Judge Advocate upgrades Legal Assistance programs
By Eric Brian, 45th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 01, 2011
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.