Attending Law school after graduation

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by FLSwimmer19, May 15, 2015.

  1. FLSwimmer19

    FLSwimmer19 New Member

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    My Son was awarded a NROTC scholarship to a prestigious school on the east cost and intends on going on to obtain a law degree before entering the Navy and we are both wondering how the Navy handles this... Anyone have any experience with this?
    Thanks
     
  2. max5757

    max5757 Member

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    Former Army JAG here. Had a colleague in the JAG Corps who attended an Ivy league school, commissioned as a reserve officer, attended law school, applied & transferred to the JAG Corps after graduation from law school and then served in that capacity. Not sure about the Navy & whether you're able to do something similar - others can comment here. I know in the Army it's also possible to commission & go on active duty after undergraduate, serve (non-legal), and apply to the military FLEP (Funded Legal Education Program) after a period of time. It's very competitive and they only take a few candidates per year. Good luck and congratulations to your son.
     
  3. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    That's not the usual path to Navy JAG. Most JAGs are direct commission after law school.
    A small percentage come from the Fleet, doing what's called a lateral transfer and redesignation, a highly competitive process, after earning their warfare qualifications in a line officer community, such as surface, subs or air, etc. It's called the Law Education Program (LEP). Google "Navy Law Education Program."

    Ensure your DS is very clear on the options available to him for service selection through NROTC, which is designed to produce line officer warriors, not staff corps officers. There are always exceptions and new programs, so it's worth asking questions. It is likely he will be required to choose a warfare community, earn his warfare pin, and a few years down the road, if he is a top performer, he might have a shot at the few LEP slots each year. Of those few slots, a handful are full pay and allowances active duty at a fully paid for law school. The rest are inactive Reserve, with school paid for, and a stipend, but not active duty pay and allowances. Those folks return to active duty as JAGs.

    We sponsored a USNA mid who graduated 9th in his class, excelled as a surface warfare officer and got the full LEP to UVA. He worked very hard to be the top junior officer on his ship, and spent personal leave time at the naval base JAG office and trial services shadowing JAGs and earning letters of recommendation. He is still doing very well.

    An ROTC scholarship at a good school is a strong foundation.
     
  4. Cav

    Cav Member

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    Like Max, I can tell you how it works on the Army side but I suspect the Navy does things a little differently. The Army would grant an educational delay after completing a bachelors degree. This allows sufficient time to obtain a law degree. However, the Ed delay does not guarantee appointment as a JAG. That is a separate competitive process.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Capt MJ,

    Out of curiosity do you know the % rate. I know for AF it is less than 2% are selected.
     
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  6. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Navy is different. I have never seen Ed Delay for JAG. You will have to apply once you hit the fleet if you commission from NROTC. I have had plenty of friends take this path from the Marine and Navy side of the house. It is possible and there are pros and cons to each program. The biggest thing is timing applying for the program, LSATs and law schools. Most of my friends applied for the program's once they hit their first shore tour because they had time to study for the LSATs, go for law school interviews and put together their applications/packages. You will meet JAGs when you get to the fleet, ask them how they got their and advice on applying and law schools.

    Pima, I think if you are asking selection rate out of NROTC or USNA it is 0. Not sure selection rate for each program once they get to the fleet. I know most of my friends who applied for it in the fleet.
     
  7. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    On selection rate, I don't know the % of selectees out of LEP applicants. I know it is very small, because the Navy can get all the lawyers it needs by the much cheaper direct commission pipeline, and very few LEPs are given out. Timing is everything, as Navyhoops indicated, with application usually taking place during first shore tour after sea duty. And, as with every inter-community transfer, even a great candidate for LEP would be retained in the original warfare community if numbers were low in that warfare community. I believe it is almost impossible to go JAG via LEP if in the aviation or submarine pipeline, because of timing.

    I have met JAGs who served as officers in a warfare community, separated after their initial obligation, then used GI Bill for law school, then re-applied for a commission as a JAG.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Thanks.

    As I read this it seems the same for all 3 branches. Don't count on this as an option.

    For AF, be it AFROTC or USAFA, it is insanely competitive. I recall reading that for AFROTC, they do the same path as AROTC if given an ED.
    ~ They will go to Law school, but most will not do ADAF. Most will go on their own dime, and be IRR. (weekend warriors), and even after they graduate with a JD, they than have to fight for a JAG slot, unless HQ AF offered them the JAG slot as a law school student.

    I am not saying don't go for the dream, but I think what your child needs to understand is that the path might be much harder than they ever expected to become a member of the JAG corp.

    I say this with the utmost respect and kindness, but take one day at a time. 3 years from now things might be different.
    ~ My Mom always said this to me....Pima, don't wish your life away, just enjoy today.
    ~~ I get it, truly I do, but ask Ohioparent, Jcc, kinnem, Jcleppe, USMC, and everyone I forgot that commissioned these last few weeks. It happens faster than you think. Enjoy the moment. Embrace these next few years that he is still coming home, because it is a blink of an eye you will feel in 4 years.
    ~~~ You will want to turn back time when reality hits with pinning on.

    Just saying, you can't roll back the clock, live the moment now. Everything else will happen in all due time.
     
  9. JMS

    JMS Member

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    I am wondering if anyone has info on about how many slots/billets open up each year in JAG for each service?
    Based on the discussion above, it must be a small number.
    The Army seems to have about 2,500 JAG officers (including those assigned to Corp of engineers) and the Navy about 750.
    The Army website says they take about 70 interns (2nd Yr law students) each year.
    I am not able to find how many slots open up in a typical year. Assuming a 10% turnover rate, 250 Army and 75 Navy slots will open each year.
     
