Today, the Jag Corps made a presentation on campus about working for them.
For those of you not familiar with the military, Jag Corps are the attorneys in the military. They advise on the legal ramifications of actions, defend and prosecute in court-martial cases, and help establish protocol and whatnot.
In a sense, the Jag Corps are the in-house attorneys of the military. Most major corporations have their own attorneys that do basically the same sort of things.
Now, I’m sure most of you know about the military’s infamous ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’ standard regarding sexual orientation. That is, as long as a person who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or queer doesn’t tell anyone, it’s all good and they can play. They can’t get benefits for their partner, obviously, but they can be in the military.
Last week, before the Jag Corps started interviewing here, the school sent around a memorandum. It was a resolution passed by the faculty of my law school in 1997 and reaffirmed and updated a few times. The short version is this: the school is opposed to the military recruiting because of its discriminatory stance on sexual orientation, but they cannot act on that opposition and bar the recruiters because they will lose all federal funding – including our student loans. This resolution is sent to every student, to every faculty member, and to every employer who uses our career center (including the military, I assume).
So here’s my question: why didn’t the school say anything about people with disabilities?
I thought well, maybe it’s because the military realizes that an attorney’s value is not based on whether they can run a mile and do the right number of sit-ups and push-ups in the right amount of time. Maybe, because the Jag Corps officers are never in combat, those of us with physical handicaps can still apply for the jobs.
Nope. A Jag Corps officer (all members of Jag Corps are officers) must complete basic training. They also have to complete bi-annual conditioning checks that they are able to run their mile and do their sit-ups and push-ups.
The fact that I have fire and passion and intellectual brilliance does not matter to the Jag Corps, because I have a physical disability.
And apparently, my law school has had nothing to say about THAT discrimination.
I wrote an email off to the dean about this issue, and if I hear back, I’ll tell you what she said.