Military Law Society Sponsors JAG Career Panel
Web Editor - Published: April 3, 2009

A proud participant in the Yellow Ribbon GI Bill Program, Widener Law is committed to providing a positive learning environment to the dedicated service members of the United States armed forces. The Yellow Ribbon series highlights the students, faculty, and programs that connect the Widener Law community with the brave veterans who have served their country so admirably.


Due to technical issues beyond our control, the aspect ratio of this video makes it appear taller and narrower than expected. However, the audio portion of the video is unaffected.

“One of the reasons I love my job is that I get to help people who deserve it the most” offered Major Roy A. Hilferty ’98 of his work as Assistant Staff Judge Advocate for the Delaware National Guard. Major Hilferty’s comments to students came as part of the Military Law Society’s 2009 JAG Career Panel that took place on Wednesday, February 18th.

Military Law Society President Damian Del Pino thanked Taishoff Professor of Law Tom Reed, Linda Shopland of the Career Development Office, and Assistant Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations Deborah McCreery for their assistance before introducing the distinguished panel.

The panel consisted of; Captain Robert Taishoff of the U.S. Navy JAG, who graduated from Widener Law in 1989, Lt. Col David P Cline of the Widener Law class of 1986, a private practice attorney in Wilmington, DE who has served in the Army Reserves for 25 years, Major John W. Venskus, an attorney in the Army Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps in 153rd Legal Support Organization, Major Hilferty, who graduated from Widener Law in 1998, Captain Nathaniel J. Himert of the U.S. Air Force and Chief of Adverse Actions, Legal Assistance, and Preventive Law at Dover Air Force Base.], and Captain Rochelle Howard of the U.S. Army JAG Corps, who graduated from Widener Law in 2003.

Each panelist discussed his or her career path and offered the students in attendance an honest look at a career as a JAG lawyer. Captain Howard gave a detailed breakdown of the training, which consists of 2 weeks at Fort Lee in Petersburg, VA for orientation, JAG School at the University of Virginia for 10 weeks, 1 month at Direct Commissioning Officer Training at either Fort Benning in Georgia or Fort Sill in Oklahoma, and six weeks of a Basic Officer Leadership Course.

MilitaryLawPromoMajor Venskus addressed age and medical considerations. The panelists also examined some of the differences between how the Army and Navy JAG corps function. Navy split into JAG Corps and Office of General Counsel. Major Hilferty also mentioned that Widener Law will offer a Military Justice class beginning next year.

In closing the statements from the panelists, Captain Himert said, “I think it’s a great opportunity and I think its something that if you’re really interested in it, I think you should take advantage of it.”

After the panel’s remarks, they took questions from the audience and discussed issues ranging from unpaid summer internships with the Navy JAG Corps to the differences between direct appointments and the JAG Corps student programs.