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NEWS | Oct. 6, 2008

Rule of Law: Consult the Langley Legal Office

By Capt Heidi White 1st Fighter Wing chief of legal assistance

The world of law can be intimidating. For the layman venturing into the world of law, trying to solve a legal problem without the guidance of a skilled attorney is very similar to having an attorney try to fix your plumbing. In both instances, the result is usually disastrous. 

Luckily, the Air Force recognizes that legal readiness helps contribute to overall mission readiness. For several hours a day, four days a week, the Langley Legal Office provides legal assistance to retirees, active duty and reserve members from all branches of the military. 

The benefit of free legal services is evident in both the legal office's rapidly increasing client volume and the savings it has afforded the Hampton Roads area. This year alone, the legal office has provided an estimated $900,000 in legal services to military members and the surrounding community. 

To avoid any leaky plumbing mishaps, the best advice is to take advantage of our free legal services and ask for legal advice before acting. 

In order to help our clientele better understand the scope of legal assistance and the ancillary services that the legal office provides, three of the most frequently asked questions are addressed below. 

Q: Who is eligible for legal assistance?
A: Active duty, reservists, retirees and dependents are eligible to receive legal assistance. Civilian employees or civilian contractor personnel deploying to or in a theater of operations may be eligible for certain deployment-related legal assistance.

Q: What types of legal services are provided?
A: The legal office provides assistance on personal civil legal matters. This includes, but is not limited to, domestic issues like child custody, paternity and divorce, landlord-tenant issues and consumer issues. Additionally, the legal office provides notary services and drafts legal documents such as wills, powers of attorney and advance medical directives (living wills and medical powers of attorney).

Q: What types of legal services are not covered?
A: The legal office cannot provide representation in outside courts or assistance on criminal matters or personal business matters.

The Langley Legal Office conducts walk-in legal assistance on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:30 to 4 p.m.; Tuesdays from 8 to 9:30 a.m.; and Thursdays from noon to 1:30 p.m. Notary services are Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For further information, contact the legal office at 764-3277.