National Guard JAG Lawyer: 15 Cool Facts

No matter what and where, there will always be a need for judges, lawyers and other people who defend, prosecute and just oversee that laws are administered properly. The military is no different. There are both military and civilian laws that have to be followed, and that is what JAG is all about.

In today’s post, we are going to research the National Guard JAG Lawyer and 15 cool facts about them.

1: What JAG Stands For

The term JAG stands for United States Army Judge Advocate General. JAG is the oldest law firm in the United States. In 1775, General George Washington requested that the Continental Congress appoint an attorney to act in the cases of court martial’s before the courts of the land. William Tudor was the first JAG lawyer.

2: Basic Job Duties Of A JAG Lawyer

A National Guard JAG Lawyer may wear many different hats. Basically, he/she will:

  • Offer legal and ethical advice to commanders

  • Provide legal advice to officers, soldiers and their families

  • Represent soldiers in court hearings

  • Prosecute cases under the Uniform Code of Military Justice

3: Requirements To Become A JAG Lawyer

Becoming a United States Army National Guard Lawyer has several requirements. These requirements consist of:

  • Be a United States citizen

  • Be a graduate of an American Bar Association approved law school

  • Be admitted to the Bar in the same State you will serve in the National Guard

  • Meet all the medical and moral standards to gain appointment as a commissioned officer

  • Be fit both mentally and physically

  • Have sound moral character

  • Be able to obtain secret security clearance

4: National Guard JAG Lawyer Training

JAG lawyer training goes in depth. A person who desires to become an Army National Guard JAG lawyer will have to complete the Judge Advocate Officer Basic Course. This course is in 3 phases which will be:

The Fort Lee Phase

This is a 12 day orientation phase that takes part at Fort Lee, Virginia. This shows you the basics of military life, gets all paperwork straight, and allows you to obtain the uniforms and equipment you will need.

The Charlottesville Phase

This phase lasts for 10 1/2 weeks. It is a classroom course that delves deeply into all matters of military law. This all takes place at the Judge Advocate General’s Legal School and Center in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Fort Benning Phase

This is the phase that will test you mentally and physically. It is the Direct Commissioned Officers Course, which is similar to basic training for officers. For 6 weeks you will goth through rigorous training and learn leadership skills.

5: Benefits An Army National Guard JAG Lawyer Can Receive

The Army National Guard has the best benefits for part time workers. As a JAG lawyer, you can receive:

  • More educational benefits

  • Low cost medical insurance for you and your family

  • Low cost life insurance

  • A retirement plan

  • Discounts on groceries and other supplies at military exchanges and commissaries.

  • Much more

Specialty Law Areas

JAG lawyers will deal with a number of specialty areas of law. The next 9 areas are law specialties that JAG attorneys could be involved with.

6: Criminal Law

JAG attorneys will find that dealing with criminal law is as prevalent in the military as it is in the civilian world. JAG lawyers will have to understand many criminal law procedures such as:

  • Crimes and defenses

  • Self incrimination

  • Mental responsibility

  • Evidence

  • And much more.

7: Contract Law

Many soldiers, officers and their families have need of legal help with contracts. JAG lawyers are there to help with the laws involved with contracts.

8: Legal Assistance

When any person who is either commissioned or enlisted in the Army National Guard, they may have legal questions. The one who is there to assist with legal matters are JAG lawyers.

9: Medical Law

Just like the legal assistance above, members of the Army National Guard may have medical law questions or concerns. It is the JAG lawyers responsibility to search out and answer their questions about their medical concerns.

10: Civil Litigation

In some cases, a member of the National Guard may need to file a lawsuit against another entity, or vice versa. That member of the Guard may need JAG’s assistance as lawyers in this civil litigation. No one should ever attempt to go into civil litigation without an attorney.

11: Operational Law

Often, commanders may find themselves questioning if the plan or mode of operation they are about to undertake is legal. With the many situations that can arise, commanders often make a point to contact JAG to guarantee they are within the law.

12: Administrative Law

This area of law can intertwine with many of the other areas. The administration and paperwork involved in the Army National Guard must be written lawfully. One inaccurate sentence can cause havoc by law standards. JAG lawyers can make sure all paperwork is legal.

13: International Law

JAG lawyers have the responsibility of understanding laws in other countries too. The laws in other countries can be very different than United States law. Since the Army operates in other countries, JAG lawyers can explain to commanders, officers and soldiers where they stand lawfully in those countries.

14: Labor Law

There are many questions when it comes to labor laws. JAG lawyers should be completely up-to-date on labor laws, and they can explain labor rights and responsibilities to both employers and employees.

15: Army National Guard JAG Lawyer Overview

A JAG lawyer has many responsibilities. They provide legal advice on any matter that pertains to the National Guard. They provide legal assistance for members of the National Guard. They are prosecutors in military criminal matters as well as lawyers for the defendant. The JAG lawyer answers all legal questions asked by both superiors and inferiors. When it comes to anything that utilizes the law in the Army National Guard, the JAG lawyer is the one who will deal with it.

Final Thoughts

If you are now an attorney and have considered an extra income, maybe being commissioned as a JAG officer would be a wise move.

We would like to hear from anyone who is, or was a JAG lawyer. Tell us more. All questions and comments can be posted below. Thank you.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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1 thought on “National Guard JAG Lawyer: 15 Cool Facts”

  1. I will take you through 10 steps and cover other essential information on what it means to be a military lawyer. Step 1: Be a valid applicant. Step 2: Earn an undergraduate degree. Step 3: Go to Officer Candidate School. Step 4: Pass the LSAT Exam. Step 5: Finish your legal education. Step 6: Pass the bar exam. Step 7: Apply for the state bar Step 8: Attend a state swearing ceremony. Step 9: Join the JAG Corps. Step 10: Start training and enter active duty

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