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Legal Officer Recruiting [Merged]

PuckChaser

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Eye In The Sky said:
Certain trades/classficiations, such as Legal Officer, may have more specific timelines.  But it sounds like the VIE for Legal Officer is 7 years.  I am not sure if you are able to request a shorter VIE, but I've never heard of a VIE of 1 - 2 years.  In the past, there were 3 years BEs (Basic Engagements) but that has now been changed to the VIEs described above.

It would likely be 1-2 years before he's qualified to work anywhere, so VIE of 7 likely reflects the reality of 5 years of actual trade work, with 2 years in training.
 

mariomike

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atonz said:
Can someone enlighten me on these commitments?

RELEASE OF OFFICERS AND NON-COMMISSIONED MEMBERS
http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/about-policies-standards-queens-regulations-orders-vol-01/ch-15.page

DAOD 5049-1, Obligatory Service
http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/about-policies-standards-defence-admin-orders-directives-5000/5049-1.page

See also,

Commitment
https://www.google.ca/search?q=canadian+forces+obligation&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-CA:IE-Address&ie=&oe=&rlz=1I7GGHP_en-GBCA592&gfe_rd=cr&ei=aSScVvu4BsSC8QeL6on4DA&gws_rd=ssl#q=site:army.ca+commitment

Terms of Service
https://www.google.ca/search?q=canadian+forces+obligation&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-CA:IE-Address&ie=&oe=&rlz=1I7GGHP_en-GBCA592&gfe_rd=cr&ei=aSScVvu4BsSC8QeL6on4DA&gws_rd=ssl#q=site:army.ca+%22terms+of+service%22

Variable Initial Engagement ( VIE )
https://www.google.ca/search?q=canadian+forces+obligation&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-CA:IE-Address&ie=&oe=&rlz=1I7GGHP_en-GBCA592&gfe_rd=cr&ei=aSScVvu4BsSC8QeL6on4DA&gws_rd=ssl#q=site:army.ca+VIE
 

Blackadder1916

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atonz said:
I am considering a career with the CF as a legal officer. I spoke with a recruiter and learned that there is a 7 year commitment. The recruiter could not really provide more information other than "people are not forced to stay" etc. Can someone enlighten me on these commitments? I had been operating under the incorrect assumption that if my university was not subsidized, there would be no commitment.

My concern is being in the military 1-2 years and finding it is not for me. Thanks!

Someone more current on release policies and having access to the actual CFAOs (the DND site is not available to the public) may be able to confirm if this section of CFAO 15-2 is still valid (DAOD 5049-1 linked by mariomike lists it as a current refererence) .

RELEASE -ENROLMENT ON OR AFTER 1 JAN 82

39.    A member, except those serving under ROTP, MOTP, DOTP, or DITP, who
enrols, re-enrols or transfers into the Regular Force on or after 1 Jan 82,
and requests voluntary release, will not normally have that request
approved, except during a period of recruit training as specified in
paragraph 36 of this annex, for a period of three years commencing from the
date of enrolment
unless compassionate circumstances exist.  Subject to the
requirement to complete the initial three year period of service, a member
must submit that request at least six months in advance of the preferred
date of release or the commencement of terminal leave whichever is earlier.
Subject to deferral for a military requirement, as prescribed in paragraph
44 of this annex, the request will normally be approved to be effective on
the date requested.  Should military and personal requirements be
compatible, the six-month period of notice may be reduced by the approving
authority at NDHQ.
 

Pusser

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I really wish recruiting centres would explain this better.  I've seen many postings on here with people horrified and even turned off of military service as a result of "contracts" for 7-13 years.

Upon enrolment, members will have a certain amount of "obligatory service."  This is the CF's way of getting back our "pound of flesh" for training you and/or subsidizing your education.  Although included in one's Variable Initial Engagements (VIE), I have NEVER heard of anyone's obligatory service equalling their VIE.  In short, your VIE is how long you're allowed to stay, but there is no requirement that you actually stay that long.  I cannot speak for legal officers (who are special), but most Direct Entry Officers (i.e. those whose educations have not been subsidized) only have about three years of obligatory service (I think pilots might be longer).  You should ask your recruiter how much obligatory service will be incurred.

