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Does a military lawyer/attorney do different tasks compared to regular ones?

I am thinking I could become a lawyer/attorney through the military and I'm just wondering how different it is from just being a regular lawyer/attorney?
#lawyer #law #military # #college #attorney

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Kimberly’s Answer

As a military attorney or Judge Advocate General (J.A.G.), you are an actual member of the military and must sign a contract/commitment with the military.
The laws for the military are different as well so you would have to learn those in addition to "regular" laws.

Kimberly recommends the following next steps:

Contact a JAG & see how they like it
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charles’s Answer

Addie,
Yes, working as an attorney in the military would be different from civilian attorney work, primarily because your client would be that branch of the armed forces in which you serve. If that is your short-term or long-term goal, I recommend that you focus on the law in school, if possible, by participating on moot court teams, taking constitutional law and signing up for other legal courses. You might then learn whether or not this is truly the career field for you. Often military attorneys with the JAG assist either in prosecuting or defending service men and women who are charged with a breach of the military code of conduct. This is akin to the practice of criminal law in the civilian world. I have never been in the military, so do not know for certain if other opportunities are available for military attorneys, other than with the Judge Advocate General.

I recommend that you attend law school if you want to enlist in the military, unless the specific armed services branches provide on the job training and/or will assist financially for you to receive a legal education. You will need to check with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard (and now I believe that we even have a Space Force!) to find out whether you must first obtain your Juris Doctor Degree (upon the completion of law school) before embarking on a legal career in the armed forces.

I have practiced law exclusively in private practice with law firms or with corporations, and thus have no direct experience with attorneys working for governmental agencies, including the armed services. I recommend that you find someone with experience in the JAG corps to answer specific questions that you might have. I will say that I have never regretted going to law school and obtaining certification to practice law here in California. This is a second career for me (Workers' Compensation Defense Attorney, after starting out as an insurance claims adjuster and supervisor). The law has opened many doors and provided many more opportunities for me than if I had not decided to enroll in law school.

Many good wishes as you sort out your career goals. I hope that if you choose to enter the field of law, it will bring you much professional satisfaction and success.
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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Addie.

The biggest difference is going to be who you represent and a focus on knowledge of military law. So your challenge is to consider questions that only you can answer for yourself.

- How do you see yourself practicing law? In this general question, I would want you to explore who do you see as your clients. Would you clients have particular challenges that you want help them with? For example, there are immigration attorneys or those who defend people in criminal cases. Maybe you want to defend businesses in legal challenges. Or maybe you even want to want to work for your state or federal government.
- Why are you considering practicing law for the military? You may, like me, have family in the military. There are unique opportunities and challenges in military life. Since there is an additional layer of accountability in the military, military personnel can have challenges in both military and civilian courts. You might want to check into specific college programs that allow you learn about being a military attorney.

I would recommend going to resources online for more information. Here is one that I located on a University site that has a nice amount of detail to get you started: https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/military_law

Gloria
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Noemi’s Answer

I am not a lawyer in the military but I worked with them in prosecution side. The difference is that the military only deal with military. When someone from the military committed a crime within the military jurisdiction, the lawyers of both defense and prosecution in the military would handle this. (Same thing with civilian lawyer, however, the soldier will have the right to have his counsel). So you’re either the prosecution or defense. The main thing that I know of is you must know your jurisdiction, and the area of responsibility. Sometimes the military lawyer will have to know first if the suspect for example is an active military or not, that’s because it would make a difference in his case. The military regulations is different than that of the civilian, there are chapters to be familiar with, and court martial for example. You will see more of these languages that mentioned in the military than of the civilian, unless the civilian and military case is a joint task. But what I mentioned is not the only job they have, this is just one of them.

If you’d like to know more about this, go to an officer recruitment site (make sure that you clarify if the recruitment is for the officer, otherwise, you’ll be a paralegal), so if your target is to become a military officer then make sure you go to the right recruiting agency of officer.

I hope this helps.

Noemi
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