EduReviewerBlogHow to Become an Army Lawyer: Hard and Easy Ways
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How to Become an Army Lawyer: Hard and Easy Ways

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Have you ever seen those razor-sharp military lawyers in blockbuster films and thought, “That could be me”? Hold onto that thought because becoming a military lawyer is no Hollywood fantasy – it’s a reality within reach!

We have the lowdown either you’re aiming for the intense courtroom drama or want to stand in for those courageous people dressed in uniform. Here’s your all-in-one guide to navigating the road to becoming a military lawyer, both the straightaways and the switchbacks.

Overall Info for Your Research

Aspect Information
Why Become a Military Lawyer? Serve your country

Unique blend of law & military discipline

Challenging, high-stakes cases

Duration Typically 7+ years (Bachelor’s + Law School + Military Training)
Preferred Majors Political Science, Criminal Justice, International Relations
Key Exams LSAT, Bar Exam
Average Military Lawyer Salary (US) Varies by rank/experience, typically starting around $60,000
Top-Paid Position Colonel or equivalent higher ranks
Recommended Military Branch (US) U.S. Army or Navy (JAG Corps)
Ongoing Requirements Continued legal education, military training
Decision Point Military Service vs. Civilian Law (or combine both!)

Why Become a Military Lawyer?

Stepping into the vast world of law offers countless avenues, from corporate battles to civil disputes. But one path merges the honor of service with the thrill of courtroom advocacy: becoming a military lawyer. This isn’t just about wearing a sharp uniform or saluting higher-ups. Nope, it’s deeper than that. It’s about embracing a unique blend of duty, discipline, and justice. Why would someone swap the bustling corridors of a civilian law firm for the disciplined ranks of military justice? Let’s explore the magnetic allure behind the title of a military lawyer.

Patriotic Pride & Service

  • Serving Those Who Serve: It’s one thing to wave the flag on the 4th of July, but representing the brave men and women in uniform? Now, that’s taking patriotism to a whole new level!
  • Uphold Justice Within the Forces: Civilians have disputes and dramas. But when you’re ensuring justice within the military, it’s about maintaining the integrity of the institution that protects the nation.

Diverse Challenges

  • Not Your Everyday Law: Civilian law can get a tad routine. But military law? It’s a blend of criminal, international, and even constitutional law. Keeps you on your toes!
  • Global Opportunities: Military lawyers sometimes get to operate in international waters, overseas bases, or amid peacekeeping missions. Talk about an adventurous career!

Job Stability & Perks

  • Competitive Salaries: The paycheck isn’t shabby, and when combined with the benefits, it’s a pretty sweet deal.
  • Benefits Bonanza: The military takes care of its own, from comprehensive health care to housing allowances and pension plans.

A Platform to Influence

  • Policy Shaping: As a military lawyer, you might be able to advise on policy matters, playing a crucial role in shaping military legal guidelines.
  • Advising High Command: Imagine providing legal counsel to top military officials, guiding them through complex situations. It’s a chance to make a real impact!

Network Like No Other

  • Unmatched Camaraderie: The bond shared among military personnel is legendary. Being part of that community? Priceless.
  • Contacts Across the Globe: You’ll work with (and against) some of the sharpest legal minds globally, providing an unmatched networking opportunity.

Character Building

  • Discipline & Rigor: The military teaches discipline like no other institution. It’s not just about being a lawyer; it’s about being your best version.
  • Resilience Training: Facing challenging cases and sometimes even life-threatening situations, you’ll learn to build an unparalleled mental fortitude.

Becoming a military lawyer isn’t just about a profession; it’s a calling. It’s about merging the ethos of the military with the advocacy of law.

FB Hayners regret lawyer

How Long Does It Take to Become a Military Lawyer?

You’re sold on the whole military lawyer gig, and now you’re wondering about the timeline. How long will it take, or how do I juggle between the books of law and the drills of the military? – are probably buzzing in your head. Let’s unravel this journey step by step and understand how do you become a military lawyer.

Undergraduate Degree

  • Time Commitment: Usually, it’s a 4-year game. This is where you’ll want to grab a Bachelor’s degree. While not always mandatory to be in law or pre-law, it can give you a leg up.
  • Tip: While in undergrad, join related clubs or societies, maybe even ROTC, to get a feel of the military vibe.

Law School

  • Time Commitment: Another 3 years, buddy. This is where you really sink your teeth into the intricacies of the law.
  • Juggling Act: Many candidates often wonder how to become a lawyer in the military during this phase. Consider programs like the JAG Corps’ funded legal education program, where they pay for law school in exchange for service after graduation. It’s a win-win!

FB Sue Basko going military first

Bar Exam

Time Commitment: After law school, you’ve got to study for and pass the bar exam. Depending on your prep time and the state, it might be several months of intense studying.

Why It Matters: No passing the bar, no practicing law. It’s as simple as that.

Military Induction & Training

  • Time Commitment: Varies by branch, but typically, you’re looking at a few months.
  • What’s It Like: Think basic training but with some legal twists. You’re becoming a soldier and an advocate.

Specialized Military Legal Training

  • Time Commitment: Post your basic military training, there’s an added period where you’re schooled in military law specifically. This could range from a couple of weeks to a few months.
  • Deep Dive: This is where you learn how to become military lawyer, diving deep into the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) and other fun stuff.

So, if we’re doing the math: 4 (undergrad) + 3 (law school) + a bit for the bar exam and military training, you’re looking at roughly 8 years, give or take, to be fully prepped and ready to serve as a military lawyer. It’s a commitment, for sure, but remember – the journey is just as rewarding as the destination!

What to Major in to Become a Military Lawyer?