Although one is unlikely to be required to remain in the CF for the entire VIE, you should be aware that releasing upon completion or obligatory service, but prior to completing one's VIE, could mean a reduction in release benefits
 

atonz

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Pusser said:
Upon enrolment, members will have a certain amount of "obligatory service."  This is the CF's way of getting back our "pound of flesh" for training you and/or subsidizing your education.

I certainly understand the concept of a pound of flesh had my law degree been subsidized, not really if it has not. Do you think "training" includes what the Forces profile for legal officer indicates?:

During the first appointment, a Legal Officer will be expected to complete Legal Officer Basic Training and Legal Officer Intermediate Training.

If that is the case, I think I can understand the obligatory service in exchange for this training.

It seems the recruitment process can take a very long time in any event, as indicated by this poster:
Recruiting Centre: Hamilton
Regular/ Reserve: Regular
Officer/NCM: Officer
Trade Choice 1: Legal Officer
Online Application: March 12, 2014
First contact: March 14, 2014
CFAT: April 3, 2014
Medical: July 14, 2014
Med Docs completed: July 24, 2014
Interview: July 24, 2014
Further Medical Review: February 1, 2015 (passed - March 6, 2015)
JAG Board Interview: --
Position(s) offered: --
Enrollment/swearing in: --
BMOQ: --
.

Maybe I'll initiate the process and iron the details out as it progresses. Thank you everyone for the details provided, I have much to review.
 

PuckChaser

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That individual needed extra medical review. If you're relatively healthy, knock a lot of that time off.
 

Pusser

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atonz said:
I certainly understand the concept of a pound of flesh had my law degree been subsidized, not really if it has not. Do you think "training" includes what the Forces profile for legal officer indicates?:

If that is the case, I think I can understand the obligatory service in exchange for this training.

Being a fully qualified lawyer and even one who is a member of one or more Bar Associations, does not mean someone is ready to be a Legal Officer in the CAF.  There is some training involved (BMOQ being the first course - a Legal Officer is still an officer and is expected to take on a leadership role).  There may also be environmental training involved as well as basic Legal Officer training (i.e. learn the differences between civilian and military law).  So yes, the CAF will incur a training bill for you and it's not cheap!
 

atonz

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Pusser said:
Being a fully qualified lawyer and even one who is a member of one or more Bar Associations, does not mean someone is ready to be a Legal Officer in the CAF.  There is some training involved (BMOQ being the first course - a Legal Officer is still an officer and is expected to take on a leadership role).  There may also be environmental training involved as well as basic Legal Officer training (i.e. learn the differences between civilian and military law).  So yes, the CAF will incur a training bill for you and it's not cheap!

I'll get some more details on the amount of training and what it entails to help me weigh the commitment.
 

George Wallace

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atonz said:
I'll get some more details on the amount of training and what it entails to help me weigh the commitment.

There is no magic wand that will instantly make you an officer in the CAF, even a Legal officer.  As pointed out previously, you will have to do some "military" training as well.  That does not take place over a weekend.  It will, at a minimum, take up to two years of your time.
 

azoute

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Legal officers must do BMOQ and the two phases of legal officer training (Legal Officer Basic Training and Legal Officer Intermediate Training). They don't have to do CAP (or is it called BMOQ-L?) or any other environmental course (the info is coming from forces.ca and the recruitment center). I read somewhere the initial contract used to be 5 years for a legal officer, so it's not too much of a surprise if it's now 7 years. From what I read on this forum, lots of trade, on the officer side, have seen theirs initial contracts stretched out.

Just my  :2c: and sorry for my english, I'm still learning.
 

Marusya

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Hi everyone,

I have some questions regarding the recruiting process for a DEO Legal Officer (Reserve) that I am hoping someone can address:

1. I understand that the final determination is made by the JAG panel following an interview in Ottawa, Ontario.  What types of questions are asked in this interview?  How difficult/intense is it? Any tips on preparing for it, should my application get that far?

