Air Force paralegals and Staff Judge Advocates work
Air Force

Air Force Paralegals: What They Do, Pay, Training, And More

Overview

Air Force Paralegals are the military equivalent of civilian paralegals, in the sense that they perform the same responsibilities.

It’s important to note that Air Force paralegals are not lawyers.

They simply assist Air Force lawyers (known by the acronym JAG) by doing a lot of the “grunt” work.

This includes things like:

  • Case research and discovery
  • Preparing case files
  • Administrative tasks
  • Drafting correspondence
  • Calling clients and other lawyers
  • Analyze court documents

Requirements and Qualifications

In order to become an Air Force paralegal, you need to meet certain requirements and qualifications.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Must be between 17 and 39 years old
  • Must be a member of the US Air Force
  • Must have a high school diploma, GED equivalent, or a GED with 15 college credits
  • ASVAB scores:  Minimum score of 51 in general qualifications on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test

Minimum Qualifications

  • Credit score check
  • National agency check
  • Ability to speak clearly and concisely
  • No previous run-ins with the law, other than minor traffic citations
  • Must type at a minimum rate of 25 words per minute

Training To Become An Air Force Paralegal

Air Force paralegals and Staff Judge Advocates work
Source af.mil

Like every other job in the Air Force, paralegals must first complete basic training, otherwise known as BMT.

Related Article: 10 Best Air Force Jobs For Civilian Life

BMT is 8 1/2 weeks long, and is conducted exclusively at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX.

If you qualify to become a paralegal, you will then receive 35 days of technical training at a tech school in Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

This training is just over 1 month long, and throughout the training you will learn things like:

  • Civil Law procedures
  • Legal ethics
  • Legal claims and tort administration and investigation
  • Legal research and writing
  • Pre and post trial administration
  • Military justice

The coursework total lasts about 64 hours, and at the end you will be officially designated as an Air Force Paralegal.

How Much Are Air Force Paralegals Paid?

Just like with all of the branches of the US Military, your pay will be dictated by your rank and how long you’ve served.

For an Airman fresh out of basic military training (BMT), you can expect to be in the range of an E-1 (Airman basic) through an E-3 (Airman First Class).

The entry level pay starts at $1,680.90 per month for an E-1, and rises to $1,981.20 per month for an E-3.

As you raise higher in rank, your overall base pay and potential pay rises substantially.

Here’s a chart demonstrating the pay for Air Force enlisted personnel in 2019:

RankMonthly Pay (per month)
E-1 Airman Basic$1,680.90
E-2 Airman$1,884.00
E-3 Airman First Class$1,981.20
E-4 Senior Airman$2,194.50
E-5 Staff Sergeant$2,393.40
E-6 Technical Sergeant$2,612.70
E-7 Master Sergeant$3,020.70

What’s Life Like As A Paralegal In The Air Force

There are numerous job reviews available online, and the vast majority paint a very good picture.

Most reviews indicated that being an Air Force paralegal had numerous benefits, including:

  • A good work-life balance
  • Good pay and benefits
  • Good job security and career opportunities
  • Overall positive culture

Here’s a few samples of some of the reviews we found:

air force paralegal review

review for air force paralegal

Civilian Career Opportunities

Upon completion of your service in the Air Force, there are numerous job opportunities that you’ll be afforded.

The most obvious choice is to become a civilian paralegal.

There are 1,000’s of job openings every year in this field, and having military service on your record will give you a leg-up on the competition.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for paralegals in the US in 2017 was $53,180.

Obviously the pay will be dictated by a number of factors, including which geographical location you work in, the size of the law firm, and your overall experience.

According to Zippia.com, the 5 best states to be a paralegal include:

  • Connecticut
  • Washington D.C.
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Texas

Here’s a map of all 50 states, ranked in terms of their affinity towards jobs as a paralegal.

best states for paralegals
Image: Zippia.com

Being a law clerk is also a stepping stone to higher paying jobs, like a full time lawyer.

If you’ve been considering joining the Air Force, but are unsure of what job might be right for you, consider going the paralegal route!

More Resources:

Talk To An Air Force Recruiter

Official Website For Air Force Paralegals

Reviews For Air Force Paralegals

Rob V.
Rob V.
Rob V. is the founder of OperationMilitaryKids.org. While he never actually served in the US Military, he has a passion for writing about military related topics. Born and raised in Woodbridge, NJ, he graduated from the New Jersey Institute Of Technology with an MBA in eCommerce. His hobbies include beach volleyball, target shooting, and lifting. Rob is also a commercially rated pilot with over 1,500 hours of flight time.

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