This week the Air Force JAG Corps announced the launch of their new and improved legal assistance website. According to the Air Force press release, the new website will be more efficient and track client satisfaction with the Air Force legal assistance program. Servicemembers and their families can access the site's features from the comfort of their homes without a common access card.
The previous website served mainly as a directory of military Legal Assistance offices and a general information resource. However, the new version is said to be much more useful. The enhanced site includes short helpful articles on common legal assistance topics such as wills and family law issues.
In addition, the new site offers clients access to online worksheets and questionnaires to assist with creating legal documents like wills and powers of attorney. These worksheets actually begin the counseling process as each client is given a unique "ticket number" and the data from the worksheet is saved to be accessed later when the client visits their local legal office and provides their ticket numbers to legal office personnel.
Free legal assistance is offered to members of all the military service branches. Unfortunately this is a benefit many servicemembers don't take advantage of. Your Legal Assistance Office can help servicemembers and their families by:
- Serving as advocate and counsel for an eligible client
- Preparing and signing correspondence on behalf of an eligible client
- Negotiating with another party or that party's attorney
- Preparing legal documents
- Making referrals to civilian lawyers and legal aid
- Drafting powers of attorney and wills
- Estate planning advice
- Reviewing contracts and leases (ideally, before you sign)
- Providing notarization
- Personal finance advice
- Family and domestic relations advice (divorce, separation, family support, adoption, custody, paternity and name changes)
- Consumer affairs
- Tax advice on real and personal property and income (and in certain locations tax preparation and electronic filing (ELF))
- Answering questions about landlord-tenant issues (including leases, security deposits and evictions)
- Providing advice on immigration and naturalization issues