Tamasin Dorosti of the Junior Lawyer Division committee attended a networking event in November 2015 hosted by the Army Legal Service (ALS)s. Here she gives an overview of a career with the ALS.
I recently attended the annual networking event hosted by the ALS at the inns of court, Lincoln’s Inn. The Junior Lawyers Division also hosted a presentation by ALS at its annual conference earlier this year, and I was keen to hear more, so I took full advantage of the fact I was in a room full of ALS Officers to do so!
What is ALS? The ALS provides legal support to the army in three main areas i) operational (training all units and individuals regarding operational law (both at home and on operations abroad) prior to all operational deployments and throughout their careers); (ii) advisory (advising the chain of command on all aspects of military and administrative law) and iii) prosecution (being responsible for the consideration of referred cases from the chain of command or service police and where appropriate the prosecution of those cases at court martial).
When you join you become an officer and are commissioned as a captain. This means that you need to pass all the same physical tests as regular officers. You also need to be a qualified lawyer before you are eligible to join. One officer did comment that it would be more advantageous if you have had a few years practising as a lawyer first rather than joining straight as an non-qualified but this is not a pre-requisite. There is no requirement for previous military experience or training. There is huge scope to move around, between the 3 areas of work, as well as geographical location so variety of work and experience is definitely a positive.
While at the event I spoke to several officers who had worked for ALS for a number of years, and were clearly very passionate about their work. One officer having prepared and advocated at a Court Martial, and another due to start training as a ski instructor. Both things I would love to do! The experience sounded like a truly unique and amazing one, and has definitely made me consider what a career in the army might be like. You can find out more information from their website.