JAG Corps Attorney

JAG Corps Attorney

The Army Judge Advocate General's Corps is the Army's Law department. The JAG Corps consists of attorneys, legal assistants and judges. As an Officer in the JAG Corps and a practicing attorney or judge, your responsibilities will cover a wide-range of practices that includes military law and criminal prosecution to international law and legal assistance-both in the U.S. and abroad.

You may also specialize in one of these areas as a JAG Attorney; Criminal Law, Legal Assistance, Civil Litigation, Administrative Law, Labor Law, International Law, Operational Law, Teaching, Medical Law, and Contract Law.

The responsibilities of an Army JAG Attorney include:

  • Managing and assigning branch Officers
  • Supervising training of personnel in legal functions
  • Developing and executing services in many law fields
  • Supplying legal advice and services to Soldiers on Active Duty and in the Army Reserve
  • Representing Soldiers at court trials
  • Performing other defense-related duties


To be an Officer in the Army Judge Advocate General Corps you must have a law degree from an ABA-approved law school and have been admitted to the bar of either a federal court or the highest court of any state in the United States or the District of Columbia.


Most legal firms offer some type of orientation program. The U.S. Army JAG Corps is no different.

New judge advocates report to Fort Lee, Virginia, for a twelve-day military orientation course, which is known as the Fort Lee phase of the Judge Advocate Officer Basic Course (JAOBC). The course allows time for establishing personnel and finance records, purchasing uniforms, and receiving instruction in several basic areas of military life.

The military orientation course is followed by a ten-week academic course at the JAG School in Charlottesville, VA. During this phase you receive instruction on the organization, function, and mission of the U.S. Army JAG Corps, and an overview of the practice of law in the U.S. Army, including military criminal law, government contract and fiscal law, legal assistance, claims, administrative law, and international and operational law.

The training continues with four weeks of the Direct Commissioned Officer Course (DCO) and ends with six weeks of officer leadership and Soldier skills training at Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC). You will go to one of two locations for DCO and BOLC: Fort Benning, GA or Fort Sill, OK. The DCO will prepare judge advocates for success at BOLC by orienting to and focusing on basic officer and Soldier skills. You will leave BOLC as a more competent leader.

Helpful Skills

Being a leader in the Army requires certain qualities. A leader exhibits self-discipline, initiative, confidence and intelligence. They are physically fit and can perform under physical and mental pressures. Leaders make decisions quickly, always focusing on completing the mission successfully, and show respect for their subordinates and other military officers. Leaders lead from the front and adjust to environments that are always changing. They are judged by their ability to make decisions on their own and bear ultimate moral responsibility for those decisions.