Career Paths: Ryan Redd ’15L
Ryan Redd is a third-year law student from Charlotte, NC. He is the President of the Student Bar Association and a member of Omicron Delta Kappa. This semester, Ryan is working in the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse, the school’s capital defense clinic. He was selected for active duty commission by both the Army and Air Force JAG Corps.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in JAG?
I’ve always wanted to serve in the military at some point in my life. I grew up in a military town and my family has a history of service. When I first learned about the JAG Corps, it seemed like the perfect intersection between service and the practice of law. I am excited about having an active and engaging legal career that will require me to train, travel, and adapt to new challenges.
Have you had any externships or experiences at law school that pointed you in that direction?
I did not intern or extern with any JAG offices. I did, however, work for the Federal Public Defender’s office in Alexandria, VA and some cases involved crimes committed on military bases or involving military personnel.
Describe the application and interview process for JAG. What was most interesting or surprising about that experience?
The application process for JAG was very intensive and involved. For Army, I first applied for an on-campus interview with a screening officer named Major Berry. From there, I started the longer application that required basic background information, four letters of recommendation, a “motivational statement,” resume, photograph, official undergraduate, and law transcript. For Air Force, I interviewed with a Colonel at Andrews Air Force base after submitting my application. After the applications and interviews were complete, a selection board met to review the applications and results were announced in late December and January. I was surprised by the level of one-on-one support I received from my field screening officer. He took the time to review my final application materials and also wrote a statement on my behalf for the selection board.
Do you know where you will be placed and what sort of work you will be doing? If not, what do you hope for?
I don’t know where I’ll be placed or exactly what type of work I’ll do, but I hope to remain involved in criminal defense. I would also be interested in operational law. As far as location, I am open to going anywhere the military requires.
In what ways has your experience at W&L Law prepared you for JAG?
W&L Law has given me the opportunity to develop my leadership and lawyering skills simultaneously. A career as a JAG officer requires a commitment to service and honor, both of which are core aspects of the W&L Law community. Finally, the support of the W&L Law faculty throughout my time here has prepared me for a career as a Judge Advocate.
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