Brigadier General Joseph Berger is a 1998 alumnus of Scalia Law after being selected for the Army Funded Legal Education Program. Prior to law school, Brigadier General Berger graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and was commissioned into the Military Police Corps where he served as a Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, and Battalion Supply Officer and Adjutant. After earning his J.D. from George Mason, he transferred to the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
Brigadier General Berger’s father, who was a colonel in the Army, inspired him to attend West Point and serve his country. Initially, he intended to serve out his commitment to the Army and pursue a career outside of the military, but the opportunity to attend law school opened an entirely new career path within the Army and he never looked back. Although transitioning to a civilian classroom required dialing down the intensity he was used to in his daily military routine, Brigadier General Berger likened George Mason to Westpoint in regard to the collaborative nature of the student body and diverse course of studies. Determined to make his mark in law school as in the military, Brigadier General Berger joined the Moot Court team and won his first-year competition. He credits his Moot Court experience with igniting his passion for advocacy and continued to compete in Moot Court competitions throughout law school. Brigadier General Berger’s military experience sharpened his time management skills, taught him disciplined work ethic, and the ability to prioritize tasks and maximize his work efficiency, all of which helped him excel during law school.
In offering advice to law students, Brigadier General Berger encourages them to take opportunities to develop leadership skills in law school and to not shy away from challenges. For aspiring JAG officers who must be able to advise commanders under intense pressure, he advises students to take challenging courses that will sharpen their advocacy skills. He also advises law student to get involved with organizations that serve a greater community and to be a part of something bigger than themselves.