University Park, Pa - Assistant Dean for Career Development at Penn State Law in University Park, Maria Stein, accompanied five Penn State Law students to the Marine Corps Base Quantico where a panel of six Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) officers provided insight on why they chose the Marine Corps JAG, their work, their career paths, their professional development, and their career opportunities as a Marine Corp JAG. Other participants included students from Penn State Dickinson Law and Buffalo.
Dean Stein, along with third-year Penn State Law students, Carmen Lopez and Kristi Stiles, and second-year Penn State Law students, Drew Weglarz, Kristin Hommel, and Tavia Vitkauska, stopped at the Legal Services Support Section on the Marine Corps Base Quantico and then went on a tour of the law offices of Judge Advocates, the Marine Corps Base Quantico Courtrooms, the Marine Corps Museum, and the Pentagon, which included a stop at the 9/11 Memorial. They also spoke with a panel of first and second tour Judge Advocates about their jobs and experiences serving in the Marines.
“As a law student who has always been interested in National Security Law and Military Law, the trip to Quantico and the Pentagon was truly a one-of-a-kind experience that would not have been possible without the assistance of the local Marine Corps. Office,” said Lopez. “I am grateful that student organizations within Penn State Law provide opportunities to explore interests not commonly discussed in the classroom or advertised at conventional networking events.”
The students learned about responsibilities as a Marine and as a lawyer and they were able to talk about the Judge Advocate structure (trials as well as day-to-day), the future of Marine Corps Force Design, and how wargaming can shape the way Judge Advocates advise commanders.
“I believe that Penn State’s ongoing relationship with the DoD is of the utmost importance and a necessary pipeline for students with interests in National Security, Veteran’s Affairs, Military Law, etc.,” said Weglarz. “Additionally, getting the chance to speak with active-duty military personnel was enlightening. The people that took the time to answer our questions were forthright, accommodating, and inspiring.”
Dean Stein was very grateful to the Marine Corps JAG for hosting this visit in collaboration with Penn State Law’s Military Law Caucus. “I want to thank the United States Marine Corps Officer Selection Team for an amazing and informative visit,” said Stein. “Penn State Law students not only had the opportunity to hear from current Marine Corps JAGs about their work and professional development, but also speak with MajGen Bligh about national security law, the future of the Marine Corps Force, and so many other topics. A special thank you to MajGen Bligh for making time for us and answering our questions.”