If you've joined the U.S. Army and have an interest in law and the legal system, one Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) to consider is a paralegal specialist. This MOS is an integral part of the U.S. Army's legal system. These soldiers assist judges, Army lawyers, and unit commanders with legal matters and judicial work.
The paralegal specialist provides legal and administrative support in such diverse areas as criminal law, family law, international law, contract law, and fiscal law. Paralegals are also involved in defense and judicial legal services as well as operational and foreign law.
These soldiers perform duties similar to their civilian counterparts, assisting Army lawyers and law office staff with clerical duties, in addition to the responsibilities above.
Duties of an Army Paralegal Specialist
These soldiers provide legal and administrative support to unit commanders and staff. They're responsible for preparing and processing a variety of legal documents in support of courts-martial, non-judicial punishment, Article 15 actions, and other military justice and administrative law matters.
They'll provide support to the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, and provide legal documents in courts-martial, and other military justice matters. MOS 27D also assists in family law, powers of attorney, wills, and separation decrees.
There are also numerous administrative duties for MOS 27D, including providing technical guidance to subordinates and maintaining law library files and records. These soldiers act in a capacity similar to civilian law clerks.
Training to Be a MOS 27D
Paralegal specialists in the Army take ten weeks of Basic Combat Training and ten weeks of Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Lee in Virginia. If you pursue this MOS, you'll learn legal terminology and research techniques. You will also learn how to prepare legal documents and gain an understanding of the Army judicial process. Another sill you will acquire is how to interview witnesses.
Qualifying for MOS 27D
To be eligible for this job, you'll need a score of 105 in the clerical (CL) aptitude area of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests.
There's no Department of Defense security clearance needed for this job, however, there are several other requirements. You should have a record clear of court-martial convictions and disciplinary actions, and no record of civil convictions other than minor traffic violations.
You'll also need to be able to type a minimum of 30 words per minute.
MOS 27D and Similar Civilian Occupations
There are a number of aspects of this job that are unique to the military, such as courts-martial actions. But you'll be well-prepared for a variety of civilian jobs in the legal sector. You can find work as a court reporter, a paralegal or legal assistant, a law clerk, and even a legal secretary.