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USMC Officer or Law School

tyler.park99-1-1-1tyler.park99-1-1-1 Alum Member
edited September 2022 in Off-topic 6 karma

Hello everyone,

I’d like to start by giving some context. I am 23 years old and graduated from college last year in December. I graduated with a degree in political science with a 3.5 GPA and worked for a law firm and my senator during my undergrad. I am also an officer candidate for the USMC. However, here lies the problem: I have had some issues with the recruiting process, and it is becoming very inconvenient.

I was scheduled to leave this year in May and then September. Although, both times I was kept from leaving because my recruiter made some strategic mistakes regarding a medical matter. So, we are waiting to hear back from an agency that approves and disapproves of candidates. We are expecting their response to either be that I am either approved to leave in January or that they will make more requests for medical exams, which may postpone my leaving to the summer of next year. This has become burdensome in both my own time benchmarks and intermediate employment.

My plan with the USMC was to (1) get professional work experience, (2) fulfill my itch for military service, (3) become financially independent, and (4) use the GI Bill to pay for law school. Though, my perspectives are changing as I become older. I have always wanted to join the armed forces/USMC since I was a child, but I want to practice law long-term. So, as time goes on, I am growing weary about pressing into the USMC.

That being said, here’s where I am regarding the LSAT/admissions. I have only started studying within the last month and have not taken a diagnostic. I seem to be picking up the material fine though. I was considering taking the LSAT in January and sending out my applications immediately upon receiving my score. Though from what research I have done, it would seem best to apply next September.

So, I guess to finish with a few questions

  1. For anyone who has served as a commissioned officer, was it worth serving
    before going to law school?
    a. Can anyone in the reserves vouch for their experience?

  2. Should I be patient and join to use the GI Bill to pay for law school?
    a. Or, should I take my chance at scholarships and try to mitigate for any other costs?

  3. Is beginning to practice law at about 30 a little late in the game, or is this a myth
    if you have valuable work experience?

  4. If I do proceed with applying for schools, am I right in considering waiting for the next cycle?

I would love to hear your comments or antidotal experiences and any objectivity.
For anyone replying to these questions, do not feel compelled to answer all of them or in any specific order.


  • defeatRCdefeatRC Member
    77 karma

    Nah, practicing law at about 30 is not late at all (for your question 3). Your experience as USMS officer will bring you a lot more than what class can teach you after you have JD degree.

  • trevorNYCgoaltrevorNYCgoal Monthly Member
    234 karma

    To answer question 1. JY did a podcast with a gentlemen who went from homeless, sub 3.0 GPA to Army Active Duty and Harvard Law Student. I’m forgetting the name of the podcast because it was plugged in the middle of the LR curriculum, but I would strongly suggest listening/reading to it because his experience with applications following Armed Duty Service seem very similar to yours.

    To answer question 4. Knowing what you’ve provided here, I think the answer is to wait until the start of each fresh application cycle. A couple reasons. First, it gives you time to polish resume, personal statement, improve LSAT score, add relevant experience, and all the bells and whistles that go into the application cycle. To add, your resume and experience will stand out comparatively. It’s also worth noting that the LSAT application cycle is extremely important to time (the Core Curriculum discusses this). To be one of the first prospective students to apply when the cycle(s) open helps you stand out compared to if you’re a couple months in and suddenly submitting an application. This is not to dismiss or discourage anyone who won’t be the first in line to apply. Rather, if you’re comfortable waiting (and judging by your time line it seems you are) I’d recommend applying next cycle.

    Just to note I’m an not a current law student but rather someone who’s working diligently towards the 2023 cycle. I’m adding my two cents off of what I’ve read and what I know. Thank you for your service and all the best in the future endeavors. You got this!

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