Alex Park knew he wanted to be a judge advocate even before he applied to the Georgetown University Law Center.
“That feeling was solidified when, while in law school, I learned the JAG Corps provided an opportunity for travel, challenging assignments, and work in multiple legal practice areas,” he said.
After an unsuccessful initial application to the JAG Corps Student Program, Parker was thrilled to be selected for a summer internship at the Vice Chief of Naval Operations’ legal office in the Pentagon. There, he focused on ethics issues, legislative proposals, and administrative law. After that experience – which confirmed his initial impressions of the Navy JAG community – Parker re-applied for the Navy JAG Corps, and, while his application was pending, he also submitted an application for an externship with the organization. He was accepted for a part-time externship with the National Security Law Division (Code 10) during the spring semester of his 3L year.
“The Navy JAG Corps internship and externship programs provide students with a way to experience what it means to work in a professional legal office, a glimpse into the unique military culture, and an unparalleled opportunity to network with judge advocates with various backgrounds and interests,” said Parker. “I gained amazing mentors during both my internship and externship – senior officers I know I will be able to reach out to, and ask for advice throughout the rest of my career.”
Beginning in January 2019, during his final semester of law school, Parker reported to Code 10 and worked in the Law of Armed Conflict, Law of the Sea, International Agreements, and Intelligence and Cyber Departments. Specifically, he worked on two large projects: An overhaul of the Department of the Navy’s weapon review process and an update of legislation and regulation of Naval Defensive Sea Areas. He also worked with the Office of the Judge Advocate General’s Sensitive Programs Counsel on governance of intelligence related activities, with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command on counter-trafficking authorities, and on Code 10 and Naval Justice School’s complete revision of the Law of Naval Operations course into a mentor-driven experiential exercise.
“Alex quickly became an integral part of our team here at Code 10,” said Lt. Cmdr. Aaron Waldo, Code 10 Maritime Law Department Head. “He applied solid research skills and driven curiosity to every project and by the mid-point of his time, his work product was going directly to senior leaders. His confidence, self-motivation, and professionalism built trust with the team, and he justified that trust throughout his time with us.”
Parker completed his Code 10 externship in May, and, later that month, he graduated from Georgetown University Law Center. In March, while he was working at Code 10, he became a commissioned naval officer during a ceremony at the Pentagon. Currently, he is studying to take the North Carolina bar. After that, he will go to Officer Development School, and, after hopefully passing the bar, he will head to Naval Justice School in mid-October.
“Throughout my undergrad and law school studies, I participated in a variety of internships across multiple government agencies and easily the Navy JAG Corps distinguishes itself with its close community of officers committed to service and mentorship,” said Parker. “Once I experienced first-hand working in the JAG Corps, I knew that the relationships and people are the reasons I am excited to join.”