By Capt. Ryan Flynn
50th Space Wing, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate
Funded Legal Education Progam (Flep) & Excess Leave Program (Elp)
Officers interested in continuing to serve the Air Force as a Judge Advocate (JAG) are invited to apply to the Funded Legal Education Program (FLEP) and Excess Leave Program (ELP). Officers selected for FLEP will have the opportunity to attend law school at Air Force expense while also continuing to receive full pay, allowances, and tuition. Officers chosen for ELP are responsible for law school expenses and do not receive full pay, allowances or tuition. However, ELP participants remain eligible for active duty benefits and continue to accrue time toward retirement and promotion. Selection for the opportunity to participate in these highly competitive programs will be based on a review of application packages in their entirety with a focus on the “whole person” concept. Interested officers can apply online at www.airforce.com/jag through Feb. 10 2015.
The Value of FLEP and ELP Graduates
Graduates of FLEP and ELP possess the unique ability to draw on their military experiences when providing legal advice to commanders and other clients. JAG officers routinely participate in nearly every facet of the Air Force mission, which includes assisting commanders in the day-to-day running of military installations around the world, enabling the maintenance of good order and discipline, advising on the development and acquisition of weapons systems, consulting with operators and commanders on the laws of armed conflict, and last but not least, helping to take care of the people that take care of the mission. Officers that graduate from FLEP or ELP deliver distinct perspectives on the Air Force mission to the Air Force JAG Corps as a result of their prior career field training and experience.
Captain Skylar Streetman, Schriever chief of civil law, said “I’ve not only witnessed the significant contributions that FLEP and ELP graduates provide to commanders, I’ve also benefitted from them myself. I often seek the professional opinion of fellow JAGs that are FLEP or ELP graduates, because their prior military experience provides a unique perspective.”
Basic FLEP and ELP Requirements
FLEP applicants must have between two and six years active duty service and must be in the pay grade O-3 or below as of the day they begin law school. The time in service requirements cannot be waived for FLEP. ELP applicants must have between two and ten years active duty service and must be in the pay grade O-3 or below as of the first day of law school.
In addition, both FLEP and ELP require attendance at an American Bar Association (ABA) approved law school. Upon graduation and admission to practice law in the highest court of any state, territory of the United States, or a federal court, candidates are eligible for designation as judge advocates. To be considered for FLEP or ELP, applicants must have completed all application forms, applied to at least one ABA approved law school (acceptance is not required at the time of application for FLEP/ELP), and received their Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) results by Feb. 10. In addition, applicants need to complete an interview with a Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) before Mar. 1. Officers must also provide a letter of conditional release from their current career field.
For more information and application materials, visit www.airforce.com/jag, contact Captain Streetman, 50 SW/JA (firstname.lastname@example.org or 567-7003), or contact Captain Megan C. Mallone, HQ USAF/JAX (email@example.com or 1-800-JAG-USAF).