Marine Corps Legal Services Specialist - MOS 4421

Marine Corps Legal Services Specialist (MOS 4421)

The Marine Corps is like every other branch of the military in that it has its own legal administration department.

An Marine Corps Legal Services Specialist (MOS 4421) assists with operational, managerial, clerical, and administrative duties for the military branch.

Marine Corps Legal Services Specialists perform job duties comparable to a paralegal or legal secretary.

Learn more about what it takes to become an Legal Services Specialist (MOS 4421).

Education, Qualifications, and Training

4421 mos marines
The Marine Corps has its own legal administration department like every other branch. Image:

Serving the legal administration department of the Marine Corps is a fantastic way to receive the training and expertise you need to have a legal career after leaving the military.

Before you get too far though you’ll need to have the education and qualifications in order to qualify for MOS 4421.

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Marines are required to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

It also doesn’t hurt to have completed some college credits though is not a mandatory requirement for joining the U.S. Marines.

New recruits are required to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).

The series of tests is used by the military to determine appropriate Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) that meet your education and knowledge.

In order to qualify for an Marine Corps Legal Services Specialist (MOS 4421) you must score General Technical (GT): 100 or higher on the ASVAB.

Aspiring Legal Services Specialists must also score Clerical (CL): 105 or higher.


There are two primary qualifications you need to reach in order to qualify for Marine Corps Legal Services Specialist (MOS 4421).

Marines must have the ability to type at least 35 words per minute.

You can test your typing skills on the internet and use free programs to improve typing skills if you are not yet reaching 35 WPM.

Additionally, Marines that wish to become MOS 4421 Legal Services Specialists must have no nonjudicial punishments on their record.

Soldiers that have been convicted by a court-martial or civilian court for any offense involving controlled substances, or any offense related to moral turpitude, are ineligible for MOS 4421.

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New recruits begin their training at boot camp, regardless of Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).

The intention of boot camp is to prepare Marines for the lifestyle and culture of serving the military.

Once you complete basic training you will progress to focus on your MOS.

Marine Legal Services Specialists (MOS 4421) must complete the Legal Services Specialist Course.

It will teach you more about military law and your responsibilities as a Legal Services Specialist.

However, you will not receive a complete law degree through the program only applicable training.

What does an Marine Corps Legal Services Specialist Do?

marine legal services
Marine Corps Legal Services Specialists (MOS 4421) handle a lot of paperwork, legal correspondence, and documentation. Image: Wikimedia Commons

An Marine Corps Legal Services Specialist (MOS 4421) has job duties related to every part of military legal administration.

Marines deal with a large supply of paperwork and documentation working MOS 4421.

Legal Services Specialists support the Legal Services Support System (LSSS), Legal Support Services Team (LSST), and Marine Corps Judge Advocate Division (OSJA).

Research and preparing forms or reports are common exercises of day-to-day functions in a legal administration department.

Organization is another important skill you will learn as an Legal Services Specialist since military personnel must check completed work for typos and organize files on a consistent basis.

The only area of legal administration a Legal Services Specialist is not involved in is court-martial reporting.

Court-material reporting is handled by an Legal Services Reporter (MOS 4429).

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Job Duties of MOS 4421 Legal Services Specialist

According to the Marine Corps Legal Services Training and Readiness Manual, typical assignments include:

  • Research, preparation, and typing of general correspondence, forms, reports, wills, powers of attorney, and other documents dealing with legal and quasi-legal matters.
  • Checking all completed work for typographic accuracy.
  • Maintaining office correspondence files, directives, and publications.

Marines that work in the Legal Services department can receive a promotion to Legal Services Chief and Senior Enlisted Adviser based on seniority.

Legal Services Chiefs are directly responsible to the Marine Corps for the overall assignment, performance, training, counseling, discipline, morale, and welfare of all enlisted personnel in the department.

The Legal Services Chief “acts as a liaison between the command handling enlisted policy and duty assignments and advisor to the judge advocates with regard to enlisted instruction and supervision”.

Training for Legal Services Chief is offered through the Legal Services Court Reporter Course.

What does an Marine Corps Legal Services Specialist make?

marine corps paralegal
Legal Services Specialists (MOS 4421) receive great training and experience to work as paralegals or legal assistants after leaving the military. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Marine Corps Legal Services Specialists (MOS 4421) are not paid based on Military Occupational Specialty.

Pay is dictated based on Marine Corps rank and years of service.

InsigniaPay GradeRankAbbreviation2023 Minimum Monthly Pay
E-1 +4 monthsPrivatePvt$1,917.60
E-2Private First ClassPFC$2,149.20
E-3Lance CorporalLCpl$2,259.90
E-6Staff SergeantSSgt$2,980.50
E-7Gunnery SergeantGySgt$3,3445.80
E-8Master SergeantMSgt$4,957.20
E-8First Sergeant1stSgt$4,957.20
E-9Master Gunnery SergeantMGySgt$6,055.50
E-9Sergeant MajorSgtMaj$6,055.50
E-9Sergeant Major Of The Marine CorpsSgtMaj$6,055.50


The Marine Corps offers several additional benefits to soldiers along with monthly pay:

  • Medical Insurance
  • Affordable Life Insurance
  • Vacation Time
  • Special Pay
  • Retirement
  • Education: Marines can earn full-tuition, merit-based scholarships, allowances for books and fees, plus annual stipend for living expenses.
  • Housing: Allowances for living expenses, utilities, and maintenance.
  • Food: Allowance for the on-base dining hall and access to tax-free department and grocery stores.

Job Reviews

It is difficult to find online job reviews specific to Marine Corps Legal Services Specialist (MOS 4421). does have hundreds of job reviews about what it is like to serve the Marine Corps, regardless of MOS:

You can reach out to a Marine Corps recruiter to ask more questions about serving the military and preparing for MOS 4421.

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Civilian Job Opportunities

The job outlook for an Marine Corps Legal Services Specialist (MOS 4421) is outstanding.

Although you will not leave the Marine Corps with a law degree, the training and experience you receive in the military will prepare you well for civilian employment.

Former MOS 4421 that wish to become lawyers will need to continue their education in law school.

Immediate employment is available working as a paralegal, legal secretary, or legal assistant.

Former military traditionally make great employees in legal administration because of their discipline and sharp attention to detail.


An Marine Corps Legal Services Specialist (MOS 4421) is the military equivalent of a paralegal or legal secretary.

Starting your legal career with the Marine Corps can lead to civilian employment after finishing your service.


Levi D.
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