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A United States Navy Legalman prepares notes and meets with a fellow Sailor.

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As a Legalman, you can start your career with hands-on legal experience that will make a difference for your country and for the world. As a Legalman, you may:

  • Provide paralegal support to JAG Officers in all aspects of military law and policy administration.
  • Provide legal support to Active Duty service members, retired military personnel, and family members.
  • Prepare legal forms, letters and requests
  • Conduct interviews and legal research
  • Provide paralegal support for trials
  • Manage an office
  • Maintain records and official publications
  • Prepare official accounts of hearings, investigations, courts-martial and courts of inquiry
  • Process appeals
  • Perform administrative and clerical duties

Work Environment

In this profession, you’ll find opportunities to work around the globe. Depending on your role, you may spend time in an office environment, on a ship, with an air squadron, or visiting bases and other installations both foreign and domestic.

Training & Advancement

As an Enlisted Sailor pursuing a Legalman role, you must first complete Recruit Training (known as Boot Camp). After that you will report to the Naval Justice School in Newport, RI, for an 11-week course covering military justice, court-martial procedures, legal assistance, and administrative, civil, operational and procedural law.

Promotion opportunities are available, but competitive and based on performance. If you have a four-year degree and are currently a practicing lawyer or law student, you may be eligible to be a JAG Corps Officer.

Post-Service Opportunities

Specialized training received and work experience gained in the course of service can lead to valuable credentialing and occupational opportunities in related fields in the civilian world, such as in court reporting or as a paralegal.

Education Opportunities

Beyond offering access to professional credentials and certifications, Navy training in the legal field can translate to credit hours toward a bachelor’s or associate degree through the American Council on Education.

Legalmen have the chance to complete an Associate or Bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies through the Legalman Paralegal Education Program (LPEP), a government funded, full-time education program. Upon successful completion of the basic course at the Naval Justice School, Legalmen receive 10 semester hours of American Bar Association approved classes towards their paralegal studies degree.

You may also continue your education through undergraduate degree opportunities like the Navy College Program and Tuition Assistance and the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Qualifications & Requirements

A high school diploma or equivalent is required to become an Enlisted Sailor in the legal support field. You must be a U.S. citizen. As an aspiring Legalman, you should possess good writing and communication skills, excellent hearing, attention to detail, and typing skills. The Navy will provide classroom and group instruction in Navy legal, administrative and clerical functions.

General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you've served before or whether you've never served before.

Part-Time Opportunities

The position of Legalman in the Navy Reserve is open only to those with current or prior Active Duty experience. Learn more about how to join the Navy if you have served before, or go back to Careers to find other jobs that have a Reserve component. You can also find out more about what life is like as a Reserve Sailor in the Navy.

If qualified to serve as a Legalman in the Navy Reserve, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods.

The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent of that.

During monthly drilling, you will typically work at locations close to your home. For annual training, you may serve anywhere in the world, including locations in the U.S. and at bases overseas.

Call 1-800-USA-NAVY for details, or take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Navy Reserve Sailors.