How to Become a Warrant Officer for the JAG Corps

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To become a warrant officer for the Jag Corps requires a solider to qualify for entry into the 270A MOS (military occupational specialty), referred to as a legal administrator, a position reserved for warrant officers. Legal Administrators are warrant officers that bring substantial knowledge, experience, and education of military law and operations to the Jags Corps, reflected in the leadership and technical application embodied in the position. To become a Legal Administrator with the Jag Corps, a prospective candidate must have the required military education, civilian education, military experience and the required test scores, in addition to passing a series of interviews.

Things You'll Need

  • High School Diploma (not GED)
  • Interim secret security clearance
  • U.S. citizenship
  • Enlist in the Army as a MOS 27D paralegal specialist and complete five years of service as required by the Jag Corps for those seeking a career as a legal administrator. Candidates should speak with a local recruiter to determine enlistment options. Once enlisted, candidates can expect eight weeks of basic training to learn about the culture of the Army, as well as how to be a solider. Expect a physical and mental challenge during basic training that includes weapons training, field training exercise, road marches with up to 75 lbs carried with a backpack (rucksack) and sleep deprivation.

  • Graduate from the 27D School. From basic training, candidates will enter MOS school to become qualified as a paralegal specialist. Candidates should expect classroom training with a curriculum that includes legal terminology and research, preparation of legal documents, the army judicial process and how to interview witnesses.

  • Complete five years of services as a 27D. Upon completion of the 27D School, candidates will gain placement with a permanent duty station. While at the duty station, a candidate must perform to Army standards and exceed them in many cases if he wants to gain consideration for the Jag Corps. Candidates must gain the rank of E-5 sergeant as well to gain consideration. Ranks through to E-4 happen automatically and by year three of service, a candidate will become an E-4. Gaining the rank of E-5 will require the attendance of various courses and gaining enough points to earn the promotion. All candidates should seek the guidance of their NCO (non-commissioned officer) superiors to determine what courses she needs to take, in addition to the best avenues for gaining the required points.

  • Take college courses while serving as a 27D paralegal specialist. Candidates must complete two years of college above high school at minimum and must have six-semester hours of English as part of the curriculum. The more college a solider has, the better his opportunities for consideration as a legal administrator. Candidates should either take courses on campus of a local college near his duty station, or opt to take courses via distance learning. Whichever option is chosen, candidates must ensure the college has regional accreditation.

  • Take and pass the Army Pre-Legal Administrator Course. Candidates may access this course through distance learning and it requires enrollment through the Jag Corps Army E-Learning website (see Resources). Candidates must have a user name and password to view the course, its contents and enrollment procedures.

  • Complete an application packet for Warrant Officer Candidate School. This application packet is extensive and requires applicants to detail their personal history, physical fitness, medical health, their military education, military experience, civilian education and civilian experience. Candidates must be on active duty upon submission of the application packet and must have 12 months left on their enlistment contract. Upon approval of the packet, candidates will sit before several boards to be interviewed to get a final determination as to whether that candidate will gain selection in Warrant Officers Candidate School. (See Resources for application packet).

  • Sit for the first board interview with the Command Staff Judge Advocate (SJA). In this interview, candidates are judged for management potential, motivation, sincerity, military bearing, physical appearance and oral communication skills. The SJA will evaluate and submit a report to the Warrant Officers Selection Board based on the candidate’s ability to succeed as a Legal Administrator in the SJA office.

  • Attend the Legal Administrator interview. The Legal Administrator will interview and evaluate the candidate’s knowledge of law office administration. This includes budgeting, security, information, labor and automation management. Likewise, the Legal Administrator will evaluate and submit a report to the Warrant Officers Selection Board regarding the candidate’s ability to manage a law office.

  • Interview with the Chief Paralegal NCO, for an evaluation of the candidate’s potential to assume duties as a Legal Administrator in the SJA office. The Chief Paralegal NCO will assess the candidate’s leadership ability, paralegal experience, Army values and ethics.

  • Attend Warrant Officer Candidate School for 270A-Legal Administrator. All selected candidates will receive an email 90 days after all evaluation submissions to the selection board with a Request For Orders to attend WOC School. The Request For Orders will detail all times, dates, locations and durations of the required schooling attendance. Candidates will also receive a breakdown of all course curriculum in that email.

  • Graduate from the Warrant Officer Candidate School for 270A-Legal Administrator. Upon graduation, candidates will receive a set of orders assigning them to a Jag Office either in the United States or overseas, depending on the needs of the Army and the Jag Corps.

Tips & Warnings

  • Legal Administrators are a liaison between attorneys and staff, between officers and enlisted personnel, as well as military and civilian employees. Superior communication skills, both oral and written are crucial and candidates should take every opportunity to polish those skills through practice and education.
  • Becoming a Warrant Officer requires a secret security clearance. Candidates with credit problems and/or a criminal background (including misdemeanors) may not qualify for such a clearance. It does not mean a candidate is automatically disqualified from gaining such a clearance, but either issue could ultimately result in disqualification.

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