Military Law Career Guide

By Paul Hellyer
Updated July 2017



Vivian H. Gembara, Drowning in the Desert (2008).
William & Mary Law School alum and JAG officer Vivian Gembara writes about her tour of duty in Iraq.
KF373 .G46 A3 2008 (Stacks) 

Richard L. Hermann, Landing a Federal Legal Job: Finding Success in the U.S. Government Job Market (2011).
Includes a chapter on landing a job in the Judge Advocate General's Corps.
KF299 .G6 H473 2011 (OCS)

Journal Articles

Peter Bacque, Virginia Lawyers Volunteer to Help Military Veterans, Richmond Times Dispatch, Dec. 28, 2011.
Describes pro bono efforts by Virginia lawyers to help military veterans with benefits claims and other legal issues.

William Browning, JAG's Job Not Drama-Filled as Hollywood Portrays It, Florida Times-Union, March 25, 2013, at A1.
This profile of a Navy JAG describes the work that JAGs typically do.

Ryan Calef, Drawing Straight with Crooked Lines: A Conversation with Thomas Ayres, Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Army, March 2017, at 44.
This interview covers current issues faced by the Army JAG corps.

Scott A. DiRocco, Holding the Line: Understanding the Role of Independent Legal Counsel in Command Decision-Making, Army Lawyer, Dec. 2010, at 3.
A detailed look at the work that military lawyers do.

Fabiani Duarte, "May the (Air) Force Be With You," Student Lawyer, Nov.-Dec. 2015, at 64.
A law student writes about her experience working as a law clerk for an Air Force JAG office.

Stephen P. Dunn, A Forward-Deployed Military Attorney with Special Operations Forces, Michigan Bar Journal, Sept. 2014, at 30.
This article tells the story of a JAG in the Army reserves who accepts an assignment in the Middle East advising special operations forces.

Hannah Kiddoo, Lindsay Stafford Mader & Patricia Busa McConnico, For the Love of Country, Texas Bar Journal, Nov. 2014, at 888.
Four separate interviews with former military lawyers about their work and how it relates to their civilian careers.

Christopher Kratzer, Course Tests JAGs' Mettle, Montgomery Advertiser, June 3, 2011.
About a challenging training course for Air Force JAGs that includes time in the classroom and in the field.

Michelle Lore, Minnesota Army National Guard JAG Officers Back from Iraq Settle Back Into Practice, Minnesota Lawyer, March 15, 2010.
Focuses on the transition from military life back into civilian law practice.

Julie L. Massing, The Making of a JAG Attorney: Where the Law and the Military Meet, Federal Lawyer, March 2017, at 24.
A profile of Melissa Carlot Ehlers, a JAG in the Marines.

Caitlin McNamara, International Law in a Surprising Place, Young Lawyer, Dec. 2012, at 15.
Explains how the JAG corps can offer lawyers experience in practicing international law.

Pat Murphy, Former JAG Carves Out Niche Defending Veterans, Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly, July 30, 2015.
An interview with a former JAG explains how lawyers transition from JAG to private practice.

Charles N. Pede, Military Justice, the Judge Advocate and the 21st Century, Army Lawyer, April 2011, at 32.
Discusses changing demands and expectations for the JAG corps and describes how JAGs can improve their skills through training. 

Tammie Ramsouer, Area Defense Counsel Provides Legal Advocacy for Airmen, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (Jan. 16, 2015).
Describes the work of Area Defense Counsel, who provide legal defense for airmen facing disciplinary charges.

Stephen A. Stokes, Advocates in Action: Administrative Duties for JAGs in Iraq, Advocate (Idaho), March-April 2011, at 45.
A JAG officer describes his work on transactional matters, as well as his colleagues' work in military justice.

Kristi Tousignant, Lawyers Take Pride in Representing Members of the Armed Services, Daily Record (Baltimore), May 23, 2013.
This news article is about civilian lawyers who practice military law.

Brian K. Walker, Serving Those Who Served: Representing Veterans at the VA, 73 Texas Bar Journal 832 (2010).
Explains the attorney's role in VA benefits claims.

Michael Odell Walker, Warrior Lawyers: Serving the Country as a Judge Advocate, Young Lawyer, May 2011, at 2.
This article provides a good introduction to careers in the JAG corps.

Wayne Woolley, Filing Briefs and Serving in the Battlefield, New Jersey Law Journal, June 7, 2010, at 14.
Profile of a JAG attorney in the New Jersey National Guard who served a tour of duty in Afghanistan.


The Army Lawyer
Library has 1972-2015.
Charlottesville, VA: Judge Advocate General's Legal Center & School
On the Web at: 

Organizations & Websites

JAG Corps
Air Force JAG Corps website: 
Army JAG Corps website: 
Navy JAG Corps website: 
These websites offer testimonials by JAGs, information on summer internship opportunities, application forms and more.

Lewis B. Puller, Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic
William & Mary Law School
tel: 757-221-7443
The Clinic assists current and former service members with veterans disability benefits claims. Students receive course credit for their work with the Clinic. For an article describing the Clinic's work, see Colleges and Universities Join Forces to Help Veterans.

Military and Veterans Law Society
William & Mary Law School
The Military and Veterans Law Society promotes awareness of military law issues and builds ties between interested students and the community. The Society is open to all students.

Military Lawyers Conference (ABA)
740 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005-1022
tel: 202-662-1020
fax: 202-662-1751
The Military Lawyers Conference is part of the ABA's Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division. Its mission is to provide benefits and services to military lawyers.

Photo:  Associated Press