Kevin O'Neil '05
Military Justice/Trial Advocacy

Two years after receiving his LL.M. in Trial Advocacy from California Western, Commander Kevin O'Neil's career as a military judge for the Western Judicial Circuit of the Navy's JAG Corps is thriving.

Since his certification last May, O'Neil has heard several San Diego courts-martial, brought pursuant to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Rules for Courts-Martial.

O'Neil received his bachelor's degree in mathematics magna cum laude from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, in 1988, and his J.D. from Suffolk University Law School cum laude in 1992.

In August of 2007, O'Neil received the 2007 Outstanding Military Service Career Judge Advocate Award by the American Bar Association.

Res Ipsa: What is your area of concentration?

O'Neil: My LL.M. from California Western is in Trial Advocacy with a specialization in federal criminal law. Within the U.S. Navy JAG Corps, my concentration is military justice/trial advocacy.

Res Ipsa: How and when did you know that you wanted to be a lawyer?

O'Neil: I never had a moment of clarity on this. I loved the television show L.A. Law, and, frankly, that is what got me interested in being a lawyer. By my third year of law school, I was very disenchanted with the way big firms handled the hiring process, so I was ready to finish law school and do something else. I applied for Navy JAG in March 1992, was accepted in early April, commissioned April 30, 1992, and graduated law school that May.