The Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps’ (AF JAG Corps) mission is to deliver professional, candid, independent counsel and full spectrum legal capabilities to the command and warfighter. Our more than 1200 active duty military attorneys, called judge advocates, have discovered that service as a commissioned officer within the Air Force has much to offer. Our legal practice is challenging and offers early opportunities to litigate in a variety of forums. In addition, joining AF JAG Corps allows an attorney to engage in public service within an institution highly respected by the American public. We firmly believe that our judge advocates make a valuable and lasting contribution to their country.
The Air Force provides an ideal opportunity to experience a diversified legal practice (criminal, environmental, government contracts, labor, medical, international, legal assistance, etc.) with a complementary opportunity to hone your litigation skills. In addition to the diversity of legal practice areas, we offer the exciting opportunity to work with people (colleagues and clients) from diverse backgrounds. Air Force JAGs start their careers, simultaneously prosecuting cases, providing legal assistance to military members, and rotating through various areas of the law. For some, travel opportunities, the possibility of living and practicing law in a foreign country, and the simple prospect of engaging in a unique field of law carry a special attraction. For others, quality of life is of significant importance and military service provides an extended family, emphasizes teamwork and team building, and offers a well-developed support network. For these and many other reasons, service as an Air Force judge advocate offers unique opportunities and promises enriching experiences.
The minimum requirements to be an Air Force JAG are: (1) that you be 39 years of age or younger (there are no age waivers); (2) a U.S. citizen; (3) a graduate of an ABA accredited law school; (4) admitted to the highest court of any state or U.S. territory; (5) and pass the medial examination after selection.
The selection board utilizes the whole person concept. Factors include academic performance, curricular and extracurricular activities, community service, work experience, letters of recommendation, leadership opportunities, and current or prior military experience, if applicable. Your ability to meet the Air Force height/weight entry standards and the Air Force fitness assessment standards are also factors that the board will review. Prior military experience is not a requirement, nearly 85% of our current JAGs have no prior military experience. Your motivation to become an Air Force JAG is important as well as your ability and potential to be a leader in the Air Force. Essentially, the selection board looks at your entire package.
There are three options to apply for the JAG program:
Educational Delay Program
- If you are in Air Force Reserve Officer Training Course (AFROTC) in undergrad or still able to do AFROTC while in undergrad, you could apply to the Educational Delay Program.
- If you are selected for the Ed Delay you will graduate and commission as a second lieutenant and be placed in the inactive ready reserves while you go to law school. During your third year of law school you must apply to step two, Ed-Delay-Out.
- If you are not selected for Ed-Delay-Out, you enter active duty in the career field you choose during AFROTC.
- If selected for Ed-Delay-Out you will stay in the inactive ready reserves while you study and take the bar exam. Once you pass the bar you will enter active duty as a JAG.
Graduate Law Program and One Year College Program
- You can apply to the Graduate Law Program (GLP) during your first year of law school and the One Year College Program (OYCP) during your second year of law school. You must interview with the Detachment Commander before you apply for the AF JAG Corps (this should be accomplished in October/November timeframe). The Detachment Commander will give you a memorandum (or they will email it to the JAG Corps) that you will upload into your online application.
- In these programs, if selected, you will participate in AFROTC while you finish law school and you will attend a mandatory field training at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, AL, during the summer between your second and third year of law school.
- In addition to attending field training you must complete all of the GMC and POC aerospace studies courses before your graduation and commissioning.
- If you are selected for GLP/OYCP you will commission as a second lieutenant after you complete law school and all AFROTC requirements. You will then be placed in the inactive ready reserves while you study and take the bar exam. Once you pass the bar you will receive your assignment and report to your first duty location.
Direct Appointment Program
- You are eligible to apply to the DAP any time after you complete two-thirds of the credit hours that are required for your J.D.
- Your initial training will start at Officer Training School (OTS), at Maxwell AFB, in Montgomery, AL (DAP only). OTS is an 8 week training, designed to ease your transition from the private sector to military life.
- After OTS, you will go to the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s School, at Maxwell AFB, in Montgomery, AL, where you will attend the Judge Advocate Staff Officer’s Course (JASOC). JASOC is a 9.5 week training, designed to ease your transition into practicing law in the military setting. At JASOC you will be exposed to the military justice system, legal assistance, civil law, and operations and international law.