Program Offers Legal Assistance
By 1st Lt. Imelda Antonio, 61 ABW/JA
/ Published July 05, 2007
Los Angeles Air Force Base -- The legal office at Los Angeles Air Force Base provides a wide-range of services for active duty and reservist members assigned here, as well as their dependents. Based on availability, members of other military branches, retired personnel, their dependents and dependent survivors may receive legal assistance.
One of the most used services is the Legal Assistance Program. This program enhances readiness and welfare by providing quality legal services regarding personal civil legal matters and by educating them regarding their personal legal rights and responsibilities.
Through the Legal Assistance Program, eligible personnel can obtain legal services and advice from military or civilian attorneys who are duly licensed to practice law before the courts of one or more state and federal jurisdictions, and who are assigned by the Air Force to advise and counsel members on personal legal problems. As such, the attorney-client relationship applies, and information and files pertaining to legal assistance clients are private and privileged under law and applicable professional rules and guidelines.
The services are provided free of charge. The types of legal assistance available includes wills, powers of attorney, notary service, or advice on personal civil legal matters such as adoption, landlord-tenant issues, tax assistance and consumer law questions.
The program also offers counseling for personal civil matters; however, legal assistance attorneys are precluded from representing clients in court, and they cannot advise persons who have hired a civilian attorney on the same subject matter. They are prohibited from preparing personal legal documents - except for wills, powers of attorney and affidavits. They can't advise about criminal matters or UCMJ-related offenses, nor can they assist someone to avoid paying a debt or advise someone regarding private commercial business and other outside employment. Active duty members who need assistance with these issues should contact the Area Defense Counsel Office at (661) 277-2809.
Powers of Attorney and Notary Services are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Walk-in legal assistance is only available on Tuesdays from 8 to 9 a.m. and 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. All other legal assistance issues are by appointment only on Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wills may require two separate appointments. Hours are flexible to accommodate members with deployment orders only. Ordinarily, legal assistance won't be provided over the telephone or via the Internet except in unusual or compelling circumstances.
For more information, call (310) 653-3084.