what rank do you start off as a military lawyer

by Maggie Walsh 4 min read

Marine, Air Force and Navy military lawyers start at the rank of O-2, and Army lawyers start at the rank of O-1.

How can I join the military as a lawyer?

Jan 19, 2017 · If you have an interest in both the law and serving in the U.S. military, you could be the ideal candidate to become a Judge Advocate General, or “JAG.” Military lawyers handle the same types of cases as civilian lawyers – both civil and criminal – with the addition of military law issues, and their clientele is comprised completely of military personnel, their families, and …

Can you be a lawyer in the military with a JAG?

Oct 20, 2021 · JAG officers serve as military lawyers, but only the most highly educated, intelligent and dedicated individuals make the cut. Essential Information Officers in the Army Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAGC) are practicing attorneys who …

Do Army lawyers get paid?

Answered Mar 9, 2021 · Author has 222 answers and 2.5M answer views. Having a college degree (bachelors minimum) you could become a commissioned officer in the military and begins as an O-1 (at least in the Marine Corps), assuming of course you didn’t already graduate from a service academy.

What rank do you start off as in the Army?

Sep 16, 2021 · By Chron Contributor Updated September 16, 2021. Like other Army officers, Army lawyers, who are officially called judge advocates and are members of the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps, are...


What rank does a lawyer get in the Army?

New Army Judge Advocates enter service as First Lieutenants (O-2) and are promoted to Captain (O-3) six to nine months later. Officers receive a raise in basic pay upon promotion to Captain and receive automatic pay increases after serving 2, 3, and 4 years.

What rank is a Jag?

Judge Advocates enter active duty as first lieutenants (O-2) and are promoted to captain (O-3) after six months.

What branch of the military is best for lawyers?

The Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG Corps), which encompasses the career path for military lawyers, has been popularized by the television show JAG, the film A Few Good Men, and a host of other pop cultural touchstones. If you're looking to serve your country as a lawyer, consider the JAG Corps.Feb 6, 2019

Can you join the military to become a lawyer?

To qualify for enlistment into the JAG Corps of any branch and practice law in the military, you must pass the bar exam. You may take the exam in any of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. While it is not required, you should strongly consider taking the bar exam in the same state you attended law school.

What are Navy lawyers called?

The Judge Advocate General's CorpsThe Judge Advocate General's Corps, also known as the "JAG Corps" or "JAG", is the legal arm of the United States Navy.

Is it hard to get into JAG?

Depending on the service branch, the acceptance rate for JAG Corps applicants is typically between 4-7%. The Army, for instance, receives about 4000 applications every year and only accepts around 200.May 9, 2017

Is becoming a JAG worth it?

By becoming a JAG, you are guaranteed a career that has rotating assignments by location and practice area, exposing you to the world and the law in ways you could have never imagined. It provides unrivaled practical and hands-on experience to springboard your career.

What are lawyers called in the military?

The Judge Advocate General's Corps, also known as JAG or JAG Corps, is the military justice branch or specialty of the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy. Officers serving in the JAG Corps are typically called judge advocates.

Do the Marines pay for law school?

1. WILL THE MARINE CORPS PAY FOR LAW SCHOOL? Although programs do exist whereby active duty Marine officers are ordered to attend law school, drawing full pay and allowances while tuition is paid by the Marine Corps, no similar program is available to officers who enter the Marine Corps via the OCC(LAW) or PLC(LAW). 2.

Is there a military law school?

Officers selected for FLEP attend a civilian law school of their choice, for three years of legal studies, while remaining on active duty with full pay and benefits. During summer breaks, FLEP officers attend on-the-job training at an active-duty JAG office.Aug 21, 2018

Do Army lawyers get deployed?

They are usually assigned to military bases for two years at a time, with possible deployments to other locations during that time. Family members can typically accompany the attorney to their assignments, but not on deployments, which can be for several months at a time.

Will the military pay for 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.Sep 10, 2021

How much does a lawyer make in 2011?