Political Science or Pre-Law

  • Why It’s a Good Choice: These majors are the tried-and-true, classic routes into law school. You’ll delve into the inner workings of government, legal systems, and more.
  • Bonus Points: Many of these programs have relationships with the best LSAT test prep tutors. So, this is a big perk if you’re eyeing a high LSAT score (and who isn’t?).

Criminal Justice or Criminology

  • Perks: Gives you a unique look into the law enforcement system, from police operations to the court system.
  • Insider Tip: If you’re keen on criminal law within the military, this could be your jam. Ratings of college admissions consultants suggest these majors fare well in applications.

Foreign Language or International Relations:

  • Global Perspective: In an increasingly interconnected world, having knowledge of foreign languages or international relations is a huge asset.
  • Skill Set: Not only will mastering a foreign language make you a unique asset to the team, but understanding the nuances of international relations will give you a distinct edge when dealing with complex, globally-influenced cases.



  • Deep Dive: It’s not just about ancient thinkers and existential questions. Philosophy sharpens your logical reasoning and argumentative skills – essentials for any aspiring lawyer.
  • Fun Fact: Believe it or not, philosophy majors often outperform many others on the LSAT!

Ultimately, your major should resonate with your passions and strengths because of genuine interest and dedication. They shine the brightest on any application.

What Do You Need to Become a Military Lawyer?

Climbing the ranks to become a military lawyer isn’t just about passion and commitment – there’s a checklist of must-haves and qualifications. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill career, after all! But hey, don’t sweat it. With the right resources, like finding affordable LSAT prep courses, you can confidently conquer each milestone. Let’s unveil the essential elements:

Bachelor’s Degree

First off, you need an undergraduate degree. While there’s no strict rule on the major type, it’s beneficial if it leans towards a law or a related field. It sets the foundation!

LSAT Mastery

Before entering law school, you must tackle the LSAT (Law School Admission Test). Testing your reading, logical reasoning, and analytical skills is a biggie.

If you’re using your prep, ever thought about sharing your expertise? That’s right, you can learn how to become an LSAT tutor and not only help others but also reinforce your own understanding.

Law School Graduation

Three rigorous years where you immerse yourself in constitutional, criminal, and property law. Moot courts, internships, and clinics. Get as hands-on as possible. This experience is invaluable, especially in military law, where scenarios can be unique.

Ongoing Education

The world of law, especially military law, is like a river – constantly flowing and changing. Keeping up with new legal trends, amendments, and protocols is crucial.

How to Become a Military Lawyer

Stepping into the shoes of a military lawyer means gearing up for a journey that’s as rewarding as it is challenging. Think Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men (minus the drama, but keep the intensity). Ready to navigate this path? Let’s break it down step-by-step.

Ace that LSAT

  • The Big Test Before The Even Bigger One: The LSAT measures skills vital for law school, like reading comprehension and analytical thinking.
  • Sidenote: Here’s a comparison – LSAT vs the Bar. The LSAT gets you into law school; the bar gets you into the courtroom. Both are milestones, but their focus and structure differ significantly.

Graduate from Law School

  • The Deep Dive: Three years of intense study, exams, and practical experiences that shape your legal mindset.
  • Curious Corner: Ever wondered how hard is it to become a corporate lawyer in comparison? Both paths require law school, but military law brings unique challenges tied to defense, international treaties, and military codes.

cmnt OldSarge 02 lawyer military

Join the Military & JAG Corps:

  • Blending Two Worlds: After passing the bar, enlist in the military and receive specialized training with the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Your focus here? Melding legal knowledge with military strategy.

It’s a unique journey, distinct from other legal avenues like corporate law, but it promises a fulfilling career dedicated to upholding justice within and beyond the military’s ranks.

fb Brian Wheater lawyer army

How to Become a Military Lawyer in Canada

Oh, Canada! The land of maple syrup, hockey, and a robust legal system. If you aim to mix the thrill of military discipline with Canada’s intricate world of law, you’re in luck. The process is streamlined, albeit demanding.

Law School, Eh?

Investment Time: Dive into one of Canada’s esteemed law schools. Wondering about expenses? Law schools in Canada cost a pretty penny, but the investment is worth every cent, considering the quality of education and the doors it opens.

Bar Exam & Licensing

Almost There: After graduating, you’ll tackle the bar exam in your chosen province or territory. Once you pass, you’re ready for licensing!

Military Path & JAG

The Final Frontier: Enlist in the Canadian Armed Forces and set your sights on the Judge Advocate General branch. This is where your dual role begins, serving as a legal champion and a military professional.

Blending the ethos of Canadian law with military duty creates a role that’s not only prestigious but also instrumental in upholding the nation’s values and security. Onwards and upwards!


What is the highest-paid military lawyer?

The highest-paid military lawyers are typically those with significant experience and hold senior ranks, such as a Colonel or higher in the Army or its equivalent in other branches. These roles often come with specialized responsibilities and expertise.

Which branch of the military is best for a lawyer?

All military branches have a need for lawyers, but many consider the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) in the U.S. Army or Navy to be the premier choice. Your decision should be based on personal preference, the type of cases you’re interested in, and where you’d like to be stationed.

Should I go into the military or become a lawyer?

Why not both? Becoming a military lawyer means you serve in the military while practicing law. It offers unique experiences and challenges. However, weigh the demands and commitments of military life against a civilian law career before deciding.

How much do military lawyers make in Canada?

The salary for military lawyers in Canada varies based on rank and experience. On average, starting salaries can range from CAD$77,000 to CAD$83,000 annually, with potential for increases as one advance in rank and accumulates years of service.


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