Legal career offers retraining opportunity

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Are you interested in a career change? Do you have untapped potential? Then consider this challenge--how about retraining into the paralegal career field? After reading this article, you may discover the perfect job for you.

The Air Force enlisted legal career field was established on May 1, 1955, and to this day plays a prominent role in The Judge Advocate General Corps. The JAG Corps mission is "to deliver professional, candid, independent counsel, and full-spectrum legal capabilities to command and the warfighter."

The role of the paralegal is to team up with military attorneys in achieving this mission. Paralegals support virtually all areas of the legal office, such as military justice, claims, civil law, legal assistance, contracts, environmental, international and operations law.

Within these divisions, paralegals conduct legal research and draft legal opinions, interview victims and witnesses, support and conduct inquiries and investigations such as aircraft accidents, security violations and reports of survey investigations, just to name a few.

To ensure paralegals are qualified to support these many legal areas, the JAG Corps provides the necessary training, both on-the-job and in the classroom. Paralegals attend their 3 and 7 skill level training courses at Maxwell Air Force Base and have the opportunity to attend specialized legal courses, like operational, environmental, aerospace, and contract law, hosted by the Air Force of course, but also the Army, Navy, and Department of Justice.

When paralegals complete their CCAF degree and have been awarded their 7-skill level, they receive certification from the American Bar Association, which makes them a highly-employable individual after separation or retirement.

You now may be interested enough to ask, "Am I eligible to retrain?" If you can type a minimum of 25 words per minute, have a minimum general AQE score of 51, have no derogatory information in your records, successfully complete a personal interview with the law office superintendent and staff judge advocate and are released from your career field, then yes!

The paralegal career field is extremely interesting and very challenging. It is rewarding for individuals looking for a job that gives them independence in their work, personal growth, and most importantly, a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day. If this is what you seek and you are up for the challenge, then becoming a paralegal may be right for you.

For more information about the paralegal career field and how to get started on retraining, please contact the Law Office Superintendent, Master Sgt. Christopher Hernandez at 654-3203.