Scholar Katie Kendall Interns at U.S. Army JAG

Katie_Kendall_JaggGrowing up I was constantly being reprimanded for playing too rough, getting too dirty, and immersing myself in every conceivable kind of mischief.

Ironically, 20 some years later, I somehow found my way into the legal profession—a profession of rules. Since beginning law school two years ago, I have, admittedly, been struggling with this life choice. How exactly to leverage and incorporate my inherently energetic, adventure-seeking nature into the world of law has been a difficult question, the answer to which has largely eluded me.

All that changed this summer when I found my niche in Fort Hood, Texas working for the United States Army in the Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG).

My days started at a time when most of the world was still sleeping. By 6am every morning, I was on a dew-laden Sodowski Field among hundreds of soldiers ready for physical training. The blare of a bugle and the blow of a cannon would start this morning ritual. For an hour after, I would be pushed to my physical limits. There were obstacle courses, marches, sprints, long runs around the base, and of course, push-ups.  Lots of push-ups.  At the risk of sounding sadistic, I’ll admit it was the best way I could imagine starting my day.

The legal work was just as challenging. Over the course of the summer I rotated on three-week intervals between the major divisions of the United States Army legal department—Legal Assistance, Administrative Law, and Military Justice. The program is designed to give interns a holistic understanding of military law and jurisdiction. As a result, my experience was fast-paced and varied from day-to-day. My responsibilities ranged from helping soldiers create wills prior to their deployment, to interpreting ethical issues for Fort Hood’s Commanding General, to prosecuting soldiers at General Courts-Martial.  In addition to legal work, we were also regularly exposed to soldiering skills necessary for any JAG attorney who will be deploying to combat zones. The Army’s virtual training simulators gave us a sense for the chaos of combat and the difficulties associated with making legal decisions in active war zones.

Army JAG required me to be more than just an attorney. It required me to be an athlete, a solider, and a leader. Over eight weeks I was pushed to both my intellectual and physical limits and, for the first time in my life, I’m focused and ready to start a career.

 

This post was written by Point Scholar Katie Kendall
Katie is in her final year at Boston College Law School. She is looking forward to being an agent of change so that one day equality can overcome injustice. Learn more about Katie.