Jump to content

Any Canadian Forces Legal Officers here?


krokatron

Recommended Posts

krokatron
  • Applicant
Posted (edited)

Wondering what is it like? What is the work like? What are "deployments" like? 

Do you feel like military service has helped or hindered your legal careers?

 

For Full-Time vs Reserves - do you feel like you are given enough work for the time you have to be "on base" - i.e for full time, basically your whole working day, and for reserves, that you are given enough to do for your "active time" (1 weekend a month and 2 weeks in the summer)?

I ask that last question because I have heard stories of reservists arriving on base because they have to, but essentially having nothing to do lol. 

Edited by krokatron
Link to comment
Share on other sites

LMP
  • Articling Student

You'll be pretty hard pressed to get a position as a JAG in the reserves. I know a few people who've done it (not every unit has one) and they typically are pretty senior calls. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

beachhouse
  • Lawyer
19 hours ago, krokatron said:

Wondering what is it like? What is the work like? What are "deployments" like? 

Do you feel like military service has helped or hindered your legal careers?

 

For Full-Time vs Reserves - do you feel like you are given enough work for the time you have to be "on base" - i.e for full time, basically your whole working day, and for reserves, that you are given enough to do for your "active time" (1 weekend a month and 2 weeks in the summer)?

I ask that last question because I have heard stories of reservists arriving on base because they have to, but essentially having nothing to do lol. 

Not JAG, but a CAF member here. I can answer non-JAG questions to the best of my knowledge. Deployments can be 6-12 months, usually 6 months, with a leave period in between (usually a nice vacation nearby). Your pay is not taxed on deployments, and with free lodgings (depending on where you go, often hotels in partner countries). <ost people usually enjoy them because it's a very focused, unique experience. There are a lot of opportunities in the ResF for deployments too. You'll spend a few weeks doing work-up training in a base, which means getting all your training, weapons handling, equipment, medical knowledge and other qualifications up to standard.

JAGs are pretty busy and very vital so I doubt the "hurry up and wait" phrase applies to them, according to the ones I've spoken to and from friends working adjacent to them in the DOJ. They have a bump up compared to DOJ pay and there are unique perks including the right to be paid to exercise (set out in Defence Administrative Orders and Directives which regulate military members), and week-long field exercises (called IBTS, to refresh weapons and fieldcraft training). CAF JAG has a Twitter account they maintain, which is worth following to learn more about them.

16 hours ago, LMP said:

You'll be pretty hard pressed to get a position as a JAG in the reserves. I know a few people who've done it (not every unit has one) and they typically are pretty senior calls. 

Going to echo this, a direct-entry reserve JAG is difficult as you are competing with people with decades of legal experience and from what I've been told, the CAF often recruits reservist lawyers for specific expertise (e.g. people who have strong international law or humanitarian law backgrounds, or deep prosecution experience). I met people who were in other trades in the reserves who transferred to reserve JAG and had a far easier time, however.

There are also way more lawyers in the CAF reserves who aren't JAGs, and who never switch to Legal or plan to. Personally, I see a lot of value gained from doing non-legal jobs part-time, especially in the CAF where there are very unique life skills and career experiences you cannot get from practicing law.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

krokatron
  • Applicant
5 hours ago, beachhouse said:

Not JAG, but a CAF member here. I can answer non-JAG questions to the best of my knowledge. Deployments can be 6-12 months, usually 6 months, with a leave period in between (usually a nice vacation nearby). Your pay is not taxed on deployments, and with free lodgings (depending on where you go, often hotels in partner countries). <ost people usually enjoy them because it's a very focused, unique experience. There are a lot of opportunities in the ResF for deployments too. You'll spend a few weeks doing work-up training in a base, which means getting all your training, weapons handling, equipment, medical knowledge and other qualifications up to standard.

JAGs are pretty busy and very vital so I doubt the "hurry up and wait" phrase applies to them, according to the ones I've spoken to and from friends working adjacent to them in the DOJ. They have a bump up compared to DOJ pay and there are unique perks including the right to be paid to exercise (set out in Defence Administrative Orders and Directives which regulate military members), and week-long field exercises (called IBTS, to refresh weapons and fieldcraft training). CAF JAG has a Twitter account they maintain, which is worth following to learn more about them.

Going to echo this, a direct-entry reserve JAG is difficult as you are competing with people with decades of legal experience and from what I've been told, the CAF often recruits reservist lawyers for specific expertise (e.g. people who have strong international law or humanitarian law backgrounds, or deep prosecution experience). I met people who were in other trades in the reserves who transferred to reserve JAG and had a far easier time, however.

There are also way more lawyers in the CAF reserves who aren't JAGs, and who never switch to Legal or plan to. Personally, I see a lot of value gained from doing non-legal jobs part-time, especially in the CAF where there are very unique life skills and career experiences you cannot get from practicing law.

Thanks for this. 

 

Seeing that its hard to become a reserve JAG, Is it also hard to  become a JAG full time with the CAF? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LMP
  • Articling Student

There are certianly more openings (in that you apply as a reservist only to a single unit). But you should take some time to consider all the implications of going reg force. From training to postings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

beachhouse
  • Lawyer
18 hours ago, krokatron said:

Thanks for this. 

 

Seeing that its hard to become a reserve JAG, Is it also hard to  become a JAG full time with the CAF? 

JAG full time is alot easier, only because there are way more full-time roles, and less people willing to make the move to Reg Force. Its different for other trades. Typically, its 2 years of experience civilian side though which includes articling experience, that is required. During this time, its not a bad idea, at all, to join Res F for whatever other trade you want, to get basic training done (Res F BMOQ can be done on weekends).

To add to what LMP said, Reg F can be difficult if you are geographically locked due to family commitments. Legal Officers have a bit more flexibility given they have a unique, specialist role, and seem to have more control over where they get posted. Some roles may be Ottawa-centric or geographically locked (e.g. I imagine Legal Operations, Special Forces, but also foreign OUTCAN postings.) For many other roles, friends of mine who went JAG were told they would be able to work out of any of the major base locations found here which includes most major provincial capitals.

Its considered a "purple trade" meaning, it doesn't matter whether you are Land, Air or Navy. You do the same job and can be attached to any element/facility. The only difference is uniforms (Not Air Force, but I would have gone Air Force, for personal aesthetic choices, the best work culture, and less issued kit to carry around).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By accessing this website, you agree to abide by our Terms of Use. YOU EXPRESSLY ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT YOU WILL NOT CONSTRUE ANY POST ON THIS WEBSITE AS PROVIDING LEGAL ADVICE EVEN IF SUCH POST IS MADE BY A PERSON CLAIMING TO BE A LAWYER. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.