Sheppard Law Center Announces 2017 Air Force Law School Programs

Have you served between two and ten years as an active duty Air Force officer? Are you interested in attending law school and becoming a judge advocate (JAG)? The Funded Legal Education Program (FLEP) or Excess Leave Program (ELP) may be just for you! Officers interested in continuing to serve the Air Force as a JAG are invited to apply for either of these highly competitive programs.  Officers selected for FLEP have the opportunity to attend law school at Air Force expense while also continuing to receive full pay, allowances, and tuition.  Officers chosen for ELP are responsible for their own law school expenses and do not receive full pay, allowances, and tuition.  However, ELP participants remain eligible for active duty benefits and continue to accrue time towards retirement and promotion. (U.S. Air Force graphic/2nd Lt. Brittany Curry)

Have you served between two and ten years as an active duty Air Force officer? Are you interested in attending law school and becoming a judge advocate (JAG)? The Funded Legal Education Program (FLEP) or Excess Leave Program (ELP) may be just for you! Officers interested in continuing to serve the Air Force as a JAG are invited to apply for either of these highly competitive programs. Officers selected for FLEP have the opportunity to attend law school at Air Force expense while also continuing to receive full pay, allowances, and tuition. Officers chosen for ELP are responsible for their own law school expenses and do not receive full pay, allowances, and tuition. However, ELP participants remain eligible for active duty benefits and continue to accrue time towards retirement and promotion. (U.S. Air Force graphic/2nd Lt. Brittany Curry)

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

Have you served between two and ten years as an active duty Air Force officer? Are you interested in attending law school and becoming a judge advocate (JAG)? The Funded Legal Education Program (FLEP) or Excess Leave Program (ELP) may be just for you!

Officers interested in continuing to serve the Air Force as a JAG are invited to apply for either of these highly competitive programs.  Officers selected for FLEP have the opportunity to attend law school at Air Force expense while also continuing to receive full pay, allowances, and tuition.  Officers chosen for ELP are responsible for their own law school expenses and do not receive full pay, allowances, and tuition.  However, ELP participants remain eligible for active duty benefits and continue to accrue time towards retirement and promotion.

Selection for these highly competitive programs is based on a review of application packages in their entirety with a focus on the “whole person” concept.  Interested officers may apply online at https://jagusaf.jag.af.mil/# through 10 February 2017.  The selection board’s decision will take place in March 2017.

The Value of FLEP and ELP Graduates

Graduates of FLEP and ELP are highly valuable to the Air Force. These graduates possess a unique ability to draw on their military experience when providing legal advice to commanders and other Air Force clients.  Judge advocates participate in nearly every facet of the Air Force mission, including prosecuting and defending Airmen before courts-martial, counseling commanders on a full-range of international and civil law issues, advising the Air Force on the development and acquisition of new weapons systems, training operators on the laws of armed conflict, and helping Airmen to maintain personal legal readiness.  Officers that graduate from FLEP or ELP deliver to the Air Force JAG Corps distinct perspectives on the Air Force mission as a result of their prior career field training and experience.

“Our Air Force mission sets are constantly changing, and commanders deserve to have access to legal advisors with a broad background of military experiences,” said Maj Justin Lonergan, 82 TRW deputy staff judge advocate. “The FLEP and ELP ensures that we can continue to maintain a corps of officers whose military experience complements their legal training, providing commanders with the highest caliber of legal support.”

Basic FLEP and ELP Requirements            

FLEP applicants must have between two and six years active duty service and must be in the pay grade of O-3 or below as of the day they begin law school.  The time in service requirement cannot be waived for FLEP applicants.  ELP applicants must have between two and ten years active duty service and must be in the pay grade of O-3 or below as of the first day of law school.  In addition, both FLEP and ELP require attendance at an American Bar Association approved law school.  Upon graduation and admission to practice law in the highest court of any state or U.S. territory, or a federal court, candidates are eligible for designation as JAGs.

How to Apply

To be considered for FLEP or ELP, applicants must have completed all application forms, applied to at least one ABA approved law school (acceptance is not required at the time of application for FLEP/ELP), and received their Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) results by 10 February 2017.  In addition, applicants need to complete an interview with a Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) before 1 March 2017.  Applicants must also provide a letter of conditional release from their current career field. 

For application materials, please visit https://jagusaf.jag.af.mil/. For more information, you may contact Captain Lyudmyla Chuba, 82 TRW/JA, at lyudmyla.chuba.1@us.af.mil, or Major Valyncia Hill, HQ USAF/JAX, at valyncia.s.hill.mil@mail.mil or 1-800-JAG-USAF).