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Go to law school at the government's expense

Applications being accepted for FLEP program

The U.S. Army Judge Advocates Corps offers a debt-free option to individuals considering the appeal of a career in law called The Funded Legal Education Program. Courtesy photo

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Applications are now being accepted for the Funded Legal Education Program (FLEP). This program allows up to 25 active-duty commissioned officers to have their law school completely paid for by the government. The idea of graduating law school with zero student loan debt sounds lucrative enough on its own, but officers will also continue to collect their regular BAH and a paycheck while tending to their education. After graduation, graduates will be commissioned into the Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG) with a guaranteed job.

JAG uses the FLEP program as a direct commissioning source and for good reason. The FLEP program is open to commissioned officers in the rank of second lieutenant through captain. There are strict eligibility and application procedures that must be followed. They are outlined in the Army Regulation 27-1, Chapter 14 (AR 27-1) and cannot be waived in any way. Applicants may also want to review Army MILPER Message 16-053. The cut-off for eligibility is six years of total active federal service at the time that the legal training would begin.

Of course, a strong ambition to serve in the JAG Corps is the reason behind the desire to apply. An applicant can better prepare their packet for review by earning a high score on their Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and applying to various law schools. The types of law schools that the applicant has been accepted to will be reviewed as well as grades, rank and background. Officer Evaluation Reports (OER) and even an officer's Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) will also assist in the selection process.

FLEP is a highly competitive program and the number of officers chosen will ultimately decide on the number of applicants. In 2013, 21 applicants were selected and the average LSAT score was 161. In 2014, 20 applicants were selected and had an average LSAT score of 163. Officers who are interested in applying for the program will attend a state-supported school where military members receive in-state tuition rates.

"It really is a great program," said Lt. Col. John l. Kiel, Jr., Acting Staff Judge Advocate. Applicants with two or more years of commissioned service are most competitive. "Those who can talk the talk, have worked with Command, know the customs and courtesies are tremendously helpful." said Kiel.

Applications are to be submitted by Nov. 1, 2016 through the officer's branch manager at Army Human Resources Command. A copy will also be mailed to the Office of the Judge Advocate General in Washington, D.C. For details and additional information, please contact Ms. Yvonne Caron at 703.545.2843.  

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