What It Takes to Become a Paralegal Specialist (27D)

A Paralegal Specialist is an Integral Part of the U.S. Army's Legal System

Pfc. Chris Jancek, a paralegal specialist with Special Troops Battalion, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, answers a phone call while manning the front desk at the legal assistance office in the Kaiserslautern Legal Service Center on Kleber Kaserne Dec. 14. The legal support office was awarded the Army Chief of Staff Award for Excellence in Legal Assistance for fiscal year 2008.
Spc. Amanda Rigdon, 21st TSC PAO

If you've joined the U.S. Army and have an interest in law and the legal system, one Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) to consider is a Paralegal Specialist. This MOS is an integral part of the U.S. Army's legal system. These soldiers assist judges, Army lawyers and unit commanders with legal matters and judicial work.

The Paralegal Specialist provides legal and administrative support in such diverse areas as criminal law, family law, international law, contract law, and fiscal law.

Paralegals are also involved in defense and judicial legal services as well as operational and foreign law.

Duties of a Paralegal Specialist (27D)

Duties performed by soldiers in this MOS  include:

  • Provide preliminary legal and administrative support to unit commanders and staff and coordinates legal actions with supervising legal office.
  • Prepare and process legal documents in support of courts-martial, non-judicial punishment, and other military justice matters; line of duty determinations, separation board proceedings, and other administrative law matters; legal assistance services; claims processing and investigations.
  • Support unit commanders and the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate.
  • Provides legal documents in courts-martial, Article 15 actions, and other military justice matters.
  • Review line of duty determinations, AR 15-6 investigations, separation board proceedings, and other administrative law matters.
  • Assist in family law such as powers of attorney, wills, and separation decrees
  • Supervise the operation of a section in a command or installation legal office.
  • Provide technical guidance to subordinates.
  • Maintain law/administrative library and section files and records.
  • Monitor and review actions to ensure accuracy and timely dispatch or disposition.

    Training Information

    Job training for a paralegal specialist requires 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training, and 10 weeks of Advanced Individual Training with on-the-job instruction.

    Some of the skills you’ll learn are:

    • Legal terminology and research techniques
    • Preparation of legal documents, Army judicial process and interviewing witnesses


    ASVAB Score Required: 105 in aptitude arca CL

    Security Clearance: None

    Strength Requirement: light

    Physical Profile Requirement: 222121.

    Other Requirements

    • A minimum typing speed of 30 net words-per-minute
    • No court-martial conviction or disciplinary action under UCMJ. (Article 15 waivable by HQDA (TAPC-EPM-A) with OT JAG approval).
    • No record of civil conviction other than minor traffic of fenses. (Minor non-traffic offense civil conviction waivable by HQDA (TAPC-EPM-A), with OTJAG approval.
    • No record of lost time under 10 U.S.C. 972, see appendix 3, MCM. (Waivable by HQDA (TAPC-EPM-A) with OTJAG approval).
    • No pattern of undesirable behavior as evidenced by civilian or military record.

    Similar Civilian Occupations

    • Court Reporters
    • Paralegals and Legal Assistants
    • Training and Development Specialists
    • Law Clerks
    • Legal Secretaries

    Compensation & Educational Benefits

    Compensation for Paralegal Specialists includes housing, medical, food, special pay, as well as 30 days paid vacation.

    In the U.S. Army, qualified students can earn full-tuition, merit-based scholarships, allowances for books and fees, plus an annual stipend for living expenses.