.
In this area of law, you’ll be responsible for providing legal advice to Army commanders on domestic and foreign laws that influence military operations. You’ll also review military plans and provide advice on the laws of war and rules of engagement—ensuring commanders have every lawful tool they need to succeed.
Represent and Advise on Behalf of the Army
You’ll be working with the Department of Justice to represent the U.S. Government in civil cases. You’ll also be responsible for negotiating settlements and arguing cases before administrative judges and federal courts.
This area of law involves advising managers of the Army’s civilian employees on all aspects of hiring, firing, rating, and disciplining employees. You’ll be representing the Army before Federal administrative bodies such as the Merit Systems Protection Board and the Equal Opportunity Commission.
Serve as chief environmental counsel and litigate on behalf of the Army in state, federal, and local courts. In this discipline, you’ll be advising senior Army leadership on environmental policy and serve as the Army’s environmental bar.
National Security Law
Ensure the application of U.S., foreign, and international law to military operations and activities. This area of law will allow you to get experience in Constitutional Law, International Law, Operational Law, and the highly specialized areas of Cyberspace Law, Intelligence Law, and Special Operations Law.
Serve as the liaison and work closely with the host or allied nation’s legal authorities. You’ll also be responsible for interpreting and applying foreign and domestic laws to the Army’s overseas missions, such as intelligence activities, security assistance, counter-drug operations, and stability operations.
Contract and Fiscal Law
Review and award a variety of government contracts, as well as litigate any contract disputes that may arise. You’ll also get the chance to litigate contract disputes before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
We’ll Help Pay For Your Education
We offer robust student loan repayment programs to help ease the burden of law school debt along with a competitive salary and benefits, these programs offer financial security for active duty Judge Advocates.
- Receive student loan repayment of up to $65,000
- Eligibility for the Department of Education’s Public Service Loan forgiveness program, under which any remaining federal student loan may be canceled after 10 years of public service
- For continuing education costs, you may also be eligible to receive benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill and transfer those benefits to your spouse or children
Serve Your Country Part-Time
You can keep your job at a civilian law firm and serve part-time through the Army Reserve or Army National Guard.
- Provide legal expertise in a wide range of areas based on current need
- Mobilize and deploy to support Army legal operations in the U.S. and abroad
- Enjoy flexibility and train periodically, typically just one weekend per month and two weeks during the summer
- Get paid for your service and receive many federal benefits, including low-cost medical coverage and retirement benefits
JAG Summer Law Internship Program
Step into the role of an Army attorney and work on real cases at JAG Corps offices worldwide through the Summer Law Internship Program, a competitive 60-day internship open to qualified second-year law students.
Dive Into Military Law
Work in nearly every practice area of the JAG Corps as a second-year law student. Assist in real criminal and civil cases by conducting legal research, writing briefs, participating in investigations, and interviewing witnesses.
Learn Around the World
Complete your legal internship at one of hundreds of offices across the United States or abroad in countries including Germany, South Korea, Italy, and Japan.
Receive Valuable Mentorship
Work under experienced Judge Advocates who will provide advice, insights, and feedback as you work from start to finish on real cases.
JAG Requirements and Next Steps
Whether you’re studying to become a lawyer, want to or are already practicing law, you’ll need to meet these requirements to become a Judge Advocate:
- Have a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from an ABA-accredited law school
- Be admitted to the bar of any U.S. state, commonwealth, or territory
- Be a U.S. Citizen
- Be under the age of 42 at the time of commissioning (age waivers granted on a case-by-case basis)
- Be eligible for a secret security clearance
- Meet military medical fitness standards
Common Questions About JAG
What training do Army lawyers need to complete?
As a Judge Advocate, you won't participate in the Basic Training that enlisted Soldiers complete. Instead, you'll attend the Direct Commission Course (DCC), a six-week intensive physical, weapons, and leadership course that will prepare you to serve as an Officer.
After completing the DCC, you’ll attend the ten-and-a-half -week Judge Advocate Basic Training Course. Through a combination of classroom instruction and practical exercises, you’ll be immersed in military law and learn every aspect of the JAG Corps’ organization, function, and mission.
Do military lawyers have to pass a fitness test?
Yes, you must meet Army height and weight standards, as well as pass the Army fitness test.
What happens after JAG Officer training?
After completing the Judge Advocate Basic Training Course, JAG Officers report to one of the Army’s worldwide law offices and immediately begin practicing law.
How do I get into the JAG Corps if I’ve already attended law school and am not in the Army?
There are two things you’ll need to do as part of the JAG Corps application process: submit an application and interview with a Judge Advocate who is designated as a Field Screening Officer (FSO).
Your JAG application should contain:
- Undergraduate, graduate, and law school transcripts
- Personal statement describing why you’d like to join
- Certificate of good standing
- Prior military service documents, if applicable
- Optional letters of recommendation
- Optional writing sample
The selection board will also review your undergraduate and graduate school transcripts, LSAT score, ORB, OERs, personal statement, and years of law experience. Your moral standing and ability to display leadership will also be considered.
Will the JAG Corps pay for my law school?
Yes, through the Funded Legal Education Program (FLEP), the Army covers the cost of law school for up to 25 active-duty Officers and non-commissioned Officers every year. Participants must attend a qualifying school (normally an in-state school or school that offers military members in-state tuition) and serve in the JAG Corps upon graduation. Also, if you have already completed law school and are currently serving as an active-duty JAG Officer, you may qualify for up to $65,000 in Student Loan Repayment.