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Young Lawyer Rising Podcast

Going from Law School to the Air Force JAG Corps

Montana Lina Funk, Anthony Joseph Ghiotto, and Stephen Dinkel

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About This Episode

Professor Tony Ghiotto went from the battlefield to the classroom. He started his legal career in the Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps, and he explains how his career took him from Afghanistan to a law school classroom. 

Saddled with student debt, and after an unexpected meeting with a JAG representative, Ghiotto found himself in the Air Force. Within his first two weeks as a full member of the JAG, he was in the courtroom trying a case. 

There were pros and cons. Struggles included feeling overwhelmed and making mistakes early on, but the pros were getting a lot of courtroom experience in a hurry and learning on the job. From practicing law in a tent in Afghanistan to a boardroom in Washington, DC, “It made me grow up and gave me some direction,” Ghiotto says.

Thanks to the JAG, he practiced in multiple fields. One of his oddest cases involved a low-flying jet causing a cow to give birth prematurely. His criminal cases ranged from traffic tickets to reviewing wartime procedures and civilian casualties.

If you’ve ever considered starting a legal career in the military, this is a don’t-miss episode. (And, bonus, Ghiotto is open to mentoring any young lawyer considering a JAG career. Drop him a note). 

Stephen C. Dinkel served as the associate producer on this episode of Young Lawyer Rising.

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Special thanks to our sponsors, Clio and the ABA Young Lawyers Division.

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