Civilian Lawyers Specializing In Military Law

Lawyers Who Specialize In Military Law

A military lawyer's job is similar to a civilian lawyer in their everyday duties. Representing clients under jurisdiction of military courts and law is the primary difference. The military lawyer works exclusively with military personnel and may represent them in civil and criminal cases.
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Photograph: William Hennessy/AP

Military justice is the body of laws and procedures governing members of the armed forces. Many states have separate and distinct bodies of law that govern the conduct of members of their armed forces. Some states use special judicial and other arrangements to enforce those laws, while others use civilian judicial systems. Legal issues unique to military justice include the preservation of good order and discipline, the legality of orders, and appropriate conduct for members of the military. Some states enable their military justice systems to deal with civil offenses committed by their armed forces in some circumstances.

In the United States military lawyer may work within any branch of the Navy, Army, Marines, or Air force even though each branch has their own Judge Advocate Generals (also known as JAGs). Military personnel may contact any military legal assistance office if they need legal representation. A Jag practices law in a Military court 

Military Lawyer Job And Duties

The role of a military lawyer is as broad as that of a civilian lawyer. They will participate in matters of both civil and criminal nature. One of the primary differences of a military court is the military tribunal that deals with enemies during wartime.

Some of the roles of the military lawyer include:
  • Advising military clients brought before the courts.
  • Handling the legal discipline of military personnel.
  • Drafting and preparing legal documents.
  • Creating and maintaining military handbooks.
  • Preparing a client for trial.
  • Advising commanders on international law, military law, and civilian law.
A military lawyer must possess an excellent understanding of all parts of civil and military law. Their advice and actions not only affect individuals, it may also reflect on their branch of service and the Government. 

Military lawyers must be able to work under pressure while maintaining a cool attitude. They will need to have excellent communication skills both in the courtroom and out. Their ability to represent a broad range of clientele, from a young enlisted soldier to a high-ranking commander, requires they are comfortable communicating across the ranks.

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