Judge Advocate General's School
The Judge Advocate General's School conducts a graduate legal education program, culminating in the award of a master of laws degree, for all Army judge advocates, judge advocates from the other armed services, and Army civilian attorneys; offers resident and nonresident courses of study for judge advocates and attorneys employed by the Federal Government; develops or provides legal training for other members of the Army Judge Advocate General's Corps and senior Army commanders; prescribes legal curricula for other Army schools and activities; supports the military legal community by providing access to digital and written legal materials and other assistance; and develops doctrine for legal support of the Army.
Despite a long record of service by Army judge advocates, it was not until the beginning of World War II that efforts were made to provide our attorneys with specialized legal education. In February 1942, as uniformed lawyers' responsibilities increased in volume and complexity, specialized continuing legal education courses for active duty judge advocates were begun in Washington, D.C.
In August 1942, the School moved from the National University Law School in Washington, D.C., to the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor. By June 1944, over two thirds of the active duty officers in the Judge Advocate General's Corps were graduates of that program. The School at Ann Arbor, intended only as a temporary facility, was deactivated in 1946 during the general demobilization following World War II. A subsequent study on the administration of military justice demonstrated a requirement for continuing the formal education of military lawyers. Detailed instruction was needed for new judge advocates and continuning instruction on new developments in military law was required for all judge advocates.
The creation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice in 1950 and the beginning of the Korean Conflict further emphasized the need for more sophisticated military legal training. As a result, in October 1950, another temporary school was activated at the South Post at Fort Myer, Virginia (upon which a portion of Arlington National Cemetary now sits). There, the School's first Commandant, Colonel Hamilton Young, led a faculty of six judge advocates, supplemented by guest lecturers from the Office of The Judge Advocate General, in providing new judge advocates instruction in military justice, military affairs, claims, procurement law, and military training.
After graduating six classes, it was decided a permanent school for Army lawyers should be established. In August 1951, the Army accepted an offer from the University of Virginia to move its school there permanently. This location gave the School access to the vast resources of the University of Virginia Law School while keeping it wthin easy reach of a myriad of potential guest speakers from the Corps' headquarters at the Pentagon. From its new home, the Seventh Judge Advocate Officer Basic Course and First Judge Advocate Officer Advanced Course began in the fall of 1951.
Initially, The Judge Advocate General's School shared facilities with the University's School of Law. As the military community grew in the 1960s, so did the needs of the Corps. In 1975, the School moved to its own facility, adjacent to the School of Law and the Colgate W. Darden Graduate School of Business. This area, devoted to graduate education, is known as the University's North Grounds.
The facility, dating from 1975, is now known as the South Wing of the Shcool. It provides classrooms and seminar rooms with seating capacities from 10 to 200, two practice courtrooms, a library, 80 motel-type rooms for individuals attending continuing legal education courses, and private offices for faculty members.
Because of the School's ever-increasing teaching mission, construction on a 48,500 square-foot North WIng beagin in January 1988.
The North Wing was completed in February 1990. It includes a 325-seat multi-purpose auditorium, two large general purpose classrooms, and eight seminar rooms. It also includes a television production studio, a computer learning center, a post exchange, and additional office space. The North Wing facilities allow the School to continue providing top-quality legal education while meeting the growing and increasingly diverse needs for legal education in the Department of Defense.
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