Legal Assistance Services
Regular Army: Retired
Benefit Fact Sheet
Army Legal Assistance providers are available worldwide to advise Soldiers, Family members and other eligible clients on legal affairs in a timely and professional manner. Providers deliver preventive law information and resolve personal legal problems and alleviate the burden of full payment for legal services.
Retired Soldiers who are entitled to retired pay and their immediate Families and / or survivors are eligible for free Legal Assistance.
Military lawyers, also known as Judge Advocates, are attorneys who have graduated from an accredited law school, and are licensed to practice law by the highest court of a State or Federal court. Judge Advocates and DoD civilian attorneys assigned to assist eligible individuals with personal legal problems are known as Legal Assistance Attorneys. Legal Assistance Attorneys are located on nearly every base, ship and installation around the world and are available to assist Soldiers in the following areas:
- Serving as advocate and counsel
- Preparing and signing correspondence on behalf of an eligible client
- Negotiating with another party or that party's attorney
- Preparing legal documents
- Referring eligible persons to a civilian lawyer (when necessary)
- Drafting powers of attorney
- Drafting wills
- Providing estate planning advice
- Reviewing contracts and leases
- Providing notarizations
- Advising on Family and domestic relations (divorce, separation, Family support, adoption, custody, paternity and name changes)
- Providing tax advice on real and personal property and income
- Providing tax preparation and electronic filing (e-filing) (in some locations)
- Answering questions about landlord-tenant issues
- Providing advice on immigration and naturalization issues
If a Legal Assistance Attorney is unable to resolve the case or a specialized attorney is needed, the Legal Assistance Attorney will refer a Soldier to a civilian attorney who can handle the case.
While Legal Assistance Offices provide numerous services to Soldiers and their Families, there are a number of things that they are not able to do. These include:
- Provide legal assistance to parties not eligible to receive such assistance
- Provide legal assistance via a third party; the attorney must deal directly with the client, not a friend or relative of the person
- Provide assistance or counsel regarding legal problems arising from the Soldier's outside business or commercial interests
- Provide assistance or counsel regarding legal problems arising from employment issues
- Provide in-court representation for an individual (except in limited cases)
- Give advice over the telephone (under normal circumstances)
- Represent both parties in a dispute
At certain installations, the state courts have approved Legal Assistance Attorneys to appear in local courts. In such cases, a Legal Assistance Attorney may represent certain military members in civil court.
For more information, please visit the Army Legal Assistance webpage maintained by the Judge Advocate General's Corps:
Note: This site may only be accessed from a .mil location, or you can access JAGCNet (regardless of public or private) from a government computer/laptop with VPN (Virtual Private Network) access software.
For specific details of Army Legal Services, please visit Army Regulation 27-3:
Additional information on the location of the closet Legal office on an Army installation may be located on the Resource Locator Library on MyArmyBenefits:
Or on the Legal Services Locator:
Document Review Date: 8 April 2016