T Nation

USMC and the Law

I’m debating the idea of going back into the Corps as a JAG or just off to law school as a civilian. I’m a senior in history and political science with a 3.51 GPA. I love the Corps and my fiancee is against me going back into the grunts so that’s why I’m thinking JAG.

That said, I may just go to law school. I don’t really want to be a lawyer (particularly tort) but I’m thinking there’s got to be some place in politics for a a guy with law experience.

Are there any JAGs or law school grads on here with a little input on the life?

mike

I’m just going to throw it out there - if you don’t want to be a lawyer, you shouldn’t go to law school.

There are plenty of other ways to get into poltics without running up thousands of dollars of student debt. Plus, are you willing to work 80-90 hours a week for the first few years out of law school?

That being said, JAG might not be a bad choice. You like the military life, and the one JAG guy I know loves his work.

When you say you want to get into politics, what exactly would you ultimately like to do? Run for public office of some sort? Because other than that (which you really can’t do successfully until you’ve built some sort of successful career and life and track record of your own), what is it that’s really of interest to you in the political realm?

Be a congressional clerk or something? Not a long-term career path.

Be a lobbyist? Well, (1.) you need political and business connections (i.e. need to have a career first) to do that and (2.) you might not respect yourself in the morning.

Ultimately be a cabinet member, or at least mid-level policy maker in the State Dept., Defense Dept., etc.? You really need to build a career based on expertise in the underlying relevant subject matter in order to do that.

In other words, get graduate degrees (maybe multiple ones) in foreign studies, or the study of a particular country or region (Russia, China, Middle East, Islam, etc.), or in defense policy, or in international trade, etc., etc., etc.

I’m not trying to give you a hard time, just trying to say that you should try to flesh out exactly what you might want to do when you say you want to get into “politics.”

Hope that helps.