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Legal Officer Recruiting [Merged]

adhowe

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Hello,

Does anyone know how strict the CAF are on the legal practice areas (Canadian Criminal Law, International Law, Administrative Law, Labour and Employment Law or Human Rights Law) when applying? I currently practice Immigration law and wanted to know if this would be a bar?
 

winds_13

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adhowe, as far as I am aware they do not have hard requirements for the type of law but there is stated "preferred" areas of expertise (criminal, international, administrative, etc.). It is more a question of conpetitiveness compared to other applicants.

In addition, as of right now, the CAF is not planning to hire any Direct Entry (DEO) Legal Officers in Fiscal Year 2020/2021. Last year there were several hundred applicants from which the legal branch selected about a dozen to interview, based largely off of their CVs.

Things that you can do to make your application more competitive include: increasing practice experience, particularly in their desired fields; improved ability in your second language (French); having relevant military experience (ie. consider joining the reserves as an officer); and, scoring high on the aptitude test (CFAT). Hope that helps.
 

FJAG

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winds_13 has it right. The military is served by both military legal officers and civilian Department of Justice lawyers. The later concentrate on the non military topics such as contracts, claims etc while the military legal officers (while practicing in a wide area of law) concentrate on military justice, operational law and military administrative law.

Military justice law depends heavily on civilian criminal substantive law while practiced in a different procedural context (summary trials and courts martial) so a good background in civilian criminal law is an asset. Administrative and international law is also useful but generally not that easy to get experience in on the civilian side.

Prior military experience and second language capabilities are highly desirable and can greatly increase competitive standing.
Any military service, including reserve service, is useful but experience as a commissioned officer is preferable. The Office of the JAG does have a reserve component of some 65 officers spread across Canada (practicing as one of legal advisors, regional prosecutors, or defence counsel). These officers serve within their local region and are not subject to being posted around the country. Local recruiting offices often do not know if there are vacancies available and you may wish to determine the possibility of open positions by contacting your local regional Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General (DAJAG) through the regional Assistant Judge Advocate General (AJAG) office or the Deputy Director of Military Prosecutions or the Deputy Director of Defence Counsel Services. I don't have phone numbers for these individuals but they should be available through the local AJAG office. Once you do have information on availability, you will have to go through the local recruiting office for recruitment assessment and administration.

Please note that in order to be eligible for selection you must have a JD from an appropriate university, have been called to the bar of one of the provincial/territorial law societies and meet basic recruitment medical standards.

:cheers:
 

adhowe

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Hi winds, FJAG,

Thank you both for the very helpful information.

Quick question - Through the direct entry stream, do Legal O’s still need to sit an aptitude test? Kind of seems a bit redundant.

I won’t be applying until 2021 seeing as I still need to become a citizen. Currently only a PR, but called to the Ontario bar. I may do the reserves first unless I can switch my current practice area.
 

FJAG

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adhowe said:
Hi winds, FJAG,

Thank you both for the very helpful information.

Quick question - Through the direct entry stream, do Legal O’s still need to sit an aptitude test? Kind of seems a bit redundant.

I won’t be applying until 2021 seeing as I still need to become a citizen. Currently only a PR, but called to the Ontario bar. I may do the reserves first unless I can switch my current practice area.

Citizenship is also a prerequisite. Not sure about the aptitude test but you're right, it sounds a bit redundant.

Here's a link to the recruiting site re legal officers:

https://forces.ca/en/career/legal-officer/

:cheers:
 

winds_13

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adhowe, yes you will need to write the aptitude test (CFAT). I recommend studying as it is likely used as one of the factors to compare DEO applicants... it is certainly still one of the factors used to compare Military Legal Training Plan (MLTP) applicants.
 

adhowe

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Thanks!

Out of curiosity, do you know if Legal O positions are competitive in the CAF?
 

winds_13

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adhowe, I believe it has already been said multiple times in this thread but positions for Legal Officer in the CAF are, typically, extremely competitive. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2019/2020 year we hired 9 new Legal Officers (DEO) and received over 300 applications. As of right now, there are no positions available for DEO Legal Officer for FY 2020/2021.
 

csers

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winds_13 said:
adhowe, I believe it has already been said multiple times in this thread but positions for Legal Officer in the CAF are, typically, extremely competitive. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2019/2020 year we hired 9 new Legal Officers (DEO) and received over 300 applications. As of right now, there are no positions available for DEO Legal Officer for FY 2020/2021.


I was hoping that the moderators were right when they told me I was wrong about recruiting not resuming next fiscal, but sadly, that was not the case. I was one of the ones caught by the freeze  :cold:- my CV was retained for review in June :( I have been offered another position, but I can't imagine re-enlisting for anything other than Legal  :not-again: :eek:rly:
 

ensemblons

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"Prior military experience and second language capabilities are highly desirable and can greatly increase competitive standing.
Any military service, including reserve service, is useful but experience as a commissioned officer is preferable."