2. What is the commitment like for a Reserve Legal Officer?  I read on another thread that a 7 year commitment is expected from a Regular Force Legal Officer. Is that true for Reserve Legal Officers as well?

3. What type of work is done by military lawyers? Is it very litigation heavy?

4. I understand that the BMOQ for Reserve Legal Officers is done over the course of 5-6 weekends.  When in the course of a calendar year do these usually start?

Thank you in advance!!!
 

da1root

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Good Day,

The only thing I can comment on is your 2nd question.

Reservists are enrolled for an Indefinite Period of Service to CRA 60.  What that means is that you can continue to work with the Reserves until you are 60 years old.  You can release (with notice) anytime between when you enroll and when you turn 60.
 

FJAG

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I retired from JAG in 2009 so there might be some minor changes but I'll have a go at it.

1. The board usually sits within the region where the position needs to be filled. So if you are applying for a vacancy in Vancouver the board would interview candidates there.

The board will review your application and CV and then ask a number of questions in order to determine your level of legal experience, your level of any prior military experience, your level of participation in community activities, your second language capabilities (if any), your ability to attend training courses, the ability (time available) that you have in providing legal services to the reserve units in your area, your willingness to provide longer term Class B service, your level of physical fitness. Selection is done based on a comparative score of the applicants.

2.  Your commitment time will vary. Your initial two years of service will include completion of the Basic Officer training, Basic Legal Officer training and Intermediate legal officer training. BOT is undertaken in conjunction with other reserve force officers. The easiest for most candidates to undertake is the Army's BOT program. Legal Officer courses are generally computer based or in short one-week increments in Ottawa. Basically you should budget approximately 40 days per year during the first two years. Generally you should budget 30 days in subsequent years. Many reserve legal officers do these at the rate of a 1/2 day evening every week at one or another local armouries and by providing further legal services from their office over the phone. I should note that there were a number of reserve legal officers who would put in 50 to 70 days service per year. The minimum required in order to not become non-effective is 14 days per year but that is entirely too few.

3. There are three types of legal officers. Legal advisors; Prosecutors; and Defending Officers. LegAds advise the chain of command on various legal issues. They do no litigation of any type. The other two prosecute and defend at courts martial. These are separate positions and there are reserve positions around the country for all three. The basic training is the same for each category but subsequently there is professional advancement training that specializes on the category that you are in. It is not impossible, but not easy to move from one category to the other once you have been enrolled in one. Much of this depends on vacancies being available in your region. Manning is generally fairly full and turnover is slow.

4. As I indicated above, the Army Basic officer training is easiest to attend but it is longer than you say because you need to take both the BMQ and then the BMOQ. The frequency and duration of this training varies from region to region and I would contact your local armouries for more information.

If you wish to get more information I would suggest that you contact the AJAG (Assistant Judge Advocate General) office for your region and ask to be put in touch with the Deputy AJAG (that's the reserve force Lieutenant Colonel who supervised the Leg Ads for the region. If you are interest in Pros or Def work they will also give you a contact for the local Regional Prosecutor or Def Csl) I no longer have access to a current JAG phone list but you can get the AJAG's number through any local armoury.

[cheers]
 

tyorke0

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Hi Everyone,

I am new to the forum so please correct me if this is in the wrong section but here is my question.
I am currently in the process of joining the reserves as an armoured recce crewman ( I have my medical and interview on tuesday)

But am thinking about going into the legal officer position after high school.  I know that you have to have served 3 years as an officer before you can apply to become a legal officer so question 1 does any one know if they use the standard 2 months for 1 month pay back for the education or is there a special system similar to what the have for medical officers because after all your education you would owe 14 years of service if it is just 2=1

Also, It says that you can not be on a period of mandatory service on 1 Sep on the year of your application so does that mean you basically have to chance it as to whether or not you are going to be deployed on that date since the military can send you where ever and when ever.

