Army Paralegal Specialists (MOS 27D) are required to assist judges, Judge Advocates, and unit commanders in a wide variety of legal areas and expertise.
These specialists provide legal and administrative support and are required to be knowledgeable about a wide range of topics.
This position requires accuracy and clerical proficiency.
Qualifications and Training
This is an entry-level position that requires a secret clearance.
To enter into this position, recruits must obtain a score of 105 on the Clerical (CL) portion of the ASVAB test.
After passing all physical, medical, security and entry testing requirements, recruits will attend Basic Military Training for 10 weeks at one of four Army posts in the U.S.
This training will be completed with on-the-job instruction at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
During training, recruits will learn the skills necessary to provide legal support to the many judicial members they will be working with.
Helpful skills in a Paralegal Specialist position include:
- Ability to monitor and review actions for accuracy
- Supervision duties for those in command
- Ability to provide technical guidance to subordinates
- Maintain law/administrative library
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What Does a Paralegal Specialist (27D) Do?
A Paralegal Specialist is required to know information in a wide variety of fields and provide administrative support.
This position is more complex, requires more training and more knowledge than a legal assistant position.
A MOS 27D specialist provides support in criminal law, civil/administrative law, fiscal law, contract law, and international law.
Paralegal Specialists are required to know legal terminology and research techniques.
If the specialist is unfamiliar with a topic, they should know how to quickly and efficiently research the topic and provide advice that can be legally binding for the client or professional.
Specialists in this MOS will be required to prepare and review legal documents.
They will also need to learn and become familiar with the Army’s judicial process.
There may be times when the paralegal will be required to interview witnesses and create appropriate documentation/statement information from the interview.
Paralegals support unit commanders and the Office of Judge Advocate.
They often carry a heavy work-load and can be working on supplying information to multiple agencies or personnel at one time.
Some of the documents that they provide with be used in courts-martial, Article 15 actions, and other justice matters.
Administrative law matters that paralegals can be involved with include:
- Line of duty determinations
- AR 15-6 investigations
- Separation board proceedings
- Power of attorney
- Separation decrees
They will participate in pre-trial investigations and proceedings.
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The specialist can be a prosecuting attorney’s assistant, they can set up a courtroom for a trial, notify witnesses of pending cases, work for a defense counsel, review charges, and trial documents.
Some specialists are assigned to brigade operational law teams or to a division headquarter.
Individuals will work towards earning a National Paralegal Certificate.
This position is mostly in an office environment, and while the hours can be longer, they are more dependable than other Army positions.
Recruits in this MOS are still required to deploy and may be required to support legal functions in a deployment scenario.
They may be stationed in areas all around the U.S. when not deployed.
The Army recruiting video below gives an inside look into what training and job duties as a Paralegal Specialist in the Army is like.
What Does a Paralegal Specialist get Paid?
All personnel in the Army receive a base pay that is considered from factors such as rank and time of service.
As a fresh recruit, you can generally expect to be paid around $20,000 a year.
This income can be slightly lower during the first four months and does not factor in the Army’s benefits.
The base pay table below includes the pay scale for each rank.
|Insignia||Pay Grade||Rank||Abbreviation||Minimum Monthly Pay|
|E-2||Private Second Class||PV2||$1,943|
|E-3||Private First Class||PFC||$2,043|
|E-7||Sergeant First Class||SFC||$3,114|
|E-9||Command Sergeant Major||CSM||$5,473|
|E-9||Sergeant Major of the Army||SMA||$5,473|
The Army offers many benefits that add to the base salary explained above.
Not only does the Army cover housing expenses, but they also provide food allowances and clothing allowances.
Insurance that includes free to low-cost medical and dental are also provided.
Army recruits receive paid sick time, paid vacation, and low-cost life insurance.
The Army will provide tuition assistance opportunities that generally allows soldiers to advance their education for little to no cost.
There are bonus and compensation opportunities that vary based on certain recruiting and service situations.
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Working as a paralegal can be very demanding.
The position requires you to be responsive to requests and set priorities for your work.
Soldiers who have held the Paralegal Specialist position state that they enjoyed the work being performed.
They also note that the skills learned are applicable outside of the Army.
There are many reviews that discuss the high level of influence a supervisor can have on your work, meaning the people above you can request that the same task be completed in different ways.
This is not something that is specific to Army life, but it can have an impact on job satisfaction.
The review below discusses the development opportunities as being positive and family separation as a negative.
This review gives a great look at all of the job functions that Paralegals are required to perform on any given day.
Overall, previous Paralegal Specialists tend to be satisfied in the position and recommend it to others.
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Civilian Career Opportunities
Working in the MOS 27D position prepares individuals for similar legal work as a civilian.
Opportunities in areas such as paralegal, court clerk, court reporter, judge assistant, legal secretary, and legal assistant directly relate to the job functions of an Army Paralegal Specialist.
While in this position, the Army will help provide the training and funding to receive the CORE Registered Paralegal (CRP) from the National Federation of Paralegal Associations.
Not only will this help advance your career in the Military, but it can also be used to gain a paralegal position as a civilian and may help with wage negotiations.
Paralegal positions can vary on wage depending on where you work.
Most positions will be similar to an Army paralegal salary, depending on the rank.
This position is available for the PAYS program which is a recruiting program that guarantees a job interview with military-friendly employers.
Army Paralegal Specialists (MOS 27D) are responsible for providing legal and administrative duties in a variety of subject areas.
They are required to be knowledgeable and support key legal proceedings in the Military.
This is an entry-level position that requires a secret security clearance, in addition to both Basic Military Training and Advanced Individual Training.
This MOS follows the Army base pay, and recruits are offered Army benefits.
Previous soldiers in this MOS like the work that they perform and would recommend the position.
This career choice directly relates to legal administrative and paralegal positions as a civilian.
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