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Marine Corps Recruiting Command
Quantico, Virginia

PLC-Law is the largest commissioning source for Marine Corps judge advocates and is the main effort of the MCRC law recruiting mission. The PLC-Law Program offers prospective Marine Corps judge advocates the opportunity to earn their commission as Marine Corps Officers upon meeting certain initial eligibility and training requirements, but prior to completing their law school degree and obtaining a license to practice law. The desired end state of this program is the recruitment of the most mentally, morally, and physically qualified prospective Marine Corps judge advocates.

The key to achieving this end state is the development of a robust pool of officers who commission in law school and receive mentorship and on-the-job training opportunities before and after accession to active duty and before execution of orders to The Basic School (TBS).

Administration of the PLC-Law Program will include coordination of the PLC-Law Mentorship Initiative, Summer, Post-Bar Examination, and Pre-TBS Internship Initiatives, and requests for delay of accession to active duty in order to complete a one-year Master of Laws program or a one-year judicial clerkship.

PLC Law Program Manager:
Capt. Jhonathan Morales
(703) 432-9262

Student Judge Advocate
(703) 432-9317

Legal Chief
Sgt. Marco Segoviano-Garcia
(703) 432-9694

All informational updates to the pool of commissioned Student Judge Advocates awaiting accession to active duty will posted on our LinkedIn page. If you are a commissioned Student Judge Advocate, please request access to the group in order to receive updates. Additionally, you can contact the Program Manager at the points of contact listed.

FROST CALL 005-24 has been published and will provide information and guidelines for the FY24 Summer Internship Initiative.


Alpha Company, 1-24, 16 October 2023

Bravo Company, 2-24, 27 November 2023

Charlie Company, 3-24, 25 March 2024

Delta Company, 4-24, 3 June 2024

Echo Company, 5-24, 12 August 2024

Fox Company, 6-24, 9 September 2024

FAQs for Prospective Marine Corps Judge Advocates

Roles and Responsibilities

What are the main duties of a Marine Corps Judge Advocate?

Marine Corps Judge Advocates (JAs) are the Marine Corps’ uniformed lawyers. We perform various legal tasks, including representing the U.S. Government, accused servicemembers, and victims before courts-martial and administrative boards; providing legal assistance to servicemembers on a variety of civil matters; and advising commanders on legal issues ranging from ethics and discipline to operational law, including the law of armed conflict (LOAC). JAs also serve as military judges, command legal officers, special assistant U.S. attorneys, and in other legal and non-legal roles.

How does the role of a Marine JA differ from those in other military branches?

JAs work in all six branches of the U.S. military, and our basic functions are similar. Compared to other branches, the Marine Corps places a greater emphasis on military justice and operational law. But our biggest functional difference is our ability to serve in non-legal military roles. Unlike JAs in other branches, who are restricted to handling legal matters, Marine JAs are unrestricted line officers, allowing us to serve in a broader range of military leadership roles in addition to providing the legal services described above. 

Because the Marine Corps emphasizes leadership alongside legal expertise and requires JAs to undergo the same training as all other Marine officers, Marine JAs are prepared to lead Marines and understand the broader operational context of our legal work. Thanks to our military training and unrestricted status, Marine JAs have opportunities to command various military units, leveraging our both our legal expertise and leadership training. These opportunities include serving in roles such as security battalion commanders, training battalion leaders, and positions within the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group.

Do Marine JAs deploy, and what kinds of legal issues do they advise on during deployments?

The Marine Corps offers ample opportunities for JAs to deploy, and the overwhelming majority of Marine JAs take advantage of opportunities to serve overseas. During deployments, Marine JAs focus on operational law and provide legal advice on a variety of issues. Our work ensures compliance with legal requirements and standards across the spectrum of operational environments.

What type of legal assistance do Marine JAs provide to servicemembers and their families?

Marine JAs, particularly those assigned to provide legal assistance, assist military personnel and their families in areas such as landlord-tenant disputes, family law, consumer law, estate planning, and other civil matters.


What role do Marine JAs play in terms of operational law, including international law?

Marine JAs play a crucial role in advising commanders on international law, which includes understanding and applying the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC). LOAC is a binding legal framework derived from treaties and customary international law within which states conduct military operations. JAs are the primary means though which the military ensures that its regulations, policy, and doctrine complies with LOAC. Other specific areas of operational law practice include formulating and interpreting rules of engagement; advising on lethal and nonlethal targeting decisions; drafting policies and guidance for detainee operations; and supporting commanders in a variety of ancillary matters such as fiscal law, foreign claims, contingency contracting, and investigations.

Education and Training Requirements

What is the training and selection process for becoming a Marine JA?

To become a Marine JAs, candidates pursue commissioning through the Platoon Leaders Course (PLC) – Law (for those who have not yet graduated law school) or the Officer Candidates Course (OCC) - Law (for law school graduates). After surviving the physically and mentally demanding 10-week Officer Candidates School (OCS), candidates commission as Marine officers and those who haven’t finished their law degree return to law school. Once we have been admitted to a state bar, student judge advocates attend The Basic School (TBS), a 6.5-month military school where we receive further training as rifle platoon commanders and Marine officers; and the Naval Justice School (NJS), an 11-week program during which we learn basic military legal skills and develop expertise in specialized areas such as military justice and operational law. This comprehensive and competitive process culminates in our assignment to a duty station, where we are ready to serve as Marine officers and legal professionals.

