A JAG officer works within the military law that comprises rules and regulations for the armed forces. This is a very brief description of the law practiced by JAG officers
because today in the military they practice the military law which has extended its boundaries to include the same law used by civilian attorneys. This means JAG officers have the opportunity to practice:
- Environmental law
- Estate planning
- Labor law
- Family law
- Government contract law
The real military law that includes international laws of armed conflict is only practiced by the most senior military officers. In summary it can be said that JAG officers really practice civilian law in the military departments to which they are assigned.
In addition to the civilian law practiced by the JAG officer he can also be general counsel for his assigned department. For instance, a JAG officer who practices on the Air Force base
may also do labor law, criminal law and contract law as required by his division.
The JAG officer can also be found consulting in accidents and criminal investigations. If the investigations involve drafting policies, procedures or treaties concerning the rules of war, the senior JAG officers always handle those cases.
On a daily basis a JAG officer provides legal assistance to members of his/her department which can include drafting medical powers of attorney, divorce legal help, drafting wills doing adoptions and within all this work they cannot go into civilian court.
Continuing education is available for JAG officers and graduate work can also be completed during assignment. There is a JAG school that all new graduates must attend when they enter military ranks. There are also other requirements that include exercise 3 times weekly for JAG officers and other military obligations are also given. This is what makes being a JAG officer unique as well as the environment in which he may work. It would not be unusual to find a JAG officer working in a tent in Bosnia and holding trials in the same tent.
The average salary for these brave men and women who are entry level is just above $32K annually and up to $37K after 6 months. A practicing JAG officer with the military for three and a half years can earn a higher salary that ranges from $65K to $70K. One must also consider the benefits offered for housing allowance, food allowance and medical benefits which are not included in the annual salary.
Where can military JAG officers work? The answer to that is they can only be employed by the government. Many Ex-JAG officers practice law which includes cases where they represent clients who have issues with the government. These civilian lawyers
get paid better fees from their clients because they have the army or navy experience that gives them the edge in cases against the government.
In conclusion the most rewarding aspect JAGS have for practicing military law is the idea that they are working for serving their country and fighting for freedom. This is an intrinsic value that can only be found in Military Law.
Military Law Attorney job listings on LawCrossing.
LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys
jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.
A lot of information for the legal department is available on LawCrossing. I loved the site for the way it works.
LawCrossing Fact #83: Users who upload their resumes will find jobs more easily because their resumes will look professional to employers who see them.
Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays
You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts
You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives
Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.
Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.
To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.