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From helping servicemembers and their families to influencing developments in international law, Navy Attorneys and legal support specialists have access to some of the most unique and rewarding training and experiences in the legal field.
If you want to distinguish your career in law by changing the world, start with America’s Navy. From assisting Sailors with wills and powers of attorney to negotiating international agreements, the Navy offers world-influencing career possibilities for law school graduates, as well as positions that earn college credit for those interested in the legal profession.
There are two legal career paths: the Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps is open to law school graduates and law school students who are within two years of graduation, and legal specialist positions (called Legalman) are available for those without a degree.
The Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps
You could make history establishing new laws in other nations. You may work with NATO forces to help create a safe and secure environment. The JAG Corps is ideal for young lawyers looking to expand their career opportunities and gain hands-on legal experience. Officers are allowed to litigate cases soon after reporting for duty and are required to practice in several fields, which gives them a wider range of experience and a higher level of responsibility than their civilian sector counterparts.
As a member of the JAG Corps, you will encounter opportunities and experiences far beyond those you would expect from an ordinary law firm. Specific areas of practice include: military justice, legal assistance, international law, operational law, administrative law, environmental law, civil litigation, humanitarian assistance and refugee law, admiralty and maritime law, and legislative liaison.
As a Legalman with America’s Navy, you have the opportunity to make a difference to your nation and the world, with responsibilities that may include:
Note: Currently, the position of JAG Corps Officer in the Navy Reserve is open only to prior or current JAG Corps Officers.
Serving part-time as a Reservist, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. During monthly drilling, attorney and legal support personnel in the Navy Reserve typically work at a location close to their homes.
For Annual Training, Navy JAG Corps Officers and Enlisted Legalmen may serve anywhere in the world, whether on a ship at sea or bases and installations on shore.
Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Reservists.
Most of what you do in the Navy Reserve is considered training. The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent of that.
Officer (JAG Corps) Reservists
Note: Currently, this position in the Navy Reserve is open only to prior or current JAG Corps Officers.
Your prior experience as a JAG Corps Officer satisfies the initial leadership training requirement – so you will not need to go through Officer Training again.
Enlisted (Legalman) Reservists
Before Enlisted Sailors can receive the ongoing professional training that comes with the job, initial training requirements must be met.
For current or former military Enlisted servicemembers: Prior experience satisfies the initial Recruit Training requirement – so you will not need to go through Boot Camp again.
For those without prior military experience: You will need to meet the initial Recruit Training requirement by attending Boot Camp for seven to nine weeks in Great Lakes, Ill. This training course will prepare you for service in the Navy Reserve and count as your first Annual Training.
Officer (JAG Corps) Education
As a JAG Corps Officer, you’ll have paid opportunities for postgraduate legal education at civilian institutions or military graduate schools. You’ll also have access to general educational benefits that include:
Enlisted (Legalman) Education
Beyond offering access to professional credentials and certifications, Navy training in the field of legal support can translate to credit hours toward a bachelor’s or associate degree through the American Council on Education. You may also continue your education through opportunities like the following:
Officer (JAG Corps) Qualifications
Student Program – To qualify for Active Duty employment consideration in the Navy JAG Corps as a student, you must meet these basic qualifications:
For more information about the Navy JAG Corps, please visit www.jag.navy.mil.
Enlisted (Legalman) Qualifications
A high-school diploma or equivalent is required to become an Enlisted Sailor in the Legal Support field in the Navy. Those seeking a Legalman should have good speaking and writing skills, excellent hearing, attention to detail, and typing skills. The Navy will provide classroom and group instruction in Navy legal, administrative and clerical functions.
All candidates must also be: U.S. citizens and willing to serve worldwide.