We have all seen the Hollywood version of the JAG experience. A classic JAG moment is caught in the epic film A Few Good Men
, when Jack Nicholson (playing Col. Nathan R. Jessep) screams “You can't handle the truth” while be cross examined by Tom Cruise (an inexperienced US Navy JAG officer). Is this epic cinematic moment an accurate portrayal of the JAG experience? What about the television JAG depiction?
In the television series JAG, watchers follows Lt. Cmdr. Harmon "Harm" Rabb, Jr., a former pilot turned lawyer…along with an elite group of naval officers, as they defend, investigate, and prosecute those accused of military-related crimes. Together, they search and discover the truth in their pursuit of justice. Their pursuit takes them all over the world, flying in space-age aircraft and visiting exotic locales, all to discover the truth. But before you run out and enlist in the Judge Advocate General's Corps, you should spend a little time investigating in the experience.
One of the first basic JAG facts is that a JAG officer may also go by the name of a Staff Judge Advocate. In addition, JAG provides legal services for the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, and each branch provides insights into the different areas of the JAG experience. For example, a Marine Corps Judge Advocate may receive extra leadership training through the training of the 11 Leadership Principals including communication training and training to ensure that marine leaders are constantly seeking self-improvement.
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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.