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Law school programs available to Air Force officers

Posted 1/9/2013   Updated 1/10/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by 1st Lt. Samantha Kooiker
66th Air Base Group Judge Advocate


1/9/2013 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass.  -- The Air Force Judge Advocate General's Corps has two programs that allow active duty Air Force officers to attend law school to become lawyers. Applications for fiscal year 2013 Funded Legal Education Program and Excessive Leave Program are being accepted from Jan. 1 through March 1.

JAGs do more than meets the eye. Beyond providing legal assistance, JAGs have involvement in nearly all facets of the Air Force mission. That involvement extends from prosecuting and defending clients brought before courts-martial, to developing and acquiring weapons systems, ensuring availability of airspace and ranges where those systems are tests and operated, consulting with commanders about how those systems are employed in armed conflict, all the way to assisting commanders in the day-to-day running of military installations around the world.

The FLEP is a paid legal studies program for active-duty Air Force commissioned officers. Participants receive full pay, allowances and tuition. FLEP applicants must have between two and six years active duty service, enlisted or commissioned, and must be in the pay grade of O-3 or below as of the day they begin law school. The FLEP is subject to tuition limitations and positions may be limited due to overall funding availability. In 2012, due to budgetary constraints, no FLEP seats were offered. In 2013 a handful of seats were secured and all eligible officers interested in becoming a member of the Air Force JAG Corps are encouraged to apply.

The ELP is an unpaid legal studies program for Air Force officers. ELP participants do not receive pay and allowances, but remain on active duty for retirement eligibility and benefits purposes. ELP applicants must have between two and ten years active duty service and must be in the pay grade O-3 or below as of the first day of law school.

Applicants must schedule an interview with the Staff Judge Advocate by Feb. 15. Applicants must complete all application forms, apply to at least one American Bar Association accredited law school (acceptance is not required at the time of FLEP/ ELP application) and receive their Law School Admissions Test results. Officers must obtain a letter of conditional release from their current career field. Both programs require attendance at an American Bar Association accredited law school. Upon graduation and admission to practice law in the highest court of any state, commonwealth or United States territory, candidates are eligible for designation as judge advocates.

The boards for this competitive program convene early in March. Board members review application packages using a "whole person" concept. AFI 51-101, Judge Advocate Accession Program, chapters two and three, discuss the FLEP and ELP.

For more information and application materials, visit www.airforce.com/jag, call the Hanscom legal office at 781-225-1410, contact Air Force Judge Advocate Maj. Sean Elameto at sean.elameto@pentagon.af.mil or call 1-800-JAG-USAF.



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