How to become a member of the Coast Guard Judge Advocate General Team

 

CGJAG offers four employment opportunities to join our team: 

- Direct Commission Lawyer (DCL) Program - Work as a full-time, active duty, Coast Guard judge advocate

- Reserve Direct Commission Lawyer (SELSRES DCL) Program - Serve as a lawyer in the CG Reserves

- Academic Year Externships and Summer Internships

- Civilian Attorney Positions

 

1) Direct Commission Lawyer (DCL) Program

 

General Description:

Coast Guard Direct Commission Lawyers (DCLs) are commissioned officers and licensed attorneys qualified to represent the Coast Guard and its members in military legal matters encompassing a diverse range of legal practice areas. Being a part of the CGJAG offers you the opportunity to serve the United States as a leader, an officer, and an attorney. All DCLs enter the Coast Guard and commission as Lieutenants (O-3), which is the highest rank of any entry-level attorney in the military (all other services commission their judge advocates as either O-1s or O-2s).

DCL Selection Panels are held twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.

Eligibility Requirements:

- Both third-year law students (3Ls) and licensed attorneys may apply to the DCL program. Interested second-year law students (2Ls) are advised to begin the application process now in order to submit an application at the start of their 3L fall semester.

- 21-40 years of age

-  U.S. Citizenship

- Eligible for a SECRET Clearance

- Must pass a commissioning physical (MEPS)

- Financially Responsible

How to Apply:

To speak with the CGJAG Accessions Team and start the DCL application process, please email CoastGuardDCL@uscg.mil or call: (202) 372-3822.

For more information: Fall 2020 DCL Selection Panel Advertisement.

2) Reserve Direct Commission Lawyer (SELRES DCL) Program

General Description:

Those selected for the SELSRES DCL program enter the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve Judge Advocate Program (RJAG). RJAG’s purpose is to deliver operationally capable and readily deployable personnel to provide legal support during disaster response and other contingency operations. In the past few years, RJAG members have mobilized repeatedly to provide legal services during contingency operations – most notably during the 2017 hurricane season where twenty percent of the RJAG workforce deployed. Aside from the above situations, and consistent with other reserve members of the military, RJAG personnel drill one weekend each month and two weeks each year.

All individuals selected for the SELRES DCL program enter the Coast Guard and commission as O-2s, Lieutenant (junior grade). SELRES DCL selection panels are held once or twice a year, either in the fall and/or spring.

Eligibility Requirements:

- Only licensed attorneys who are graduates from an ABA-accredited law school may apply to the SELRES DCL program.

- 21-40 years of age

-  U.S. Citizenship

- Eligible for a SECRET Clearance

- Must pass a commissioning physical (MEPS)

- Financially Responsible

How to Apply:

To speak with the CGJAG Accessions Team and start the SELRES DCL application process, please email CoastGuardDCL@uscg.mil or call: (202) 372-3822.

3) Academic Year Externships and Summer Internships

General Description:

CGJAG Externs and Interns work alongside active duty Coast Guard Judge Advocates and civilian attorneys within the Coast Guard legal community. The program provides an excellent opportunity to learn about the U.S. Coast Guard and its legal community, while gaining insight on its Direct Commission Lawyer process. Interns must complete a security background check. Externships/internship locations include: Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington D.C. or various U.S. Coast Guard legal field offices throughout the country, including: Boston, MA; Portsmouth, VA; Norfolk, VA; Miami, FL; New Orleans, LA; Cleveland, OH; Alameda, CA; New London, CT; Cape May, NJ; Seattle, WA; Honolulu, HI; or Juneau, AK). Please note, openings at field offices other than Washington, DC, are not guaranteed and subject to office availability.

CGJAG offers externships during the academic year (spring and fall semesters) and internships during the summer. All externship and internship positions are unpaid, however, CGJAG externs and interns may receive academic credit if supported by his/her law school.

Eligibility Requirements:

Academic year externships are open to all law students, 1Ls-3Ls. Those applying to extern as 1Ls must be permitted by their respective JD program to extern during the academic semester.

Summer internships are open to both rising 2Ls and 3Ls (those who will be entering their second or third year of school following their summer internship).

Both CGJAG externs and interns must be currently enrolled in an ABA-accredited JD program and be familiar with Westlaw/Lexis-Nexis.

How to Apply:

To apply for a CGJAG externship/internship, please email to your application to CoastGuardDCL@uscg.mil. Your application will consist of a:

1) Cover letter (which must specify your preferred office location. If interested in several locations, please list them in rank order);

2) Resume;

3) Unofficial transcript (If applying as a 1L, you send in your transcript separately after 1L fall semester grades released);

4) Letter of Recommendation from either a law school professor or previous professional experience; and

5) Legal writing sample not to exceed 10 pages.

For specific application deadlines and more information, please see:

- Fall 2020 Legal Externship/Internship Advertisement 

- Spring 2021 Legal Externship/Internship Advertisement 

- Summer 2021 Legal Internship Advertisement

4) Civilian Attorney Positions

As a civilian in the U.S. Coast Guard, You will provide essential services in diverse legal matters.

For those interested in joining CGJAG as a civilian attorney, please find any open opportunities https://dhs.usajobs.gov/

      Any and all further questions may be directed to our CGJAG Accessions Team by email at: CoastGuardDCL@uscg.mil or phone at: (202) 372-3822.