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Becoming a Marine Judge Advocate presents a unique opportunity to practice law across diverse legal portfolios in the course of a career, gain criminal litigation experience from the start, and lead a team always. Very few lawyers in the private sector get exposure to such variety and hands-on experience in such a short time. Even fewer earn the right to do so as an officer in the United States Marine Corps.

Legal practice in the Marine Corps is both distinct and similar to civilian practice. Its practitioners are known as judge advocates and are licensed attorneys in good standing with their respective state bars. Upon completion of basic officer training and graduation from the Naval Justice School, judge advocates become certified under Article 42(a) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice to represent the United States, as well as individual Marines, Sailors, and civilians in legal matters.

The work of judge advocates may also involve advising commanding officers, overseeing criminal/administrative investigations, and practicing in other areas of law, including but not limited to: civil litigation, tort claims, labor law, environmental law, operational law, cyber law, and international law. In addition, judge advocates have the opportunity throughout their career to receive advanced training and experience in all facets of law and leadership.

Marine judge advocates provide timely and effective legal advice and support to commanders, Marines, Sailors, and their families to promote the readiness of the force and contribute to Marine Corps mission accomplishment.

Here are some of the advantages and opportunities of service as a Marine judge advocate:

  • Courtroom Experience: immediate and substantive, no having to “do your time,” opportunities at both the trial and appellate level with later opportunities to screen to become a Military Judge.
  • Criminal Litigation: you can spend time on both sides of the aisle as a Trial Counsel (prosecutor) or Defense Counsel, cases will range from misdemeanor to felony level and will often require substantive work with law enforcement (NCIS, CID, local/state/federal police investigators) and expert witnesses.
  • Leadership: Trial and Defense Counsel work closely with enlisted legal support personnel; after some time and experience judge advocates may act serve as supervisors to more junior counsel.
  • Deployments: provide legal advice and support to commanders and deployed Marines, including rules of engagement, law of war, detention operations, investigations, fiscal law, claims, and military justice.
  • Diverse Legal Portfolios: get exposure to civil law, including legal assistance (estate planning, family law, tax matters); tort claims (represent interests of the U.S. in tort issues such as Federal Tort Claims Act/Military Claims Act); labor law (arbitration and equal opportunity); and contract law (legal review of multi-billion dollar contracts of military technologies and supplies).

In addition, judge advocates will have access to opportunities for continuing legal education (including L.L.M.s), professional military education, special military training (annual rifle/pistol, etc.), and more. With the advancement of your legal practice and education, you will have a chance to lead others (command, train, teach).

To apply, you must meet the below criteria:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen
  • Be 33 years old or younger
  • Be physically active and meet Marine Corps fitness requirements
  • Preferred LSAT of at least 150 and previous SAT score of 1000 (math and verbal combined)*

*Both scores can be waived for exceptional applicants

Job ID: 74269415

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