OSMS and YOU: Legal

This blog post is the 26th in a series of posts highlighting the various specialties and subspecialties offered by the recently launched Officer Specialty Management System. Stay tuned as we share key information about each specialty/subspecialty in the coming weeks!




OSMS Trivia – Question 1: What is the only officer specialty code that encompasses the competency to give advice on operational, environmental, fiscal, administrative and military justice matters, and sometimes all of those matters on the SAME day?

If you guessed the legal program, LGL10, you are correct!

The legal program is awarded to those officers who are judge advocates in our service. Judge advocates are primarily stationed at our districts, Coast Guard Headquarters and the Legal Service Command in both Norfolk, Va., and Alameda, Calif. We have high visibility billets in the joint environment, as well, including Joint Interagency Task Force South, U.S. Southern Command and U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany.

LGL10 is one of the most highly sought after specialty codes. The legal program had unprecedented success this year obtaining eight training allowance billets for law school and four training allowance billets for master of law programs.

Legal Program Trivia – Question 1: What type of officer would be a good fit to become a judge advocate? The answer is all types!

We have judge advocates representing a diverse area of specialties including afloat, response and prevention communities. We have funded legal students attending schools in locations from as far west as Honolulu to locations as far east as Boston. Coast Guard students are studying at top-notch institutions, including: Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, and University of California, Berkeley. Those officers who are selected for the legal program will typically attend law school for 36 months, graduating with a Juris Doctor degree. Officers who are already judge advocates have the opportunity to apply for advanced legal degrees where one can focus on a particular area of the law, such as national security or environmental or employment law.

Legal Program Trivia – Question 2: If you are a commissioned officer, reserve officer on active duty or in a Coast Guard reserve legal billet if not on active duty, and a law school graduate, and have passed the bar, can you apply to be designated as a judge advocate? Yes!

OSMS Trivia – Question 2: Can the Coast Guard Officer Personnel Management Assignments Branch fill a legal billet with anyone other than a judge advocate? No! If you do not possess the competencies that comprise the LGL10 code, you cannot serve in a legal billet.

Legal Program Trivia – Question 3: So what do LGL10-ers actually do? We implement our Mission Statement to “deliver high-quality legal advice and support to the people who carry out the varied functions of the Coast Guard to ensure their missions, operations and activities can be achieved within the spirit, as well as the letter, of the law.”

The organizational value of the LGL10 cannot be overstated. Moreover, after a long and successful Coast Guard career, LGL10-ers will reap dividends as it opens up a plethora of opportunities in both the public and private sector.

Please reach out to Cmdr. Bowen Spievack to learn more about the legal program and obtaining one of the most versatile officer specialty codes in the Coast Guard! Visit the Officer Specialty Management System page for guidance and resources.

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