If you hire them, they will come.
The National Law Journal reports that applications for the Judge Advocate General’s Corps are way, way up:
The U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force report a surge in applicants for Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps jobs in recent years, according to recruiters and military attorneys.
That trend accelerated in 2008, and several branches report that they are on track to hit record numbers of applicants in 2009.
You’ve got to love it when the government is the employer of last resort:
It’s difficult to pinpoint the precise reason, but the recession certainly seems to be a factor. Major law firms have laid off thousands of attorneys in the past year, many recent law school graduates have been struggling to find employment and some solo practitioners are having a hard time keeping the lights on.
After the jump, how JAG’s offer of job security has led to a more competitive environment.
It’s actually kind of funny. Lawyers are generally risk-averse. But they are flocking to the American military, for security reasons:
“People are looking for stability right now. We don’t offer the salaries that the larger law firms do, but we offer diverse practices and diverse locations,” said Lt. Col. Paulette Burton, the chief judge advocate for recruiting for the Army. “As the economy continues to go in this downward spiral, [judge advocates] can count on their salaries and their benefits. We don’t lay people off.”
The terrible American economy makes strange bedfellows.
Of course, with all that the JAG Corps has to offer, competition for spots is at an all-time high. The Air Force is looking at a jump of more than 35% in JAG applications; the Navy is expecting a 300% jump.
JAGs don’t traditionally make a lot of money:
Starting base pay for Army judge advocates is about $40,000 a year, Burton said, but the various allowances add about $14,400 to that total. Starting pay for Marine Corps judge advocates is between $42,000 and $52,000, Laretto said, while Navy pay starts at between $53,000 and $60,000.
But the NLJ reports that the Army recently announced a loan repayment program that could also help people who are willing to serve.
Where have you young lawyers been all of your life? Listening to Mick Jagger music?
Maybe it’s time to try to serve your country?
Military JAG Corps report recruitment surge [National Law Journal]