Reserve Judge Advocates & Legalmen
The Navy Reserve JAG Corps currently has more than 400 lawyers practicing in the fields of military justice, international and operational law, legal assistance, admiralty, and other specialized areas. They serve throughout the United States and in several foreign countries.
As a Navy Reserve judge advocate you’ll enjoy a challenging part-time career that maximizes your legal talents. You’ll work with professionals from all walks of life, including private practice, state and federal government, and private industry. And you’ll serve your country in uniform.
Affiliating with the Reserve
There is currently no program that allows law students or licensed attorneys, without at least one year cumulative active duty experience, to commission directly into the Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps as a reserve officer. However, career-motivated reservists with the requisite education and professional experience may seek a direct commission or a lateral transfer into the Reserve JAG Corps. Availability of these programs are subject to the requirements and needs of the Reserve JAG Corps.
To be eligible for the Reserve JAG Corps, you must:
(a) Have at least one year of prior active-duty Navy experience;
(b) Be a graduate of a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA);
(c) Be a member in good standing of the bar of a federal court or the highest court of a state, a U.S. territory, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;
(d) Be a commissioned officer in the Navy Reserve in the grade O-4 or below;
(e) Agree to serve in a selected reserve status for at least three years computed from the date of appointment in the Reserve JAG Corps; and
(f) Complete the Naval Justice School 10-week course located in Newport, RI within 6 months of the date of selection for change of designator to Reserve JAG Corps.
Application package from reserve officers seeking redesignation to the Reserve JAG Corps are reviewed by a panel of Reserve JAG Corps representatives. Selections will be based on current requirements and needs of the Reserve JAG Corps. Applicants must include copies of their five most recent fitness reports and a copy of their officer summary record and performance summary record. In addition, selected applicants will be required to provide documentation of a law degree from an ABA-accredited law school and proof of current good standing from their licensing authority.
For further details and contact information, please refer to the most recent Navy administrative message (NAVADMIN).
When lateral transfer to the Reserve JAG Corps is available, the application procedures and deadline will be announced via NAVADMIN.
Application deadlines are announced via NAVADMIN. If the application deadline has passed, please contact the POC listed in the message for information on upcoming opportunities.
The Navy recently created a Career Transition Office (CTO) that will contact individuals as they leave active duty. Among other items, the CTO will ascertain whether individuals are interested in affiliating with the Reserve.
Junior officers affiliating with the Navy Reserve JAG Corps may be eligible for an affiliation bonus.
Pay and Benefits
Reserve officers receive pay that varies depending on grade, length of service, and degree of participation. They’re also eligible for numerous federal benefits including full-time Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance; access to military exchanges, commissaries, and theaters; and, after they have completed 20 years of qualifying service, generous retirement benefits. Although the retirement benefits for Reservists are similar to those for active duty members, Reservists do not begin receiving most of those benefits, including retirement pay, until reaching retirement eligible age (generally 60).
To learn more about benefits, visit NavyReserve.com.
As a rule, Reserve drills last four hours. Four drills fill a typical drill weekend, Saturday and Sunday, 0730-1630. You drill the equivalent of one weekend a month (48 drills per year). You may also be required to complete two weeks of annual training (AT) each fiscal year. Most Reserve judge advocate billets are in the Selected Reserve, where you are paid for drills and annual training. Annual training provides day-for-day basic pay and allowances.
An integral part of the Navy Reserve legal team, Legalmen assist attorneys in all areas of practice. Some work in the courtroom and prepare records of trial. Others work on command staffs drafting official correspondence and reports. Legalmen are relied upon for their intelligence and ability to work with little supervision. Their knowledge and advice help countless Sailors throughout the Fleet.
Pay and Benefits
Legalmen receive pay that varies depending on grade, length of service, and degree of participation. They’re also eligible for numerous federal benefits including full-time Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance; access to military exchanges, commissaries, and theaters; and, after they have completed 20 years of qualifying service, generous retirement benefits. Although the retirement benefits for Reservists are similar to those for active duty members, Reservists do not begin receiving most of those benefits, including retirement pay, until reaching retirement eligible age (generally 60).
To learn more, see the Enlisted Benefits on Navy Reserve.
Earn College Credit
The Navy JAG Corps provides opportunities for advanced training as paralegals, court reporters, and in other administrative and clerical duties. And some of that training may translate to credit hours toward a bachelor’s or associate’s degree.
Find a Recruiter
To enlist as a Reserve Legalman, Contact Your Local Recruiter.