NROTC to law school

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Annapolis USX, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. Annapolis USX

    Annapolis USX Member

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    Can someone go from NROTC to law school? I believe someone would have to go into the fleet for 2 years and then apply, but could someone pay for law school on their own? My parents have said they will pay for law school if I get an NROTC scholarship. I want to be a Navy JAG.

    Another quick question. As of Friday my recruiter has all my paperwork and has submitted everything. How long will it take for me to hear back if I got the scholarship?

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. CandidateElias15

    CandidateElias15 USNA '15 Appointee

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    I turned in all my paperwork for NROTC back in July; didnt get the offer until November.
     
  3. asenopoulos

    asenopoulos Member

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    Since I'm pretty sure there wasn't a board until September or October.


    I had my packet in on time for the November board; heard back a month later.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Here's the deal, you accept NROTC and you live by their rules.

    How do you go to law school at night from an air craft carrier?

    Your 1st job will be to the Navy in the career that you accept as an ROTC AD grad. Let's say you go Intel, you will be required to go to their Intel school training, and from there they can assign you to a ship that might be scheduled to go on a 6 mo. tour 30 days after reporting for 9 months. Hard to go to law school when you are at sea.


    I can not, nor will I speak for the Navy, but I can tell you that AF JAG makes getting a pilot slot looks like getting a C in HS PE for where you are in your stage of life now. Easy as pie. I don't believe the Navy is easier than the AF in the selection process.

    It is highly competitive.

    In the AF you have to serve 2 yrs before you can compete for the Law School opportunity.

    You may elect to try to attend law school at night as an AD officer, but again, how do you that do that with the guarantee you won't get hit with a TAD?

    Now that was Janie Raincloud speaking, let's address the positives, you go ROTC, do great, study for your LSATs and score the best of the best. Leadership support you for Law school and the Navy will pay every penny of school for you to attend. To them your job is to get a law degree.

    Raincloud again, remember they can tell you that because of them paying for that degree you owe X amount of years.

    Just like ROTC, this can be a deal with the devil regarding your life. What if they say it is 8 yrs after getting the degree?

    Finally, you have yet to enter college and as much as this seems cliche, I don't have enough fingers and toes to count on when it comes to candidates that change their career goals once they are exposed to to the military life.

    Our DS was like you, except for the AF, and 3 yrs later that career is not even on his top 5.

    Life changes between 17 and 20 after 3 yrs of training regarding every field out there.

    OBTW he is a Govt Scholars major who interned on the Hill for a Senator as a sophomore in college. He wanted to be JAG starting at the age of 10.

    My best wishes and thoughts, just remember to read the fine print.
     
  5. Annapolis USX

    Annapolis USX Member

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    I did not mean to imply that I didn't want to make being a Naval Officer my top pirority. I understand that you join the military to serve your country not the other way around. I was just trying to find out the best and quickest way to become a JAG. Its my understanding most JAG officers went to law school and then OCS. However, I would like to go from ROTC to law school. I have no problem spending time in the fleet first, but I was wondering there was any other ways.
     
  6. Annapolis USX

    Annapolis USX Member

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    Could I serve in the reserves and go to law school and then go active duty? I'm sorry if these are stupid questions but I haven't seen a lot of information on how someone becomes a JAG.
     
  7. d.mcknight

    d.mcknight Member

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    I know of someone who went to my high school and was in my JROTC unit who just graduated from UC Irvine last June and was commissioned as an AF 2nd Lieutenant after the 4 years of AFROTC. He was immediately placed into ready reserves and is now attending at UC Davis Law. Now if you can do the same in the Navy, I don't know. But something like that is apparently possible in the AF.
     
  8. Annapolis USX

    Annapolis USX Member

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    Thanks for the help. I think if the Navy will let me thats what I'm going to do.
     
  9. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    I recommend that you do what I did. I commissioned in the Army (Infantry), served my 4 years active duty, and then went to law school. In law school, grades are EVERYTHING, and you will do so incredibly much better having 4 years of maturity behind your belt before you start. Also, lthe admissions offices at law schools LOVE military officers, which means that you have a better chance getting into a better law school with officer experience on your resume than just applying right out of college.

    In law school, there are so many kids out of college who think it is still a party. About 20% of the class have worked for a few years after college. And those are the ones who become the "curve busters".

    One more point: Don't try to be in the Reserves during law school. I tried it my first year, and it really interfered with academics. If you don't do well in law school, you will be unemployed when you graduate. It isn't worth the small amount of money you get. The United States will still be here after law school, and then you can enter the JAG Corps (I thought about doing that but decided to go into private practice instead).
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Re: the AF you can apply after 2 yrs AD.