Thanks In advance if anyone can shed some light on this
 

FJAG

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The first thing that you need to understand is that the Military Legal Training Plan is only one specific program to become a legal officer. It only applies within the regular force and is used to take a serving regular force officer who already has an undergraduate degree and then send those individuals to a law school at the government's expense (and while receiving a salary) after which they are required to serve as a legal officer for a mandatory period of time. This is the most expensive program for the government and accordingly only a very few of the branch's positions are filled this way and, accordingly, it is only open once in a while. Individuals apply in competition at such times that the program is opened.

To become a legal officer in the reserves you must apply as a direct entry officer (DEO). This means that you must already have completed law school, completed your articles and then have been called to the bar for one of the provincial law societies at the time of your application.  Furthermore there must be a vacancy open for a reserve legal officer within the province where you live at that time and you will be in competition with other candidates for the vacancy.

The same applies to anyone who wants to become a legal officer in the regular force (other than serving officers who can apply for the MLTP), Candidates must apply as a direct entry officer candidate after already having been to law school, completed articles and been called to the bar. Competitions are generally (but not always) run annually nation wide.

The first step, therefore, for a DEO (regular or reserve) is to get into a law school. Most provinces require two years (60 credit hours) of undergraduate studies. Entry to law school is competitive and is based on grade point average and Law School Aptitude Test (LSAT) scores. If accepted you take a three year JD program. Article programs vary province to province and you would need to check with the appropriate provincial law society as to its details.

To answer your specific questions:

1. The issue of 2 for 1 payback is irrelevant as you are not eligible for the MLTP.

2.  The mandatory service they speak of is one where the candidate has already gone through a program in the CF (such as dental officer or medical officer and (I think Royal Military College) where you are already legally obliged to serve for a specific period of years. Again this issue applies to an MLTP candidates which, as a reservist, you do not qualify for.

:subbies:

*(Edited to change LOTP to MLTP)
 

tyorke0

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First off FJAG,

Thank you for taking the time to respond

However I believe must have misspoken in my previous post.  I was looking at going full time after high school, going to RMC to become an officer (possibly infantry officer or armored officer , serve the 3 years in that role and then applying to become legal officer.  Would you be able to shed some light on how that process works.

Also I apologise I am not very well informed as to how the process works

This is all I received from my recuiter as well as what is listed on the forces website :

"Here is what I have found out regarding Legal Officers. The position is open for Regular force Officers only at this time.

1.      THE 2016/17 MPLANS ARE OPEN TO ALL REG F OFFICERS IN ALL MOSIDS. ALL APPLICANTS MUST MEET THE FOLLOWING MINIMUM ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:
A.      HAVE COMPLETED A MINIMUM OF THREE YEARS OF A FULL TIME UNIVERSITY CURRICULUM, OR THE EQUIVALENT
B.      MEET THE MINIMUM MEDICAL STANDARD FOR THE TARGET MOSID
C.      NOT NORMALLY BE ABOVE THE SUBSTANTIVE RANK OF CAPT/LT(N) AT THE TIME OF THE CONVENING OF THE MPLANS SELECTION BOARD
D.      HAVE SERVED THREE YEARS IN THE REG F AFTER QUALIFYING IN THE BASIC LEVEL SPECIFICATIONS FOR HIS OR HER CURRENT OFFICER MOSID
E.      BE ABLE TO COMPLETE A TRAINING PROGRAM FROM AN ACCREDITED CANADIAN UNIVERSITY LEADING TO A SUITABLE DEGREE IAW THE MOSID ENTRY LEVEL EDUCATION STANDARD,AND
F.      AS OF 1 SEP 16 NOT BE SERVING ON A PERIOD OF OBLIGATORY SERVICE IN RESPECT OF OTHER MILITARY SPONSORED COURSES
2.      MPLANS APPLICATIONS MUST INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
A.      MAXIMUM 800-WORD BIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY DESCRIBING PERSONAL BACKGROUND AND MOTIVATION FOR THE PROGRAM
B.      OFFICIAL SEALED TRANSCRIPTS FROM ALL UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES ATTENDED
C.      COMPLETED ANNEX A APPLICATION FORM (REF A) AND
D.      APPLICABLE ANNEX A STATEMENT OF UNDERSTANDING,WHICH,FOR THE MDTP IS APPENDIX 1, FOR THE MLTP,APPENDIX 2 AND FOR THE MPTP, APPENDIX 5 AT REF A
E.      CONFIRMATION OF CONDUCT SHEET
F.      CONFIRMATION OF MEDICAL CATEGORY FORM
3.      THE MPLANS SELECTION BOARD WILL MERIT LIST APPLICANTS ON THE BASIS OF THE ANTICIPATED VALUE THAT EACH WOULD BRING TO THE CAF AS A MEMBER OF THE TARGET MOSID. CRITERIA USED IN PAST YEARS INCLUDE:
A.      LAST THREE PERS
B.      COURSE REPORTS
C.      CO S LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION
D.      DIVERSE AND CHALLENGING EXPERIENCES IN THE CAF,INCLUDING DEPLOYMENTS
E.      DEMONSTRATED ACADEMIC POTENTIAL
F.      BILINGUAL CAPABILITY AND
G.      800-WORD BIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY
"
thanks again for taking the time to respond I greatly appreciate it.
 

