Legal Assistance Website speeds up processes

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Reese Phillips
  • 934th Airlift Wing deputy staff judge advocate
By now most of you have seen references to the Air Force's Legal Assistance Website in the monthly pre-UTA newsletters. I encourage everyone to visit this website, regardless of whether you have an immediate need for any documents, so you get an idea as to the breadth legal information available to you. The website consists of three main parts.

First, it serves as a data-gathering platform for you to enter the necessary information to create legal worksheets for the preparation of your legal readiness documents such as wills, POAs, health care agent POAs, and living wills.

This process is very easy to use. It is just a series of screens that you scroll through and answer questions about things relating to the preparation of your documents, i.e. to whom you want your property to go and who you want to appoint for particular roles. At the end of the session, you will be issued a unique alpha-numeric ticket number and be given the option of printing your worksheet out. If possible, I recommend printing the worksheet out and writing the ticket number on something that you will be sure to have with you when you come to base for your appointment.

When you come to the legal office to get your documents completed and consult with the attorney or paralegal, you can provide your ticket number and we can easily pull up your information to create your documents. Using this method to create your informational worksheets prior to your appointment with an attorney has several advantages for you and the legal providers. You will have all of your information stored in an organized and secure site in case you lose or forget your worksheets when you visit the legal office.

The worksheet will be accessible by the legal professional in a Word document, which will be much easier to read than some of the worksheets I have had to decipher--this blogger included! It also allows the attorney or paralegal to cut and paste the information into our will and POA programs, which saves a lot of time and reduces misspellings.

The second part of the website is compilation of legal information on topics common to military service members, such as consumer and financial affairs, family law, taxation, landlord-tenant, and military benefits. As you select a particular topic, new folders open up that allow you further narrow your search and find thorough point papers, FAQs, and relevant web links. This section of the site can be very helpful in pointing you in the right direction or answering general questions, especially when the next UTA is several weeks away.

Finally, the website offers you the ability to offer feedback on not only the website, but also on the entire process upon completion of your documents or consultation, including your appointment with the attorney or paralegal. This aspect of the site has been a resounding success, and I know first-hand that client comments and suggestions have directly resulted in process improvements and changes for the website and individual legal offices.

Once again, I encourage you to explore the website and use it when you need to schedule an appointment for a will or POA. The website can be found at: or by simply searching "Air Force Legal Assistance Website" in Google.