Another one asking about Army Legal Service...

Discussion in 'Army Professionally Qualified Recruitment' started by TQSplinter, Sep 27, 2011.

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  1. I understand that this is yet another Legal Army Services question, but I have a few questions. For background knowledge I have recently completed my Law degree where I covered both International Law and International Humanitarian Law, and will be going on to do my BPTC. I'm currently contemplating my career options including which kind of chambers to apply to for Pupillage.

    Regarding my motivations to joining ALS, I have several reasons.

    I have always had the aspirations to become a Barrister. I know civvie life defending the dregs of society, or attempting to prosecute them where you end up with them getting much less than they deserve simply because they plead guilty, would wear thin very quickly. I don't know whether it's true or not but I believe I could make more of a difference to people by applying my legal skills to the ALS.
    I also (as mentioned) covered Humanitarian Law as part of my degree and found it to be thoroughly interesting, much more so than a lot of civilian law. Finally I would like to join the ALS because it means joining an institution where I can be proud of the uniform that I wear, and proud of the job that I do, something that I think the 9-5 on the London Mag Court circuit or working 6-11 for a corporation will be hard to come by.
    Finally the Army rewards ability. I believe I am competent enough to do well within the ALS in a practical legal role, and unlike civvie street, I could progress based on my abilities and not solely who I know and how much I kiss their ass. (Of course some is required in any job).

    On to the questions;

    Firstly, is anyone familiar with what the ALS do? I mean I am well aware that their role is marketed as anything from advising commanders on the field to dealing with court martials, but what is the real reality of the ALS role. I've seen people referring to their role now only being one of dealing with credit card problems and marital disputes. If anyone reading this is/has been ALS, was the work that you did what you were expecting when you joined and has it been worth it?

    Secondly, the tarts and vicars course meaning that combat training is to a minimum. I did hear a some time ago that a member of the ALS can opt to go on active 6 month deployment at any time through their work in the ALS (not including the 6 months required before you start in your ALS role), is this in any way true? Additionally, I'm not sure on the prospects for additional training for different roles within the army once admitted into the ALS, so can anyone fill me in on this one please.

    Thirdly, so I know where I would stand, how are those working in the ALS treated by squaddies. I am guessing that many dislike the ALS for both being lawyers (who have a bad reputation naturally), and because they are officers who "haven't earned their rank" (so to speak). (I am aware that there is some degree of ALS bashing on here :eye: )

    Finally I did also heard about the unification of the Army and RAF legal divisions into one "Armed Forces Legal Service." Does anyone know if there's any truth in this? I've tried looking but with no luck.

    Thank you for reading through all that, and any advice or comments are really welcomed. I'm at a crossroads in my life deciding what I want to do, and ALS is very high up on the list, with my only current reason against it being the amount of time spent away from my family.

    Any perspective people can give me is highly welcomed, with anything from how I'd be treated to the work I'd do to anything you think can help me. I know I need to visit the ALS in person to see how they work, but real peoples honest opinions really are just as valuable if not more so. :thumright:

    Many thanks,

  2. Hadn't you better worry about pupillage first?? You'll need a few years' PQE as well, so assuming it takes you 2-3 years to get pupillage, this is all 6-7 years away. Even if you get it first time around, it's still 5 years off
  3. This is true - although you'll mostly be in the HQ environment. And, although you can volunteer, you can be picked as well.

    I suspect that when you are working with squaddies you are going to be somebody they need around and helping them, in which case they will treat you politely, no matter what they think of your combat abilities. Or you are going to be prosecuting them, in which case they are going to (at least temporarily) loath you, even if you were wearing SAS wings and the ribbon of the Queen's Medal for Champion Shot of the Army. Some soldiers will moan about REMFs but, hey, I get that too. I wouldn't worry too much.
  4. You need to research via the Army's website and then off to a recruiting office you go to get the detail and availability of commissions, TOS etc.

    It may then position you to ask more informed questions here, where you may, but I doubt it, get a sensible and/or current answer. it's all arrse after all :)
  5. Have you no ambition whatsoever?