    Again it is very competitive


    Here's the thing it appears your goal is to be a lawyer.

    That is great, BUT, you have to come to an understanding how the Navy or any of the services work.

    The statement SERVICE BEFORE SELF is bit a cliche.
     
  11. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Routes to Navy JAG Corps

    There are a variety of ways to become a Navy JAG. Start with these links below.

    Best resource is your ROTC POC. In general, NROTC programs feed new junior officers into the warfare communities. The Navy does not take in most of its JAGs from NROTC or a SA - to my best knowledge.

    Keep in mind the JAG Corps is a small percentage of the Navy officer community, and thus takes only a handful in each year from the various options.

    (1)http://www.jag.navy.mil/careers/careers/opportunities_lep.html
    This is the one where you enter your warfare community, meet all requirements there, serve a requisite amount of time, etc., then apply for the Law Education Program (LEP). I've known a few people who have done this. They had superb performance evaluations, killer LSATs and great recommendations. Much depends on the needs of the Navy, because even if you have all the right stuff, JAG might not need that many new officers in your application year. Also, if your warfare community needs you to ensure endstrength in certain grades and year groups is at the right level, you might not be allowed to transition out of your warfare community to JAG. If you can do it, it's a great way to go, but a highly competitive route.

    (2) http://www.jag.navy.mil/careers/careers/opportunities_da.html
    This is for people who have got their college and law degrees. Some officers do some number of years as warfare officers, get out of the service completely at some point, use their federal and state veteran's education benefits (Montgomery GI Bill) to obtain a professional degree and then apply to come back in as a JAG. Obviously, these candidates, as long as grades, LSATs and their past military performance criteria are top-notch, are very attractive to the Navy. Or, they may just use their benefits and go on to a successful law career in the civilian world.

    (3) http://www.jag.navy.mil/careers/careers/opportunities_sp.html
    This is the Navy JAG Corps Student Program, where the law student is designated as being in the inactive Naval Reserve, and have a head start on being accepted into the Navy JAG Corps. I've known several JAGs who came in via this route.


    (4) And with a nod to Pima, yes, the Navy has Tuition Aid programs which will pay for after-hours night school. Theoretically, but not realistically, you could do online courses or hope your deployment/underway schedule allowed you to get your law degree after hours, and then you could apply to laterally transition to JAG Corps, but that would be a pretty evil life. Warfare officers are expected to be at sea, whether right away as surface warfare officers or after the training pipeline for other communities. All the other competitive criteria would apply.

    There are probably other ways, but these are the main channels. Yes, there is an officer indoctrination course for those coming in without previous officer training and experience. I think it's still in Newport, RI.

    Focus on learning what's expected and required of you in exchange for your NROTC scholarship (fingers crossed!) and ensure you are happy about the opportunities there and willing to do the required service in one of the available options. It's good to have short, mid and long-term goals, and it's equally good to flex along the way.

    I am sure you know being a Navy JAG is nothing like the old TV show or even NCIS... it's a great career path, with many superb officers, who either stay for a full career or easily transition to the civilian law world with a great background.

    Best of luck.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011
  12. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Pima: I've been following your posts for a while, and you are an enormous benefit to this forum. Thank you for your wonderful contributions. But the military needs good lawyers, just as much as it needs good physicians. The only way to get this talent is to recruit from the professional schools. I think Annapolis USX understands this in spades. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to go to law school before serving in the Navy. There is plenty of room for both, and the Navy benefits enormously from someone who has previously served as a line officer in the military and then goes to law school. By analogy, it is sort of like someone who enlists in the military after high school, then serves his or her time as enlisted, and then does ROTC. While I don't think prior-enlisted are necessarily better officers, I definitely don't think that they are any more patriotic than those who elect to attend college before joining the military. Annapolis is on the right track.

    Annapolis USX: Don't worry, the JAG Corps from all of the services recruit HEAVILY at law schools (as does the FBI, CIA, etc.). The military JAG recruiters all show up on campus and try to woo over the law students. If you want to be a JAG officer and do ROTC, my advice is this: (1) do the ROTC; (2) fulfill your end of the bargain by serving as an active duty officer; (3) go to law school and focus SOLELY on that; and (4) re-enter the Navy and flourish as a JAG officer. If you decide to go into private practice after JAG, the private law firms will be ALL eager to recruit you, because you will have first-chair trial experience in the military that most do not get in the private sector. If you decide to not to go back into the military after law school (or do FBI or CIA), you can continue to serve your country in countless other ways as a lawyer -- e.g., as a federal or state prosecutor, a public defender, a judge, or as a member of Congress yourself.

