A Jag lawyer, or Judge Advocate General lawyer, is a lawyer who specializes in military law and works on behalf of the United States armed forces. Jag lawyers provide legal advice to military personnel and handle a variety of cases, ranging from criminal matters to family law. As a result, Jag lawyers earn a competitive salary, depending on their experience level and location.
Average Salary of a Jag Lawyer
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for lawyers was $120,910 in 2018. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. However, the salaries of Jag lawyers may vary depending on their experience, the branch of the military they are working in, and their duty station.
JAG lawyers entering the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps start at the pay grade of O-1, which is equivalent to a second lieutenant in the Army or an ensign in the Navy. A second lieutenant with less than two years of active-duty service earns an annual salary of $33,941. An ensign with less than two years of active-duty service earns an annual salary of $34,988. This salary increases with rank and experience.
Salary for experienced Jag lawyers
A Jag lawyer with five or more years of experience may earn an annual salary of up to $150,000, depending on their rank. For example, an Army lieutenant colonel with five or more years of experience earns an annual salary of $111,668, while a Navy commander with the same experience level earns an annual salary of $131,542. At the highest level, a Navy admiral or an Army general earns an annual salary of $189,600.
Salary by location
Salaries for Jag lawyers may vary depending on their location. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest-paying states for lawyers in 2018 were New York, California, and Massachusetts. In New York, the average salary for lawyers was $155,150, while in California it was $145,240. In Massachusetts, the average salary was $136,310.
Factors That Affect Salary
In addition to experience and location, there are several other factors that can affect the salary of a Jag lawyer. These include the branch of the military they are working for, the number of hours they work, and the type of cases they are handling. For example, a Jag lawyer who is handling more complex cases may be paid more than one who is handling simpler cases.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment of lawyers will grow by 8 percent from 2018 to 2028, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is driven by the increasing demand for legal services in areas such as healthcare, intellectual property, and international law. As a result, Jag lawyers should have plenty of job opportunities in the coming years.
Jag lawyers are highly trained professionals who provide legal advice to military personnel and handle a variety of cases. The average salary of a Jag lawyer depends on their experience, the branch of the military they are working in, and their duty station. The job outlook for Jag lawyers is positive, and they should have plenty of job opportunities in the coming years.