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26 Judge Advoc. J. 1 (1958)

handle is hein.journals/jajrnl28 and id is 1 raw text is: ABA PROGRAM FOR LAWYERS
IN THE ARMED FORCES
By Charles S. Rhyne *

Following  the  decision  of  the
United States Supreme Court in the
Girard  case, newspaper headlines
screamed for weeks about the in-
justice to an American G.I. in al-
lowing him to be tried in a Japa-
nese court.  The concern of these
headline writers was, of course, that
Girard might not receive the fair
trial and adequate defense which is
such  a  proud   tradition  here in
America. Actually, due to an un-
fortunate and growing situation ex-
isting in our military legal corps,
Girard may have received a better
defense and been better off to be
tried as he was with an experienced
civilian defense counsel, rather than
in a military court with inexperi-
enced counsel.
This statement is certainly not
meant in derogation of some of the
nation's finest lawyers who devote
their lives to military service nor
to the many fine young men who do
their very best to see that men in
service receive good legal advice.
But the cold facts are -that close
to 50 per cent of our military law-
yers are inexperienced and only re-
cently graduated from law school.
This sad state of affairs is caused
by young lawyers not desiring to
make a career of the military serv-
ice because of (1) inadequate pay;

(2) lack of promotion; and (3) lack
of prestige. There are undoubtedly
other factors, but these are the most
important. By reason of the post-
college years he must spend in law
school and preparation for his bar
examination, the   military  lawyer
commences his career three to four
years later than does his college
contemporary in the line and most
of the other staff corps. Under pres-
ent law this causes him to remain
permanently behind his contempo-
raries in both promotion eligibility
and longevity pay. It makes him
three  to  four  years older upon
reaching  the retirement eligibility
age. In the event he is retired for
physical disability, his retirement
pay at a given age is less due to
the longevity factor. All during his
career, the military lawyer loses up
to four years longevity pay credit
and receives approximately fifty dol-
lars per month less than his line
officer contemporary. It should also
be noted that military lawyers are
required to finance their own profes-
sional education.
Since virtually every young law-
yer gets out of the service as soon
as his required tour of duty is com-
pleted, obviously he would not have
come in at all if it were not for the
fact that this is less distasteful

* President of the American Bar Association, a member of the bar of
the District of Columbia.

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