Legal office services save Team Goodfellow money

The base legal office team provides high-quality legal advice and support for eligible personnel in civil, contract, labor, operations and environmental laws and claims.  The staff also provides military justice for courts-martial and non-judicial punishment actions. For more information visit www.aflegalassistance.com  or call (325)-654-3203. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Anne Gathua)

The base legal office team provides high-quality legal advice and support for eligible personnel in civil, contract, labor, operations and environmental laws and claims. The staff also provides military justice for courts-martial and non-judicial punishment actions. For more information visit www.aflegalassistance.com or call (325)-654-3203. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Anne Gathua)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Did you know that if you have recently entered active duty and are paying a credit card interest rate higher than 6 percent for purchases you made prior to coming in, there is a way to request a lower interest rate under the Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act.

This is just one of the myriad of things the 17th Training Wing Legal Office assists Team Goodfellow with.

They provide high-quality legal advice and support in the areas of civil, contract, labor, operations and environmental law, claims and military justice for courts-martial and non-judicial punishment actions. Their mission is to provide commanders, servicemembers, families and retirees with superior legal services in a timely manner.

"Our team consists of four attorneys, seven paralegals and four civilians dedicated to the 17th Training Wing mission," said Tech. Sgt. Tesha Quarterman, military justice noncommissioned officer in charge. "Effective legal support is critical to administering fair and effective discipline; operating a base where thousands of people live, work and train; and ensuring that military members are ready to do their jobs, deploy when needed and care for their families."

Their attorneys, commonly referred to as judge advocates, advise wing and subordinate commanders on military justice and disciplinary matters, prosecute courts-martial and represent the government in a variety of administrative hearings.

"Judge advocates, military paralegals and civilians work directly with units, staff agencies and other organizations on a wide range of general law matters," Sergeant Quarterman said. "Our legal assistance program provides counseling to our military members, their families and retirees on personal civil matters."

To accomplish their legal assistance program, Air Force attorneys and paralegals assist eligible personnel with wills, powers of attorney, notary service and offer advice on personal civil legal matters such as adoption, landlord-tenant issues, tax assistance and consumer law. However, they cannot give advice about criminal matters or Uniform Code of Military Justice related offenses. Active duty members with these issues should contact the Area Defense Counsel office.

Those eligible for legal services are active duty and retirees, and their families; former spouses that are not remarried; Reservists and Guard members, and their families when on Title 10 orders; inactive Reserve and Guard members can only receive deployment-related legal assistance; civilian employees and contractors who are deploying may have wills and powers of attorney prepared.

"All the services we provide are free as long as the individual has a valid military ID card," Sergeant Quarterman said. "So far this year, we've saved our clients more than $200,000 in legal fees, for consultations, wills, powers of attorney and notarizations. Without our office, there would be utter chaos and the wing's mission would be impeded."

For more information visit www.aflegalassistance.com or call (325)-654-3203.