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News > What every officer needs to know about becoming a judge advocate
What every officer needs to know about becoming a judge advocate

Posted 1/23/2008   Updated 1/23/2008 Email story   Print story


by AFROTC Cadet Jamie Gardner
14th Flying Training Wing Judge Advocate volunteer

1/23/2008 - COLUMBUS AFB, Miss. -- There are many reasons why an officer would want to become a Judge Advocate. As an attorney in the Air Force, a JAG officer's career is diverse. A JAG officer has the ability to work with various types of law including, but not limited to, criminal law, civil law, contracts, and international law. Officers who are looking to pursue law and justice while serving their country and fellow servicemembers can do so as an attorney in The Judge Advocate General's Corps. 

The route to become a JAG officer can be accomplished through several methods. After completing ROTC, a commissioned officer may go to law school during an approved educational delay, or a third-year law student can receive a direct appointment and attend OTS. Of particular interest to active duty officers, however, are two programs: the Funded Legal Education Program and the Excess Leave Program. 

FLEP may be of particular interest to active duty officers between two to six years active duty and with a pay grade of 0-3 or below. This program counts as an assignment action which allows officers to receive full pay and allowances as they attend law school paid for by the Air Force. ELP is an unpaid program and is applicable to officers between two to 10 service years and who are in the pay grade 0-3 or below. However, under the ELP program, time spent in law school does count as time in grade for pay and promotion purposes. 

Both programs are competitive and require that participants attend an accredited ABA approved law school. To be eligible for either programs an applicant must submit all required forms, have applied to law school, have a Law School Admission Test score, and have had an interview with a SJA by March 2008. 

For further information go to for FLEP and ELP details or call 1-800-JAG-USAF. Interested individuals may also call the Columbus AFB Staff Judge Advocate, Major Daniel Olson, at 434-7030.

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