A significant number of military personnel are assigned within North Carolina. These military personnel and their family members are provided assistance with their legal problems typically through the Staff Judge Advocate’s Office on each base, post, or installation. Many of the military attorneys assigned to provide this legal assistance are newly graduated from law school. Military attorneys usually are licensed in a state other than where they are assigned. The North Carolina State Bar's Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel undertakes projects to:
- provide legal assistance attorneys assigned within North Carolina greater access to North Carolina law as it bears on the legal issues they are called upon to address; and
- enable them to obtain prompt and professional advice from experienced North Carolina practitioners in relevant areas.
Beginning in 1983, the committee implemented a preventative law handout program. The goals of this periodically updated and ever expanding series of pamphlets and handouts are to:
- help prevent legal problems before they arise;
- answer some of the military client’s questions before he or she is interviewed by a legal assistance attorney; and
- provide legal assistance attorneys written information on applicable North Carolina law and procedure.
The materials that are designed to address the frequently asked questions of legal assistance clients are called “Take-1” handouts and “The Legal Eagle”. Attorney-to-attorney resources for legal assistance attorneys are called “Co-Counsel Bulletins” and “Silent Partners”. The committee also provides an annual CLE program for military legal assistance attorneys on relevant areas of North Carolina law. It also attempts to keep the Bar informed of and suggest projects to address unique problems for military personnel and to address legal problems for military personnel created by large scale developments at military installations within the state (e.g., Desert Storm).