What are the physical fitness requirements for Marine JAs?

The requirements are identical to those of all other Marines. Officer candidates must meet the Marine Corps’ physical fitness standards, which are more demanding than those in other branches. This includes passing the Marine Corps physical fitness test (PFT) and combat fitness test (CFT). Typically, candidates must score at least 250 out of 300 on the PFT in order to be selected for OCS. Throughout our service, JAs are held to the same physical fitness standards as other Marine officers and we are expected to maintain fitness throughout our time in service


What are the citizenship, age, and medical requirements for OCS?

Answer: Officer candidates must be U.S. citizens and must generally be no older than 28 at the time of commissioning, though age waivers are available up to 42 years old. Candidates must also pass a comprehensive medical examination, which includes a thorough evaluation of their medical history and a physical examination. The Department of Defense and the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) publish medical standards for appointment and enlistment, but medical waivers may be granted on a case-by-case basis.


Does commissioning as a Marine officer prevent me from participating in judicial clerkships or other post-J.D. enrichment options?

No. All student JAs may apply to defer their training at TBS by one year to complete a judicial clerkship, LLM, or MBA. 


Career Path and Professional Development

How does being a Marine JA impact opportunities for career advancement within the Marine Corps?

Marine JAs are considered for a variety of leadership positions within the Corps, and our legal expertise is highly valued both within and beyond the Judge Advocate Division (JAD). Our roles in command and legal advisory positions contribute to our competitiveness in promotion boards and JAs frequently serve in higher-level military roles within the Corps.

Are there opportunities for continuing legal and military education?

Yes. Law students who commission before or during law school may intern with Marine JAs before they attend TBS. After TBS and NJS, Marine JAs have access to continuing legal education, including funded LLM programs and professional military education. Each year, more than one third of Marine Corps JAs attend training courses at professional legal institutions across the country.


What opportunities are available for courtroom and criminal litigation experience?

Marine JAs typically gain immediate and substantive courtroom experience by serving as military prosecutors, defense counsel, and victims’ counsel in their initial duty assignments. In these roles, JAs work with military commanders, law enforcement, and lay and expert witnesses. Experienced JAs have the opportunity to serve as senior military justice counsel and military judges.


What do Marine JAs do after leaving active duty?

Serving as a Marine JA offers exposure to a surprising variety of legal fields, including criminal and civil litigation, tort claims, employment law, environmental law, cyber law, and international law. Although the bulk of our legal practice takes place within the military system, JAs build legal skills that prepare us well for challenges and opportunities in the civilian world. Many Marine JAs transition to successful careers in law firms, corporations, government agencies, and in the federal and state judiciary. Our military experience, especially in leadership and litigation, is highly valued in the civilian legal sector.


Are there opportunities to serve in the Marine Corps Reserve?

Unlike other branches, the Marine Corps does not currently offer an option to enter service as a reservist JA. However, many Marine JAs continue to serve in the reserves after active duty, balancing their civilian careers with military roles. Reservist assignments encompass the full spectrum of military duties, including opportunities to deploy.


Compensation and Support

What is the compensation for a Marine JA?

Marine JAs receive military pay commensurate with our rank and time in service, including a housing allowance and other federal benefits. JAs who opt to extend their service may become eligible for up to $110,000 in additional compensation through the Continuation Pay Program (CPP).


Will the Marine Corps pay for my legal education?

At this time, the Marine Corps does not offer a general program to fund legal education for prospective Marine JAs. Regardless, law students who become JAs may take advantage of the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, and are often eligible for additional loan forgiveness or other relief offered by their home state or law school.

For Marine officers currently serving on active duty, the Funded Legal Education Program (FLEP) offers funding for law school tuition, books, and other fees, along with their normal pay and allowances, in exchange for an obligation to serve as a Marine Corps JA upon graduation and passing the bar exam. In addition to being an active-duty Marine officer, eligibility for FLEP requires meeting certain time-in-service requirements, and gaining acceptance to an accredited law school. Participants in this program continue to receive their regular Marine Corps salary and benefits while attending law school.


What kinds of benefits and support can Marine JAs expect after leaving active duty?

After leaving active service, Marine JAs enjoy a wealth of benefits and access to extensive networks that greatly aid the transition into civilian life. We become part of a distinguished community of legal professionals, with access to specialized legal networks and veterans’ organizations that offer continued professional development, mentorship, and networking opportunities. As veterans, we become entitled to a range of VA benefits, including healthcare, educational assistance, and home loans. Our unique skills and experiences open doors to diverse career opportunities in government, the private sector, and non-profits. We also benefit from continued legal education programs tailored for military lawyers, support from veteran groups that maintain the camaraderie of service, and employment assistance through the military. 


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