All US Army Reserve Soldiers not on active duty for more than 29 days can receive legal assistance from Reserve Component legal assistance providers. To request legal assistance, US Army Reserve Soldiers will follow the steps listed immediately below to request legal assistance services from a US Army Legal Command (USARLC), Legal Operations Detachment located nearest to them. USAR Soldiers who have difficulty contacting a legal assistance provider should seek the assistance of their commander.
Note: all Legal Operations Detachment locations will begin with the location designation of: (USAR). These are the only offices that will assist USAR Soldiers.
A USAR Soldier who lives in the zip code area of 20877 will: (1) access the website address above, (2) select “Army” and enter the zip code 20877, (3) When presented with the search results, the Soldier will select the 10th LOD in Gaithersburg, Maryland because that is the nearest of the US Army Legal Command’s 23 separate LODs who provide USAR Soldiers legal assistance to that zip code area. The Soldier will then upload his or her request form and submit.
The LOD location will appear as indicated below:
(USAR) Gaithersburg, Maryland
Nature of Legal Assistance Clients Assisted
The USLARC Commander sets the overall command policy (individual LOD commanders and legal assistance supervisors may provide more services if they choose but, at a minimum, must endeavor to provide the following services granting priority in the order laid out below). This policy tries to ensure the readiness of Army Reserve Component Soldiers and balances the conflicting missions and limited resources of Troop Program Unit (TPU) USARLC assets. Individuals who contact LODs directly may receive greater flexibility in the services provided. See Army Regulation (AR 27-3, The Army Legal Assistance Program).
I. Tiered Clients. (Category 1-5 and 6) - Clients who are eligible for LA and who should receive services from the USARLC:
1. Army reserve TPU and IMA Soldiers on military administrative matters (see para 3-6g of AR 27-3).
2. Army Reserve TPU and IMA Soldiers and their family members as part of PLP.
3. Army Reserve TPU, IMA, or IRR Soldiers who have been notified of mobilization.
4. Army Reserve Family Members, PNOK, and Fiduciaries in cases involving casualty assistance and care of Wounded Warriors when such clients are otherwise eligible for services and AC LA is unavailable or client chooses RC assistance over AC assistance.
5. Army Reserve Soldiers on personal legal problems and needs that have arisen from, or been aggravated by, their mobilization. (Such assistance must commence not later than two years following the mobilized member's release from active duty.)
6. Army Reserve TPU and IMA Soldiers on personal legal problems and needs that may adversely affect readiness.
II. Clients who, while eligible for services, will not ordinarily receive services by RC LA assets or USARLC due to limitations on resources and legal expertise:
1. Active and AGR Servicemembers and their Family Members. (referred to AC LA offices).
2. National Guard Servicemembers and their Family Members. (referred to NG LA offices).
3. Sister service reserve TPU, IMA, and IRR Servicemembers and their Family Members. (referred to sister service LA offices).
4. Army TPU and IMA Family Members on matters not involving casualty assistance, wounded warrior care, or matters directly related to the military readiness of the eligible Soldier. (referred to private counsel or free federal, state, and local resources).
5. Army IRR Servicemembers and their Family Members that do not fall into an eligible category discussed under A-Tiered Clients. (referred to private counsel or free federal, state, and local resources).
6. IRR sister service Servicemembers and their Family Members. (referred to sister service LA offices or private counsel and free federal, state, and local resources).
7. Retirees(not gray area), Army civilian employees, and contractors (referred to AC LA offices).
III. Clients who are not eligible and ordinarily not receive services by USARLC:
1. All gray area retirees (retired but not receiving retired pay) (referred to sister service LA offices or private counsel and free federal, state, and local resources)
IV. Prohibited Services
1. Military justice matters. (refer to TDS AC, sister service, NG or 16th, 22nd, or 154th LODs).
2. Private business activities.
3. Litigation against the United States.
4. Employment matters except those involved in enforcement of USERRA. (with USERRA often best to refer to DOL).
V. Other Agencies.
1. Soldiers facing or with questions about the MEB/PEB process should contact the Office of Soldier’s Counsel, Fort Gordon, GA. (Army Reserve OSC).
2. Soldiers with immigration issues may contact Army G-1 for Soldier immigration assistance and AILA MAP for personal and family member assistance.
3. Sister Services, AC, NG, and Retirees can be directed to the Air Force Legal Assistance Locator, their command, or MilitaryOneSource for information on obtaining legal assistance services.
Nature of Legal Assistance Services Provided
The service provided may include: (1) witnessing signatures to documents or providing notary services, (2) providing legal advice to Soldiers during a client interview or in a telephone conversation, (3) a letter written on behalf of a Soldier and signed by an attorney or writing a letter for the Soldier’s signature, (4) legal negotiation with parties whose interests are adverse to that of the Soldier, (5) legal document preparation which includes drafting, completing, and execution of documents (for example, wills, powers of attorney, leases, and lease clauses), (5) preparation and filing of federal and state income tax returns and other legal papers, (6) assistance to Soldiers (pro se assistance) which enables the Soldier to file legal documents, papers, or pleadings in civil proceedings without the attorney, (7) client referral to another attorney in another military legal office or to a civilian lawyer, (8) and, in limited circumstances, in-court representation.
Nature of Legal Assistance Cases
A non-exhaustive list of cases that legal assistance providers are available to assist Soldiers with include: Family law: marriage, annulment, legal separation, divorce, financial nonsupport child custody and visitation, and paternity cases. Estate planning: wills, testamentary trusts for the benefit of minors, guardianships, and the designation of beneficiaries under life insurance policies (including SGLI). Property: purchasing personal and real property to include contracts, mortgages, security agreements, warranties, cancellations, and other consumer affairs matters. Debts: disputes over lending agreements, bankruptcy, garnishment orders, involuntary allotment, applications for judgment, debt, banking, credit card, and property insurance problems. Non-government claims (including Article 139 claims). Administrative: matters within the jurisdiction of a municipal, state, and federal agencies (for example, state license driving privileges). Ministerial: notarizations. Civil: personal name change, immigration, naturalization, welfare assistance. Military Administrative: line of duty investigations, relief for cause, financial liability investigations, general officer letter of reprimands, and evaluation reports. Taxes. Civilian criminal matters. And many other cases based on the availability of expertise and resources.
Annual Legal Checkup
Soldiers who do not have immediate legal assistance needs are invited to annually complete a questionnaire designed to walk the Soldier through the most common situations that may require the aid of a legal assistance provider. The questionnaire is completely confidential. After the questionnaire is completed, the Soldier can print the results and use them as a basis for consulting a legal assistance provider. The Reserve Soldier Legal Readiness Review (R-SLRR) is located at: https://www.jagcnet.army.mil/LRR