    The main take-away, though, is that law school is ALL about grades. Don't try to mix the two while in law school, or else you will excel in neither. The Navy won't want you as a JAG officer if you have low grades. Nor will private law firms. Sure, you can go for the Educational Delay, but I am telling you that you will do much better over the long run if you experience life as an officer before going to law school. At this point in your life, you might think you are losing a few years by going the route I recommend, but you really are not (if you following my suggested career path, you'll do better in law school which means you should have MUCH greater opportunities down the road).
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The problem is they want to do ROTC and than go to law school. That is where the issue lies.

    Yes he can go to college and then law school and than go into the Navy as a JAG, but that is not how I read his educational process.

    He wants to take an NROTC scholarship and then go directly to law school after NROTC or in other words deferring his AD commitment until he gets his law degree.

    The Navy will decide if he can go to law school, because now his job is to be a US NAVAL Officer for the next 4 yrs after reporting for duty. He belongs to them. It is their decision whether they let him go straight to law school or not. It is not his decision on if or when he attends if he takes that NROTC scholarship.

    As I stated before for the AF it is highly competitive and one of their regs is you must serve 2 yrs AD before they will consider sending you to law school on their dime.

    You can go at night using TA, but not as your AD job until you have those 2 yrs under your belt.

    OBTW, it is so competitive for those spots in the AF that you have a better shot of getting the 22 right out of UPT than getting a law school spot. Not saying that the Navy is that competitive, just saying that getting lawyers is not a field that they are undermanned with well qualified candidates, thus, they don't need to send them directly to law school as soon as they are minted O1s.

    Plus, JAG officers get a nice monthly bonus to stick around. If I recall correctly, JAG and DOCs get more incentive pay than fliers. Out of the 20 yrs Bullet served, we knew a lot of pilots that left, but I can't recall any JAG who left.

    Finally, also remember that let's say you get that law school slot. It is important to understand that you will incur another commitment, so before you get gung ho about this option make sure you read the fine print. They may say you must serve 8 more yrs after receiving your degree. Do the Math, graduate at 22, go at 24, graduate at 26 and you are now into the Navy if it is 8 yrs until you are 34. At that point you have 12 yrs in, do you really leave and give up 50% retirement pay when you are passed the halfway marker?

    Again, probably why you don't see many JAGs bolting before 20.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
  14. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    5 yrs
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    My bad I am an AFROTC mom, and just like their stipends vary so do their payback times.

    AFROTC, unless flying is 4, obviously the Navy is 5 for NROTC.

    Either way it does not matter because however you roll it, the Navy is the one that decides what you will do once you are commissioned.

    Again, if you accept the NROTC scholarship remember that you made a pact with them and your desires are secondary when it comes to their needs. Yet, time owed will still be time owed regardless of what field you get assigned to.
     
  16. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Excellent posts, Pima. As usual, you provide a lot of useful information for students contemplating both law school and military service. Both are noble goals and involve a lot of hard work and dedication that will span at least 7-8 years (4-5 years of service obligation, plus 3 years of law school). Hopefully, whoever reads my posts down the road will take my recommendation to heart as well (i.e., complete your active duty service obligation before going to law school and then you can re-enter the service).

    One other point that I can add to this thread is this: At my law firm (one of the most prestigious in the world), we recruited heavily at ivy league law schools (e.g., Harvard, Yale, Penn, Columbia, etc.). But whenever we got a resume from a former military officer, we looked very hard at that application. The firm understands that military officers are a special breed. Business schools, too, LOVE active duty officer experience. It is the only place where you can learn real leadership and implement it at a very early age. Law schools recognize this as well. And if you want to pursue a JAG career, work hard to get top evaluations as an officer before you enter law school -- the JAG Corps will look at them.

    Although I did not know it at the time, I do know now that I would never have stood a chance at joining an elite "Wall Street" law firm without my prior military officer experience. Kudos to those who make our nation proud!!
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    You are correct they will not only look at your LSATs, but your OPRs before they give you this opportunity.

    I probably sound like a broken record, BUT for the sake you have not heard this before...

    Your military career will be filled with boards like the scholarship board and it will start in ROTC.

    Do not for one second believe that now you have a scholarship you can skate by through college with the min gpa that they require to keep the scholarship if you want to go into a competitive field.

    You will meet boards in college determining if you get to go to Summer Field Training and your career path. Your PFA, gpa, det rating (top 10, 25,50%), ECs, Commanders rec, etc will play into the equation...just like it did for your scholarship.

    It is far from over when it comes to getting that dream spot...it really has just begun.

    At least that is the AF way of life for ROTC.
     

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