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News | Oct. 3, 2012

Navy Legal Office Names Change, Services Remain Intact


The Naval Legal Service Command realigned its offices Oct. 1, but its legal services to the fleet did not change. Legal assistance services were previously provided by Naval Legal Service Offices (NLSOs).

As a result of the realignment, a service member seeking legal assistance with an issue such as a will, power of attorney, family law advice or any similar personal legal matter can now find assistance at the closest Region Legal Service Office (RLSO). The provision of legal assistance will continue at all prior NLSO locations, but will now be delivered by RLSO commands. There are legal assistance offices in fleet concentration areas, and at or near most Navy bases around the world, with legal support providers prepared to assist service members, their families, retirees, and other eligible clients.

All legal assistance services are provided free of charge to those eligible. RLSOs will continue to prosecute courts-martial and provide legal advice to commands around the globe. Command services include advice on military justice, ethics, JAG Manual investigations, administrative law, and other legal issues involving Navy commands. On Oct. 1, eight NLSOs headquartered in Pensacola; Norfolk; Bremerton; Jacksonville; San Diego; Washington, D.C.; Naples, Italy; and Yokosuka, Japan, realigned to become four Defense Service Offices (DSOs) headquartered in San Diego; Washington, D.C.; Norfolk; and Yokosuka, Japan.

The DSOs' mission is to defend service members in military justice proceedings, represent them at administrative boards, and provide other representational services, including advice on non-judicial punishment and adverse personnel actions. This realignment also changed the way service members receive defense services in 12 locations around the fleet where former NLSO detachments were closed. In those locations, service members will receive personal defense services in a manner similar to the way service members at sea are supported. Service members requesting defense services, such as representation for courts-martial or administrative boards, will make initial contact with a DSO attorney by telephone or other remote communication technology, with subsequent in-person consultation if necessary. The 12 locations are Everett, Whidbey Island, Port Hueneme, Lemoore, Corpus Christi, New Orleans, Millington, Kings Bay, Guantanamo Bay, Newport, Earle, and Sigonella. For more news from Navy Judge Advocate General, visit
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