Almost 12 years in the CF in total between reserve infantry soldier, infantry officer (injured in phase 2 training and transferred to what used to be called a Maritime Surface/Subsurface Officer). I released in 2012 to attend law school and had hoped to re-enter as a legal officer and my application was not successful. I was told that my experience did not matter when faced with other civilian applicants with Masters degrees and PhD's. Very very sad to learn that.

I'd like to apply again but I still don't have a Masters and even though I have some funds available through VA to go back to school, I can't afford to go back to school because of the student debt I incurred while paying for law school on my own after releasing lol. Perhaps someone here knows if the situation has changed?

Does anyone know where I would apply for a reserve legal officer position in BC?
 

csers

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Almost 12 years in the CF in total between reserve infantry soldier, infantry officer (injured in phase 2 training and transferred to what used to be called a Maritime Surface/Subsurface Officer). I released in 2012 to attend law school and had hoped to re-enter as a legal officer and my application was not successful. I was told that my experience did not matter when faced with other civilian applicants with Masters degrees and PhD's. Very very sad to learn that.

I'd like to apply again but I still don't have a Masters and even though I have some funds available through VA to go back to school, I can't afford to go back to school because of the student debt I incurred while paying for law school on my own after releasing lol. Perhaps someone here knows if the situation has changed?

Does anyone know where I would apply for a reserve legal officer position in BC?
Malahat or Discovery, I would assume, if you were still intending to stay navy; I'm not sure what other PRes units are in BC...

However, who told you you weren't competitive? Reapply... I know a number of people who had to reapply more than once before they were successful. Personally, I applied in 2016 and just reached the interview stage, also a former PRes MARS O. If it's what you want, keep going!
 

ensemblons

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Malahat or Discovery, I would assume, if you were still intending to stay navy; I'm not sure what other PRes units are in BC...

However, who told you you weren't competitive? Reapply... I know a number of people who had to reapply more than once before they were successful. Personally, I applied in 2016 and just reached the interview stage, also a former PRes MARS O. If it's what you want, keep going!
I don't remember who I spoke with but it was a female LCdr I think. I wasn't told I wasn't competitive, I was told that because the other applicants had masters or PhD's, that my application was passed up that round. I was encouraged to apply again in the future. I think I applied in 2016/2017 and then it became less of a priority as my career developed. I'm happy now and have my own practice but I really miss the CF and my goal was always to be a JAG from the day I enrolled as a Private in the Westies ages ago.
 

FJAG

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Almost 12 years in the CF in total between reserve infantry soldier, infantry officer (injured in phase 2 training and transferred to what used to be called a Maritime Surface/Subsurface Officer). I released in 2012 to attend law school and had hoped to re-enter as a legal officer and my application was not successful. I was told that my experience did not matter when faced with other civilian applicants with Masters degrees and PhD's. Very very sad to learn that.

I'd like to apply again but I still don't have a Masters and even though I have some funds available through VA to go back to school, I can't afford to go back to school because of the student debt I incurred while paying for law school on my own after releasing lol. Perhaps someone here knows if the situation has changed?

Does anyone know where I would apply for a reserve legal officer position in BC?
It's been 13 years since I retired from the CAF and the legal branch so things might have changed, but we received very few applicants with Masters in Law and none with PhDs in my day.

Applying as a reserve force legal officer is the same as any other officer position and is done through your local recruiter. You might wish to contact the Assistant Judge Advocate General office in Victoria (PO Box 17000 Station Forces, Victoria BC V9A 7N2 (250) 363-4260) and find out if there is a vacancy available. Unlike RegF legal officers, ResF legal officers are recruited against vacancies with the regional AJAG office. It may also be possible to get a ResF legal officer position with the office of the Director of Military Prosecutions or the office of the Director of Defence Counsel Services. The local AJAG office should be able to advise you if regional vacancies exist or direct you to DMP or DDCS.

🍻
 

csers

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I don't remember who I spoke with but it was a female LCdr I think. I wasn't told I wasn't competitive, I was told that because the other applicants had masters or PhD's, that my application was passed up that round. I was encouraged to apply again in the future. I think I applied in 2016/2017 and then it became less of a priority as my career developed. I'm happy now and have my own practice but I really miss the CF and my goal was always to be a JAG from the day I enrolled as a Private in the Westies ages ago.
I don't have a master's or PhD but I do have significant management/real life experience, so maybe that was a factor? Now I'm in limbo while I wait for them to send me my PFO :p

I did my interview the day after I got out of isolation from covid, and spacy, covid brain was a real thing. Definitely wasn't my best interview, but they were lovely to interact with. If I'm not successful this round, I'll look at PRes opportunities, too. Much like you, I think I have something to bring to the table, and I'd like to serve again - they are undergoing significant change that can refine the CAF going forward, and that is so exciting! That said, if you are keen, reapply, reapply, reapply :)
 
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