Student Program

The Navy JAG Corps’ Student Program (SP) is the most common way to become a Navy JAG Corps officer. It enables selected law students to commission in the inactive Navy Reserve while attending law school. Upon law school graduation and bar admission, Student Program participants are appointed as active duty Navy judge advocates, ready to start their adventure.

Student Program Application

The Fall application cycle will run from August 1 - September 30

Apply online via the "Student Program Application" link below. Use the "Discover More Information" sidebar resources to find FAQs, Guide to the Navy JAG Corps, and schedule your interview. Interested in speaking to a recruiter? Visit

Who Is Eligible

To be eligible for the Student Program (SP) with the Navy JAG Corps, you must:

  • be a United States citizen of good moral character;
  • be younger than 42 years of age at the time you begin active duty;
  • have taken the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) or GRE;
  • be a law student with at least one year of school completed, attending an American Bar Association (ABA)-accredited school, or a graduate of an ABA-accredited law school who has not yet had the opportunity to take the first available bar exam following graduation. Students who attend law school part-time or intend to matriculate in a dual degree program must be within two years of completing all remaining degree requirements, and
  • meet the physical and medical requirements for commission in the Navy. If you have any questions about the medical qualifications or physical fitness standards, please contact a Navy recruiter.
    • The physical requirements include meeting Navy and DoD fitness standards.
    • Additionally, Navy officers are required to participate in at least one Physical Readiness Test each year. The test consists of completing as many pushups as possible in two minutes, a cardio test (typically a 1.5 mile run, but other options include a 500y/450m swim, 12-minute stationary bike, or 2,000 meter row), and a timed plank. Additional information is available at Physical Fitness Test.

NOTE: If you are an active duty naval officer currently attending law school and interested in applying via the Student Program, please contact the Accessions Program Manager at

How It Works

Becoming a judge advocate is a two-phase process. The first phase is to apply for a Professional Recommendation to become a judge advocate. If you are Professionally Recommended you then apply for a commission as an officer in the U.S. Navy. Once accepted into the program, SP participants continue law school until graduation and take the first bar examination after law school. After passing the bar examination, SP participants start active duty and begin their Navy training.

New judge advocates first attend the five-week Navy Officer Development School (ODS) in Newport, RI. After ODS, new judge advocates then report to their permanent duty stations for approximately two months. They will then proceed to the ten-week Basic Lawyer Course at Naval Justice School (NJS), also in Newport, RI. Upon graduation from NJS, new judge advocates return to their permanent duty station and are committed to four years of active duty. For more information, visit the Path of a Navy JAG Corps Officer.

Application Deadlines

The deadline for submission of all application materials AND the completion of your structured interview is March 1, 2024. Structured Interviews should be requested by February 23 to guarantee a scheduled time, but you may request an interview after February 23 without such guarantee.

Make sure to read the application guide and checklist linked below before submitting your application.

If you have questions, please visit FAQ/Contact.

Application Process

Student Program applicants can apply to both the Fall and Spring accession boards, as both a 2L and a 3L—there is no limit on how often you can apply. Application materials are not kept after selection decisions are final, so if you want to be reconsidered, you must reapply. Submitting an application doesn't mean you joined the Navy. Applicants are under no obligation whatsoever until they are offered and accept a commission with the Navy at the end of both phases.

Phase One: Apply for a Professional Recommendation

Prior to the application deadline, you must complete four steps:

  1. Apply Online
    Complete the application by the deadline provided above. If there is a discrepancy between the information on this page and the Application website, please follow the instructions and guidance on this page and within the application guide. All applicants should download and read the application guide linked above in its entirety.
  2. Schedule an Interview
    Schedule and complete a structured interview by the deadlines listed above. You may schedule and complete your interview before you have submitted your application. Information for scheduling a Navy JAG Corps interview is located in the application guide linked above. Your interview must be completed before the application deadline. Applicants are responsible for contacting the appropriate office to schedule their interview. Your application will not be considered without a completed interview. Applicants are only permitted to interview once during law school.
  3. Upload Relevant Documents
    Ensure your letters of recommendation and all additional documents have been submitted by the deadline. Letters of recommendation and all other documents MUST BE SUBMITTED WITHIN THE ONLINE APPLICATION and will not be accepted if received by email or mail.
  4. Pridemod Account
    All applicants must have physical copies of their birth certificate and social security card no later than six weeks AFTER the application deadline. Once selection board results are released, selected applicants must take their birth certificate and social security card to a Navy recruiting office to create a PRIDEMOD account. This account will be used throughout your commissioning process. You must complete this step even if you are on Active Duty, a Reservist, or a veteran.

Selection Board Process

Once applications are received, the accessions office completes a full review of all applications for completeness and ensures each applicant is eligible. The completed packages of all eligible applicants are then reviewed by a board of senior active duty judge advocates. The board typically takes place 4 weeks after the application deadline. The final selection of professionally recommended students must be reviewed and approved by the Judge Advocate General. Applicants who are professionally recommended will be notified individually, usually within 6-8 weeks after the application deadline. All applicants can check their status on the application website.

Note: If you are not selected, you may reapply by each deadline as long as you remain eligible. You must submit a new application. The structured interview does not expire, however you are not allowed to have a new structured interview within a three year period. After three years have passed, you may (but are not required to) request a new structured interview.

Whole Person Concept


Phase Two: U.S. Navy Commissioning Screening

If your application is selected, you will be considered Professionally Recommended for a commission and begin Phase Two. In Phase Two, the final screening and commissioning of applicants is conducted by Navy Recruiting Command. During this phase the following will occur:

  1. A Navy recruiter will work with you to complete the commissioning requirements, including a medical examination and security investigation. Upon successful completion of these requirements, you will be offered a commission.
  2. If you accept your commission, you will then take the oath of office for a commission and sign a Service Agreement. Student Program officers will serve as ensigns (O-1) (in a non-paid status) during law school and will promote to lieutenant junior grade (O-2) after passing the bar exam and upon starting active duty. Officers with at least one year of prior commissioned service will promote to lieutenant (O-3) when starting active duty. Student Program officers will begin active duty at the October or January ODS courses that follow receipt of their passing bar exam results.

If you have any additional questions, please email