Marine Corps
Law Program

After initial Marine Officer training at The Basic School, Judge Advocates attend the Naval Justice School (NJS) where they learn the basic aspects of military law.

Judge Advocate.

Leader of Marines.

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To practice law as a Marine Officer is a distinction reserved for the Few who have what it takes, mentally, morally and physically, to become a leader of Marines. Prior to becoming a Judge Advocate General (JAG) lawyer you must graduate from law school, complete Officer Candidates School and follow on officer training at The Basic School. From there you will receive training on the military justice system at the Naval Justice School (NJS) in Newport, RI.

At NJS, you will learn the basic aspects of military law, including the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Criminal Law and Procedure, Operational Law, Trial Advocacy and Administrative Law. By completing your training, you will prove to yourself and to our Corps that you have what it takes to win as a Marine Officer and Judge Advocate alongside the world’s greatest warriors.  

To practice law as a Marine Officer is a distinction reserved for the Few who have what it takes, mentally, morally and physically, to become a leader of Marines. Prior to becoming a Judge Advocate General (JAG) lawyer you must graduate from law school, complete Officer Candidates School and follow on officer training at The Basic School. From there you will receive training on the military justice system at the Naval Justice School (NJS) in Newport, RI.

At NJS, you will learn the basic aspects of military law, including the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Criminal Law and Procedure, Operational Law, Trial Advocacy and Administrative Law. By completing your training, you will prove to yourself and to our Corps that you have what it takes to win as a Marine Officer and Judge Advocate alongside the world’s greatest warriors.  

Long form video highlighting the Marine Corps Judge Advocate Program.

Fight to Win in a Courtroom

As a Marine Corps Judge Advocate, you will immediately be given the responsibilities of maintaining your own caseload and advising Marines on legal issues. Additionally, the training you receive as a Marine Corps Officer will prepare you to be a leader from day one.

 

While most new civilian attorneys are relegated to research duty on cases tried by others, you will be building your skills and acquiring real legal experience in the courtroom.

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    Judge Advocate Division

    The Judge Advocate Division is much like a large firm, composed of more than 400 judge advocates and a comparable support staff. While you will most likely serve as a prosecutor or defense counsel in military courts-martial during your first tour, you will also have the opportunity during your career to practice law in areas as diverse as operational law, family law, environmental law, labor law and international law. Additionally, you may argue appellate cases before the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals or the United States Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces. As a Marine Corps Judge Advocate, there are many areas of specialty in which you may practice law.

    Next
    Prev

    Judge Advocate Division

    The Judge Advocate Division is much like a large firm, composed of more than 400 judge advocates and a comparable support staff. While you will most likely serve as a prosecutor or defense counsel in military courts-martial during your first tour, you will also have the opportunity during your career to practice law in areas as diverse as operational law, family law, environmental law, labor law and international law. Additionally, you may argue appellate cases before the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals or the United States Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces. As a Marine Corps Judge Advocate, there are many areas of specialty in which you may practice law.

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    Trial Attorney

    As a prosecutor, defense counsel or litigator, you will try cases before a military judge or before a jury of Marines and/or naval personnel. You may also argue appellate cases before the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals or the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

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    Trial Attorney

    As a prosecutor, defense counsel or litigator, you will try cases before a military judge or before a jury of Marines and/or naval personnel. You may also argue appellate cases before the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals or the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

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    Civil Law

    As you gain experience, you may transition to other areas of law, such as Civil Law and Legal Assistance, or act as in-house counsel. You will write ethics opinions and research issues pertaining to Environmental, Fiscal, Government Contracting, Labor and Employment, Claims and Tort Litigation Law and other legal matters. You will also work closely with Marines and Marine families on Family, Consumer, Tax, Estate and Immigration Law issues.

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    Civil Law

    As you gain experience, you may transition to other areas of law, such as Civil Law and Legal Assistance, or act as in-house counsel. You will write ethics opinions and research issues pertaining to Environmental, Fiscal, Government Contracting, Labor and Employment, Claims and Tort Litigation Law and other legal matters. You will also work closely with Marines and Marine families on Family, Consumer, Tax, Estate and Immigration Law issues.

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    Operational Law

    You may serve aboard a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), a ship of approximately 2,000 Marines that deploys globally, where you are responsible for all legal matters pertaining to the unit. Or you may deploy with a Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), a Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) that deploys globally for larger-scale operations, where your responsibilities could include handling Rules of Engagement, Laws of War, Detention Operations, Investigations, Fiscal Law, Government Contracting, Foreign Claims, Military Justice, Host Nation Justice Systems, Legal Assistance and other legal issues that arise in a deployed environment.

    Next
    Prev

    Operational Law

    You may serve aboard a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), a ship of approximately 2,000 Marines that deploys globally, where you are responsible for all legal matters pertaining to the unit. Or you may deploy with a Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), a Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) that deploys globally for larger-scale operations, where your responsibilities could include handling Rules of Engagement, Laws of War, Detention Operations, Investigations, Fiscal Law, Government Contracting, Foreign Claims, Military Justice, Host Nation Justice Systems, Legal Assistance and other legal issues that arise in a deployed environment.

Judge Advocate Paths

Whether you seek your commission as an undergraduate, as a law school student or as an attorney, there is a program for you.

Platoon Leaders Class–Law

This option is open to first- and second-year law students and to college seniors who have been accepted for full-time study at an ABA-accredited law school.

Officer Candidate Course–Law

Third-year law students and bar-certified lawyers begin their training at the Officer Candidate Course.

To learn more about serving your nation and the Marine Corps as a Judge Advocate, speak with an Officer Selection Officer.

Whether you seek your commission as an undergraduate, as a law school student or as an attorney, there is a program for you.

Platoon Leaders Class–Law

This option is open to first- and second-year law students and to college seniors who have been accepted for full-time study at an ABA-accredited law school.

Officer Candidate Course–Law

Third-year law students and bar-certified lawyers begin their training at the Officer Candidate Course.

To learn more about serving your nation and the Marine Corps as a Judge Advocate, speak with an Officer Selection Officer.