A seminarian is normally sponsored by a home parish, and a diocese normally requires that he be well known to clergy and others in the diocese. This requirement can be waived in special circumstances, including for children of military families, and this was probably the case for Law. But exactly why he went in via the Diocese of Natchez-Jackson still isn't completely clear. Bernard Aloysius Law retired from the Air Force in 1950, and he is recorded as passing away in Jackson, MS in 1955. Whether Law's parents relocated to Jackson to be near him (though he would have been in seminary in Louisiana most of the time), or whether he went to Jackson to be near his parents isn't clear.
In addition, neither parent was very Catholic. His mother was a Presbyterian married to a Catholic who apparently never regularized the circumstances of his second marriage, so neither would have been eligible to receive communion in a Catholic parish. Law variously claimed in later life that his mother became Catholic while Law was at Harvard, or in 1955 after her husband's death, but my informant says this didn't happen until Law was in Boston. This means Law himself would probably have needed to join a Mississippi parish on his own, though it's likely he hadn't been confirmed in his youth. This would be another problem that would have had to be addressed before he went to seminary; it's possible he did this at Harvard. That he would apparently be an enthusiastic recruit to Opus Dei and then drop his involvement is just another incongruity.
In the authorized biography and in newspaper interviews, he attributes his vocation to Fr Lawrence Riley, who was chaplain of the Harvard Catholic Club during 1951-52, but elsewhere he says he didn't decide on his vocation until the spring of 1953. (It's worth noting that even in 1953, a Harvard undergraduate degree in medieval history, the major he consistently gives, would have equipped him only to be a dilettante.) It does appear that he was required to go back to square one in his formation and complete two years of pre-theology at a Catholic undergraduate seminary. Whatever credentials he had, they got him into pre-seminary, but he was by no means on a fast track.
The authorized biography says Fr Riley "encouraged him to give his talents to a part of the Church that was more in need of priests" (p xx), which presumably was the Diocese of Natchez-Jackson, though another explanation could simply be that Riley thought his chances of being accepted in a diocese where demand was high would be better. Riley might well have made a recommendation to the vocation director there, just to smooth a process that might well have needed smoothing.
In light of the public image Law later fostered for himself of civil rights crusader, it seems unlikely that he went to Jackson, MS with any intent to further social justice, whatever his later activities may have been. Key early developments in US civil rights history came after Law's arrival in Mississippi, and the earliest ones focused elsewhere, too.
- May 17, 1954, US Supreme Court rules in Brown v Board of Education that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional
- December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks initiates a bus boycott, refusing to observe segregation laws
- September 1957, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus precipitates the Little Rock Crisis, in which President Eisenhower federalized the Arkansas National Guard to integrate Little Rock public schools.
This is just yet one more mystery associated with the guy. Neither the official bio nor press interviews that I've run across covers the extra time in seminary.