In 2011, the average salary of a private practice attorney was $113,310, ranging from $54,000 at the low end to $187,000 at the high end. By comparison, the average salary of a JAG officer is $65,000 per year. While military lawyers appear to earn substantially less than their civilian counterparts, the totality of the military salary, allowances and benefit package still make this a viable choice of careers.

How much does a JAG make?

The highest starting salary is earned by Army JAG officers, with a yearly salary of $44,000 per year at the rank of captain. Most Army advocates stay at the level of captain through out their careers. The salary for this rank caps at $72,000 per year after 14 years of service.

What are the benefits of being a JAG?

Benefits. JAG officers are entitled to a long list of benefits. Free health and dental insurance, life insurance, and excellent retirement packages are all made available to JAG attorneys. In addition, numerous military related perks, such as commissary access and reduced price travel also contribute to the value of a military lawyer's salary.

Who is Erika Winston?

Erika Winston is a Washington, D.C.-based writer, with more than 15 years of writing experience. Her articles have appeared in such magazines as Imara, Corporate Colors E-zine and Enterprise Virginia. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Regent University and a Masters in public policy from New England College.

What is the lowest rank in the military?

This is the lowest grade/rank or junior company-grade officer within the U.S. military officer corps.

What is an O-1 in the military?

Those enlisting with a bachelors degree can enter the military as an officer [O-1], which is a second lieutenant in the army, air force or marine corp, or an ensign in the navy or coast guard. A bachelors degree qualifies you to be sent to OCS which stands for “officers candidate school”.

How long is OCS?

The OCS/OTS courses are about 10–12 weeks long and are equipped to train 4 yr college graduates in the dynami. Continue Reading. If you have an associates degree, from any accredited college, you can go into the military at a higher enlisted rank, usually an E2.

What degree do you need to be an OCS?

In general, the Army requires all recruits to have at least a high school diploma; in addition, officer candidates (OCS) must have a bachelor’s degree. If you enlist with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, you may start at a somewhat higher rank, generally as corporal or specialist.

Does a college degree guarantee a military rank?

In the military, a college degree does not guarantee a starting rank. Officers begin as O-1, 2nd Lt once congress commissions them. A qualifying factor is the completion of a college degree or the successful completion of a military Academy.

What is an army lawyer called?

Like other Army officers, Army lawyers, who are officially called judge advocates and are members of the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps, are paid and given assignments based on their rank and seniority.

How long does it take to get promoted to a company rank?

For promotion to company grade ranks – first lieutenant and captain – the time-in-grade requirements are 18 months and two years , respectively. For promotion to each of the three field grade ranks – major, lieutenant colonel and colonel – the time-in-grade requirement is three years.

What happens if a JAG captain is twice passed over?

If a JAG captain with the requisite time in service who is under consideration for promotion to major is twice passed over, he or she is generally required to separate from the Army unless allowed to remain on active duty by a selective continuation board.

What is time in grade?

Time in grade is the absolute minimum an officer must serve in one rank before becoming eligible for promotion to the next. Time in service, often called the promotion point, refers to the point in the officer’s career when that promotion can be expected. For promotion to captain, for instance, the time-in-grade requirement is two years, ...

How old do you have to be to join the Civil Air Patrol?

If you know you want to become a pilot or involved in aviation in your future, join the Civil Air Patrol (CAP ). Kids ages 12 through 18 may join CAP as cadets and remain cadets until age 21. Learning to become pilots, and receiving a license to fly gliders are a few of the opportunities available to members of CAP.

What is JROTC in high school?

Many high schools across the country also offer Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC). Learning the basics of uniform etiquette, marching, honor guard events, as well as training trips to nearby military bases allows for JROTC students to advance in rank upon completion of boot camp/basic training.

Who is Stew Smith?

