An Army Paralegal Is An Admirable Occupation On Several Levels
While there may be thousands of “jokes” about the stereotypical lawyer and those in the law profession, there are few reasons to make jokes about the work of an army paralegal.
An army paralegal is not only serving out country, but doing so in a position is important to maintaining order both within the ranks and with army/civilian relations.
As the U.S. continues to be involved in conflicts in two nations, the need for a legal department in the military that can successfully handle the sensitive important issues related to those conflicts is vital. There have been issues that have arisen that involve violations of both military law and civilian law that have to be addressed in a comprehensive manner that satisfies both military law and civilian law. And helping to achieve this delicate balance is an army paralegal.
Like their civilian counterpart, an army paralegal is responsible for assisting an army lawyer in the execution of their duties, from hearing cases involving minor violations of army rules and regulations, to trying army personnel who are involves in crimes against civilians. An army paralegal performs research on the case, interviews potential witnesses, helps the army lawyer prepare their opening and closing statements, prepares reports on the particulars on the case, briefs the lawyer on new developments, prepares important documents that must be submitted to the judge before and during the trial and keep files of important papers and information related to trials.
But unlike their civilian counterparts, an army paralegal finds themselves in unique situations, often involved in helping to administer justice in the field, far from the traditional courtrooms. An army paralegal may have to assist in a case in the middle of a military base far from any cities or courts of law. And often these incidents are brought to court and decided on in a more rapid fashion that traditional court rooms, which may involve trial delays. The nature of combat doesn't often permit continuances and delays, so an army paralegal must help assess the situation and compile the necessary reports and witnesses quickly and efficiently.
Consider an incident such as charges of army violations involving civilians. It is imperative that the military act quickly to investigate and conduct a trial to demonstrate to civilians that their rights are being considered as well. A case of a questionable shooting involving military personnel must be handled with deliberate speed and care to ensure that the rights of all, civilians and military personnel, are respected.
This makes the special training that an army paralegal important to the profession. While the army does utilize the skills of civilian paralegals that enlist in the army, many times they seek out traits in regular recruits that they deem are well suited to work as an army paralegal. They will receive special training with emphasis on military law (naturally) and the proper procedure for trying military cases.
An army paralegal is not only in the unique position of assisting in the justice system of a branch of the U.S. military, but is also another soldier performing vital duties for his or her country, making it one of the most admirable legal jobs around.
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