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Judge Advocate upgrades Legal Assistance programs

Capt. Jerome Kearns, 45th Space Wing Judge Advocate chief of administrative law, prepares a will for a U.S. Air Force Reserve officer. JA has made significant improvements in its Legal Assistance and other programs available to the Patrick community.

Capt. Jerome Kearns, 45th Space Wing Judge Advocate chief of administrative law, prepares a will for a U.S. Air Force Reserve officer. JA has made significant improvements in its Legal Assistance and other programs available to the Patrick community.

PATRICK AFB, Fla. --      The 45th Space Wing Staff Judge Advocate made a number of recent improvements to Legal Assistance programs for qualified members of the Patrick Air Force Base military community.
     Legal Assistance updates and improvements include, but are not limited to:
          · Kiosks in the Legal Office waiting area;
          · Increased number and availability of legal assistance appointments;
          · AF Legal Assistance website, https://aflegalassistance.law.af.mil.
     JA is also in the process of implementing a Patrick Legal Assistance website with Florida specific information and a link to the AF website.
     "We want to make everything as easy as possible for our clients," said Staff Sgt. Hector Rodriquez, Non-commissioned Officer in Charge of Civil Law. "We will continue to make more improvements and provide quality legal assistance."
     Legal Assistance is available for those who qualify , including all Department of Defense service members : Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard; retirees; and their dependents. Location is PAFB Building 562, phone 494-7357.
     The Legal Assistance office, part of JA's Civil Law, offers regular services including:
          · Walk-in Powers of Attorney (POA)/Notary: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
          · Legal Assistance by appointment Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
          · Deployers and emergencies are handled by appointment as needed.
     JA also offers free Tax Assistance for those eligible, through a long-standing program. Trained, experienced volunteers assist with tax return preparation and other tax needs.
     The volunteer-run tax program, in full swing for 2011, includes 24 IRS-trained volunteers, with attorney and paralegal oversight. The tax program has a separate operating location - the Shark Center, in South Housing. It is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and assist with taxes by appointment only. For more information or to set up an appointment, call 494-4718.
     The Legal Assistance and Tax Assistance programs have saved the military community from the normal costs associated with these services. In 2010, Legal Assistance clients saved $622,475 and tax customers saved $242,496. These services provided by the Legal Office are just another example of the many Quality of Life benefits that military members and their families enjoy.