Brenner - contact Maj. Gen. Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., USAF (Ret.) at Duke Law School, he was the AF Deputy TJAG and long-time friend of mine who's actively involved with JAG recruiting issues at law schools.
Brenner: I used to sit on these in the Air Force in the 1980s. (Since they were appointed as Reservists, they had to have a Reservist on the board.) The first thing I looked at was where he went to law school and what his grades were. Other board members put more weight on the SJA interview. For me, it depended on who the SJA was. They always had a photo in the file back then. The real purpose of the photo was to see if the applicant looked fat. Fatness was not a factor I considered heavily (!) but some members did. Sitting on the boards was a lot of fun.
Based my experience as a JAG and assisting applicants, which include some who were accepted and not, recommend having the best grades possible, but that states the obvious. Board members like applicants with prior service and deployments. They did screen photos for weight and fitness, but even without photos it will help to detail activities that include sports and fitness. A professional military hairstyle will help for the interview. For the Army, the interview is very important. Letters of recommendation from current or former JAGs help. If you have two to three years to plan and have not graduated from law school, a summer JAG internship will give you a very good chance of selection as long as you do not get a bad evaluation. If you cannot get an internship, consider an un-paid internship or externship and get a letter of recommendation from your supervisor.
Thanks for these great comments. Regarding the photo, a current applicant tells me they are asking for a body-length shot!
Strong leadership, great character, physical fitness. Demonstrated intellectual ability and intellectual curiosity. A good personality and ability to be a strong team player. On the reserve side, solid civilian legal experience that will add value to the JAG Corps.
Thank you Dean.