FJAG

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Okay. You're right. I misunderstood that you were trying to get there by way of the reserves which won't work.

I'll try to answer your question with the new facts that you have presented but I do caution you that while I am a retired legal officer I do not know all the ins and outs of recruiting and particularly ROTP/RMC recruiting.

For your info this is the link to DAOD 5049-1 Obligatory service. http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/about-policies-standards-defence-admin-orders-directives-5000/5049-1.page

So first things first. Assuming that you are enrolled at RMC under the Regular Officer Training Plan. The DAOD states at para 7.1 that the obligatory period of services varies from 36 to 60 months. For a normal four year degree I would expect 5 years service being required but you should discuss this in more detail with a recruiter. That essentially means you would serve five years in some other branch before being eligible to apply for the Military Legal Training Plan (Sorry for some reason I called it the LOTP in my last post).

Again if you are accepted into the MLTP you will need to do a 3 year JD degree followed by a term as an articling student (which can be up to a year long depending on the province where you will be placed to article) which will take you to a further maximum five obligatory years that you need to serve as a legal officer.

If I can offer you a piece of information for consideration, it's this::

While the RMC/MLTP route may appear attractive because of the free education, it has some drawbacks. The first is that neither RMC nor the MLTP are guaranteed (especially the MLTP). Both are competitive and very few MLTP candidates are selected. The second is that your career will move slowly because you are changing from one branch to the other. You will be a cadet at RMC, a 2nd lieutenant after graduation, then a lieutenant and Captain.  At the point where you might be starting to enter the promotion zone for the rank of major you are in effect leaving that branch to start a new career with the legal branch where you will have to complete all of your education before again entering the major's promotion zone. (So that would be 14-15 some odd years after you leave high school if things go right) (Note that in the legal branch the rank of major is your basic working rank; the rank of captain is the branch's lowest rank and is basically a legal officer in training)

Assuming that you have the aptitude for being a lawyer in the first place, then if you go to university on your own hook you will have been called to the bar after a total of six years. (during this time you should serve as a reservist to increase your base knowledge of the military) At that point you could apply as a DEO in the rank of Captain and be promoted to major within 2-3 years. (so some 8-9 years after high school if things go right) On top of that if the military career doesn't come about you still have a profession to fall back on.

One additional factor. Second language skills. RMC will teach those to a basic level but a civilian university won't. A good second language ability will aid your chances at being selected for DEO LegO. In that respect you should look to getting that training/experience on your own.

One final piece of advice. Go back to your recruiter to discuss all of your options before making any decision. I'm probably the most knowledgeable guy on this forum on this subject (been a Leg O for 23 years) but I retired in 2009 so my knowledge is getting stale and things do change from time to time.

:subbies:
 

tyorke0

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Thankyou very much for your reply I greatly appreciate it.  I will definitely go back to my recruiter and discuss all of this.  Thanks

 
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