Looking for a career challenge?

by Master Sgt. Mary Current and Master Sgt. Jennifer Shelley
86th Airlift Wing Staff Legal Office

Interested in retraining? Looking for a challenge? The paralegal career field may be for you.
The paralegal career field puts you in the courtroom assisting Air Force attorneys. The primary mission of a paralegal is to assist attorneys in providing legal support to commanders, first sergeants and other key personnel on a broad spectrum of matters.

Responsibilities of a paralegal include military justice administration, administrative boards, accident and collateral investigations, estate planning, tax assistance, and other legal matters.

Airmen wanting to retrain can find out more about the 5J career field through the Air Force Enlisted Classification Directory Part II.  To access the directory online, log into “myPers” and search “AFECD.” To view the retraining advisory online, log into the “vMPF,” “Self Service Actions,” “Retraining” and then click the “Request Retraining” link.  All applicants must also be interviewed by base legal office leadership.

If selected for retraining, Airmen will attend the paralegal apprentice course for six weeks at the Judge Advocate General School in Maxwell Gunter Air Force Base, Alabama.

While at technical training, Airmen will obtain the basic skills required to work at a base legal office, such as preparing and processing claims; interviewing techniques; knowledge of legal procedures concerning military courts and boards; legal terminology and interpretations; research and use of legal publications; civil law matters; and office management.

Finally, if interested in pursuing the legal field beyond the Air Force, Airmen could apply for their American Bar Association certification upon completion of their Community College of the Air Force degree in the paralegal career field. Obtaining the certificate will assist you when applying as a paralegal in a civilian law firm.

Being a paralegal can be rewarding for individuals looking for a career that gives them independence in their work, personal growth and, most importantly, a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

For more information, contact Master Sgt. Mary Current, 86th Airlift Wing Legal Office superintendent, or Master Sgt. Jennifer Shelley at 86AW.JA@ramstein.af.mil.