Staff Judge Advocate
Both the FLARNG and the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG Corps) can trace their distinguished history to before our Nation was founded. Become part of the JAG Corps, and you become part of a proud tradition that creates a positive impact worldwide.
The Army JAG Corps is the nation’s second largest law firm with more than 1,500 Judge Advocates serving on active duty, and more than 2,600 serving in the Army Reserve and National Guard. Judge Advocates provide full-service legal support to more than one million Soldiers and their Families—in the U.S. and overseas.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Is service as a Judge Advocate with the Florida Army National Guard a full-time position?
Answer: No – most Judge Advocates serve in a “part-time” capacity as a drilling military reservist. However, serving as a “part-time” Judge Advocate does not preclude having a full-time job elsewhere. Serving with the JAG Corps in the National Guard is much like any other drilling reserve program as National Guard Judge Advocates attend monthly drills and perform two weeks of annual training a year. A National Guard Judge Advocate may be called to active-duty and applicants should understand that an overseas and/or combat support deployment of up to a year is possible for any Army National Guard Judge Advocate. Additionally, military reservists are afforded employment protection during their military service periods, including deployment, by Federal law which prohibits any type of discrimination by employers.
Question: What is the active duty service obligation of an individual commissioned in the JAG Corps?
Answer: Newly commissioned officers incur a statutory service obligation of eight years (six years of active service as a drilling reservist followed by two years of inactive service). Individuals who have previous military service do not incur an additional obligation as a result of a new appointment.
Question: Are there certain requirements that one must meet to be eligible to apply for service as a Florida National Guard Judge Advocate?
Answer: Yes. In general, applicants must meet the following qualifications:
- Be at least 21 years old, and for appointment as a first lieutenant, be younger than 33, and for appointment to captain be younger than 39 (age waivers may be granted for persons over the maximum ages and may not apply if you have prior military service).
- Be a graduate of an ABA-approved law school.
- Be a member in good standing of the Florida Bar (before commissioning as a Judge Advocate – you can apply during law school or while awaiting bar exam results).
- Be of good moral character and possess leadership qualities.
- Be physically fit and meet the Army height/weight requirements.
Question: Does an applicant need prior military experience?
Question: What professional advantages exist by serving in the U.S. Army JAG Corps?
Immediate challenges and responsibility. There is no lengthy apprenticeship. New Judge Advocates will have clients, cases, or legal projects soon after arriving at their first assignment.
A varied legal practice. There is usually an opportunity to practice many areas of law as a National Guard Judge Advocate, for example, you may prosecute or defend criminal cases, give legal advice to commanders, render administrative law opinions, handle government tort claims, and advise clients regarding personal legal problems.
Quality experience. Initial assignments in JAG practice are designed to develop the litigation, negotiation, research, and client advocacy skills all attorneys need to be successful, benefiting you as a Judge Advocate as well as in civilian practice.
Professional association. Florida National Guard Judge Advocates come from government practice, private practice and also include elected officials and state court judges. Judge Advocates are exposed to a variety of individuals, professional skills, and experiences that have no equal in civilian law firms.
Service to your community. The National Guard is different from other military reserve organizations in that we also have a mission to serve our state in times of emergency. National Guard Judge Advocates may be called to serve when the Governor activates the National Guard for hurricanes or other missions within the state.
Training. Judge Advocates receive formal legal training at The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School (TJAGLCS), located at the University of Virginia. In addition to the practical training received at their assigned unit, Judge Advocates have many other educational opportunities through the military as well as the civilian bar.
Question: What types of training are required for attorneys who enter the U.S. Army JAG Corps?
Answer: New Judge Advocates attend a military orientation course at Fort Lee, VA, followed by the ten-and-a-half-week Judge Advocate Officer Basic Course (JAOBC) at TJAGLCS. The training ends with four weeks of the Direct Commissioned Officer Course (DCO), and six and a half weeks of leadership and soldier skills training at Basic
Officer Leadership Course (BOLC) Total training is approximately 22 weeks and must be completed within the first year after being commissioned.
The military orientation course allows time for establishing personnel and finance records, purchasing uniforms, and receiving instruction in several basic areas of military life. These include the wear of military uniforms, military customs and courtesy, physical fitness training, and an overnight field training exercise.
Question: Why should I join the Florida Army National Guard JAG Corps?
Answer: The U.S. Army JAG Corps offers the broadest based legal training environment of any employer. Our training program, coupled with the variety of legal work you will encounter, will afford you a legal learning experience that cannot be matched. You will have immediate responsibility for your clients and caseload, an opportunity to sharpen your advocacy skills, and an overall high quality of life for you and your Family. Whether motivated by patriotism, the desire to serve your state and nation, or a thirst for adventure, your experience as a Judge Advocate will provide a solid base upon which your success can grow. You will not regret the choice of a legal career with the JAG Corps. We truly are a different kind of law firm.
For more information please contact the Judge Advocate at 904-823-0132.