  10. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Doing a little bit of googling it looks like JAG has about a 10% selection rate for the Navy. I was able to find stats for about 3 years and they were all fairly close in numbers. I read it had around 300 applicants and around 30 selected, give or take. Remind you this is for those applying from the fleet or from law school, not from ROTC or USNA. I think the USMC is around that rate also.
     
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  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    That is the thing NavyHoops....it was from the fleet, not ED out of NROTC.

    I would talk to the CoC at the unit come Sept., and let them give direction regarding chances over what any poster says here.

    If you were AFROTC, I would say their chance for ED, direct JAG slot is@1-2% for any ED applicant. It is like the Army. You can get ED for Law school, but chances are they won't pay for the degree. Upon receiving that degree you are not guaranteed a JAG slot.
     
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  12. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Agree Pima. Since OP asked about NROTC, the chances are zero. It's not available (unless something changes in 4 years). Have to go to the fleet first, then apply or get out, law school and reapply.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    For AFROTC it is not 0%, but dang close. I would not as a parent say take an ROTC scholarship if the goal is to go JAG. Take the scholarship with the knowledge that the saying Service before Self. Be willing to be an officer first.

    Just me, but that is how I see it. They own you!
     
  14. FLSwimmer19

    FLSwimmer19 New Member

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    Thank you for your responses, just to note, my son also received 55k in scholarships ( both academic and athletic) from the same university.. And intends to complete his law degree there as well... We will do some more investigating to see if a deferment may be granted while he finishes his degree... And as well in no way is he planning on the program to pay for the degree... All things considered we have plenty of homework to do..
    Thank you..
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Just me, but I would talk to the CoC there before accepting the scholarship because if he starts his sophomore year on the scholarship he is basically in it for AD Navy and as others have said he has a higher chance of being struck by lightning than getting a deferment. Assuming the facts are correct and he must go to fleet first.
    ~ They will come back for the money if he drops out after the 1st day of his sophomore year. They want it back fast. It is not going to be like a student loan with a 10 year payback. It will 1st be lump sum now or maybe 4 years. Of course there is also the slim to no chance where they force him to go enlisted instead of paying it back. Their decision, not his. That is a risk he needs to place into the equation if he activates the scholarship.

    He really might want to take the OCS path. Let's assume he beats the odds and gets the deferment. The next hurdle as others have stated is being selected to JAG corps. Law degree does not mean that will be your career. If he goes OCS he can apply for direct.

    Just my opinion and with $2.07 you can get a small coffee at Starbucks.

    I would also add that kids change their career goals once in ROTC. My DS by age 10 knew he wanted to be in the AF, and until he was 17 it was JAG. He got bit with the flying bug and he is now a pilot. Our friends DS entered USNA wanting to go Nuke Subs. He is now an EA18 pilot. I could go on and on with how these kids think that this is what they want, but once enlightened to other career fields, many change....when DS changed his mind, it was like whiplash hit us....where did that come from type of moment.

    I am not saying that will be your child, I am just saying I think you might be at the fork in the road now. Does he want to be a Navy officer or does he want to be an attorney in the Navy? Two different things. If it the latter, OCS might be a better/safer option. If it is first, than NROTC is probably better option.
     
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  16. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    FLSwimmer.... you might want to take a day or two to think about those "academic and athletic scholarships" in addition to what others have told you here (which you seem to be ignoring?).

    Particularly for those on athletic scholarships which are not in revenue sports: $55K is not exactly setting the world afire (though yes, it's a lot of money). What if swimmer gets injured? Did you read the fine print? Does he still get the money? What if swimmer can't hand NROTC + ivy-quality academics + a (what I assume is) DIV I athletics? Not saying your swimmer can't manage all (my kids did similar at USAFA, as have others here w assorted ROTC)... but please, from parents' perspective: Please take some time and truly evaluate the numbers. 1% is not a big number, nor is 10% if you are in the 11th percentile.

    Of course, you will do what is best for your child, but there are some here with LOADS of experience, and I believe it is a wise approach to at least consider what others here have said.
     
  17. Oldsalt

    Oldsalt Member

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    FL Swimmer
    I will be more direct. NROTC produces unrestricted line officers. It does not offer deferments for education. One rare exception, Rhoads, Fulbright, Truman scholars are commissioned and allowed to delay start of their war fighting school.
    The only real option to study law during your initial commitment would be during your first shore tour if you are an NROTC instructor.
    If you son wants to go to law school upon graduation, do not do NROTC.
    JMHO,
    OS
     
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  18. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Old salt, that summary is spot on. The chances for ED for law school in NROTC are zero.
     
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  19. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Swimmer, Old Salt has said it. If you choose to go recklessly down the path you've laid out, get ready because you've got some hurt ahead.
     
  20. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Why does your son want to go to law school directly from college? My STRONG recommendation is for him to something else for a few years. Most attorneys who have been successful in some other career before attending law school are much happier both with law school and their choice of law as a career.

    It also makes it MUCH easier to get a legal job. I can't tell you how many law school students I see whose resumes look exactly the same (great undergrad university; dean's list; summer or semester abroad; lots of ECAs; varsity sport; working summer jobs). They all look alike. Someone who shows up with a background in software engineering, the military, chemistry, etc., really stands out. Plus, people know he/she can work and play well with others.

    There is plenty of time to go to law school and practice law. Do something "fun" first.
     

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