Law careers where you can influence your world Attorney & Legal Support

If you want to distinguish your career in law by changing the world, start with America’s Navy. From assisting Sailors with wills and powers of attorney to negotiating international agreements, the Navy offers world-influencing career possibilities for law school graduates, as well as positions that earn college credit for those interested in the legal profession.

There are two legal career paths: The Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps is open to law school graduates and law school students who are within two years of graduation, and legal specialist positions (called Legalman) are available for those without a degree.

Job Description


As a part of the Navy legal field, you could assist Judge Advocate General (JAG) Officers in the litigation of military cases. Or you may work on an Admiral’s staff, preparing official correspondence and reports. Your skills and intelligence may assist Navy personnel from seamen to Admirals around the globe as you help with investigations and preparation of legal documents, process appeals and much more.

The Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps

You could make history establishing new laws in other nations. You may work with NATO forces to help create a safe and secure environment. The JAG Corps is ideal for young lawyers looking to expand their opportunities and gain hands-on legal experience. Officers are allowed to litigate cases soon after reporting for duty and are required to practice in several fields, which gives them a wider range of experience and a higher level of responsibility than in the civilian sector.

The JAG Corps focuses on the following essential capabilities:

Operations – The JAG Corps provides the legal expertise necessary to conduct military operations worldwide. This includes: law of the sea, law of armed conflict, environmental law, information operations law, national security law, civil affairs and more.

Military Justice – The American people expect the highest standards of personal and professional conduct from their armed forces. The JAG Corps maintains a fair and just system by enforcing the conduct and accountability of military personnel.

Sailor Legal Readiness – The men and women of the United States Navy are its most important asset. The JAG Corps supports military personnel and their families by providing legal assistance services.

Navy Legal Readiness – The Navy operates in an increasingly complex legal and regulatory environment. The mission of the JAG Corps is to ensure naval operations are conducted in compliance with the rule of law.

Specific Responsibilities


As a Legalman with America’s Navy, you have the opportunity to make a difference to your nation and the world, with responsibilities that may include:

  • Providing assistance to Sailors and their families as well as to JAG Officers
  • Serving as office manager
  • Assisting in preparation of legal forms, letters and requests
  • Maintaining records and official publications
  • Preparing official accounts of hearings, investigations, courts-martial and courts of inquiry
  • Processing appeals
  • Other administrative and clerical duties

The Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps

As a member of the JAG Corps, you will encounter opportunities and experiences far beyond those you would expect from an ordinary law firm. Specific areas of practice include: military justice, legal assistance, international law, operational law, administrative law, environmental law, civil litigation, humanitarian assistance and refugee law, admiralty and maritime law, and legislative liaison.

Work Environment

You’ll have the opportunity to work around the globe establishing new laws, providing security and justice, making lives better for all nations, and making history.

Education Opportunities


You can get real-world experience and college credit. Some of the training (areas such as typing, clerical and office procedures, and legal practices) could translate to credit hours toward a bachelor’s or associate degree. As a Legalman with America’s Navy you may also have opportunities to receive advanced training at the Naval Justice School in areas such as paralegal, court reporting, and administrative and clerical duties.

The Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps

As a JAG Corps Officer, you’ll have access to general educational benefits that include:

  • Paid opportunities for postgraduate legal education at civilian institutions or military graduate schools
  • The opportunity to choose your own assignment after one to two years of service – a great way to get experience in a given field or get introduced to international law
  • The potential opportunity to earn an LL.M. degree at the approved law school of your choice while earning your normal yearly salary
  • Tuition assistance programs



Good speaking and writing skills, excellent hearing, attention to detail, and typing skills are highly desirable. The Navy will provide classroom and group instruction in Navy legal, administrative and clerical functions.

The Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps

Student Program – To qualify for Active Duty employment consideration in the Navy JAG Corps as a student, you must meet these basic qualifications:

  • Be a U.S. citizen of good moral character
  • Have taken the Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
  • Be a law student with at least one year of school completed, attending a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA); or be a graduate of an ABA-accredited law school who has not yet had the opportunity to take the first available bar exam following graduation (students who attend law school part time or who intend to matriculate in a dual degree program must be within two years of completing all remaining degree requirements)
  • Be younger than 42 years of age at the time you begin Active Duty service
  • Meet the physical requirements for commission in the Navy

Direct Appointment Program – To qualify for Active Duty employment consideration in the Navy JAG Corps as a professional, you must meet these basic qualifications:

  • Be a U.S. citizen of good moral character
  • Be a graduate of a law school fully accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA)
  • Be admitted to practice before a Federal Court, the highest court of a State, Territory or Commonwealth or the District of Columbia
  • Be younger than 42 years of age at the time you begin Active Duty service
  • Meet the physical requirements for commission in the Navy

Officers appointed to the JAG Corps must first attend Officer Development School (ODS) – a five-week course in Newport, Rhode Island, that provides a comprehensive and intense introduction to the responsibilities of being a Navy Staff Corps Officer. From there, JAG Corps Officers attend Naval Justice School, a ten-week course that teaches military trial procedures, methods of obtaining evidence, court-martial advocacy techniques, and application of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

For more information about the Navy JAG Corps, please visit

After the Navy


This can prepare you for a career as an office manager, legal assistant, legal secretary, paralegal, court reporter or computer peripheral-equipment operator.

The Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps

As a JAG lawyer, you will likely begin litigating a broad range of cases shortly after starting Active Duty. Skills you acquire will prepare you to work as a civilian lawyer in private practice or for law firms, government, corporations, and not-for-profit groups.

“Basically, the experience gained would be equivalent to that of partner in a private law firm,” says LT Jerry Reimers, who, after five years in the Navy, has moved on to private practice. “I’ve supervised up to fifteen employees, I’ve been able to negotiate international agreements affecting our armed forces overseas, and I’ve traveled the globe. At my age, I’ve done things that the attorneys whom I graduated with can only dream of.”

Consider Your Service Options.

There are different ways that you can commit to serve in America's Navy. Besides full-time opportunities in Active Duty, part-time Reserve positions are also available in this career area.