Stew Smith is the U.S. military expert for The Balance Careers, a Veteran Navy SEAL Officer, and a freelance writer and author. Read The Balance's editorial policies. Stewart Smith. Updated June 06, 2019. Depending upon pre-military training or post-high school education, a recruit can actually join the military at a higher rank than ...

How to get into the army at a higher rank?

One of the most common ways of entering the Army at a higher rank is to earn college credits. If you have at least 24 semester hours from an accredited college or university, you can start as an E-2 – you'll still be a private, but you'll be making more money.

What is the rank structure of the army?

The Army's rank structure runs from private to sergeant major for enlisted soldiers and from second lieutenant to general for commissioned officers. Corresponding pay grades run from E-1 to E-9 for en listed troops and O-1 to O-10 for officers. When soldiers enlist, they usually start as a private.

How many soldiers were in the army in 2016?

The U.S. Army had about 483,000 soldiers on active duty in 2016. Among them were around 60,000 new recruits. Traditionally, new enlistees and newly commissioned officers enter the Army at the lowest enlisted or officer rank.

Who is Tony Guerra?

He also spent seven years as an airline operations manager. Guerra is a former realtor, real-estate salesperson, associate broker and real-estate education instructor. He holds a master's degree in management and a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies.

Officer Description

Besides having a college degree, you can become an officer in the Navy in various ways. If you didn’t achieve your degree at the United States Naval Academy, you can also become an officer through Officer Candidate School, Direct Commissioning, the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) or the Seaman to Admiral-21 Program.

Jobs Available

When you join the Navy with a master’s degree, you can pursue a number of different jobs. Here are some of the areas where you can serve.

Pay Based on Rank

The pay you receive when you join the Navy with a master’s degree depends on what rank you are assigned.



  • The UCMJ is a detailed body of law that has governed the U.S. armed forces since 1951. The UCMJ was modestly updated in 2008, to incorporate changes made by the President (via executive orders) and to include the National Defense Authorization Acts of 2006 and 2007. Th…
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How Does One Join The Jag Corps?

  • There are two main paths lawyers may take to join the JAG Corps. The first is for law students to apply to the JAG Corps upon completion of law school. Applicants must have passed the bar exam, and must be prepared to enter Officer Training. The second path is for licensed and experienced attorneys to join the armed forces. Such candidates must likewise enter Officer Trai…
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  • Entry into the Army JAG Corps (founded by George Washington in 1775) occurs through Direct Commission. Commissioned individuals enter the Judge Advocate Officer Basic Training Course, which is split into two phases. The first is the Direct Commissioned Course (DCC) Phase--a six-week basic training for JAGs in Fort Benning, Georgia. The second is the Charlottesville Phase, …
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  • To become an officer in the JAG Corpsin the Navy, this branch of the military must offer hopefuls a commission, after which time they enter Officer Development School (ODS), where they receive the rank of Ensign, and their active duty pay and benefits begin. Located in Newport, Rhode Island, ODS is specifically tailored to those entering the Navy as officers. Once completed, candi…
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Air Force

  • The Air Force has four different entry programs into the JAG Corp. The first is the student option, where candidates apply as either a 1L or 2L, and commit to completing Active Duty as a member of the JAG Corps after graduating law school and passing the bar. The second program entails licensed attorneys directly entering the JAG Corps. The third option is for Active Duty military me…
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Marine Corps

  • There are two ways to enter the JAG Corps as a Marine. The first is the PCL-Law program--the Marine Corps equivalent to the student entry program. Students complete the ten-week Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia, either during the summer before law school, or the 1L or 2L summer. Candidates then receive the rank of Second Lieutenant and are placed on Inactive …
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Coast Guard

  • Unlike the other military branches, there is only one way to enter the Coast Guard JAG Corps—as a Direct Commission Lawyer (DCL). Final year law students and licensed attorneys may enter the Coast Guard this way. After commissioning, they must attend the 4-5 week long Direct Commission Officer course in New London, Connecticut, before attending a ten-week Basic Law…
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